These are my tips for the really new Active Rain Newbies. Since I have joined only a few months ago I've seen more than 7,000 new members come to AR. I know that not all of you will find these tips helpful, but I think that for some they will be very helpful and that's one of the things that AR is all about. So here goes...
Number 1 Tip for Newbies - Fill in your profile info
There are so many people who are on AR who haven't even loaded a profile picture, let alone completed the full-length descriptions of themselves. This is the first thing any Newbie should do, and do it to the fullest extent you can. This is where people will go the first time they interact with you on AR. Don't let them down, if they can't get a real feel for who you are, and what you do best, they aren't likely to go any further. Always give out all your contact info, tell people about all the services you offer, give some (a little goes a long way) personal information, remember to let the person who is represented by these bits and bytes come through the page. If you're having trouble with this, don't worry, it's a work in progress. You can see how I created a full page profile on my About Me page, and go check out those on AR who have very high scores and see all the things their profile tells you about them. Then do the best you can with your first go around, you can come back and tweak it any time you want. (And I'm sure you will, I know I have been through several revisions.)
Number 2 Tip for Newbies - Start small, comments only
The next step for me wasn't to just put up some post about how happy I was to be here and to ask for people to help me find my way around. That's all been done before with very good intention, but I didn't really ever see those people post again. If you're new to blogging (like me) then most likely it's been a while since you've had to write anything of real substance. I found that the best way to ease into this is to warm up by writing some meaningful comments on other peoples posts. Read what they have to say, and see how it's done, over a couple of weeks!! There's no hurry here so don't be pressured into posting something that you don't care about.
Number 3 Tip for Newbies - Read, Read, Read!!
Once you've made several comments, and gotten some points (25 points for every comment up to 10 a day), you should subscribe to those blogs that you like to read. That makes it easier to check in with these people whenever you want. Keep on reading their posts, follow their blog for a month or so. If you've subscribed to someone who isn't posting at least once a month then you should probably try to find someone who posts with more frequency. Then get your nerve up and write that first post. I think that many in AR would agree that this will make your first post much better than if you rattled off something on your first or second day. And keep reading other blogs, surf through the top rated and newest blog posts every time you log into AR. Of course don't forget to comment when you read something that you like, or that you find helpful, or that makes you laugh. Dont' ever be afraid to take the time to let someone know how their post affected you. When you do this you will most likely get them to go and see your posts, and if you consistently read and comment on the same persons blog they will get to know you and most likely they will in turn read and comment on your posts. This is the communal energy that powers AR.
Number 4 Tip for Newbies - Learn about SEO and copy writing
If you're really serious about bloging, and you want to use this incredible marketing tool that so many have had so much success with, then you have to get a basic understanding of what SEO is and how to write good blog copy. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's part science and part art, and a whole lot of technical stuff. But there are several, if not many, blogers out there who will help you understand what this SEO stuff is all about. I can highly recommend Mary McKnight, who is a fellow AR'r. She has her own company that works with real estate professional to develop websites and blogs that get very high rankings in a short period of time. She does a lot of other things as well, so you should see all that she has to offer on her site RSS pieces Also you should check in with Matt Dollinger who is the master of The You Factor and always has good tips about marketing yourself in the digital 21st century. Last but never least, you can hit the web, just google "blogging" or "blog writing", or "writing copy for a blog" and you'll get plenty of material to guide you along the way.
So those are my Tips for AR Newbies, I hope you've enjoyed them. I'ld love to hear what you think of them...so get those comments going and I'll be readin' and writin' about Real Estate, until next time.