[Head's up: The email for Day 24 had a link to this post instead of to the correct post. Go here for Day 24]
A widget is simply a bit of code that you can add to your site to add extra functionality. They can be a great way to add some life to your blog and the widgets available to real estate professionals are seemingly unlimited. Today, I'm going to give you a two example of widgets that you can easily embed in your blog.
Example 1: YouTube
Let's say you found a video on YouTube of your community that you wanted to feature on your blog. Just about every YouTube video includes an "embed code" that automatically creates a widget you can put on your website. Here are the steps for adding a YouTube widget to your blog:
- Find a video you want to use. For this example, I've chosen this video about Calabasas.
- On the YouTube page, there is a box directly to the right of the video that should include a section of called "embed". You need to copy that code.
- Begin writing a new blog post. (see yesterday's example)
- Click on the tab that says "HTML." (When writing a post that includes a widget, you'll need to switch to "HTML" mode, but you don't really even need to know what this means at this point... The standard option "WYSIWYG" stands for "What You See Is What You Get" and it much closer to using Microsoft Word, while the HTML option lets you use more advanced features. )
- Paste the code (copied in step 2) into your blog entry
- Under the "Visibility" section, select "Draft"
- At the bottom of the screen, click "post blog entry".
Because you selected Draft mode before saving, the post will ONLY be visible to you... and when using a widget for the first time, I always recommend saving it as a draft first so that you can see if the widget works as expected before you post it live!
Here's the result of those seven steps:
For today, I highly recommend you search YouTube for your community name and look for a video that you can post to your ActiveRain blog! You might be surprised at just how many community videos are up on the site!
Example 2: Altos Research
Another great widget to embed is the Altos Research widget. Here's an example of using one of their widgets to start a discussion on your blog about local market conditions. (Note: Purely in terms of price, the Calabasas market seems to be doing just fine lately!)
In terms of inserting the widget, the steps are just the same as the YouTube example, except in Step 2, use the code you get on this page instead of the YouTube embed code.
To get an idea of how others are using Altos Research widget, check out the 3 Oceans blog by Keven Boer where he throws rotating market stats into his sidepanel, as well as uses the widgets as a basis for relevant blog posts.
It's also worth noting that as part of the sponsorship, Altos research is giving a special offer for 4RealzEd attendees. If you attended 4RealzEd, then they will give you your first Altos Research report (MUCH more than a widget!) to take to your next listing presentation free. It's hard to beat free, especially when the product could make the difference between you NOT ONLY getting the listing, BUT educating the home owner so they list their home at a realistic price. Just email Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org), mention that you attended 4RealzEd and he'll set you up!