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December Challenge: The Not-So-Secret Blogging Tips We Can Share

Services for Real Estate Pros Retired

Although I have been with ActiveRain for over a year, I started writing short and long-form articles (700-1000 words per article) and published them on LinkedIn in 2009. In those days, the word “blog” was unfamiliar to most writers. 

I left LinkedIn in 2017, and during those eight years, I published one post a week on Tuesdays. I cannot remember how many posts I had written, but I remember that 50% of my posts published on LinkedIn were featured. I left LI and was burned out.

The internet has changed the world. It is no longer about whom you know; it’s about what you know. And to share our knowledge with the world, we BLOG.

Today’s environment has changed the way we blog: shorter blog posts (less than 500 words) and more specifics, and for some, “quantity” has taken over “quality.” 

Finding the “right” audience has become one of the most critical tasks to becoming a successful blogger. 

Interesting Headlines

Many professional writers, from journalists and copywriters to anyone writing a blog, consider a successful title an invaluable skill that takes time to practice.  

The Headline Analyzer (free) is an online tool that provides feedback on your headline quality by calculating an impression score using “context words” in your headline. The higher the score, the more likely readers will “click” on your post.

My goal for every headline is to try using different words to gain the headline quality level (impression score) of “above average.” 

You can view the sample score of this post’s headline HERE.

Different Contents, Different Writing Styles

I have learned different writing styles by reading other writers’ work. I like to leave readers thinking about my post after reading it. 

Retelling old stories using my word is one thing I believe in.

Make Sure Your Posts are Easy to Read

People don’t want to read long blocks of text—break it up into smaller paragraphs (i.e., 3-4 sentences per paragraph) and bold or italicize essential points.

Don’t be afraid to embrace the one-line sentence in one paragraph when you want to throw punch words at your reader. Short and simple words produce “punchy” sentences that demand attention and often resonate with your reader.

Here’s an example from one of my Featured posts —“Living In Two Cultures...”

Also, add visuals like images and short videos to spice things up. Visuals make your blog look more appealing and encourage people to keep reading.

Final Work Before Publishing

Most of us don’t have someone to check our work before hitting the “publish” button. I am a big fan of using software to check my writing: grammar, spelling, suggested words, clarity, readability, writing style, etc.

To check my work before publishing them, I rely on ProWritingAid to check my writing quality. 

Thanks, Jeff Dowler, CRS, and Brian England, for co-hosting this Challenge. I look forward to submitting the second post for Option 2. 

Aura Alex

Posted by

I have wandered from a vibrant corner of the world, Thailand, to the bustling city of Boston. And again, to the tranquil beauty of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. 

I have found my place!

After a fulfilling career spanning 16 years in the corporate world and 22 years in real estate, I have entered a new chapter of life---retirement. As a proud grandmother, I cherish every moment with my precious family. In the remaining hours, I am ready to pursue my lifelong passion for writing!

I invite you to follow my new journey via my heart and soul into a book brimming with uplifting tales, ready to inspire anyone who seeks a glimpse of true inspiration.

Aura Alex


Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Aura Alex You have given me so many valuable tips. I am going to bookmark your post . Thank you so much much 😊

Dec 04, 2022 02:26 PM
Aura Alex

Hannah Williams - I am glad to share. Hope it helps you and others.

I appreciate you letting me know. Thank you for your comment.

Dec 04, 2022 05:07 PM
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee 423-677-6677

This is very helpful.  I love this challenge.  It is a helpful tool.

Dec 04, 2022 03:33 PM
Aura Alex

Hi, Cindy Edwards - I hope to see your entry soon. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Dec 04, 2022 05:08 PM
Emily Medvec
eXp Realty LLC - Santa Fe, NM
Broker | Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM

Great tips and congratulations on feature. I know reading your blogs keeps me inspired and your tips only make me better writer!

Dec 04, 2022 04:13 PM
Aura Alex

Hi, Emily Medvec - Those are very kind words from you. Thank you. I hope we will see your entry for this challenge.

Dec 04, 2022 05:10 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Aura,
I'm glad you put the importance of the Headline first. If you don't have a headline that will draw people in, it won't matter what you write. I have never used the Pro Writer software. I do use Grammarly, which is pretty basic and doesn't always like my writing style. LOL

Dec 04, 2022 05:00 PM
Aura Alex

Carol Williams - first of all, the Hawks won today, 27-23. Whew! I didn't watch it, but I checked the NFL site to see the scores. 

I also use Grammarly for minor things like emails and comments. I use ProwriterAid for the posts, and we will probably need ProwriterAid for our project in Spring! More on that in emails.  

The software knows what kind of writing styles you're using. It tells me I was using creative writing, and another time it says, "blah!" 🤑

One of these days, and with AI technology, I would be interested in software that would fix my accents - LOL! 😁

Dec 04, 2022 05:21 PM
Carol Williams

Hey Aura Alex 
I'm glad to hear the Hawks won. It must have been a close game. Wish I'd been able to watch it. As it turned out, I did win $20 in the Poker Run, so I doubled my money and got lots of free food and drinks to boot.  😊

Dec 04, 2022 06:19 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I would never have made it as a Realtor, had it not been for the kind, experienced agents in the first office I worked in.  I like the idea of this challenge.  And, you have written a great post, Aura.

Dec 04, 2022 05:19 PM
Aura Alex

Hi, Myrl Jeffcoat - I had a broker mentor who helped me through the first year of real estate. What goes around comes around - it seems to work that way. I know I can get help; all I have to do is ask (according to Ms. Carol Williams). 

Thank you so much for the feature. Funny, I have never got tired of this recognition!

Dec 04, 2022 05:30 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Aura, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Dec 04, 2022 05:19 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Well now, I did not know that LinkedIn featured posts. Clearly, if any of mine were featured I would know that (LOL).  I am not surprised 50% of your posts were Featured.  

Dec 04, 2022 05:55 PM
Aura Alex

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 

LI may have changed rules, as when I left, they had a limit on who could view our posts, and it turned out we were no longer seen by the general LI members, only those on our feeds (followers).

Two hundred members of the Writing Group left, and I was one of them. I believe this was around the beginning of 2017.

During my time there, there were about 10,000 posts a day, and 100-200 would get featured daily. I enjoyed the activities, but I was getting burned out! 

Dec 04, 2022 06:49 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Oh my gosh, I was going to say exactly what Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist said - I had no idea either! As she mentioned, it's no surprise yours were often featured. I love your style.

Thank you for sharing these great tips. I will definitely check them out. I clicked through to the headline link and definitely feel that I need help with that; mine are very bland!

Thank you for participating in this month's challenge, Aura!

Dec 04, 2022 06:36 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

I saw that, Aura Alex but, I'm not sure where to find the featured posts. I've been a member for a very long time. I post the occasional post there but, I try to link back to my website where the vast majority of my SEO comes from.

AR used to have significantly more SEO but, hasn't in about a decade. I'm hopeful Ben can address that on our ZOOM call on the 20th (this month). 

Dec 04, 2022 07:01 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

Oh no, I seriously doubt any of mine stand a chance of being featured and I figured if you left, your posts would leave as well! I'm simply trying to find where you can see featured posts on LinkedIn, Aura Alex. Perhaps our speaker on Tuesday can shed some light on featured posts. I would love to see what types of posts they feature, etc. 

Dec 04, 2022 07:54 PM
Aura Alex

Debe Maxwell, CRS - are you trying to find your posts or my featured posts on LI? When I left in 2017, all my posts on Google and LI also disappeared, featured or not. My account and email login were canceled and deleted. 

It would make sense to delete all my posts after I had left LI since if someone clicks on the post link, it won't send that person to my LI page as it was no longer there.

Dec 04, 2022 07:48 PM
Aura Alex

Debe Maxwell, CRS: Thank you for your comment. I hope you can use the headline analyzer to help. Many people don't realize how important the headlines are. 

Please see my response to Kathleen above about LI. When did you sign up with LI? Is it worth it? I am convinced there is no platform out there that offers what AR does!

Dec 04, 2022 06:55 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Thank you Aura Alex !

Dec 05, 2022 04:04 AM
Aura Alex

You're so welcome, Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573.

Dec 05, 2022 07:13 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Aura, for sharing your experience and advice.

Have an outstanding week.

Dec 05, 2022 08:54 AM
Aura Alex

Thank you, Roy Kelley. And I wish the same to you.

Dec 05, 2022 12:38 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Great post Aura and your tips are RIGHT ON. Thank you. Jeff 

Dec 05, 2022 08:28 PM
Aura Alex

You're welcome, Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI. I appreciate you stopping by. Enjoy your day.

Dec 06, 2022 07:58 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Great tips and experience counts. I too was active in LinkedIn, though not burned out. In 2023, I will resume my LinkedIn Activities.

Dec 06, 2022 06:33 AM
Aura Alex

Leanne Smith, good luck with LI. 

Dec 06, 2022 08:01 AM
Leanne Smith

My past postings made several thousand dollars for my executive coaching practice.

Dec 06, 2022 10:31 AM
Aura Alex

🙂 Leanne Smith 

Dec 07, 2022 10:40 AM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Love these tips! Learned a new one on the Headline Analyzer .

Dec 07, 2022 06:31 AM
Aura Alex

Thank you, faye schubert for stopping by. I'm glad you find something useful from my post. 

Dec 07, 2022 08:13 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Great tips for checking what you are writing and headlines. Thank you.

Dec 07, 2022 08:51 AM
Aura Alex

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543. You're so welcome.

I hope you have a great "after-shock" experience after the wedding. I am happy for you!!

Dec 07, 2022 10:38 AM
Stephanie Huber
www.thehubergroup.com | Huber Real Estate Group of Florida - Port St Lucie, FL
Real Estate Brokerage serving Port St. Lucie, FL

Very helpful. Thank you!

Stephanie Huber


Dec 07, 2022 11:51 AM
Aura Alex

It's very nice of you to stop by and comment on my post. It delights me to meet new AR members through my posts. Thank you, Stephanie Huber.

Dec 07, 2022 04:53 PM
John Wieland
Exp Realty - Delray Beach, FL
Mr Downtown Delray

This is so great. As a society, we've lost that loving feeling about proper use of our language. We're a text/tweet society now. Hard to understand folks anymore. You're short sentenced and simple words are refreshing. Lower FK scores, higher readability percentage. Thanks for you essay - it was easy, light and enjoyable to consume - with my Italian Barbaresco! 

Dec 07, 2022 03:18 PM
Aura Alex

John Wieland, I had many Italian friends while living in Boston. I was introduced to a glass of Italian red wine, and now I'm reading your comment - "it was easy, light, and enjoyable to consume" it sounds like that earthy-flavored wine called Barbaresco! 



Dec 07, 2022 05:12 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Well it was no surprise to me that you were FEATURED!  Your posts always hold my attention. You have the GIFT!  Hoping to learn alot from you!  Enjoyed this post and will be coming back to read again!  Like others here, I didn't know LI had Feature Posts either.  That says it all huh?  LOL

Dec 07, 2022 06:22 PM
Aura Alex

Diana Dahlberg 

If you were there between 2009-2016, you would remember Pulse, which managed all posts and features. It seems to me that Pulse is no longer there. Because of the change in their rules that limited exposure to members' posts, people began to leave LI in 2017. I understand if Pulse was eliminated and LI no longer entertains Featured posts.

I got a ton of business from LI and exposure from my posts on the platform so I couldn't say too many bad things about them, LOL! 

As always, I appreciate your continued support, reading, and commenting. Thank you, Diana.

Dec 07, 2022 06:35 PM
Diana Dahlberg

Aura Alex It's my pleasure, truly. 

Dec 07, 2022 06:57 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

You most certainly are a pro, Aura, I knew that just after you joined ActiveRain! You have a work history rich in blogging techniques and for what truly works. Blog on sweet one!

Dec 09, 2022 07:42 AM
Aura Alex

Thank you, Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! for your kind words.

You were one of the first people that inspired me to continue to write. As always, thank you for your support. 

Dec 09, 2022 05:45 PM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Yes Aura, Finding the "right" Audience is an important step in the blogging world and it is critical to your success!

Dec 13, 2022 02:05 PM
Aura Alex

Ditto your thought, Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 

Dec 13, 2022 05:31 PM
Kieran Jackson
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills - Los Angeles, CA
Realtor®, SFR, U.S. Army Veteran

This is a terrific post. Full of useful information, thank you! I'm definitely going to bookmark this post!


All the best!

May 03, 2023 06:22 PM