Have you visited a blog and wondered what all those strange links are at the end of many posts? To take full advantage of blogging in your business, it’s important to know the key concepts and terms.
Last week’s article looked at the case for real estate business blogging. This week’s article explains the functions of some of the services that support the blogosphere (i.e. the place where people share their “logs” or comments on line) as well as defining some of the jargon. For additional definitions, visit www.blogossary.com.
Blog (a more detailed definition)
Wikipedia defines a blog as “a type of Web site where entries are made and displayed in a reverse chronological order.” According to Jim Cronin of RealEstateTomato.com, a blog is written in your own voice and is akin to the editorial page of the newspaper. It’s a place to voice your opinions, share the latest in business news, create community, and post information about what’s going on in your local area.
Blogs differ from Web sites in several ways. Blogs are in the writer’s voice and contain fresh, compelling and changing content. In contrast, Web sites are akin to a brochure. Both are static and based on a core of specific topics. Real estate Web sites rely on listing data, transaction information and community information to attract visitors. In contrast, blog visitors want immediacy and fresh, quality content. When you link your blog with your Web site, you have the best of both tools.
Posting to your blog is merely the process of writing content and then placing what you have written online.
In blogging, comments refer to additional posts made by those who have something to say about the blogger’s original post. This is where people can create a conversation about specific topics. Bloggers have the option of allowing anyone to post to his/her blog unedited (not a good idea) or to screen the posts. There are several reasons for screening. First, you have no obligation to post everything that comes in on your blog. Second, some people may use the blog to make remarks that are in violation of the real estate law or that could be slanderous in nature. Third, you may receive requests that are completely irrelevant to your blog and to your readers. Finally, spammers are now eyeing blogs as a resource to spread their unwelcome messages. Consequently, it’s smart to screen comments before allowing them to post.
RSS stands for “really simple syndication.” If you find a blog that you enjoy and that has an “RSS” symbol, you can subscribe to the “RSS feed.” When the blogger updates his/her content, the RSS feed notifies you of the update and sends it directly to your computer. For example, if you wanted to read postings to a series of three blogs and news from two different online news sources, you could use an RSS aggregator such as www.feedburner.com. This system notifies you when the information you want is available. It automatically sends it to your e-mail box along with a brief description and a link. The system gathers and displays the feeds from each source. If you want to purchase a system that does this, PC Magazine recommends FeedDemon.com, which allows you to manage your RSS feeds in a way that looks very much like Microsoft Outlook. Both of these systems prevent your mailbox from being cluttered with RSS feeds.
Bloggers use pinging to notify others that their blog has been updated. The easiest way to ping others is to use a service such as www.pingomatic or www.pingoat.com. The process is simple. Go to either/both Web sites, type in the name and the URL of your blog, and check the boxes of the destinations that you would like to ping. The system handles the rest. One of the most important sites that you should ping is www.Technorati.com. The reason Technorati is so important is that you cannot ping Yahoo and Google directly. Nevertheless, these search engines pick up what is posted on Technorati. Unless you use pinging, virtually no one will know about your new posts.
Blogs grow and thrive by linking to each other. When a blogger likes your post and references it in his or her blog, the blogger uses a pingback to notify you that your post was either linked to or referenced. Typically, pingbacks include a short excerpt from the original post along with a link back to the Web site where the original post occurred.
Permalink is short for “permanent link.” When you post to your blog, your post is created dynamically rather than having a separate URL (i.e. a specific Web address.) When you update your posts, the old posts disappear. By using a permalink, you assign each post a permanent URL much like your Web site address. This means that the post can be found at a later date and that it can be catalogued or “bookmarked” by the search engines. This in turn allows visitors to return to the post or to link to it from other Web sites. An additional advantage of using Permalinks is that the search engines read permalinks as a new link to your Web site. This increases your link popularity and helps you to obtain higher search-engine placement.
(Special thanks to Jim Cronin of RealEstateTomato.com for his assistance with the content in today’s article.)
Want to learn more blogging terms? Be sure to see next week’s article!
Bernice Ross, national speaker and CEO of Realestatecoach.com, is the author of “Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters” and “Who’s the Best Person to Sell My House?” Both are available online. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog at www.LuxuryClues.com.