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Blogging 101

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Simple presentation on how to get started on blogging.

Simple presentation on how to get started on blogging.

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  • What is Web 2.0 and how do Blogs fit in?The introduction of Web 2.0 is changing our industry as the web becomes our platform. Wikipedia defines - Web 2.0 Web-based services including: social networking sites (Blogs), Wikis, and communication tools (Pod Casts) and they all emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users.  It is not a software or a hardware, but the ability for anyone to create content on the web to communicate with their niche. You can become a friend who recommends products and services that solve problems. Some of the tools that can help you provide this information depends on your adaptability to technology and your willingness to use them.
  • Blogs have passed the tipping point – But there is still room in the real estate world.
  • The use of blogs has steadily increased as a marketing tool for real estate agents. One in ten members reported having a real estate blog. In 2009, 7 percent of members reported having a blog. Among REALTORS®, blogs are most common among those aged 29, and nearly one in five members in this age group have a blog.
  • Blogs focus on regularly updated content to bring readers back and to engage them in conversation.
  • High HurdlesLarge time investmentResults are not immediateOpen yourself up to criticismFear of public writing or looking sillyBlogger’s block
  • There are hurdles in everything we do. There Ask the class: How many of you have a farm? How many of you got a client from your farm the first time you sent a mailer? It generally takes two years to establish a farm. Don’t expect overnight results. It takes time to establish yourself, just as
  • Blogs differ from traditional websites in that content is far more important than a shiny appearance.Focus on the content, not the platform. It doesn’t matter how perfect your blog looks if there is no content.
  • With that said, you still need a platform to place your content on. This graph shows of the top 2500 blogs out there, what platforms are they using. You can see a large number of them, 869, are on wordpress, 662 on blogger, and over 500 on unspecified platforms. Many gurus will tell you that Wordpress is the “Ideal” platform because it is so customizable, but in reality, there is no universally “perfect” blogging platform. Finding the perfect blogging platform is like buying shoes. The perfect shoe for you is very different than the perfect shoe for me. You may have wide feet, I have narrow heels. If you are brand new to blogging, get a free one first. Test it out. Play around and write a few posts before you announce it to the world.
  • EXERCISE
  • Choosing a blogging Platform.Probably the most important thing to do when starting the process of choosing a blog platform is to consider your aspirations for your blog. Of course complete first timers might struggle a little with seeing the future of their blogging, but to the best of your ability attempt to answer some of these questions: Is blogging something I see myself doing long term? What will the main purpose of my blog be? Is my blogging more of a hobby or does it have some professional application? Do I foresee putting ads on my blog? Different blogging platforms offer different levels of service. Some like Blogger.com and WordPress.com offer both the platform, domain name and hosting for free. Others like Wordpress.org (note this is different to WordPress.com) offer the platform for free but you then need to find and pay for your own hosting and domain name. Others still, like MovableType charge for a license for the platform (depending how many blogs you have and whether they will have a commercial, personal, educational or not-for-profit use - they do also have a free version) and then you need to arrange and pay for your own domain name and hosting.
  • Choosing a blogging Platform.Probably the most important thing to do when starting the process of choosing a blog platform is to consider your aspirations for your blog. Of course complete first timers might struggle a little with seeing the future of their blogging, but to the best of your ability attempt to answer some of these questions: Is blogging something I see myself doing long term? What will the main purpose of my blog be? Is my blogging more of a hobby or does it have some professional application? Do I foresee putting ads on my blog? Different blogging platforms offer different levels of service. Some like Blogger.com and WordPress.com offer both the platform, domain name and hosting for free. Others like Wordpress.org (note this is different to WordPress.com) offer the platform for free but you then need to find and pay for your own hosting and domain name. Others still, like MovableType charge for a license for the platform (depending how many blogs you have and whether they will have a commercial, personal, educational or not-for-profit use - they do also have a free version) and then you need to arrange and pay for your own domain name and hosting.
  • Laying out Your Posts -How to create a consistent look to your posts and therefore your Blog Use Smart Post Titles----Use a post title that will entice readers, but that also uses words descriptive of the content in the post, and uses words that you'd like to rank for in the search engines.  Be careful not to "keyword stuff" - using words just for the sake of using them.  Post titles should be appealing to readers first, and in a natural speaking language.  If you can work in words that you'd like to rank for, all the better.Use Keywords within the Post----Using a natural speaking language, work in the words for which you'd like to rank in search engines within the body of your post.  This can be done in subtle ways to avoid appearing spammy or using keyword stuffing.  For example, instead of using the word "it" or other pronouns, use an actual reference to the item or concept.Use Smart post URLs---Many blog platforms allow you to specify the format of the post URL - and the post URL does not necessarily have to match the title of the post, you can often customize it.  If your blogging platform allows such customization, you can use several techniques to optimize your post links for search engines, including inserting keywords into your post URLs, including category or tag names that might be keyword rich, and removing small linking words such as "is," "the," and "and" which may not be used by search engines.Use Descriptive Image Names---Digital cameras tend to give our images random names that do not appeal to search engines.  Name the images that you use on your site something descriptive.  Not only will that help disabled people using browsers that read to them, but it will let search engines better know what your site is about, especially if you fill out the "alt" and "title" tags of images when you upload them to your blog.  This is another good unobtrusive place to use relevant keywords.Use Descriptive Text Links---If you're linking to another site, to your home page, to another page in your site, or any other text link in general, use descriptive words on that link instead of saying "click here."  Use words that describe the link - if you're linking to your home page, use good descriptive keywords for that site in the link text.  If you're linking to another page in your site, describe the relevant content on that site in the link.  Avoid links that say things like "read more" as those are neither descriptive nor helpful for search engines. Use Smart Category Names---- Every time you produce a piece of content, you should assign it to a category.  Some blogging platforms call them tags or labels.  Not only does categorizing each piece of content help users better navigate through your content - help them find the information most relevant to them quickly and easily - category names are a good place to be descriptive and use keywords for which you'd like to rank in the search engines.  Instead of being vague and grouping large amounts of information in very few categories, use specific category names and assign each piece of content to the category most relevant to that information. Prepare your Blog so it can be found SIX SIMPLE SEO TIPSSmart Post TitlesKeywords within the postSmart Post URLsDescriptive Image NamesDescriptive Text LinksSmart Category Names
  • If you get stuck, there are many resources for blogger’s block that are listed in your workbook or available in the member’s only section of our website.
  • Blog posts don’t necessarily have to be text-based. You can create a video on YouTube, Seesmic or 12Seconds.tv and post it to your blog. You can take a picture that you find interesting or relevant and post it with a short comment. A thought-provoking question for your readers with an appropriate graphic. Post a poll or a survey Re-Blog using Zemanta or discuss a quote from another blog using scribe fire GREAT EXAMPLE IS GARY VANDERCHUK
  • LIVE BLOG POST CREATION IN WORDPRESS.COM
  • Zemanta is a tool that looks over your shoulder while you blog and gives you tips and advice, suggests related content and pictures and makes sure your posts get promoted as they deserve to be. We at Zemanta are thinking hard to help make blogging easier for you. We’re engineering better creative tools to help you get the most out of your blogging time.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Real Estate Blogging Tips to Generate Business
      With Amy Chorew
      Amy@AmyChorew.com
      Blog: AmyChorew.com
      Web: Smminstitute.com
      Coaching: TechByte.com
      www.amychorew.com/handout
    • 2. Blogging is mainstream
      www.realtor.org - ebooks
    • 3. What is a Blog?
      Definition: A blog is a website with regular entries. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
    • 4. Blogs have passed Tipping Point
      Nearly two-thirds of all REALTORS® reported having a website, one in ten members reported having a real estate blog, and more than half of members are using social media.
    • 5.
    • 6. Types of Blogs
      Written Blog
      Photo Blog
      Video Blog
      Facebook Business Page
    • 7. Types of Blogs
      Websites are static.
      Blogs are dynamic.
    • 8. High Hurdles
      Large time investment
      Results are not immediate
      Open yourself up to criticism
      Fear of public writing or looking silly
      Blogger’s block
    • 9. Get New Clients
      Keep Existing Clients
      Establish Expertise
      Exert Influence
      Make more money!
      High Rewards
    • 10. Content Over Appearance
    • 11. Top 2500 Blogs by Platform
    • 12. Create a Blog worth visiting
    • 13. Finding Your Niche
      Who is your target audience?
      What are their interests?
      What kind of personality do you want to convey?
      What type of writing feels most comfortable to you (casual, formal, humorous)
    • 14. Types of Blogs
      National Blogs
      Group Blogs
      Local Blogs
      “Hyper Local” Blogs
      Photo Blogs
    • 15. National Blog
    • 16. Group Real Estate Blog
    • 17. LocalBlog
    • 18. Hyper Local Blog
    • 19. Photo Blog
    • 20. Microblog
    • 21. Considerations
      Blog
      Cost of Blog
      Ease of use
      Modification
      Before you Start to Blog
      Which Blog Platform Should I use?
      Should I use a free one or hosted blog on my own Domain?
      Which Blog Platform is best?
    • 22. Simple and Free
      ActiveRain.com
      Trulia.com
      Realtor.om
    • 23. Which Blog Platform
    • 24. Wordpress.com
      Free
      Already installed
      Already hosted
      Easily Transferable
    • 25. YourBlog.Wordpress.com
      Set up takes one minute
    • 26. Wordpress.org
      Free Download
      Install yourself
      Host on a
      web server
      Highly customizable with lots of Real Estate Plugins
    • 27. Hosted Blogging Platforms
      WORDPRESS.COM
      Platform, Domain Name & Hosting for Free
      WORDPRESS.Org
      Platform for Free
      Pay for hosting and domain name
    • 28. Naming your blog
      Blog name sets the tone
      PhoenixRealEstateGuy.com
      theMortgageReports.com
      BlogbytheBay.com
      Miamism.com
      Should be consistent with your branding
      Descriptive names can help visibility in online searches
    • 29. Choose a name/platform
      www.centralctrealestate.wordpress.com
      Or Use Wordpress.org
      Upload it as a page on your existing web site.
      Example: www.blog.centralctrealestate.com
      Buy a Domain Name
      Example: www.centralctrealestate.com
    • 30. 30
    • 31. 31
    • 32. Wordpress.org/extend/themes
    • 33. Finding Things to Blog About
    • 34. Blogging Isn’t Just Writing
    • 35.
    • 36. We don’t read pages. We scan them
      Posting Content
    • 37. Posting Content
      Write Scannable Content
      400-800 words
    • 38. Article Ideas
      Carry Notebook
      Folder of Fodder
      On Computer
      Phone
      Digg.com
      http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com
    • 39. Some ideas
      Photo Friday
      Mortgage Update
      Local Market Updates
      New Businesses
      In the News
      Properties
      Weekend Updates
    • 40. Creating a Blogging Plan
      Blog at least once a week
      Use a guest blogger
      Plan regular features
      Add photos & video for interest
      Carry a camera everywhere
    • 41. Outsourcing Content
      You can hire people to write on your behalf 
      Blog content providers
      Assistants or team members
      Service partners
      People of note in your community with compatible interest 
    • 42. http://members.houselogic.com
    • 43. Bloggers to read
    • 44. Creating a blog post
    • 45. If you can use word . . .
    • 46. Posting Content
      Text
      Links
      Images
      Videos
      Surveys
      Lists
    • 47. Titles
      Short is Sexy
      Focus on the benefit
      Learn to find good key words
      Scan digg.com for good articles and titles
    • 48. Links
      Blogs are:
      Add your Title
      Edit the Permalink for the title
      It is easy to add text and lists
      Highlight text
      Click on Bulleted lists
    • 52. Links
    • 53. Using Images
      Text
      Links
      Lists
      Images
      Videos
      Document
    • 54. Royalty Free Photos
      IStockPhoto.com $$
      Archive.org
      Flickr.com
      SXC.hu
    • 55. Adding a photo
    • 56. Image SEO
    • 57.
    • 58.
    • 59. Sharing Videos
    • 60. Posting Videos
      Videos
      From Sites
      Create your Own
    • 61. Embed Code
    • 62.
    • 63. Take a Screen Shot
    • 64. Organizing
      Categories
      Tags
      SEO
    • 65. Tags, SEO, Categories
    • 66. Promoting your Blog
    • 67. Getting Your Blog Found
      Word of mouth
      Print advertising
      Social Media such as Facebook or Twitter
      Links from other bloggers and new sources
      Search Engines
    • 68. How are they read?
      65
    • 69. Make it Easy
      Syndicating
      Feedburner.google.com
      Feedblitz.com
      Bookmarking
      Addthis.com
      Tweetmeme
      Google Buzz
    • 70. www.addthis.com
    • 71. www.addthis.com/bookmark.php
    • 72. WordPress Plug ins
      Akismet: This helps filter the spam articles from the non-spam ones.
      All in one SEO pack: This plugin uses the best of the search engines' algorithms to give the best relevant search results.
      WP Backup: This is one plugin which helps you keep a virtual backup of your WordPress submissions.
    • 73. Blogging Tools
      Microsoft Writer – download.live.com/writer
      ScribeFire – www.scribefire.com
      Zemanta – www.zemanta.com
      HouseLogic – Free Content from NAR
    • 74. ScribeFire
    • 75. Free subscription to my
      monthly enewsletter
      Visit:
      www.thetechbyte.com

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