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Posts tagged ‘blogging’

Growing Your Business By Community Blogging – I’m Speaking At WordCamp Victoria 2013

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Coming up this Saturday, January 12, 2013 is WordCamp Victoria 2013. If you are curious about blogging or how you can learn new skills and hear about new tools to blog better, WordCamp Victoria is where you want to be this Saturday.

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Blogging W-5 Wednesday Part 4 – Who?

As one of our real estate board’s most prolific bloggers, and certainly one of the most active bloggers in the region, many people ask me questions about it. In this weekly section, I’m going to answer the W-5 (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) of blogging. I hope you’ll enjoy my commentary.

Q: Who do you read?

lol, nostalgia!

As in, which blogs are on my Google Reader list? I have many. Too many, probably, but my mouse cursor is attracted to that little RSS feed icon like a moth to a flame and I can’t stop subscribing to interesting feeds.

Get ready for some link love, bloggers!

Real estate related, I read the Ubertor blog – all about real estate web technology and their most excellent real estate website software. I also enjoy the Geek Estate Blog (fairly self-explanitory), and the Sellsius Blog. One of the first blogs I got into was The Real Estate Zebra, Daniel Rothamel. And Ian Watt’s video blogs are always entertaining and often provacative (Ozzie Jurock, eh Ian?)

I also love to read tech blogs, TechCrunch being my favourite – keeping me up to date on emerging Web technologies and other goodies. I also follow the Official Google Blog, the Official Gmail Blog, and the WordPress Blog. Reachd.com has a great blog with SEO, adwords, and social media training tips.

CBC has a feed or two, as does the Times Colonist. The best source I’ve found for breaking news so far is Vancouver’s News 1130 radio station‘s feed. BC’s government news feed is also informative.

I love to read Rebecca Bowlitt (aka Miss604). She has a great style and is a big inspiration for the type of blogging I am trying to do here. Other Vancouver blogs I follow include Buzz Bishop’s blog.

Just for fun, I read XKCD – possibly the funniest webcomic ever. Hint: level of hilarity is directly related to the reader’s geekiness. I also laugh to the FAIL blog, Engrish Funny, and Stuff White People Like (although it’s largely disappeared after their book came out 🙁 ). Just for fun I also read the PlayStation Blog – Sony has really hit the nail on the head for interacting with their customers via their blog and their forum.

I also really enjoy Darren Barefoot‘s blog, though I’m not sure how I first stumbled upon it. He has a style I like, and is a bit of a power geek like me.

If your blog isn’t listed here, don’t fret – I probably read it. In fact, if you’re on my Twitter friends list, I can virtually guarantee I read your blog.

What blogs do you read that you’d like to share? Post them in the comments please!

Do you have any questions about blogging? Post them in the comments below, or send me an e-mail.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

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Blogging W-5 Wednesday Part 3 – When?

As one of our real estate board’s most prolific bloggers, and certainly one of the most active bloggers in the region, many people ask me questions about it. In this weekly section, I’m going to answer the W-5 (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) of blogging. I hope you’ll enjoy my commentary.

Q: When do you find time to blog?

lol, nostalgia!

I thought this would be a timely place to discuss WHEN I blog, since there are only 40 minutes left in Wednesday. Technically, this post is on time as promised!

A common complaint among REALTORS® who want to get into blogging is that “I don’t have time.” Baloney. You do have time, and you need to look at your blog as you do any other part of your business. Find the time. Schedule it. Keep a notepad beside you at all times to jot down those ideas for posts.

Blog about something daily to keep you interested. My Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day was born out of the same need. It gives me something to do and I make sure I do it every day. I think I only missed one or two days in the last 215 or so. If daily is too much, then weekly is a minimum.

Regular updates keep you readers interested and coming back for more, and keeps the content on your blog fresh, which Google and the other search engines love.

Your posts don’t need to be long; in fact, they say shorter is better. Consider splitting a long topic into several parts. Not a writer? Get a camera, some online video training, and do a video blog. Ian Watt does his from his car as he drives around downtown Vancouver (see, you have time!)

Me, I blog usually in the early part of the morning. I just find I’m more creative at that time of the day, and I’m able to sit and write for awhile without being distracted by the phone, co-workers, or e-mail (or Digg, Twitter, Facebook, etc… 😉 )

Or, sometimes, after a long and busy day, I write at night, just 34 minutes before W-5 Wednesday becomes Tardy Thursday.

Do you have any questions about blogging? Post them in the comments below, or send me an e-mail.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or get free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!

Blogging W-5 Wednesday Part 2 – What?

As one of our real estate board’s most prolific bloggers, and certainly one of the most active bloggers in the region, many people ask me questions about it. In this weekly section, I’m going to answer the W-5 (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) of blogging. I hope you’ll enjoy my commentary.

Q: What do you blog about?

lol, nostalgia!

This is an easy one. I blog about many different things. When I first started, it was pretty random – a post about real estate here, a personal musing there. Obviously, being a REALTOR®, I do like to blog about real estate, to provide a 2-way conversation about real estate for consumers and my clients to participate in and learn from.

But more than that, I’m focusing on local content as much as I can. I want to tell the world about Sooke, and why it’s such a great place to live. I moved here just over three years ago, I don’t think I’d live anywhere else. I was particularly inspired by Rebecca Bollwitt, also known as Miss 604, who is arguably Vancouver’s most recognized internet personality. Her blog is absolutely huge, and she focuses on hyper-local content for the Vancouver area.

I also use my blog as a forum to express my frustration with certain aspects of the real estate profession. There is no excuse for horrible MLS photography! Show your clients’ properties off to the world with stunning images, don’t have people like me poke fun at them!

Do you have any questions about blogging? Post them in the comments below, or send me an e-mail.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or get free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!

Blogging W-5 Wednesday Part 1 – Why?

As one of our real estate board’s most prolific bloggers, and certainly one of the most active bloggers in the region, many people ask me questions about it. In this weekly section, I’m going to answer the W-5 (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) of blogging. I hope you’ll enjoy my commentary.

Q: Why do you blog?

lol, nostalgia!

lol, nostalgia!

This is an extremely common question. In fact, I’m sure I asked it of a few bloggers (both REALTORS® and other types) before I got into it.

I blog for many reasons. Blogs are a great way to draw traffic to your brand. And for those in small business, this can’t be underscored enough. I would say that there isn’t any other more cost-effective and efficient way to draw attention to your services and your expertise by writing a good blog. Search engines love blogs, especially those that are updated regularly. Why? Search engines like Google love content; and a blog is all content when it’s done properly. Search engines also love recent information and sites that are constantly being updated. Again, a blog by definition is constantly being updated with current information and stories. Seach engines also love links. A good blog will have lots of links to related information on the Internet.

That being said, it’s not at all about gaming the search engines. Google didn’t get to be Google by being easily fooled. Search engines know when they’re being gamed. Try and manipulate the search engines and you’ll get penalized.

A blog is also a great way to have a two-way communication with your audience. In my case, I want my current and future potential clients to read my blog and comment on what I have to say. Most blogs have a comment function which allows a conversation or discussion to occur. I have my opinions, you have yours. Let’s talk about it in the comments section. Beneath each post is a link to comments. Use it. Engage your audience. Ask for feedback. Write something controversial and see what happens.

Lastly, I blog because I like to blog. I love to write and I have opinions – what a deadly combination for a blogger! If you decide to start a blog solely for reasons one and two above, it will suck. Guaranteed. You’ll come off as cheesy and fake. You have to like to write and you must practice. It takes a while to find your voice. My number one tip if you want to start blogging for your business or anything else? Read lots of other blogs for a few months. It will help you define your voice. You’ll learn what to say and what not to do, and get a few ideas for posts.

Do you have any questions about blogging? Post them in the comments below, or send me an e-mail.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or get free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!

Happy Blogoversary!

It’s my blogoversary! One year ago I registered my very first WordPress.com blog. VictoriaBCRealEstateBlog.com [which is now imported and viewable in the archives of this blog] was originally intended to be a resource for REALTORS® about technology and web 2.0 stuff that I thought they’d like to know. However, I soon realised that not many REALTORS® in Victoria and surrounding areas actually read blogs or are as enthusiastic about tech as I am. So I started another WordPress.com blog, TimAyres.WordPress.com which then became Blog.TimAyres.ca, which focused on consumer issues and of course the Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day. Eventually I grew out of the limited (but still totally awesome) writing environment of a free WordPress.com blog and made the move to my own self-hosted WordPress.org installation this past June. The current revision focuses more on hyper-local content for Sooke. “642” for those that have asked is the telephone exchange prefix for Sooke. Most local numbers here are 642-xxxx.

Over the past year I feel I’ve come a long way as a blogger. I first started out regurgitating content that I’d found elsewhere on the web, or just linking to other articles. But I think now I’ve found my voice and my niche in the blogosphere. The addition of videos to my blog a few months ago has also contributed to the growth of my blog.

I’ve come to realize a few things about what’s popular on the blog. Sadly, the most popular entry I made was a list of safety tips for REALTORS® following the tragic murder of Lindsay Buziak in February. A post I wrote about a creep in a truck skulking about Sooke is also one of the most viewed, as are my recent musings on the marketing “genius” that went into Bell’s new -er campaign.

I blog because I enjoy it, and it’s a way for me to connect with not only local Sooke residents, but a worldwide audience of like-minded people. I’m constantly borrowing ideas from other bloggers and incorporating them here for you. I know I have about 30 regular subscribers, but if you’re out there reading this, why not drop a comment at the bottom of the post to say Hi!

Thanks for reading!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or get free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!

A Fresh Look, A New Direction

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I hope that I’ve gone the right way here in moving from WordPress.comSookie Sam's mini-golf to my own self-hosted WordPress installation. I have ideas and things I want to do with this blog that go beyond what WordPress.com could do for me, including the new theme and layout.

Inspired by other hyper-local bloggers like Miss 604, 642Blog.ca is going to focus on local Sooke content. Events, community info, history, people, and real estate will be topics covered. Have an event? let me know. Ideas for articles? Ditto.

I highly recommend you subscribe to the feed from this blog for free updates. I blog daily, and you won’t want to miss it. In the sidebar you can find instructions and information about subscribing.

I want this to be a community effort and a forum for discussion of local issues. I encourage you to comment (anonymously, even) on any post, good or bad. Just look for the comments box or link.

And for those not in the know, the 642 in 642Blog comes from our phone numbers in Sooke, which mostly start with 642. Yes. We’re all up in the 642, y’all.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or subscribe to this blog for free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!

TAG! I’m it – Friday Blog Meme

I’ve seen this one floating around the blogosphere for a week or so now, and was wondering when I’d get hit with it. Well, Matthew Collinge of the 604Homes Blog got me this morning.

A blog meme is kind of like the blog equivalent of a chain letter. There are 8 questions in this one; here we go!

1. Who is your favourite musical artist (post a YouTube video)?

Hard to say, really; I have so many. But I have a lot of respect for Ry Cooder. Being somewhat of an amateur guitarist, it’s hard to find another artist who’s influenced so many other great guitarists, wrote musical scores for films, played session music for so many other artists, and has an incredibly eclectic style, drawing influences from ragtime, folk, blues, soul, gospel, dustbowl, country, even Hawaiian slack-key. Hell, even The Tragically Hip quote “Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy” in At The Hundredth Meridian.

Here’s a clip of Ry Cooder’s Feelin’ Bad Blues.

<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=aaRucuooafM">http://youtube.com/watch?v=aaRucuooafM</a>

2. Who’s your favourite artist (post a Flickr Photo)?

Probably Van Gogh.

3. Who is your favourite blogger?

I read a lot of blogs, but I think Dad Gone Mad Danny Evans makes me laugh the most. Seems like the kind of Dad I’ll be later in this great adventure.

4. If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and what would be the most interesting thing about him or her?

Pierre Trudeau comes to mind. The guy was a rockstar as politicians go. Said what was on his mind, and showed grace through a turbulent time in Canada. I bet he’d have been fun to have a drink with.

There's another dead person I'd like to have met.

5. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I changed my mind a lot. Scientist, writer, lawyer, police officer were all possible career paths for me.

Scientist!

6. What is the most interesting piece of trivia you know?

Well, those that know me well know I’m a repository of useless facts. My dream is to be a contestant on Jeopardy! because I know all those facts would come in handy. The most interesting piece of trivia I know would probably have to be that SCUBA diving has approximately the same accident rate as bowling.

7. If you could live at any point in history, what would it be and why?

Probably the 60’s to late-70’s. The music, social change, and whole counterculture thing would have been awesome to witness first-hand. Most of the music I listen to was written in that time.

Far out!

8. What is the most interesting job you’ve ever held?

For three years I worked aboard cruise ships as a diving/snorkeling/watersports instructor and a shore excursions representative. I think there’s no better way to make sure you never want to go on a cruise later in life than to work aboard one for a few years. It was a fun way to save some money, but I don’t miss it!

There. Done. Now, I know I’m supposed to meme 6 or 8 other people, but I think I’m the last person to get this, so I won’t. Feel free to answer it as a Facebook note, or on your own blog and link to it on the comments.

Have a super weekend!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. Just use the reply form below!


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Lots to Talk About

I’m having lots of fun with the Horrible MLS Photo of The Day. Thanks to all who have commented on the posts. I consider it my duty to get other agents educated about good photography and visual presentation.

That being said, I do have a few “serious” post ideas in the pipe, and will write/post them as soon as I can. I’m hoping to be able to spend a good chunk of Friday morning blogging.

Topics may or may not include:

  • Recent CMHC Housing report
  • Green Real Estate with West Hills in Langford, BC
  • The closing of West Corp.’s Central Saanich office
  • B.C. condo project financial woes

Stay tuned!

Tim Ayres


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