What is a "blog"? What is inside a blog? Can my visitors comment on my postings? “Blog” is an abbreviated version of "weblog," which is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog is a frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary and links to articles or other websites. Blogs range from the personal to the political and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects. Featured Blogs are intended for real estate professionals commenting on different aspects of real estate.
Generally speaking (though there are exceptions), blogs tend to have a few things in common:
- A main content area with articles listed chronologically, newest on top. Often, the articles are organized into categories.
- An archive of older articles.
- A way for people to leave comments about the articles.
- A list of links to other related sites, sometimes called a "blogroll".
- One or more "feeds" like RSS, Atom or RDF files.
Content is the reason for any website. Retail sites feature a catalog of products. University sites contain information about their campuses, curriculum, and faculty. News sites show the latest news stories. For a real estate blog, you might see information on open houses, how-to tidbits, reviews on a neighborhood, or commentaries on the state of the housing market.
On a blog, the content consists of articles (also sometimes called "posts" or "entries") that the author(s) writes. Some blogs have multiple authors, each writing his/her own articles. Blog owners can invite others to contribute to their blog. Typically, blog authors compose their articles in a Web-based interface, built into the blogging system itself.
To get a sense of how blogging works while also learning useful marketing tips, check out: http://realestatemarketing101.topproducerblogs.com.
Things Bloggers Need to Know
In addition to understanding that your Blog is based on WordPress, there are some terms and concepts you need to know:
- Archives: A blog is a good way to keep track of articles on a site. A lot of blogs feature an archive based on dates (like a monthly or yearly archive). The front page of the blog may feature a calendar with the dates linked to the daily archive for that date. Archives can also be based on categories featuring all the articles related to a specific category. You blog offers default categories to facilitate consumer searches.
It does not stop there; you can also archive your posts by author or alphabetically. The possibilities are endless. This ability to organize and present articles in a composed fashion is much of what makes blogging a popular personal publishing tool.
- Syndication: A feed is a machine readable (usually XML) content publication that is updated regularly. Many weblogs publish a feed (usually RSS, but also possibly Atom and RDF and so on, as described above). There are tools out there that call themselves "feedreaders". What they do is they keep checking specified blogs to see if they have been updated, and when the blogs are updated, they display the new post, and a link to it, with an excerpt (or the whole contents) of the post. Each feed contains items that are published over time.
When checking a feed, the feedreader is actually looking for new items. New items are automatically discovered and downloaded for you to read. Just so you don't have to visit all the blogs you are interested in. All you have to do with these feedreaders is to add the link to the RSS feed of all the blogs you are interested in. The feedreader will then inform you when any of the blogs have new posts in them. Most blogs have these "Syndication" feeds available for the readers to use.