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December
28

This week Harley reviews Blog Setup in the DeltaNET.

 

Video Transcription

Harley:

Welcome to Tech Tuesday, presented by Delta Media Group, where we found out what dogs say on New Year's Eve. They say, "Woof." I mean, come on, dogs don't talk.

Harley:

So today we're going to take a look at the blog platform. It is one that we haven't gone over here in a while so we're going to give it a fresh look and just run over how you can get your blog system configured or how you can set up a blog. And then how you can go in, manage the settings, configure it, and ultimately start adding articles to it and keeping it up-to-date.

Harley:

So first off, to get to the blog platform, the easiest way, like with most things in DeltaNET 6, is to just go up here at the top and type in blog. And you can see under navigation we have Marketing Blog. Now a neat thing about the blog system also is that once you have a blog set up, so you've set up the initial blog itself, you can have a shortcut here to create a new blog post as well so that way you don't even have to go to the blog page and click Add Article, go through that process, you can just click Create A New Blog Post and it'll take you straight into that add article interface.

Harley:

So with that in mind, I'm going to click on Marketing or Marketing Blog there to get to the blog page. Now, alternatively, I could have expanded this dropdown menu and clicked on Blog here, or there is a link to the blog on this marketing landing page. So if I had just clicked there, I could have clicked on Blog. But this menu, as well as the page, tend to be customized from one company to the next so you may or may not have those buttons.But however you choose to get there, you'll find yourself on a page like this, and this is what the blog platform looks like.

Harley:

So up at the top, you have your active blogs and here I can expand this menu and I can see all the different blogs that I've created, I have two different ones in here. If you don't have any, so when you first go to this page, you won't have a blog at all, you can click on this Add New Blog button and you can create your blog.

Harley:

So the first thing you do is give it a title. This is my blog. You can give it a specific URL if you'd like, which is typically a good idea, you can have that match up to your blog name, and it gives you kind of an idea of what it's asking for here. So this is your website domain, and then whatever you put here is going to be your blog page URL so it has this slash blog as an example. And you could go with that if you want, just /blog/. In this case, it finds that it's available so I could click Create Blog to set that up. Or I can name it for my blog. So I could say... And you'll notice I don't have any spaces in there because you can't have spaces in a URL. So I could load it up that way and click on Create Blog and that would create my blog as well.

Harley:

Now, the other option you have here is you have the ability to include some feeds in your blog. So the general idea here is if you are not going to update your blog often, or if you don't know if you'll be able to keep it updated regularly, you can select from these feeds and have articles from these blog feeds automatically included in your blog. It doesn't include the whole article, instead, it basically is like a link to the article where it will lay out usually like the first 250, 500 words of the article, and then a Read More link, and when a user clicks on that, it'll take them through to whatever this third party is.

Harley:

My only suggestion here is if you do want to include one of these blog feeds, you can, but typically, you don't want to include more than one. These tend to be updated pretty frequently so if you, say, included all of these, or really even just two of these, for example, it's going to add new articles to your blog page so often that it's going to kind of eliminate the blog articles that you create yourself, it's going to push those way down the list so it'll dilute your own blog content. So in general, I would say you don't want to add more than one.

Harley:

We'll go ahead and keep this one in here. And Create Blog. And there we go. So we've created a new blog and This Is My Blog is already selected up here so it's ready to go.

Harley:

So from here, I can click on Open Blog and it'll actually open my blog up in a new tab. There we are. So we've got that loaded up now. In this case, we can see a bunch of test articles and that has to do with some settings we haven't gotten to yet because this blog has no articles in it in and of itself, but this gives you an idea of what your blog page looks like. And if there were any articles from a third-party feed that you're feeding into this blog, you would see those in line here as well.

Harley:

So go back into our settings here. Now that opened into a new tab so that's why I was able to click back and get into the settings very quickly. But there you go, that gets the initial blog set up. So we'll just go ahead and run through each of the tabs here so you can see what each of those does and then we'll go in and create an article for this one.

Harley:

So first off, we are on the articles page, we have our Add New Article button and then, once there are articles in this blog, they'll all be listed out below. I can just select one with some articles here so you can see what those look like. So this is how those would be laid out if they were there. From here, you can view those articles, which will just take you through to the website where you can preview them. You can delete the article or you can edit it, which will take you back into the Create interface where you can make any changes you want to that article.

Harley:

Now, going back to our new blog. Next, we have our Categories tab. Under Categories, this is how I can categorize all of my articles. So I would go here and just click on Add New Category and we'll say Real Estate News. I think that's a pretty good category, right?

Harley:

And another way this works is whenever I create a new article, I can select a single category to place that article in, and where it gets that list of categories is from this page. So I would generally want to go in here and add in the categories I'm going to use ahead of time, and you can keep adding these as you go, but I'll generally add those in ahead of time. And then when I create an article, I can select from the categories in this list.

Harley:

Next, we have Tags, this is a very similar method of organizing your blog articles. The difference here is that you can apply multiple tags to a single article, whereas you can only put an article within one category. And you'll kind of see how those show up, we'll go back to a preview page where you can see how those appear, but the whole idea is that customers going to your website, or get the blog page on your website rather, will be able to click on any of those categories to see all of the articles in that category. And likewise, click on any of the tags to see any of the articles that match that tag. It just really has to do with how that information is presented. So you might have a lot of things that are categories like Real Estate News, like the big overarching topics, whereas tags, you might have things like the local area that pertains to that article or specific, single words or phrases that are related to the content in that article.

Harley:

So the next piece we have here is Authors. So here you can add new authors for your blog articles and these will all be selectable when you create your articles. So I'll go ahead and add myself in here so we can create an article, we'll have something to select from. There we go. And you can create as many authors here as you like. Now, the idea would be you can create articles that have different authors set to them, it's almost like you're ghostwriting for that author, or if you have a blog that's managed by multiple people, like if this is a team site blog and you have team leaders going in here and making changes, then you can have an author set up for each one so they can select themself whenever they go in and make an article.

Harley:

The next page we have is Feeds. So here I can add an RSS feed from any third party that I would like. Now, you kind of innately have permission to use these, it's not like... you would never copy and paste a blog article from a third party into your own blog because that would essentially be plagiarism, so that would be a copyright issue, but you can, if they offer an RSS feed, you can attach the RSS feed. The difference is it still shows them as the author, and it typically only shows a portion of the article with a Read More link that will, ultimately, link back to that full article on that third-party website. So it's a useful feature if you have third-party information you'd like to include in your blog regularly, but it's not something that you want to do all the time or in lieu of adding your own content. So it's better than nothing when it comes to populating your blog with some content, but it's nowhere near as good as creating your own articles. So definitely with a blog, you want to focus on building out your own content if you can.

Harley:

Now the other things you can do here... So in order to add a feed, I'll just click on Add A New Feed, and I would give it a title here just as a nice readable reminder so that I know where I got that, and then Inbound is the type I would generally choose here. So this would be for any article or any RSS feed that I want to pull the content from into my own blog. And then lastly, I'll paste their RSS feed URL here, and that's something I would get on their website or from whatever that third party is that I want to use that feed. So this is just a general idea of an example of what those typically look like. But I would just paste that URL in here. And then when I have all three of these fields all set, I'll click Save Feed, and that will add it in here under Feeds.

Harley:

So this Wall Street Journal one is in here already because we added this one when we created the blog. So I'll go ahead and delete it from here. Mainly I wanted to include it just so you could see it here. Once it's added, you can preview this feed, which is kind of nice just to ensure that it's working. You can click on this and it'll take you to a page that shows you the contents of this blog feed. I can edit it, so I can go back in here and change that URL or the name if I'd like, and then lastly, I can delete it. So in this case, we'll delete and Delete Feed. So that one is all gone.

Harley:

Now, next thing we have here is the Domains dropdown. So this determines what domain your blog will work under. By default, it'll be set to whatever your website's primary domain is, but the idea here is that you can set this to different things if you had multiple domains attached to your website and you wanted this blog to show up under one of those domains and not the other, then you can go here and select from these other domains. Typically, this is not something you'll need to change at all. So it'll just be set here to whatever your primary domain is and you'll want to leave that alone to make sure that the blog does show up when users go to your website using that primary domain.

Harley:

Also, most of the time, all alternate domains to your website are all set to redirect to this primary one. So with that in mind, and especially in this case, if I were to set this as the domain because this redirects here, that effectively makes this blog invisible because the site can't be viewed on this domain because every time I try to go to this one, it redirects to this one. So since the site's only visible under this domain, that's the domain we want to make sure that the blog is visible under, otherwise, nobody will ever be able to see the blog.

Harley:

Now, the next thing we have in line here are Templates, so these are the templates that are currently available for these blog pages. You can see this is the one that is currently selected, but it gives you just a little preview of each one. So let's go with the third one. So I'll just select the radio button and hit Update Template. And you can see it confirms that it saved my setting. So there we go. That is what you do to change your blog template if you should choose to.

Harley:

And then the next tab we have here is Subscribers. So this one takes a minute to load, this is actually loading up all of my customer groups and the customer list, and the reason it does that is to show me a way that I can subscribe full groups of customers to my blog from here. So for example, I have my virtual group, all marketing customers, so this is basically everyone in my customer database that is eligible to receive marketing materials.

Harley:

And as I scroll down here, when I get to the bottom, I have an option to Subscribe Groups. So the way this would work is every one of these I check, when I click Subscribe Groups, it'll take all of the customers in any of those groups and subscribe them to my blog. Once subscribed, they'll show up down here under Current Subscribers, where I can go in and unsubscribe them if I choose.

Harley:

So right now I just have this check box up at the top. I would have a checkbox next to each customer there as well. And I could check that, hit Unsubscribe to unsubscribe them. That would then show them under my Unsubscribed section. So the whole idea here is I am keeping track of those customers that are subscribed to my blog and those that aren't and those that have actually actively unsubscribed or I've unsubscribed them. So right now nobody is subscribed, but this doesn't show anybody because nobody has actually unsubscribed either. It's kind of the best way I can think to describe it.

Harley:

Now the last piece we have here is under Summarized Subscription Email History. So once I do have people subscribe to this blog, the system will start sending them an email whenever a new blog article is added. So what this does is it keeps track of how many emails and how many articles this system has sent out to those customers, that way I can easily see how the system is automatically reaching out to people whenever I do add a new article to the blog.

Harley:

Now we'll move on to our Settings tab. There we are. So here I can change the title of my blog. So if I decide that this isn't the title for me anymore, I can go here if I'd like to modify it. Next, I can put a limitation on the homepage articles. So by default, when I add a new article to the blog, it will show the entire article on the blog homepage as well as on the blog article page itself.

Harley:

So to give you an idea there, I'll go ahead and pick my other blog. And we'll need to switch the domain on this one as I just described. There we go. So now if I open this one up... Here we are. Loads up my blog. So what it's doing here is we have a number of test articles, but all it's doing is showing the entire blog article content under each one of these sections. This is a blog article. This is its content.

Harley:

So if I click on it, it takes me to a page that shows just that article at its full content. So if I had a lot of articles in here that had a lot of content in them, more than 500 characters worth of content, I can use this option under Settings, and we'll switch back here to our test blog, I can go over here under Settings and I can use this checkbox to show only up to 500 characters for each article on that homepage. And then I would only see the whole article by clicking on the name or the title of the article up here, or by clicking on a Read More link that shows up after those 500 characters. So it's a nice way to keep your blog homepage a bit more concise so that you can go in here and you can click on items to get passed through and actually see all of the content for that article.

Harley:

Now, the next thing we can do is we can control what appears in the side column for this blog. So you can see right now we're showing everything. So if I preview this blog... There we go. So you can see we have a Search section, a Subscribe section, so this allows customers to search for content by whatever word they'd like, it just does a full-text search of all the articles.

Harley:

Next, this button allows them to subscribe to this particular blog so they can subscribe on their own. This is a button that takes them to the RSS feed URL, so if they do have a blog of their own and they would like to include your article content in it, they can click on this to get the RSS feed URL. It shows the blog archives and you can see they're laid down by year and then by month based on when the article was created.

Harley:

Next, we have our blog categories. And from here we have these... Basically, we would select whatever category we'd like, and then it would take us to a page that shows us only the articles within that category. And it's also kind of handy that it shows us how many articles are in each category.

Harley:

And then lastly, we have our tags display down here. So this is actually like a word cloud kind of thing. So the more articles I have with a particular tag attached to them, the more that tag will stand out in this list. So in this case, there aren't a lot of these tags being used multiple times, but if there were, they would actually show up bigger in this list so they stand out more.

Harley:

So now, if we go back into the DeltaNET and take a look at that right column, you can see that we can remove each of those pieces if we choose. So we have our blog search, we can show or hide. If we didn't want them to be able to search, we could just hide that section altogether, and the same for the rest of the sections available there, we would just select Hide and they would just disappear from this sidebar.

Harley:

Lastly, we have an option here to show the blog article names in the archive instead of the article count for the months in the current year. So save it, just go down here and click Save, and we'll refresh our blog page. And you can see instead, it actually shows the month, or instead of showing just the article count, it shows the month, and then it shows the names of the articles that were actually published that month. So it just makes it a little bit easier to see the specifics of the articles and the article titles instead of just a count to the articles.

Harley:

Now, the next piece we have here is we have the ability to include shared articles. So first we have the ability to show company-shared articles. So if a blog article is added to the company blog, it can be set as a shared article. And if it is, then it can be included in your blog automatically so we can build out your blog content with content created by the company. So if we take a look here, it actually shows us what company blogs we have available here so we can select the ones that we want to include. And you can see that selecting nothing will actually include all shared articles created in any of those blogs, or if I don't want the company created blog articles to show at all, I can just uncheck that box, and then none of the shared company articles will show up in my blog.

Harley:

Now, the next thing I can do is the same deal for team articles. So if you are the member of a team, if a blog article is added to the team accounts blog system, if I have this box checked and that article is created as a shared article, then it will also show up here. So the way to look at this is: this is granting permission for shared articles to show up on my site, but the article still has to be created and given a scope or shared in order to be included here or to show up here.

Harley:

Now, the nice thing about being able to select specific company articles or specific company blogs for those articles is that the company may have multiple blogs and some of those blogs might make sense for ones you'd like to share on your site, while some don't, and this allows you to kind of pick and choose which ones of those will actually be included in if any shared articles are created in those blogs.

Harley:

And then the last thing we can do here is we have a Delete option, this just deletes the blog altogether. So this deletes the actual blog and all of the articles within this blog. So before using this functionality, you want to be very sure that this is the functionality you want to use.

Harley:

Now, once you've put all your settings together and once you have those set up the way you'd like, just click on Save and that saves all your settings.

Harley:

So now we'll go back over to the Articles page and we'll just go ahead and create an article quick on our new blog. So I'll say Add New Article. You can see it has me chosen as the author already because that's the only author that's been created.

Harley:

Next, the only category we have here is Real Estate News, but I could also select Uncategorized if I'd like. I can now select from many of the tags I've created. Now, I haven't created any in this blog, but if I had, I could select multiple tags here to help categorize my article. Then I put in a title. I can give it a link. So this kind of helps me for SEO purposes. And you can see there's a little description down here. So recommended to leave this the same or leave it blank because we will generate the link based on the article title. By changing the link, you could possibly end up breaking links to emails or websites for this article so keep in mind that if you have created an article, going back and editing it and changing this link can actually break links in emails and things that have already been sent out for this article so you want to keep that in mind if you do ever change this once it's set. But it can be a nice thing to be able to set a custom URL for your blog article page. So we'll say /custom_blog_article_url/. There we go. Let's see how it likes that.

Harley:

Now the next thing we have here is we can give it a meta title, so this allows us to set a title that differs from our article title to use as the meta title. And what that is is if this blog article shows up in a search results page, this meta title will be used as the link that people will click on to get to the article, so this is what'll show up in search results, and it's also what'll show up in the top of the browser, up in the browser tab when someone is on this blog article page.

Harley:

The next thing you can do is add a meta description. So the description is just a human-readable description of the article's contents. And again, it's for search engines. So search engines will pick that up and they'll display it along with the title to just give people using that search engine a little more information about what this blog article is about before they click on it. Really, you just want to make something that is human-readable that pertains to whatever this article's content is.

Harley:

Next, you can give it an overview page caption. So if there is a blog template being used that does have an overviews page that'll show a picture of the article and a little description that goes along with it, and really there are only a select few blog templates that are using that now, but if that does exist, this spot is where it gets that caption from. Likewise, this overview page image is where it gets the image used for those. So really these two are only used on, at this point, custom blog templates.

Harley:

Next in our content section here, this is where you actually create your blog article contents. So is a full WYSIWYG editor here, you can embed pictures, you can add links. So it's a full HTML editor. You can handle whatever formatting you'd like. So long story short, this is where you actually write out your blog article content. This is my article content. And we'll go ahead and add a picture in here. This is a good picture, that'll work. There we go. Have that wrap around the picture a little bit. There we go. Now our article has some content.

Harley:

And then the next thing we can do is we can determine whether or not this article will allow Facebook comments. So by checking that box, that allows people that are Facebook users to come in and put comments on this blog article.

Harley:

Next, the Share Article option is how I determine whether or not this is a shared article. So if I am on a team and I say that this is shared and that basically makes this article eligible to appear on all of the blog pages for team members that do have the team sharing turned on. So that's the team sharing that we looked at over here under Settings, it had that option that would allow you to include shared team member articles. This is what determines that an article you're creating is shared, so if you don't check this box, even if they have that turned on, this article won't appear in their blog.

Harley:

Now, lastly, we can set a publish date here. So by default, it'll be set to the current date. And if I just click on Publish, this article will be visible on my blog immediately. If I click Save Draft, it won't be visible yet because it is unpublished, that's in case I put something together that I'm not quite finished with and I want to be able to go back in and finish it later on, I can reopen the draft and then, ultimately, publish it.

Harley:

And then lastly, if I just wanted to publish at a specific time, I can set a specific date and time here. So there we go, we'll just set that day and we'll say we want it to be at noon. There we are. So that sets an actual publish date on it. So now I can click Publish Article, but it won't actually publish until this publish date and time comes around.

Harley:

So that takes you through the blog configuration and set up. So that's how you can set up a new blog, that as how you can get it configured, adding categories, tags, authors, third party feeds if you'd like, and ultimately, how you can go in and start creating articles. Now that I've created a new article, if I did have some subscribers set up, they'd be notified when this article publishes. Also, if I have any of the social connector or the social media settings turned on down here, it can also start sharing these blog articles automatically with my social media pages, or on my social media pages, as I add them to my blog.

Harley:

So as always, thanks a lot for joining me. Do you have any questions, comments, concerns? Feel free to send an email in to support@deltagroup.com or give us a call and we can help you out with whatever you need. Thanks a lot.

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