What Active Rain Can Do For All of Us
I have never done an actual rant on AR, and I am not really starting here, but I did have some issues that I felt like addressing. Like Brian Block, I was inspired to write about Active Rain after reading Adam Waldman's phenomenal mega-post, Why Are You On Active Rain?. I guess I wanted to talk a little bit about what this site means to me and how to best optimize our use of this tremendous stage.
So far, I have spoken on the phone with five AR friends I made here in the past month and a half. I really feel like I have the basis for some solid friendships with them, and with others that I regularly correspond with on their blogs and on mine. I know for a fact that any of these friends would refer business to me in a second if given a chance. In fact, one of them called me today with a potential referral, and although it was a bit outside of our market area, I was really happy that he thought to call me first (for the record, it was Joey Aszterbaum - send him some business if you can). Joey - you can pay me later for this endorsement. :)
As Brian alluded to in his post, Raising the Bar on Active Rain: Let's Bring it Up a Notch!, I personally have been striving to provide quality posts each time I touch the keyboard. I can definitely say that the vast majority of the posts I see are from others here who are doing the same thing.
There also seem to be a lot of "bloggers" who spend their time posting meaningless drivel, like "Give me Some Points Please" or "I Want Some Comments Now". As Adam mentioned, he was led to write his post because of a post he saw that was the equivalent of a small classified ad. Do you realize how short 50 words actually is? This paragraph has 72 words, in case you were wondering.
I saw a comment earlier on Brian's post that suggested a self-policing "no points please" button. This seems like a good idea to me, as it would allow for some of the shorter ad-type posts without the consequent points.
For those of you who are here for points alone, you are missing the boat. This is a terrific networking site for our industry, with a platform that is simply unparalleled. Use this opportunity to demonstrate to your colleagues that you are someone of integrity and interest, someone worthy of a referral.
I wrote this post recently: 39 Days in the Rain and I am Writing an Offer Already!
It details how consumers found my blog content interesting and exciting (found on Google), so they contacted me to handle their purchase. This home is now under contract and set to close in a few weeks. Do I mean "this home" in a general sense? No, I mean this home pictured to the right. ------------------------------------->
Would these buyers have contacted me if my posts were 50-60 words long, with meaningless information? I seriously doubt it. In fact, I KNOW they wouldn't have bothered to call me, because there would have been no impetus to do so. Writing about something that I care about led to an $11,500 paycheck after one month of blogging. Still interested? Read more...
As I wrote in my entry to the recent "Because of Active Rain, I..." contest, there are three ways to generate business on Active Rain as I see it:
- Consumers finding you from your posts about the market and your area
- Other AR members sending referrals because they get to know you from your writing skills
- Linking to your primary site and following good SEO rules, which will strengthen your site and lead to more business
Why short-change yourself by blogging about nonsense and putting out self-congratulatory posts? This is a terrific and rare opportunity that we have been given. Maximize your potential!
For the record, I like getting points, too. In fact, I like them so much, that I try each time I post to put something out that is of high value so that others will rate it well or flag it for a feature. I did some quick calculating, and I am averaging 338 points per post for my non-Localism posts (and 212 for Localism posts, in case you were curious). What is my point in including these numbers? It's pretty simple, really. If you write well, people will respond well. Don't sell yourself short. This is a chance to create something outside of yourself that could really help your business, and it only takes some time and creativity. Not to seem trite, but carpe diem!
Please feel free to comment below. Thanks for reading this whole, long post. I sincerely appreciate your time.