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Blogging is a SOCIAL media- keyword SOCIAL

I came across an Active Rain network blog the other day of someone who is in a similar line of work as me, working for a major real estate website.  Funny, I thought, I haven't heard of this person before nor ever seen their blog.  I checked out the blog and found some interesting content and nicely written posts.  When I clicked to find out more about this person, turns out they have written 128 posts!  So why haven't I heard of this person before? 

I think the answer lies in "social" aspect of blogging. 

I have written 138 posts, so about the same amount of content. Let's compare the activity around our blogs:

Other blog: Comments received, 463   My blog: Comments received, 1758

Other blog: Number of subscriptions, 16    My blog: Subscriptions, 122

Other blog: Number of associations, 8   My blog: Associations, 90

Here is why I think the reason for the difference in numbers exists:

Other blog: Comments made, 30  My blog: Comments I have made, 485

Commenting is something I made a conscience effort to get better at this year, and when I did, I saw the traffic to my blog increase.  (and when I say "comments" I mean actually saying something interesting that makes other people want to find out more about you, not just "nice post".) 

In fact, when I comment, I can often see the traffic to my profile increase.

What I have learned is that when you participate in a social community or network, like Active Rain, it is important to engage others just as you would like to be engaged.  To not do so is similar to watching an ad on TV where there is no interaction between the source and the viewer.  There is no personal attachment. 

This is why I think it was smart for Active Rain to create the position of "community builders".  When Rich Jacobson leaves a comment on my blog, I don't feel like I am just giving Active Rain content, but I feel like Active Rain is also engaging me on personal level.  This builds an emotional connection with the product.  When there is an emotion connection, this leads to creating passion, which leads to me spending more time on the site than I care to admit.

So what communities would you like to engage you?  Personally, I would like to engage real estate agents, which is why I am here.  Another example- I own an investment condo in FL.  About a year ago the condo board set up a website for owners to communicate about the property and with each other.  On the website is a forum.  There is one owner who is a local Realtor, he engages every single question involving anything to do with the value of the property or what is going on with local real estate (there aren't too many, can't take more than 1-2 hours a month).  I will use him when I sell the unit. 

Think about engaging the community you want to engage you.  If it is other Realtors, than Active Rain is the place for you.  If it is local home buyers, Localism.  You can even carve out a niche by getting involved with Groups.  Maybe you want to engage other parents in your child's school, find out where they hang out online and be there too.  Maybe the group you want to reach doesn't have an online social network, start one by using ning

The last part of this "socialness" is extending these relationships beyond the computer screen.  When you see something interesting, send a personal note or pick up the phone.  If your network organizes themselves offline, get involved.  For me, this means attending Inman Blogger Connect, Active Rain Chicago gathering or other real estate conferences.  If no one else initiates the get together, be the one to do so with evite, twitter or meetup.com

Blogging is great way to get started with social media, just make sure you are actually being "social" when doing it to achieve the maximum benefit.

 

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Comment balloon 63 commentsSara Bonert • August 11 2008 03:07PM

Comments

Your numbers are spot on. I am one of those "others". I do not blog socially. I blog technically about the market to feed localism. This attracts a certain type of clientele.

I'll admit to have plans to diversify my blogging a bit...but I TOTALLY agree with your point

Posted by Vickie Nagy, Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Sara - very interesting analysis.  I think commenting is a great part of the social aspect - but writing compelling content is certainly another part!  Also, some writers focus strongly on Localism - which does not generally garner a lot of comments or subscribers, but can be some of the most viewed by the general public.

Great post!

 

Posted by Stanton Homes, Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina (Stanton Homes - New Home Builder) about 11 years ago

When I first started blogging (a whole 3 months ago) I thought it was about just writing content that people might find interesting.  I had no idea how much of it really is about social networking.  Suddenly I'm involved in all kinds of sites I never thought I would develop an interest in.  And you're right on the money - that's what's bringing traffic to my site!

Posted by Linsey Ehle (M Realty) about 11 years ago

I agree the social aspects makes a huge difference.  It's also important to step away from the computer and attend some of the social functions.

Posted by No Longer Active (Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Well said Sara.  I think in order to get the most out of AR you do have to engage, and the same would be said in the things we get involved in, in our own communities to network, jump in and get networking, it does increase business.

Posted by Kim Sellers, Lake Arrowhead Realtor - BRE#01412099 - Lake Arrow (Lake Arrowhead, CA Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago

Thanks all.  This is something I always strongly suspected, but never really had the numbers to prove- until I saw this person in the same line of work with the same amount content.  It was really interesting to compare our two blogs and give validation to this part of the social networking equation. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

Sara - EXCELLENT post - I think you are "dead on" when referring to the Social aspect and spending time commenting on other's blogs.. I have not been as active on that lately. I do try to read outside my SOI not only to learn but find other folks that might be interested in my blog.. Have a blessed day - enjoyed your post !! God bless,

Posted by No Longer Active in Staging. No Longer Staging about 11 years ago

Yup, I mostly blog market reports but I learn so much from others, every blog I read gives me something.

Take care!

RJH

Posted by Robert Huntsinger, Empire Realty Upland, CA - Full Service at a Discount (Empire Realty) about 11 years ago

I agree -- the response called forth by a post are essential reading, too, and an opportunity to create some dialogue.    thanks for sharing.

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) about 11 years ago

Sara, that is so true, I know that I check in on other peoples blogs mostly because they commented on my blog and I could tell they read it and were interested. It is the back and forth that has generated the activity thats for sure!

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) about 11 years ago

Sara -

Search engine traffic tends to makes bloggers lazy. Once we grow a small audience it's too easy to forget to promote our blogs. This post is an awesome reminder of how important (and easy) it is to promote your blog.

As you know, I love blog comments! Commenting on other blogs gives my marketing effort so much more reach than blogging would and so my time is much better spent leaving comments than writing blog posts.

A common piece of advice I offer new bloggers is that they should set a goal for reading at least 10 posts and commenting at least twice before publishing any one post on their blog.

 

 

Posted by David Gibbons (Zillow.com) about 11 years ago

Sarah, Interacting is sooooo important. Another reason for this is that the consumer is able to watch us interact with our peers. They can see how we handle ourselves during heated debates and how we answer questions from others etc...  I have had quite few sellers and buyers hire me for exactly these reasons.  

I started a ning network for my market a couple of months ago and I also started one for my church. These networks are a great way to get connected.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 11 years ago

Sarah, nice to meet you at Inman at the Zillow Party. So crowded, I like your approach, there are soooooooo many new people here that it is hard to find new ones. I end up following those that consistently comment on mine, funny because at first it is just a comment, then they turn into a person.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 11 years ago

Thanks all for the comments.  Another reason why blog commenting is something people need to make a conscience decision to is RSS feeds. 

I recently switched over to reading all my blogs, except those in AR, in RSS form in my email.  It saves me a ton of time and I can read so much more.  BUT, it don't see the comments without clicking over, so I am losing a lot of the conversation.  And you're right Bryant, that is really where you can get a sense for what a person is about. 

Missy- So great to finally meet you too!!1

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

Bloggers are on their way creating a new subculture which may pay off way beyond the scale of the old school floor time.

Posted by Sabrina Kelley, Woodland Park Colorado Mountain Homes and Land (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Sara, I have to agree with the commenting.  In a social network like AR, you could be writing the greatest post with original content, great material that could be applied to everyones business but who would read it?  How would they find it unless it accidentally became viral.  And that doesn't happen very often.  I've kind of kept track of my comments vs comments to my posts.  9 months ago, I wrote 3 comments to every 1 comment on my post.  Today, I write 2 comments for every 1 comment on my posts.  Somewhere in there, I have socially risen in the community.  AJ

Posted by Alan 'AJ' Nisen California Contra Costa Mortgage Officer (A Large Bank in America) about 11 years ago

Sara, you reminded me I need to be more social!  I write and comment and reach out daily.. and I really should plan an event and get the realtors in my area on board with the social media.  Enjoy following you and remain disappointed I had to cnx Inman the day before I was to leave.  However, there is always NYC.

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing about 11 years ago

Great post you have insprired me to work harder on my commenting.

Posted by Justin Ukaoma, Kansas City Real Estate Investments (Vizion KC) about 11 years ago

I think another reason you receive so many points and blog subscriptions, Sara, is your content, you do a great job!!!

And I totally agree being a part of a social network is engaging in it as well. For me, when I leave a comment, and when I read the comments of the post I have just read, I learn so much from them. And learning, as well as many other reasons, learning is a big part of being here on AR.

Have a great day!

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) about 11 years ago

That is a terrific analysis...I love data! And, you are so write...when you participate by reading and commenting, of course, others read your blog, too. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by Pamela STETSON, I would love to help you buy or sell your home! (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors) about 11 years ago

I am just starting this stuff and liked your analysis of it.  I track numbers on everything.  Thanks for the comment.

Posted by Alexander Chandler (Alexander Chandler Realty) about 11 years ago

That is great advice. Something I really need to work on. I feel like a lot of my comments can come off as what you call 'nice posts' but if I don't have much more to say than "good going" it's usually because I think the blogger nailed whatever they were talking about or in some cases took the words out of my mouth.

It's like you said though, you get out what you put it, and I have been very pleased with what I have gotten out of being a part of the Active Rain community.

Posted by Ilyce Glink, Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host. (Think Glink Media) about 11 years ago

Sara,

     I couldn't agree more with you on this subject.  I admit that not every time I comment that it is of great value, but I am always nice and try to help or add to the conversation.  I think that you are definitely on to something here.  Well, I don't just think, I know.  I at least try to get 5-10 comments on other peoples blogs a day.  I don't always get that many, but I think the more you read and discuss the more you learn.  Not to mention the more you network.  Great subject!

Posted by Joshua & Kathy Schmidt (ERA Henley Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Sara,

Good content. Featured blogs help build subscribers too. I have been spending more time commenting lately as well. Often, as I do, I read more on someone, such as you in this case.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Sara-I have to agree that the social aspect is very important.  When I am away from the rain that is what I miss the most my peeps! :)

Posted by Midori Miller, Online Marketing For Real Estate Professionals (Talk 2 Midori, LLC) about 11 years ago

Thank you for the post.  Very well written. 

With a Smile,
Yalda Alawi, Realtor®
Short Sale Specialist

Posted by Yalda Alawi about 11 years ago

I totally agree..even though I am new to this blogging thing I am seeing that responding to comments is critical to get your message out. I am the managing broker of real Estate firm in Portland Or and we have started a blog for our office and so far so good, but it does take time. i really liked your comments and look fofrward to more. How is the market in Chicago?

 

Steve

www.thegoodegg.net

Posted by The 2-OH-2! Your Portland Oregon, 97202 Experts (RE/MAX equity group, inc.) about 11 years ago

Nice post Sara,

In your line of work, it's certainly important to be social and build great relationships with REALTORS.

Posted by Paul Francis, Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes (Francis Group Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Great post!  lol! just kidding...I mean...it really is a great post...but that's not all I am going to say...I truly believe in the social networking aspect  of The Rain and I always look forward to speaking with some of the coolest people on earth who are the most awsomest bloggers!

Posted by John Ford (Security National Properties) about 11 years ago

Sara-  thank you for the research and encouragement on commenting and being "social" in our blogging.  This post will help me in the future and I truly appreciate it!  Thank you for being generous with your findings!

Posted by Anonymous about 11 years ago

Sara-  thank you for the research and encouragement on commenting and being "social" in our blogging.  This post will help me in the future and I truly appreciate it!  Thank you for being generous with your findings!

Posted by JB Brookman, High School Senior Portrait Photographer (JB Brookman Photography) about 11 years ago

Sara,

I do them all also.

Blog for social medium. Join the meetup group, twitter, zillow and trulia.

I do sell real estate also in the spare time.

Grace

 

Posted by Grace Keng, CRS, CDPE (408) 799-8887 (Keller Williams Realty Cupertino) about 11 years ago

Sara, very nice post. I "always" reciprocate, and I comment - a LOT! I've also gotten to know lots of Realtors across the country. I almost feel like they are my real estate friends with whom I would feel comfortable sending a buyer/seller. ;-)

I also belong to about 8-10 plus other social networking groups.....keeps me kinda sorta busy. ;-)

Pepper

Posted by Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor, AzLadyInRed (Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara,

 

Your point about the one realtor that takes the small amount of time to connect with the owners of your Florida condo is "on & in" THE MONEY (literally)!  It is so true that the little bit of time it takes to show interest reaps huge benefits/returns when you are in the line of sales.  I was discussing this same topic today.  So many sales people forget the small basics about relationships and communication and caring about others.  Just takes a minute but it returns so much.  Instead they focus on why they are not getting any business and why the RE market is so slow.  I will definitely check out your profile.  Please do the same for me.  

Posted by Andrea Tsakanikas (KT Consulting International, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Sara,

You always impress me with your ability to be current and with quality knowledge about this industry ... but what makes it even better is your selflessness.  If agents actually ACT on your advice (well, at least what I've read ... you might have something out there off the wall crazy ... I doubt it, but maybe), they will succeed in this changing game.

Posted by The Story of Home with Kevin Foster (The Story of Home) about 11 years ago

Good job!

Posted by Clark Gable about 11 years ago

While blogging has been around a while, the benefits of blogging are finally coming full circle. Btw: your localism link leads to an error page. Great post, you nailed it on the head.

Posted by Everard Korthals, Mountain Realty (---Preferred Lifestyle Advisors---) about 11 years ago

You have to interact with other bloggers.  You have to give back and help others.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) about 11 years ago

Sara- You write an excellent post. Very well written! I find I comment more that I post. I find so many interesting and informative posts here on AR that I get carried away. I do not look at how many comments I have had that day (I think I am over now, actually) I just love the variety of ideas here. My favorites are most of the above commenter's on your post, aren't they wonderful?

I would never refer someone to an agent that is not on AR. I feel as if I really know these fine people and I know they would never let me down!

Posted by David M. Childress, I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio! (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 11 years ago

Sarah - I agree with you 100%. My comments are double the amount of comments received. I will always vist and comment on anyone who leaves a comment on my blog. Traffic and readership is all about reciprocation:)

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 11 years ago

My big weakness is associates... I REALLY need to clean up my act on that.  I don't make associates as I should.  Thanks for the reminder... on the long list of junk I need to do better.

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) about 11 years ago

Gosh what I wouldn't give for about six more hours every day!  I know you are right and I am trying to do better.  What you have accomplished with your posts is very impressive.  Something to aspire to!

Posted by Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE) about 11 years ago

Sara,

I know it is not your fault but why is everyone on your site so angry? All I see is Realtor bashing in every post.

Posted by Mike Russell, Overland Park Kansas Real Estate (Mike Russell & Associates) about 11 years ago

It pays to be popular!

Posted by Stacey McCarthy, @SmartGirlsOwn (McCarthy Real Estate) about 11 years ago

You're right Sara. It might help if I did not do this right before I fall asleep as I am not in the most talkative mood or the blogative mood. I have learned a lot of very useful information that I would never have expected to learn. Socialize is defintiely key.

Posted by Michael Sahlman, e-PRO - Miami Beach Florida Luxury Homes (www.HomesForVIPs.com - Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago

Lots of good points.  I find the same thing, that commenting tends to bring a response from those whose blogs I have visited.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 11 years ago

Sara, you are right about commenting on other peoples blog. I know when I get comments, I got to their profile to find out more about these people. I also need to target the people I comment on to be more efficient with my market and network.

Posted by Bryan Spann about 11 years ago

Sara,

Thank you for the insight.  I am just getting started at blogging and am trying to get all this figured out.

Posted by Earleene Woods, ASP, CRS, GRI (Keller Williams Experience Realty) about 11 years ago

Sara,

Although I didn't read everyone of the comments here, (I guess I'm saying in advance, excuse me if I repeat someone elses!) but people like doing business with people they know and feel comfortable with.  Remember that Networking is just that... Work!  It can be work to respond to all the comments on one of your posts, but the benefits (as in the example of the agent responding to your condo forum) is that he has established a relationship and trust. And that equates to business. Social NetWORKING.... hmmm sounds like a good blog topic!!

Good Post!

Posted by Rick Turner, Puts People In Their Places!! (Key Realty) about 11 years ago

Hey Sara,

You're dead on when you say we need to engage others as WE would like to be engaged. I learn more sometimes from the comments that people leave than the posts themselves sometimes. Sometimes it's a "social" thing for me...but other times it's something "specific" such as OPEN HOUSES and how i can learn from others doing this for example. It helps to hear from others and learn from THEIR experiences. Best of luck to you Sara!

Posted by Rebecca Schrader (Competitive Insurance of Dundee) about 11 years ago

Sara - The interaction here is probably unmatched.  And you're right, commenting does return the favors.  As I've said before, I've subscribed to some folks just because of the quality of their comments.  And I always love when the comment stream is more interesting than the actual post, happens quite often on my 'territory':-)

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) about 11 years ago

Social networking has become such an incredible means of effectively expanding our Sphere of Contact & Influence. On networks such as ActiveRain, reciprocal commenting is one of the best methods of gaining readership/subcriptions.

Posted by Rich Jacobson, Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker (Fathom Realty West Sound) about 11 years ago

Sara,

You make a lot of goog points and they have made me think about my own level of involvment in the social aspect of blogging.  Thanks for the help!!

Posted by Tom Horn, Appraising The American Dream (Thomas Horn, Real Estate Appraiser) about 11 years ago

Sara

 

I realize at some point I will no longer qualify as a newbie on Active Rain or blogging. I have said it before and I will repeat it again ... I am learning SO MUCH on this site about blogging, people, mortgage industry, real estate in various areas and people.  As I continue to figure out all the aspects of Active Rain ... reading your post helped.  I recently discovered that I no longer have that feeling of overwhelm when I log in - I tend to want to read everything and every comment - I spend a lot of time on AR and enjoy every minute of it.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) about 11 years ago

You want to buy, share, list, refer with people you like...so while people can call them social networks....as many people will attest, they are the beginning of sooo much more.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 11 years ago

As a fairly new member to Active Rain, I never considered the implications of commenting.


I think I'll start now.

 

Nice Post

Posted by Mark Tillett (Asset Realty Group) about 11 years ago

Sara,

Thanks for your thoughts on blogging and commenting.  I'm still trying to figure this social networking thing.  Its been sort of an afterthought in the past, but I see it becoming vital in the future.

Posted by Roger Howell, We do business the Fair way! (Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS #2289) about 11 years ago

Sara how did I miss this post?  Commenting is what has really boosted my business too.  People don't see a value in it....What they don't realize is that commenting is what builds your network.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) about 11 years ago

Social networking is totally give and take.  If you want people to read what you write and comment, then you must read what's written and comment.  I've been on AR for a while and have pretty much neglected it.  Now, I'm spending more time on it and getting much more out of it - because I put more into it.  Very simple.

Posted by Jessica Beganski (William Raveis Real EState) about 11 years ago

Oh, you read my mind, great post.  There is someone in my area that has written something like 300 posts but has made 7 comments and has gotten less than 20 comments!  To me this person has lost the entire reason for being on AR...I feel sorry for them and grateful that I have made so many wonderful friends here!

Posted by Diane Aurit, Lake Norman Real Estate (LKN Realty, LLC) about 11 years ago

Sara, the social aspect and the relationships I'm forming is what keeps me coming back. I've learned how to place in Google without AR. Now, it's just the great people I find! I've seen people like what Diane is describing above and it makes me wonder what's their driving factor? Hum.

Nice to meet you. Later in the rain~Deb

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) about 11 years ago

I think this is very true and insightful!  I reall you have enjoyed the comraderie!

Posted by George Wilson, Raleigh Cary Realty 919 439 0965 (Raleigh Cary Realty) about 11 years ago

I am fairly new yet to activerain and had never blogged before but do like it now and I comment a lot!

Posted by Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team ( Elite Realty Group) about 11 years ago

Participate