REW Blogs setup 101 - The basics

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When setting up an REW Blog, it is important to understand the technology and features and more importantly how to use them. This tutorial is meant to help REW Blog users set up their blogs for maximum exposure, great click through and user friendliness.

Step one: Your right hand profile.

This is perhaps the most important portion of the REW Blog setup, as you are creating the area of your blog where people will see your face, and read a short bio about you. It also contains the links to your website, listings added to REW blogs, and your contact page.

There are basically 2 components to the right hand side the photo and the writeup.

Component 1: The photo - Your photo is the visual presentation of yourself to your readers. It should be something that compliments your content and style and always be professional - keep in mind potential customers are reading this blog, and may contact you based on what you write (And yes) how you appear. Do you appear trustworthy, honest, professional, confident, competent? A picture paints a thousand words, so make it worth a million. I myself had my photo professionally taken just for web publication. It might be expensive, but if it lands me even one more customer in a lifetime it was worth the expense.

For maximum results, you should crop your photo to 95 x 95 pixels - this is what the bio box requires, anything else will be sized by the browser and not maintain the aspect ratio causing your photo to appear stretched or distorted.

Component 2: The short description - This is where you introduce yourself to your readers. Short and succinct is recommended (Maximum 300-400 characters) - The idea is to tell your readers enough about you to capture their interest, but not so much that you no longer entice them to click on your website link, listings link or contact link. Of course you will have the opportunity to get into more details about yourself and your services by creating a static page - (Static pages will be covered further down)

 

Step 2: Organizing your blog posts - Categories

As with all great websites your REW Blog's content should be organized in a logical manner that allows your users to access the content in the most intuitive manner possible. To achieve this, REW Blogs has a sophisticated yet easy to manager category system that allows the creation of parent and child categories. Later when you begin creating your blog posts you will assign the post to the most appropriate category, you can also assign a post to multiple categories where appropriate.

Setting up your categories
: In the left hand column of your REW Blog you will notice a link called "Category manager" click this link and you will arrive at the category manager page. At this time you will have no categories to manage.

To create a new category, you give it a name (This will also be the search engine friendly URL of the category and the link text for the button under the categories navigation)

Next you choose a level: Your first category will always be a top level category however once your top level categories are set up, you will be able to set up sub categories belonging to top level categories.

Finally you create a description for your category. The description will show up at the top of the category page providing insight and explanation as to the content contained within said category. When writing your category, try to inspire as much interest as possible. Do not be to concerned with keyword loading or SEO concerns. As with all part of REW Blogs, if you focus on your readers and the quality of your content, the search engine benefits will follow. Your description will appear the same as the blockquotes do when used in hmtl mode of the blog - example:

This is what your description will look like when added at the category or sub category level of an REW blog

Next on the list "Link Manager" soon to be renamed.

On the left hand side of the REW Blogs technology there is a "link manager" button which allows you to create outbound links from your REW Blog, this acts very much like a "blog roll" of sorts in that it will display on every page. We have placed this piece here so that users can display their website to readers who may be inclined to look to the left of your Blog as opposed to your bio section.

DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF TURNING YOUR REW BLOG INTO A LINK FARM YOU WILL BE BANNED, IT'S AGAINST THE RULES:
The link manager is probably the most abused or improperly used piece of REW Blogs technology - we constantly get users signing up and posting little to no content in their blog just so they can put a ton of outbound links in their left navigation in an attempt to artificially inflate their link popularity, this is a BIG no no. Let me outline a few do's and don't with REW Blogs links section (Soon to be renamed)

Do: Link to your website (Only once) so that your readers can visit it often and see what is new with yourself or your company and of course (Hopefully) inquire about your services due to the great unique and well written blog post they just read from you.

Do Not: Post links to more than one page of a particular domain, if you do this you will be flagged as link spamming and it will be up to the discretion of a moderator to suspend your account. In certain rare occasions "deep linking" to more than one page of a very deep and robust domain is appropriate, but for the purpose of REW Blogs 101 it is not advised under any circumstances.

Do: Link to other websites you own if (And only if) they are substantially different in content.

Do Not: Link to other websites you own if they are mirrors or virtually copies of other websites you own. Cookie cutter websites with little to no unique content provide no value to your reader, and are a blatant attempt to game the search engines. A general rule of thumb is, if you already have a link to one of your websites in your links section that satisfies a visitors need, do not post another link to a different website that is meant to satisfy that same need.

Do: Link to authoritative resources on your subject matter that your readers will find helpful and provide supporting information related to your blogs theme (This is different than related links which are the kind of link, but related to a specific post, not an entire blog) only link to authority websites if they are going to be relevant enough to apply to pretty much every post you make, otherwise use the related links section of REW blogs when making a post (Proper use of related links will be discussed in a later tutorial on proper use of REW Blogs when writing an article.

Do Not: Link to any websites for the purpose of link exchange of any kind. No 3 ways, no peer to peer linking, no gaming or reciprocal linking of any kind. We do not allow our domain to be used for link exchange period. We have 30+ staff monitoring REW Blogs, all of which are very well verse in detecting link popularity manipulation - Just don't do it, it is one of our major rules and you will be banned from the entire network for it - Bottom line, it's just not worth it for a lousy link exchange.

That is about it for the do's and do not's on the links section for tonight - I will likely be adding more to this as for some reason people just want to spam the heck out of it lol.

Anyways guys, there you have it - before you start making posts in your new REW Blog, this quick tutorial should give you some insight into the technology and how to make the most of it, and also give you a feel for what is expected of you as a guest being given permission to use our websites technology and authority to help build your business.

The best rule to remember is: If you are doing it for your users, you are doing it right.

If you are doing it to manipulate search engines or any other reason than your users, you are doing it wrong. :)

Have a good night everyone and happy blogging.

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Scott

Excellent article but believe it or not it is not quite basic enough :-) I am not computer illiterate, I am actually quite savy as far as email, mls, website maintenance, etc.. but I am new to blogging. I will have my new website up and running by this coming monday and want to get a blog going on it. I would appreciate knowing step by step what to do ( sign in, set up, and then literally "what topic do I start with?, a question or a topic to discuss? pictures with links?, how elaborate should it be?,etc..) I cannot find a single blog on my local real estate market and I truly want to do it right. Help! Somebody hold my hand :-)

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