Google is a funny thing.
If I am logged in certain websites, that content will show up in my google search results. If I am on a different computer, it shows different results. If I google "Westchester Realtor" on my own computer, I am something like the 4th or 5th organic hit. If I go the public libarary and google the same term, I am on page 5. The reason is for another post- the point is that Google will show you the results it thinks you want to see. That's why Google has managed to become a verb in a few short years in addition to a proper noun.
Every so often, I see new Active Rain members churn out copious content. 50 posts a month. 300 posts a month. Targeted, hyper local, and specialized.
Oh, and useless.
Know why? Because it is "members only." The bloggers haven't got Rainmaker accounts. The only people who can see their content are other Active Rain Members who are logged in. But that doesn't stop them from churning out those blog posts, complete with "contact me!" links all over the place. I once emailed a guy and asked him why he made 300 members only posts, because they are invisible to the public. "They aren't invisible!" he responded. "I am way high on Google!" I wasn't in the mood to argue- he was in the results because he was logged in.
The last time I checked, a Rainmaker upgrade is under $400 a year if you pay up front. How many of us have blown 5 times that much on a stupid marketing campaign- newpsper-radio-banner ads-lead system- and not gotten any return on the investment? The return on my investment is sick.
Read this email:
I sold that guy a nice house last year. We remain in touch. He was a serious buyer and he was looking online for help.
Last Spring I got a call from Craig Rutman. There was a bank owned foreclosure in my town that the asset manager needed a local agent to sell. I listed it and sold it, Craig got a referral fee, and it was all due to this platform. There were other referrals too, but how many of you would like to get an REO? I had one fall in my lap.
I hired 6 agents last year thanks to my blog. All are with the company and active.
My blog has gotten me on ABC World News, the New York Times, the New York Post, Time Online, AOL, and about half a dozen other prominent outlets. I'll be in the New York Times again very soon-photos are already taken for the story.
When I attend board meeting for my MLS, I am often approached by staff and colleagues about something I wrote that interested them. The president of the MLS was very complimentary about my post on flat fee MLS.
My blog is my newsletter to past clients. It is a recruiting tool. It is a powerful prospecting and marketing system. It has raised my stature in my community. It has been instrumental in probably 30 or more transactions.
And all because 95% of my posts are public. I have a Rainmaker account since early 2009. I pay monthly like anybody else and I am putting myself out there, publicly. And I am getting noticed. Yes, I work hard at it, but I get found-agents, referrals, media, new clients, you name it.
If you are going to work hard at blogging, don't keep it a secret. You are going to get far more bang for your buck if you broadcast those posts on the public stage. You might get a referral or a good idea here or there if you don't upgrade, but you are missing the best stage. As far as I'm concerned, if your posts are "members only" you are just singing in the shower. It doesn't matter how good you are, you get no applause.
I'll see you are Raincamp in Atlantic City this April.