First off I want to thank Active Rain and everyone who has contributed to its inception for providing this wonderful free blogging venue for us. I know that I would not be to the point I am today in blogging if not for them. I still have not figured out where they make their money from and how they are able to provide this to us for free but I'm so glad that they have and I do hope the advertising is helping them to make some money.
I actually started my first blog on Real Talk January 7th of last year. My friend Mary Warrenwas blogging and encouraged me to begin. I was feeling a little frustrated with it so I got on an email forum and someone mentioned Active Rain and the point system. I did a Google search pulled them up and decided I liked their format a little better so started switching over. I wrote a few post and everything seemed to be going fine but then I wrote one where several people commented. The people who commented were Chris Tesch, Danny Smith and Bob Sloop; which I have become better acquainted with since then. I was amazed that someone found my post. I noticed that Chris was fairly close to me over in College Station and had lots of points so decided I would email her. I started to email her through Active Rain and then was afraid that my email might be seen by the world so I got on her personal website and found her personal email. Since then I have of course found out that it is perfectly safe to email someone directly from their blog. Below is the email that I sent her a year ago.
Hi Chris: I am new to blogging and noticed you are here in Texas and have lots of points so I hope you don't mind if I ask you some questions. You responded to a post I made last night on "What to bring to your real estate closing"? I have had some very nice comments on the post. My question to you is "how did you find the post"? I didn't realize it was going out anywhere except on my blog. I tried to find it myself but was unsuccessful. The only forum I have signed up for is the "Newbie" forum but I didn't find it there. Is there a way to make a post that doesn't go out to everyone? I don't have a problem with that post going out to everyone but I want to be able to talk about my son stationed in Iraq and that would just mainly be information for my sphere.
Chris didn't just email me back she was kind enough to call me back. So you were probably wondering; why I have pictures of our Yacht Club for my one year anniversary on Active Rain? This is where the pictures of the Yacht Club come in. Several of our members have January birthdays (my husband is one of them) and every year the last Saturday in January we have a fish fry birthday party. You actually can sail all year here but it is still chilly and I personally am a fair weather sailer so this is a chance for us to get together. Last year during that party Chris called me and explained what Active Rain was all about. As you can tell from the picture it is a casual Yacht Club so talking to her at the event was no big deal. At that time she told me to start making at least 10 comments a day because I would get points for them. She told me about Localism and how wonderful it was to promote your area. We talked for quite some time and she just really made me feel welcome. We had our yearly fish fry yesterday so I knew I had reached my one year anniversary. I have been thinking about writing a post when I had my one year anniversary for quite some time and then read Rich Jacobson's post on Testimonials in the Rain so the timing was perfect.
I thought I would be able to say one year and 200 post and I am close but not quite there yet. I am a bit of a tortoise when it comes to blogging. It takes me so long to write a post that I rarely get more than 3 or 4 out a week but I do consistently put out 3 or 4 a week. I also consistently make my 10 comments a day; probably a lot more. My consistency has made me a tortoise with points; 3rd place here in Texas although I do see Jason Crouch coming up on my rear. I have a bit of an addictive personality and I know that so I always try to keep everything in perspective. God - Family - Career! I have worked out of home based sales for 26 years now and one of my previous businesses got of sync with that God - Family - Career model so I always try to keep that in mind. With Jason coming up on my rear my first inclination was oh my gosh I better post more but then I took a deep breath and said no it is not all about the points you need to just keep doing what you are doing.
One funny little thing that has happened this year is that I have noticed that I have started keeping track of some of life's little ups and downs by my Active Rain points. Up until Active Rain I have always kept track of time by the age my children but now that my children are young adults that is getting harder for me to do. Here is a case in point at 50,000 points our son was just getting back in the states from a tour in Iraq and then being stationed over in Germany. I was so excited and wrote a post entitled 50,000 points and our son back in the United States; as I was sitting here waiting for his phone call. Now you won't find a post when I hit 100,000 points as I had just found out he was going to be sent back for another tour of Iraq and the headline "100,000 points and our son going back to Iraq" just didn't cut it for me; but I still know that happened at my AR 100,000 point mark. He took it like a man but as you can tell I took it like a Mom. I have adjusted to it now so I am at least talking about it. I guess I will see where those points take me this year as he is deployed again in March.
I would like to have been able to put a slideshow together (I am a carrot grabber and still do like those points) but I don't have any pictures of AR friends and I didn't think you wanted a whole slide show of our yacht club so maybe next year. My technology skills are not yet to the pocast or video so again maybe next year. I did get to meet Chris Tesch and Thesa Chambers this year. Thesa came in to Dallas to visit family and we all met up and had a slumber party in Dallas. I have no pictures to show you though as I brought my camera but then we were all so busy getting to know each other I forgot to take any pictures. Hopefully as there are more of us blogging in Texas we can have some Texas Active Rain events and start getting to know each other.
I have especially liked the Localism part of Active Rain that has been my main impetus in the last year. At this point I can't point to business that came directly from my blogging on Active Rain but what I do know is that it has helped me to keep my personal website on the first page of Google which I also know brings me business. My first blogging year has been wonderful I have learned so much and met so many wonderful people from all over the country. I now feel like I have a wonderful referral network as I am much more comfortable referring someone that I have got to know. Another benefit is all the knowledge that people are so willing to share plus if I run in to something where I am stuck I know that I can write a post about it and get help.
I am just now releasing my own personal blog added to the rear of my website and I would not have felt confident in doing that had I not had all the help from my experience with Active Rain. SO THANK YOU ACTIVE RAIN!! Even though I now have my own Blog I don't plan on quitting Active Rain I will just have to learn how to be an effective tortoise in both.