It started with this post by Frances Flynn Thorsen: FREE Webinar -No Blogger Left Behind Breakout Session Spotlights ActiveRain. Even better, Fran and Joeann Fossland asked me to join them as a panelist. Naturally I said, "Yes!" and figured I'd have some time before the webinar to prepare. And then my day got busy . A listing. A settlement. It was a successful day but looong, and it all added up to me getting home just a few minutes after 6:00 pm. Whew! Caught my breath and logged on just as they resolved some minor connectivity issues. Good thing I can wing it.
We had a great group on the call – Joeann, Fran, Pam Dent, my publisher Peg Silloway, several other Rainers, and especially a new blogger, Monica McNamara from Ocean City, MD. You know I love to share what I've learned, and had fun answering Monica's questions and talking about how important blogging is to my business.
One of Monica's questions was, why would anyone read more than a hundred comments on a blog post? All I could say was that, if you're lucky enough to write a post that gets hundreds of comments, you'll understand! (We also warned Monica that Active Rain blogging can be addictive, especially when you start to get gold stars.) I shared my approach to responding to comments: I acknowledge the comment in my blog's comments, and then I go to the commenter's blog, read their articles, and find something to comment on their blog. I believe this helps to continue building the community and make the connections that real estate is all about.
One of the neat things about a Webinar is that the host, in this case Fran, can let everyone on the call see the same thing at the same time. So when we talked about posts with lots of comments, we could all see her scroll through Active Rain posts. When Joeann talked about AR groups and gold stars, we all watched as Fran brought up a group like Them,Them on the screen. And the same for the search feature as a research tool, tag words, listings, and a host of other topics we covered. We even talked about how blogging is a great way to connect between grandparents and children, with Joeann's delightful granddaughter Lily as a perfect example with her own blog: The World's Youngest Blogger. (Yes, at 6 years old, she writes it all herself, and with a theme – things that begin with "L"!)
Through it all, Fran and Joeann offered many helpful comments. Even though I've been blogging for more than two years, I learned how to make my neighborhood posts better by making the links easier to follow.
Blogging on AR has given me the practice to help me write with more ease, and to be aware of how to relate daily fun and hobbies like feeding birds to real estate. It's also been a great resource; I had my book cover designed by an Active Rain marketing genius, Marti Garaughty. And over the more than two years since my first blog in January, 2006, I've written so much that it's a challenge to get my new book, Real Estate the Right Rome Way, down to just 12 chapters.
I thought this was a wonderful webinar! Thanks to Fran and Joeann for making this available to Active Rainers, and for giving me a chance to be part of it. Just one more example of what fun it is to play in the Rain. And Monica…she is so quick that she had joined AR and posted her first (excellent) article before my invitation even reached her!
Monica has already done hers, but I'm challenging everyone else on the webinar to write a post about this today. Let's see what happens!