Obviously, if you've been on ActiveRain for more than a minute in the past few weeks, there's been a lot of talk about the dreaded downtime that has made ActiveRain an aggravation at times. I've been blogging here since late 2008 and have had an up and down relationship with ActiveRain. On one hand, I love the opportunities it has provided me and I have enjoyed the many people I have met through the network. On the other hand, I have been frustrated by the reoccurring problems and sometimes have been forced to wonder if the SEO benefits of ActiveRain are quite what they're cracked up to be.
A lot of you will immediately question my devaluation of the power of ActiveRain's SEO power, but my experience with Google ranking has been up and down here at ActiveRain. Sometimes, it seems the post is immediately powered through the search results of Google, other times a post seems to never quite get the rolling push it needs to become a strong ranking page. Most people's immediate response would be that I must be doing something wrong and not taking care of some of my own self-created SEO power within the post. I would counter with the fact that I do the same sorts of things for posts here as I do for my site at RErockstar.com, which has typically outranked my ActiveRain posts in terms of Google placement.
Is that reason enough to be done with ActiveRain?
I don't think so. I enjoy ActiveRain. Although I'll be the first one to stomp and shout when things are not working, I don't hate ActiveRain. I will speak out about what I see as problems, much like I did recently at AgentGenius with my post, "ActiveRain experiences growing pains, users consider leaving" (if you read that, I suggest you read Benn Rosales' followup post, "ActiveRain problems mounting, hopes apology is enough"). Although I may be critical at times, I am also supportive. I truly hope ActiveRain is able to put the worst behind them and move on to bigger and better things. I still think Localism has amazing potential (although I think it is not being utilized to its fullest by members or the staff at ActiveRain). I haven't seen much out of the ActiveRain referral system, but personal relationships have led to referrals incoming and outgoing. What I have received most from ActiveRain has been new friends, some great "food for thought," and a chance to increase the effectiveness of my blogging efforts.
I feel I was trained as a blogger here at ActiveRain (as well as AgentGenius, as that was my first writing opportunity in the real estate realm). I learned from some excellent real estate bloggers and even taught them a thing or two here and there. There is a collaborative spirit here which is a definite bonus to membership as it allows for opportunities to learn from a wide selection of schools of thought. That is something I truly appreciate. There are tons of great posts on "how to" in order to help you improve your blogging skills (as well as your general real estate knowledge and skill). It's a library that's open twenty four hours a day (yes, I see the irony in that statement). There is most definitely great things you can get out of ActiveRain and I don't feel the bad outweighs the good.
I do however have a suggestion.
You know me, I like to add my thoughts to many issues and this is no exception. My post at AgentGenius says it best, but for those of you that won't click through to it, I'd like to share what I think is the most important part of that article.
Don't be afraid to step outside of ActiveRain.
While there are many benefits to being here, they (like everything else in real estate) are not a cure-all. Expand your horizons and start your own blog outside of ActiveRain. Go where the consumers are. While they do visit here, they're also out there floating through the internet...looking for you (or your competition). My own self-hosted Wordpress blog brings in about 4,000 visitors a month. I didn't do anything special except that I made it a mission to blog constantly and to publish the highest quality content I could muster. Sure I picked up tips and tricks along the way (many of them here at ActiveRain), but I truly did little more than type out my opinions and discuss current issues involving real estate with my readers. No fancy SEO marketing that cost me a fortune, no Google AdWords, no paid links from popular sites - nothing out of the ordinary. Just content.
You can do this yourself as well. It's not as hard or scary as it may look. Moving outside of ActiveRain can work well in conjunction with your efforts here. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. Do you only market in one place? Of course not. You work to be seen in many places. Use that theory to your advantage and use ActiveRain as a tool to compliment the other tools you're using.
I do wish you the best in getting this solved. Bob and I chatted briefly the other day about it all and I could hear in his emails the stress and strain that this has placed on him. I'm sure you're all overworked and getting more than tired as you work to rectify the situation and (hopefully) put safeguards in place to prevent this from becoming a common theme. I wish there has been more communication during all of this and I hope you'll take that into consideration, as it seems to be the most common complaint I'm hearing. I'm sure it's not easy to be in your shoes, but I do hope you take some time to see it from our shoes. Again, best of luck and thanks for everything. I'll see you soon.
photo courtesy of muha...
All content ©2008-2010 by Matt Stigliano unless otherwise noted.
Matt Stigliano, Realtor® Becker Properties | (210) 646-HOME | www.RErockstar.com
"Your all access pass to San Antonio real estate."