This interview thing is really starting to take shape. Looking over the list, I’ve surprised myself at the number of quality and experienced bloggers who decided to participate. Today’s interview is no exception Maureen McCabe has been blogging for over two years, a relative eternity on RE.net. She’s prolific as well, as a regular contributor to three different blogs. She has a lot to say, and today she’s saying here.
Hi Maureen, by your own admission, you are “biblogular”. With blogs on RealTown, Active Rain, and your independent Columbus Best Blog, you are all over the place. Can you please tell us how how you began blogging in the first place, and how it has evolved to your present status?
Actually I consider myself “triblogular.” “Bi” would be two, “tri” is three? I do consider both my presence on ActiveRain and my RealTownblog blogs even if they are part of a network of blogs to be “my blogs.” I don’t think I understood that RealTownBlogs and ActiveRain were the same thing only different until quite recently. ActiveRain has such great Google Juice it is probably the greatest thing to happen to real estate blogging since real estate blogging happened.
Frances Flynn Thorsen, my Fairy Blogmother kept telling me to blog, she started before NAR convention in 2005. Frances urged me and a number of people on Internet Crusade’s RealTalk List/Serv to blog. It started me reading her blog and Grow-a-Brain and a few other real estate blogs occasionally. I started my RealTown blog, Columbus Best Blog (now Discover Columbus) on August 27, 2005.
I planned on killing Discover Columbus (my RealTown Blog formerly known as Columbus Best Blog) when I started my new blog, ColumbusBestBlog.com on WordPress.org on New Years Eve 2006 but I keep going back and forth about my RealTown Blog, kill it, keep it. As recently as July 17, I blogged that I would never kill that blog but I know the thought keeps crossing my mind.
There are great bloggers on RealTown Blogs despite the short comings of the RealTown platform but I wish ReatlTown would address the mediocrity of the platform.
On Active Rain, you started a group called “My Other Blog“. How important do you think it is for RE agents to blog inside AND outside of Active Rain?
Blogging elsewhere is very important to some of us and totally unimportant to others. I like ActiveRain but I have had blogging friends who can’t get into it. I have had friends get fed up with ActiveRain quit and come back, I have friends who were very excited by the immediacy of ActiveRain who were very big supporters whom have decided ActiveRain is not a good thing for them. There is a lot of “crappy blogging” on ActiveRain and there’s some mischief.
I think most people who really enjoy blogging to consumers will start another blog eventually.
Do you duplicate content between each of these three blogs?
I really don’t. There have been four blogs named Columbus Best Blog since August 2005. Early in 2006 I thought my RT blog was somehow by starting two other blogs on two other platforms in late 2005/ early 2006 and duplicating content and naming them all Columbus Best Blog. I felt like I was blogging into a void in 2005 on my RealTown Blog (then known as Columbus Best Blog but now known as Discover Columbus.) so I started a blog and named it Columbus Best Blog on a platform called Blogster.com that I started on New Years Eve 2005. About a week later when I realized Blogster.com was not Blogger.com I started a blog I can no longer find on Blogger.com and I called it …. “Columbus Best Blog.” I believed I was doing a test of the three platforms. I abandoned both the Blogster and Blogger.com blogs within a few weeks. I did not understand search engines at all at the time (and still don’t) but something I saw on MarketLeap.com few months later in the link popularity measure made me believe I might have been a very naughty blogger to duplicate content and I vowed to never do so again.
If you can easily produce original content why copy yourself? Others are comfortable doing duplicate content and that is fine for them. .
I was scarred for life by one of the owners of Blogster.com a guy up on Lake Erie in Ohio who goes by the name WalleyeMan (Walleye is a tasty fish in the Great Lakes… mmm mmm good) in the comment on my 10 day old Blogster version of Columbus Best Blog’s last entry when he wrote:
“Maureen, do you have any relation to Jason McCabe Calacanis of weblogs inc(AOL)?” comment by walleyeman on January 9, 2006 2:03 PM ()
“Oh, by the way you are real close to being shut down do to all the link spam you are doing here.” comment by walleyeman on January 9, 2006 2:06 PM ()
“Nope.” comment by maureenmccabecmh on January 9, 2006 2:08 PM ()
I remember trying to research what “link spam” was.
My posts to Localism.com on ActiveRain (consumer oriented) are mostly “link direction” posts as Brian Brady called them. I link to ColumbusBestBlog.com where the meat and potatoes of the story are. I ‘ve watched how Brian and others on ActiveRain use ActiveRain (and I mean “use” in a nice way) that is not link spammy, where the stuff on the real blog is not just a duplication of something on ActiveRain or vice versa. I am still not that good at doing Link Direction posts.
Usually when I write an entry I end up with one or two paragraphs that end up on ActiveRain that are not necessarily on ColumbusBestBlog.com but become the “Link Direction” post on ActiveRain. I was surprized when Matt Heaton of ActiveRain urged bloggers to use ActiveRain to link to their other blogs very early on. I remember thinking what an unWalleyeMan way of looking at a Social Network. I have to believe that attitude has benefited ActiveRain. I think small ideas and trying to be in control have stifled other networks.. Not that there’s anything wrong with a small intimate social network if that’s what you want.
How do you determine where you post one topic or another?
ColumbusBestBlog on WordPress.org is the real deal for me, that’s where most everything goes.
Talking to other real estate agents – ActiveRain
Link Direction posts to local content on ColumbusBestBlog – ActiveRain / Localism
Upcoming events, market reports, cows, cartoons – Discover Columbus my RealTown blog.
When I lock myself out of ColumbusBestBlog or have technical difficulities there I post to Discover Columbus, my RealTown blog just because I have had so much experience there I can easily put stuff up.
How does blogging fit into your overall marketing strategy?
At Real Living’s direction I am trying to integrate blogging into a 360 degree maketing strategy, of course I was doing blogging before they started recommending it. I am trying to do more of the Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In stuff but not get consumed by it. I thought ActiveRain was just that when I joined it, I did not realize it was another blog. I had invited all my blogging friends to ActiveRain before I realized it was blogging.
I spend more time on blogging than I do on traditional marketing, because direct mail and print advertising are so automated in our Real Living system. I don’t spend as much time blogging as people think. Blogging on ActiveRain is a piece of cake. I hate wrestling with photos on both of the other blogs and I am so inept on WordPress.org that does take time, but the words are no problem. I hate doing links no matter where I am blogging.
What are some of your favorite blogs?
Sellsius° Blog (when will they be back?)
Everyone whom I’ve invited on ActiveRain’s ActiveRain blog and if they are doing an outside blog that blog too as I am able. For example Teri Lussier’s TheBrickRanch.com
Tech blogs like Calacanis.com (Jason McCabe Calacanis’ blog, no relation), Matt Cutt’s blog, O’Reilly Radar, Dave Winer’s blog and a lot of blogs that are way over my head. If I read them sometimes I get a glimmer of what it’s all about.
Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow real estate professional that’s looking to get into blogging?
1. Try ActiveRain. It’s the easiest. Take it slow. Learn from the good bloggers on ActiveRain. Ignore the crappy blogging and mischief, flag it if IT is really bad. IT being plagiarism, mindless copy and paste, the copyrighted images stolen from the internet. Figure out with ActiveRain if you want to make blogging part of your marketing repertoire, use the resources there to learn more about web 2.0, blogging opportunites and social networking.
2. Don’t name your blogs the same thing. It’s really dumb.
Anything else? Please feel free to ask yourself a question, leave a comment, or not. Thanks for participating and again, sorry I missed your email before.
What word do you hate?