The Conundrum of ActiveRain, Localism and My Own Blogs

Real Estate Broker/Owner with LKN Realty, LLC 242267

Converging Railroad Tracks

 Conundrum:  A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma.

It was not planned, it happened completely by accident.  I had 5 back-to-back out-of-state buyers, a new listing, one sale and a one-week visit from my daughter. 

For the first time in well over a year I didn't go on ActiveRain everyday.  I was barely able to post a couple of articles on my blog.

At first I felt guilty.  I worried about my Google Rankings for my own blog.  I felt guilty not knowing how everyone was doing on AR and even wondered if anyone noticed that I was gone. 

The one thing I did do every day was to check my own blog's ranking on Google.  It didn't go down even though I wasn't writing.  As a matter of fact, it even went up for a couple of days.  I was amazed.  Does this mean I don't have to write a new post every other day in order to maintain my ranking?

Young Girl Running Away From Home


I felt so free.  I found hours in my day that I had lost so long ago.  (They were instantly gobbled up however by work and volunteer commitments.)

Now that my daughter is gone, my clients are gone, my listing is ready, I have time once again to blog and comment.  But, for some reason I don't want to go back. I want to do things differently.  I look longingly out the window at the beautiful autumn days thinking how much fun it would be to simply drop everything and go outside with a good book.


A road blocked by a fallen tree


And there is another problem with which I have been grappling with for some time.  I have noticed over the past several months that when I post to my own blog and to my AR blog that the Google Alerts now notify me of the AR post, not my own post.  Does it make sense to be competing with myself?  Are my Localism posts blocking my own blog's progress? 

When I test Google different subjects my own blog usually out-ranks my AR or Localism blog but as AR and Localism get more juice, what will happen?

Should I stop posting my real estate posts to AR?  Should I stop posting my community posts to Localism?

Is there a point at which we need to focus almost entirely on our own blogs at the expense of our AR site because our AR efforts are blocking our progress?

I love AR and I cherish my friendships.  I wouldn't be where I am without them.  I will never leave AR but is it time to reset my priorities?


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Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Diane - They say change is as good as a rest ...  well conversely a rest is as good as a change ... you come back with a new outlook and enter a whole new world as result.

Oct 14, 2008 11:38 AM #6
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC

Hi Diane,
We missed you but I think we all have to take a break occasionally for different reasons.  Your questions are valid and ones I, too, have thought about quite a bit.

Oct 14, 2008 12:57 PM #7
Marc Grossman
Marc It Sold! - Longwood, FL
GRI, Greater Orlando Real Estate Broker

Diane,  I can understand only too well what you are experiencing, as I've recently done the same.  But part of my being away was because AR was so difficult to deal with due to it's being so slow.  What I've done is post only when I feel that I have something to say and with quality content except for my monthly market reports. 

In regard to the other blog and my AR blog, I agree with you on the competing for juice.  What I did was post to my other blog and not to publish the same post to AR until the next day.  I also use Zimbio and only publish posts from my other blogs, not AR.  I have to make and keep what juice I can.  Someone wrote today that they felt that AR's juice has been slipping of late.  I don't know the validity of this, but would suspect because of who they are, that there is some truth to this.

Oct 14, 2008 12:59 PM #8
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

I can't think of more than a couple of days with out Active Rain but you bring a great point I will keep an eye on my Google position. Thanks

Oct 14, 2008 01:16 PM #9
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

Diane- I think in the beginning we all post and play on the Rain more than normal. After all it is new and there is so much to learn. But as you grow and expand posting becomes a bit easier, the set up, the words, the photos just start to slide in. That's when balance comes back. that's when we realize we can blog and have a life too!. Someday I hope to be in your shoes :) 

Oct 14, 2008 01:24 PM #10
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Diane, I don't get to AR every single day now because I can't--I try and I miss it but I did realize I was missing many other things that were really important.  Your friends will always be here and your Google rank (if it should fall) will go right back up again.  Everyone needs a break now and then.  As for the personal blogs I have been wondering the same thing myself!

Oct 14, 2008 02:49 PM #11
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker

Intriguing question, Diane, and one that I'm sure those of us who have been here for awhile have all struggled with.  Since I started my own blog I've done what Marc does - post there first, wait for google to crawl and then post to AR.  But not everything goes on AR since I want my outside blog to be the authority.  Giving up the friendships here is not an option though, so I'm in for the long haul.  Good to see you back :)

Oct 14, 2008 02:56 PM #12
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Diane, We have had an epiphany of identical proportions. We are thinking exactly the same thoughts. I am anguishing and not sure AR will win out. I love all the support and all that I have learned and especially the friendships. But it may be time to move on and maintain only one blog. Then the ???'s occur. I don't know but I find it difficult to come back with full the enthusiasm I have maintained for over 18 months.

Oct 14, 2008 04:47 PM #13
Katrina Madewell
Charles Rutenberg Rlty- More than 5,000 agents(813) 777-1196 - Tampa, FL
Tampa FL Homes for sale | Tampa Bay - (813) 777-1196

I feel like when I am posting continuously, I dont' have as much time to do the real thing, that's 'selling real estate'.

I was in love with AR in the beginning, but too much of anything will burn you out....

let us know how it works!

Katrina in TAMPA

Oct 14, 2008 05:36 PM #14
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Don't know the CORRECT answer, but I'm not ready to give any of my blogs up!  I love the juice, no matter where I get it. However, I do not know what is BEST...

Oct 14, 2008 08:21 PM #15
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Diane - oh how I wish I understood better how all the different rankings work.  You've given yet another perspective - and very interesting that your rankings are not falling without new posts, as I've heard over and over that they will.  I'll check back in and see what everyone has to say!

Oct 14, 2008 11:00 PM #16
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

Diane, first, I am so happy that you had a week with your daughter.   Bet you had a grand time with her and have hugged the memories close to your heart.

I'm also noticing the same things in regards to Google Love Juice and my other blog.  Frankly, I'm torn also.  Hard enough for me to figure out SEO let alone to try and make a decision of "which post where and how often?"

Here is what I decided:  I know where my leads come from and which keywords bring in the leads.  I use those keyword related posts on both blogs.  Business is still there (even in this economy) so I'll keep on keeping on...

Perhaps I'll have figured it all out in about 15 years..when I'm ready to retire of course:-)

Good to see you back!

Oct 14, 2008 11:27 PM #17
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Diane, I wondered where you were, glad to see your face on my dashboard. The questions you ask are good. I was out of town for a weekend and didn't get a good connection so it was hard to comment. I found that there is life outside of Activerain for a few days. It took me about a year, but now my outside blog gets indexed just as fast as AR blogs. I agree with you on the friendships that just doesn't happen outside of here. Let me know if you figure it out, I'm still evaluating and thinking....

Oct 15, 2008 12:10 AM #18
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Great discussion Diane.  Alas, balance is so much easier to talk about than it is to achieve. :)  I'm wondering though, if that is the best way to live life...It might be safer to be on an even keel all the time, but it would be much less fun and interesting. 

Having said that, over extended passion is poison and I think that definitely applies to interaction with the online world.  So, IMHO, if your heart beckons you to the outdoors, forget about this world behind the virtual screen for awhile.  We'll be here when you get back.  Thanks for sharing this with your friends at Fraiche Aire.

Oct 15, 2008 08:25 AM #19
John March
Charisma Media Group, LLC - Bluffton, SC
"Engage, connect, prosper" (Matt 6:33)

Diane, I think you ask a question worth considering. There are only so many hours in the day. You already gave the answer.

You "will never leave AR" but maybe "it is time to reset my priorities?" Set priorities based on what is giving you the results you want and one other thing--one of the results you want is "fellowship on AR" So, balance is key.



Oct 15, 2008 02:32 PM #20
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Diane, you bring up a point that is well taken as far as the priority of the placement of your posts. Don't know that I have an answer for you on that one.

Oct 16, 2008 11:27 AM #21
Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop
RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker - Chelan, WA
A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!

Thanks for asking the question I too have been struggling with, at first more of my business was coming from AR, then it switched to my outside blog. It's a back and forth balance and I have yet to find it!

Oct 17, 2008 12:09 PM #22
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate

Leesa: Yes, me too..moderation is a good thing!

Jason: I agree, they aren't bad at fact, I think a break now and then is very healthy!

Lenn: Thanks for your sharing your approach.  I agree, we need to target our posts to make the most sense...some are fine for AR but my priority is my outside blog and it's a matter of balance.

Marti:  Marti, thanks so much for your reassurance and support.  I can't wait to follow your new blog!

Shannon:  That is exactly what I have noticed...our experts like Laurie, Ines, Teresa etc. post vary seldom to AR these days.  I assume they are focusing much more on their own blogs and as guest writers on other blogs.

Kathy:  Yes, a break is a good thing!

Cynthia:  Thanks:)  We are always evolving, aren't we?

Marc: Thanks for you insight.  For over a year I double posted and my own blog always got the Google Alert attention...recently I find that even when I wait a day Google Alerts seem to pick up AR rather than my own blog.  Hence my concern.  Although, my Google ranking has actually gone up a bit.  Hard sometimes to know what to do!

Terry:  Thanks for your comment...enjoy your free time!

Martha:  Yes, balance is so important...and so elusive!

Carole: It took me a long time to realize it is okay to miss a day, even a week!

Lisa:  I'm in for the long haul too, but, as with you, Marc and others, am now trying to be more balanced!

William:  I'm glad to here you understand and even feel my conflicts.  I must admit right now I have lost the enthusiam, but I will always treasure my special friends like you...who will keep me coming back in some form or another!

Katrina: Thanks for sharing Katrina.  For me I am definitely trying to pace myself and not post or comment as often as I have in the past. Then when I come back I enjoy it more!

Susie:  Thanks for your thoughts!

Penny: Thanks for stopping by...I think from what I have read that we all are unsure to some degree!

Kris: Thanks so much for your kind words.  I am thrilled to say my daughter is moving here for good!  Regarding blogging, I keep experimenting and as you will be at this forever:)

Missy:  Thanks for dropping by!   I actually started my own blog at the same time as AR so it has always been ranked higher and I have never had to depend on AR for Google Juice. That is why I am conflicted when I see an AR post come up on Google Alert rather than my own blog.  We keep learning!

Lola:  Thank you for your thoughtful comment...I agree, I would love to follow my passions without worrying about balance but sometimes there is a price to pay for that too!

John:  Thank you so much!

Gary:  If you find one let me know!

Colleen:  I think we are all in the same boat!

Oct 20, 2008 02:40 AM #23
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Diane- Glad I came after the now you have settled in your mind how to deal with your dileama.  I just wanted to say that so many people right now are thinking like you, and one of the good things about AR is the support we get.  I'm sure you will do what feels right, and in the meantime....don't go backwards :)

Oct 23, 2008 04:09 PM #24
Matthew Rosov
Amerisave Mortgage Corporation - Laurel, MD
Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist

Good to know that one's place in the google-verse isn't taken away by absence.  Congratulations on 5 clients.  Hope a few bought!

Oct 24, 2008 01:21 AM #26
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Diane Aurit

Lake Norman Real Estate
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