REBlogWorld is now “History”, “In the Can”, Over, but not done. The sessions provided access to all kinds of knowledge sources. I learned more about shooting video from an iPhone, which I’ll never own, but I know how to shot and edit video on one 🙂
The Real Estate Blog isn’t dead but it is being remade. The “experts” often prove they are only experts in their own minds. I’m not talking about the panelists, I’m talking about all the Real Estate Blog Experts that have never written a post on a real estate blog in their lives, yet persist in telling everyone else “How to Do it”.
I gleaned some valuable information on WordPress Custom Post Types and Taxonomies in the WP 3 session. It was nice to see and be with bloggers and geeks in the same venue.
One of the things I really like about blogworld is the exposure to bloggers and media content people outside of Real Estate. The Travel blog track on Friday was really interesting. There was a Sport blog track on Saturday, which was my road trip home to Tucson day. But since I don’t watch or follow any sports . . .
The BlogWorld Venue
The venue at the Mandalay Bay Conference center was better than the Convention Center of years past. The readily available Starbucks (even at $3.20 for a Vente) was nice. Food of many types in walking distance all inside. I didn’t go outside for 3 days. I think they like it like that. I went from the Luxor to the Excalibur, and through the Mandalay Place shopping center to the Mandalay Bay Resort all inside.
First day Keynote
The conference session rooms were great. Many of them available with lots of track sessions going on all day every day. UnMarketing started off the first day keynote with some of the best and most unconventional advice I’ve ever heard at a conference on blogging.
A time to Connect and ReConnect
I saw a lot of friends from past Blogworld conferences and met some new ones. The first thing back the question is usually “Was it worth it?” Yes, it was worth it.
The same is true for your Real Estate website. It doesn’t matter if it is on a blog platform or static html. If the latest “stuff” you have showing on your site is a couple of years old on a page it is time to:
- Update the content on the page.
- Or take it down.
Nothing speaks louder to potential clients than coming to your site, clicking on the “Current Newletters” button and finding nothing new added since 2008.
Take a look at every page and report on your site. Is there out of date content clutter?
Exciting Things to Learn at REBlogWorld
You are going to learn how to put a new coat of paint on the outside of your site (Our Session on CSS and Tweaking your site)
You are going to learn even more on content, blogging, structure, trends, etc.
You are going to head home all fired up to get it all going. But wait!
You don’t just paint a house inside or out without some prep work.
Now is the time to do some updating of your site content; then when you get home, or back to your room, you are ready to start applying the new paint inside and out.
Don’t Wait! Update! (Yeah, I;ve always wanted to say that)
Why do I say this? Because in the last week I’ve been on the admin panel of half a dozen blogs. While in there fixing something or adding a plugin I’ve discovered a multitude of things that can literally kill an RE Blog.
Eye Candy vs Code
It seems that many of the RE Bloggers have an aversion to READING, especially if it is reading of instructions or HOW TO do something.
Many seem to prefer to start clicking, typing and previewing to see if it “Looks” right.Just because you can make something “Look” right doesn’t mean it “Is Right”.
Here are a few of the things I ran into this week. (There are a lot more)
These things have been around since the dark ages of the web. And I’m still finding them all over the RE Blogosphere. Especially when it comes to annoying things like Facebook widgets. But even worse when they appear in a post or page because it is the only way the blogger could figure out how to get the content on their page. Well it isn’t really on your page if it is Iframed into the site. And they can really slow down the load time on your blog.
Just because you can upload a video to your media library and get it to play on your blog doesn’t mean you should do it. And if you do and then have 3 blog posts in a row with self-hosted video you can watch you site load time come to a crawl that even a turtle could beat. Not to mention the load you are putting on your hosting bandwidth. Upload those videos to YouTube, Viddler, etc. and embed them on your blog.
It doesn’t matter what SEO plugin in used. All-in-One-SEO, Headspace, Tags in the Head, etc. If you don’t know what you are doing you can really screw up your site in the search engine organic searches. This past week I saw Headspace configured so it was writing the exact same title tag for every page and post on a blog. No wonder the search traffic dropped like a rock.
At the same time I saw All in One SEO used to over-write blog post title tags. The issue? The post title was great for SEO, the re-written title wasn’t. The author tried to turn the title into a category tag with post title in the manual re-write and missed the Best SEO title tag for a mediocre title tag. If you don’t know how to fix it, don’t fix it. Especially if it isn’t broken.
Using the Blockquote tag is for . . . Block quotes. Don’t use it like some kind of magic way to indent text.
Using post tags can really help add “hooks in the water” for search engines. I recommend you put 4 keyword rich tags on each post. But putting 20 to 30 tags on a post is really spammy.
Most posts should be in ONE primary category. There are few posts that need to be in more than one category. Ex. You write a post about Water Harvesting. If you have a category for “Your City Water” and one on “Xeroscaping” You might want ot post it in both categories. But usually one is the best. No you won’t get hit with a duplicate content penalty for having a post in Two categories.
This week I saw a post in 25 categories. TWENTY FIVE.
Typos in the Titles
I have occasionally used a typo in a permalink for SEO purposes. But not in the title tag. Things like:
- Blog writennt by
- What to do Durring Fall wather
A few typos are normal, I’m sure there are several in this post. Do I proof read? Kinda, I look for the squiggly red lines under the words. Does that count? But really check those title tags and header tags. Yes, h3 tags are your friend, do you know how to use them?
NAR and MLS Violations
- Don’t use MLS in your links or title in any way that is a rules violation for your local MLS. You don’t want to draw attention to yourself in this way.
- Don’t put the word REALTOR anywhere in a title tag or domain name other than after your name. Cincinnati Realtor is a huge violation and again attracting that kind of attention to your blog by NAR isn’t what you want.
- Best Seattle Neighborhoods. Best, is best not used unless you want to be hit with a Fair Housing Violation for Steering. And attracting the Feds is even worse than NAR (though some might argue the point.)
- Not Clearly identifying your Brokerage (Above the Fold and Prominent) Don’ t know what above the fold is?
(the violations mentioned are no longer so don’t waste time looking for them unless on your own site. The cities mentioned random and coincidental if actual) (CYA)
That’s enough. This post is almost a session in itself. There are more, many more things that can ruin or kill your site in search engines. THE ALL POWERFUL GOOGLE is one thing you don’t want to screw with, at all.
When you come to REBlogWorld you get to ask question and learn from some of the best. Take advantage of all the knowledge available at the conference and ask questions. This will be my third REBlogWorld conference. I get to “shoot fish in a barrel” so to speak. A weath of knowledge in a single location.
Now go check your site. And it isn’t too late to make your reservation. Remember the old Fram commercial? “You can pay me now or pay me later”
I’d rather pay to be in Las Vegas; than to have to hire someone to Fix what I screwed up because I didn’t know what I was doing.
by Teresa Boardman
The real estate blog is dead and the real estate industry killed it. Some real estate blogs are advertisements for listings and others are the wacky blogs that have nothing to do with real estate written by agents who think that not writing about real estate is the ticket to winning business. The real estate blogs with the most readers are those that are written for real estate professionals.
The idea of the real estate blog was a simple one but very few people are able to execute it. There are a bevy of experts who create lists and proclaim that one blog or another is the best real estate blog ever. Sadly they have little in common with the target audience which should be people who are interested in buying or selling real estate.
Much of the blogging education in the industry misses the point of blogging. Blogging is more of an art than a science and it was never about technology. The technology makes to possible and is a valuable tool but nothing more. Once the art is taken away there isn’t much there for humans to look at. Google enjoys a good keyword but will never become a paying client.
Blogs designed specifically for Realtors are often uninspired or they look like giant retro advertisements complete with pictures of sold signs and shiny keys or smiling couples and that one photo of the huge new generic house that maybe two percent of the population can afford and is not available in every part of the country. The 1980’s and 1990’s have both called and they want their marketing back and they want it where it belongs on that nice template web site.
The real estate blog deserves to die and it needed to die. It has no value and for most practitioners it just sucks time away that could be put to better use. There are maybe five or six successful real estate blogs that will probably live on but they are exceptions to the rule and most every rule has exceptions.
Blogging isn’t dead and I never said that it was. It is alive and well. If not for blogs where would people get links to share on their Facebook wall or via twitter? Where would they write about the death of the real estate blog?
I am looking forward to the panel discussion about the Real Estate Blog at REBlogWorld. I have more to say on the topic of the death of the real estate blog but I am going to save it for October 14.
Teresa Boardman Realtor/Broker with St. Paul Home Realty. Serial blogger, writer and photographer and founder of the award winning St. Paul Real Estate Blog in 2005. Her blog started as an experiment in online marketing and is used today as an example of the best practices in real estate blogging. Boardman also writes a weekly column for Inman News and is the author of the St. Paul Photo Blog.
Why Come To REBlogWorld
For me it is all about the “Take Aways”. I want to walk away with more than the feeling of a good time. I want more than a bag of books and pamphlets from vendors and authors that can’t sell their books so they give them away.
I want more than loud music and night after night of parties in Las Vegas. (Is he kidding?)
My Take Away List
- Meet at least 3 people in real life I only know through Social Media.
- Meet at least 5 new people I’ve never met before.
- Pick up at least 5 new ideas for content generation on my blog.
- Geek out (talk to people that when you mention CSS3 and creating custom div classes their eyes don’t glaze over)
- Fill in at least 2 black holes (a black hole is an area of blogging I know nothing about) ex. Using Video Effectively.
- Talk with Exhibitors (no kidding, you get to see some real cutting edge stuff in blogging applications)
- See how other bloggers not in RE are using blogging in their business.
- Pick brains on all kinds of topics (Droid X, Netbooks, Laptops, etc.)
- Come away energized, ready to write, implement new ideas and communicate with new friends I’ve made.
- Get as many free T shirts as I can.
That’s my list and I’m getting ready to check off each item on it.
What’s on your list of “Take Aways” ?
This is really the first post getting ready for the 2010 REBlogWorld Conference. I don’t need to put the dates here, they are all over the site.
We’ve Moved to Bluehost
Most of you won’t see anything different, other than the site loading faster. We moved the site a few weeks back and optimized the back-end database. We were on a slower server on our old hosting (which I won’t mention was GoDaddy). For those of us that are in the site admin side of things it is much nicer. No longer are we waiting 10 to 20 seconds after each click to get a response. Faster, for all of you faster for all of us.
The Links Work 🙂
At least most of them do. There might be a lurker from 2009 around somewhere, but for the most part I think we have finally gotten what we need from Blog World itself in the way of links to provide information on the conference.
The Geek Behind the Curtain
That would be me Dave Smith of the Real Estate Blog Lab (no I’m not putting the gratuitous link in the post). I’ve been the resident webmaster for REBlogWorld for the past two years. I inherited the theme framework that we are currently using 🙁 that should say it all. Coming next year, a new theme designed (by me) with all the built in functionality of WordPress 3.0. I know, you probably don’t care, but I don’t get to come out from behind the curtain very often . . .
If there is something you would like to see added or changed to the site, let me know. The new build will be taking place right after this years conference.
RE Blog Tips
Being the resident geek here, I’m going to be writing some posts on RE Blog Tips to get you ready for the conference. They will all be sort 100 – 300 words, and I won’t glaze your eyes over with the content. They will be thought provoking and hopefully provide everyone with something to think about or something you can put into practice right away.
Speakers Posting Soon
The speakers are gearing up for the conference as well. Expect to see new posts almost daily on the blog. I’ve added the recent posts section in the right sidebar so you can see if there is anything new. I know it isn’t real obvious but there is a SUBCRIBE (RSS) link and Subscribe by Email link in the footer under Requests.
More Than Just the Sessions
Many of us on the REBlogWorld Team and Speakers will be there for the entire BlogWorld Expo. Therefore, don’t think you have to get everything in one day. I plan on being available for “Brain Picking” sessions. If anyone has questions or want to learn a little CSS3 or get a site evaluation with suggestions let me know. I’ll be available to chat.
Now Let’s get rolling. Hope to see many of you soon at the Mandalay Bay for a great 2010 REBlogWorld Conference.
A lot goes on after a conference, especially a week/weekend getaway type like REBlogworld & Blogworld! But mostly, you just wanna get home, shower and sit or lay there and decompress. So many people, so little time, lots of knowledge consumed, connections made, follow up to get done! In this post, I wanted to offer you some suggestions for settling back in and making sure you’re following up on everything you got out of the conference…
1. Send out emails & or make follow up calls – personally, I like to connect with folks on LinkedIn first and foremost (it serves as my digital rolodex and I use it frequently tho I also keep business cards; lots of ’em!). Of course we then connect in all of the other usual social media hotspots like: Twitter, Facebook, Posterous, etc. If you really wanna follow up and show ’em you care, nothing says so more than the sound of your voice on the other end of the line.
2. Reminder messages & follow thru – if you connected with someone and promised them something (or visa-versa), send them a follow up email as a reminder detailing what you discussed. This is important because it’s a big conference and lots of discussions were had.
3. Get your media in order – here I’m thinking photos, video and any notes for blog posts. Slap your photos up on Flickr & Facebook then tag ’em and share ’em. Load any photo onto the web (I prefer Youtube & Viddler). Then blog ’em (that’s what I do). Lastly, if you gathered any notes from the event that you wanna compile into a thought, write up a blog post and share it. That’s what I did.
4. Comment on other blogs – nothing is better than following up with all the folks you met than by stopping by to comment and subscribe to their blogs! It’s a great feeling when you get your first comment and it’s an even better feeling when you get it from someone you spent the weekend with at a conference. It basically says you care. The same is true of the comments you leave on their Facebook wall.
That’s all I got for now but I’m sure I’m leaving a few things out. Coming up next is the #140conf where I’ll get to meet my gal @Startabuzz who unfortunately wasn’t able to make it. The wild thing is, I’m sure I”ll be seeing other REBlogworld peeps at Jeff Pulvers 140 Conference as well!
If you have any more tips, please drop ’em below. And cheers to happy conference going!
People think speaking on a panel is easy, and sure I guess it can be. But if you really wanna “rock da house,” leave an impression and get invited to speak again, you best get prepared! Personally, from a presenter’s perspective, I’ve experienced both good panels and bad ones. On the first, I was fortunate enough to have a standing relationship with my co-panelists (I was very familiar with who they were and the work they were doing). Needless to say, each of us were very well prepared. Unlike another panel wherein neither of us knew each other till the day of the event (heck we didn’t even know who the moderator was). This was poor organization on the conference organizer’s part in my opinion (well, some fault was our own too I suppose). At the end of the day, I know we could have done a much better job which leads me to the point of this post: come prepared and ready to rock-n’-roll! You conference attendees expect nothing less from you…
- Know your session material: what’s the objective of the session? Be able to identify key takeaways for attendees and know your material well enough so that it doesn’t look like you’re searching for the answer (folks are paying money to attend your little shindig of a session, they’re paying for your expertise, so give it to ’em).
- Know your panelists: what’s their background? What are they doing and what have they done? It would be wise to get on the phone with your co-panelists to get a feel for one another (and your individual presentations styles) before your session.
- Practice makes perfect: try to identify the kinds of questions your moderator is going to ask you (a good moderator will send you some questions ahead of time). Practice so that you can deliver quick and ready responses. Again, nothing sucks more than staring at the ceiling in search for an answer. But give a quick response, and bam, you rock!
- How To Kick Butt On A Panel by Guy Kawasaki – this post offers some EXCELLENT step-by-step advice for getting prepared. Read it, study it, and execute the steps.
- Why panel sessions suck (and how to fix them) by Scott Berkun – This post is from a work in progress, a book by Scott Berkun titled “Confessions of A Public Speaker” (definitely looking forward to reading the finished product). It offers an excellent look at the kinds of things that go wrong with panels and then offers some very constructive advice for avoiding the bad and delivering a good session.
- How to prevent the pitiful panel by Edward Boches – nothing sucks more than a boring panel. This post offers some all around good advice to you as a panelist, moderator and attendee.
Over to you…
Have you presented on a panel before? What advice can you offer to panelists for delivering a good session? As an attendee, what do you expect from a presenter? Come now, what say you?!
Yesterday brought the launch announcement of the REBW 2008 video archives. Within a few weeks, the entire library will be accessible to all REBlogWorld participants. In order to gain access to this library, you must have attended REBlogWorld ’08. In the near future, we will be making this library available for all registrants of REBlogWorld ’09.
While this is an exciting development, it leaves out many of the folks that were either unable to afford the expense of a destination conference last year or simply unaware of REBlogWorld 2008. Too often great content is restricted for paying customers only. No one wins. The speakers wish to be heard. The conference wishes to be more widely known. The content wishes to find a receptive audience. It’s a big fail.
For a limited time, we are offering a free introductory level video membership that will enable access to selected content from previous REBlogWorld conference sessions. This is your opportunity to catch a glimpse inside REBlogWorld and learn why we have become a trusted resource for inspiration & information. We will not continue this offer indefinitely, register free today. The first session for this level of membership is available now on the video dashboard.
One of the precepts for REBlogWorld is to offer value to all real estate professionals working toward a stronger online presence. This core principle drives much of what we are striving to accomplish with REBlogWorld. By releasing some of the highlighted sessions from REBlogWorld ’08, to a wider audience, we move one step closer to that commitment. By releasing selected content for free, we create a win/win situation. It helps you learn, it helps our speakers be heard, it helps REBlogWorld be known.