Top 5 Lessons Learned from Blog World Expo 2008

Services for Real Estate Pros with Real Estate Marketing - Go Smart Solutions

Blog World Expo 2008The Blog World Expo in Las Vegas was quite an illuminating experience, with each session revealing tips, trends, and tools to help businesses and bloggers get the most out of their online social networking and blogging efforts. There was so much valuable information passed along that it's hard to assign priority and decide what to write about first. But don't worry, I won't continue rambling on in generalities for the remainder of this post, I'm going to get down to the nitty gritty and (hopefully!) teach you what I learned.

When it comes to learning and teaching specifics, I have a list-type personality; don't give me a map, give me step by step directions. Because of this, I'm going to break down what I learned into the most important points and outline them for you here. I'll go into more detail with each point in following posts (oh, the anticipation!), and update this outline with links to them for easy reference. So, without further ado, here's what I learned at the BlogWorld Expo (in no particular order of importance):


1. Blog vs. Website War - Nowadays, is it better to have a blog, a website, or both? Is it good to have multiple blogs? The answer comes in the form of another question. Des Walsh, business coach and social media strategist, asked, "Are you engaging your visitors?" That should be the ultimate goal of any effective online presence.

2. Be Active in Your Sphere - Simply having a presence is not enough, you must have a PRESENCE. According to Rohit Bhargava, author of the Influential Marketing Blog and the book Personality Not Included, says this means having a plan and a purpose for each space you fill online, and actively participating in it. "But wait", you say, "I have profiles in dozens of places online, and therefore cannot possibly be actively involved in all of them". So true! But you must decide on a plan and a purpose for each one, and be consistent.

3. Feed Your Center - So you say you have dozens of profiles online? Do you have a central or focus profile? If your answer was no, then you should get one! Denise Wakeman of The Blog Squad, talked about the importance of having a hub for your followers, friends, visitors, and fans (or whatever else you call your online connections). All of your online activity, including blogs and social networking sites, should point back to this home base. This will help simplify things for your contacts and yourself, as well as boost the ranking for your central blog / website.

4. Be Yourself - When promoting your listings, your services, your photos, or your experience, it's easy to forget to be personal. You want to impress, impress, impress, but you forget to be transparent (believe me, I've struggled with this myself!). Many, many speakers, including Brian Solis of Future Works, Chris Brogan of social networking fame, and Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO (@zappos), spoke on how important this is, noting that it is vital to have a personality and be someone that others want to connect with and want to do business with.

5. Twitter - Just do it. Since I've been back from the Expo, I've often referred to it as the "Twitter World Expo" because of the prominent role that Twitter played in the whole thing. Every conference room had Twitter on the big screen, every session mentioned or integrated it, and almost every "guru" sung its praises. If you don't Twitter yet, you may be thinking, "What's it all about and how does it work?". To get started, check out this start guide for Twitter, written by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, or this video, Twitter in Plain English, by Lee Lefever of CommonCraft. Basically, it's about getting connected and building quality relationships.

There was so much more shared, but I think these are the most relevant and applicable to the AR community. As I go into more detail in following posts, I hope you will be able to apply these tips to your current business (if you haven't done so already!).

Oh yeah, and if you Twitter, you can follow me @candees - I'll follow you back ;)

Comments (60)

Bob Bentley
Bentley Realty Group, LLC - Madison, WI

Thanks for the info!  I was in Vegas during the expo.. had I known about it I would have stopped in too.  Anyway, thanks again for the blogging info... I'll apply as I can!

Sep 25, 2008 10:22 AM
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Thanks for the link to Tony Hsiech's explanation. I think I now know why I don't didn't understand the value. I need to get my friends and associates involved. Light dawns on marble head.

Sep 25, 2008 10:29 AM
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


Very good stuff. Fills in some gaps for me. This Twitter still puzzles me although you, too, seem to be now a believer in it. Time to look into it a bit deeper.

Sep 25, 2008 10:57 AM
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI


I couldn't agree with u more about twitter.  When it was first explained and introduced to me last year, it was like this, "Just sign up for an account, you know, twitter, and just say what you are doing;  The person who had me do this twittered quite a bit and it was like, "Just see what I do" and I watched and it was every 5 min. what this person was doing and I not for me, I'm not going to tell ppl what I am doing every 5 minutes, get a life.

And then I tried it again this year and I sooooo love it.  It just wasn't explained well and didn't make sense to me.  It's the ability to be in the same room with people all over the globe and peek in on their conversations, from the girl next door to the hot shot tech exec. and pick and choose when you want to join those conversations, or start your own.

How cool is that? Very.

Sep 25, 2008 11:14 AM
Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

Thanks for the info - I'm new to blogging, but I'll check out twitter.  :-)

Sep 25, 2008 11:18 AM
Cathy Tishhouse
RE/MAX Showcase Homes - Royal Oak, MI
Royal Oak Real Estate

I definitely bookmarked this to check out all the links and particularly the how to with Twitter.  I hear twitter everywhere--after reading this, I now know I can't put it off -- an links to get started.  When something seems so foreign to me, I am relunctant to leap - something usually pushes me and then it's not so bad and I love it.  This is the push I needed.  Thanks

Sep 25, 2008 12:07 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Thanks for the quick tips - and yes, I'm now following you!  I'm still trying to understand why I need Twitter, but I think it's becoming clearer.

Sep 25, 2008 01:13 PM
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes

Candis - thanks for the tips and insights on what happened in BlogWorld - so many conferences so little time - wish I could go to ALL of them - will you be coming to Orlando for NAR.   

Sep 26, 2008 02:26 AM
Ana Connell
G & C Properties - Burbank, CA
Burbank Real Estate Agent

Thank you for sharing this information, I'm so new at all of this, I'm just starting to figure out the twitter thing!

Sep 26, 2008 04:58 AM
Candis Hidalgo
Real Estate Marketing - Go Smart Solutions - Arroyo Grande, CA

Tina - @tinainvirginia I'm looking forward to your recap from VAR08 as well!

Jason - @jbinfrisco Good point. As long as there's an exchange going on between the site & the visitor (as opposed to a one way street), then it is on the right track.

Vickie - Yes, that's it. Also, as you start to become more actively involved in conversations on Twitter, you will meet new people & make new friends / contacts.

Rebecca - That's similar to my early exerience with Twitter as well. I think it's hard to explain (and grasp) until you really get involved and (slowly) build up your following. Then it becomes a gold mine of resourceful info and people!

Sep 26, 2008 07:39 AM
Candis Hidalgo
Real Estate Marketing - Go Smart Solutions - Arroyo Grande, CA

Cathy - That's great! I hope you find it as useful as I have.

Georgina - Just stick with it. It takes some time to really build a following and find folks that you want to follow. I think a lot of people try it for a day or a week, don't see immediate results, and then discard it altogther. But if you hang in there and continually give value to the conversation, you will undoubtedly get value as well!

Cyndee - I hope to, but not sure yet if I'll be able to. There's one thing for sure though, if I can't attend, there will surely be a Twitter hashmark tag floating around that will keep me posted up to the minute!

Sep 26, 2008 07:50 AM
Candis Hidalgo
Real Estate Marketing - Go Smart Solutions - Arroyo Grande, CA

Ana and all of the other commenters who said they're new to Twitter or Blogging -

You're on the right track! Give it a fair shot and I'm sure you'll find it as valuable as I have. Please let me know if you have any questions along the way & I'll try my best to answer them!

Sep 26, 2008 07:54 AM
Gayle Causey
formerly with Keller Williams Realty Parishwide Partners - Monroe, LA

Thanks so much for the good info. You convinced me--I'm on my way to Twitter right now!

Sep 27, 2008 05:35 AM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Candis - I like the idea of having a plan for all the sites and tying them together. That makes a lot sense to do just that - took reading your post for that to sink in.  When I get back over to twitter, I'll be sure to follow you - thanks for that!


Sep 28, 2008 01:20 PM
No Longer Active in Staging. No Longer Staging
Hickory, NC

Hi Candis, THANKS for the great tips from Blog Expo. I LOVE blogging and I have many for different things but I am sure not maximizing them the way that I should. I also joine Twitter but have not been involved. I followed SarahWV and Respres so now I must follow you and try to get it!! YOU will probably have 2k new followers today.. God bless,

Oct 01, 2008 07:06 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Candis, great blog and things we all need to know.  Like, where is the next Blog-In?  I would love to attend something like that!  I am going to bookmark and refer back so I can check off your check list!  Thanks again!

Oct 01, 2008 09:55 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Candis, great blog and things we all need to know.  Like, where is the next Blog-In?  I would love to attend something like that!  I am going to bookmark and refer back so I can check off your check list!  Thanks again!

Oct 01, 2008 09:56 AM
Danny Thornton
R & D Art - Knoxville, TN
WordPress Guru

Candis, some great points here. Thanks for sharing this.

Oct 10, 2008 02:40 AM
Carla Rocha - RochaTeam
United Realty Group - Sunrise, FL
Talk To Us

I have tried - probably hard enough but have not learned how to use Twitter.  Just printed out the Start Guide to Usin Twitter you have us linked to and will try to make sense of it.  Thanks for the information.

Nov 17, 2008 06:25 AM
Myrtle Beach South Carolina Marketing - Myrtle Beach, SC


I just put up our the Myrtle Beach area social network for all things Myrtle Beach.  It is supposed to be a place where locals, tourists and businesses can connect.

I am now wondering if I invested wisely?

Nov 24, 2008 01:36 PM