Blogging 101

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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.
  • Blogging 101

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

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