If you don’t mind ceding all of your traffic and branding to another company, take a look at Active Rain.
I like Active Rain for what it is, but I stand by the above statement for the simple reason that I, as a Realtor, want my brand to be me. My cell phone number is on my business cards, my blog URL is on my cards, my personal website is on my cards, and my brokerage’s name is only where it is required to be by applicable laws. I want my clients to remember my website, phone number, my name. This may sound selfish, but my business is me – my expertise, my relationships, my time.
One of the reasons I tell new Realtors that their primary domain should not be their name is this – what kind of viable exit strategy exists if the domain name is yourname.com?
The traffic that you generate when writing at AR (and the rest) is for Active Rain, while the traffic generated for one’s own blog is for you. The AR/author relationship is mutually beneficial. Think about the various brokerage models out there – some are designed for the Realtors to get a 50-50 split, some up to 100% to the agent. The point is, all agents make a choice. I choose to write at “Agent Genius” because I know the quality of the others who share the title of Author.
AR is a great tool for many of the agents out there – in the same vein that I choose to run my RSS feeds through FeedBurner. The tools provided by WordPress are fine, but the features of FeedBurner work better for what I’m doing (and I am fully aware that by using Google’s tools, I am selling my soul and information to our overlords at Google).
So – the takeaway is this – we are all entrepreneurs, and we all make choices. Thankfully there seem to be enough options to go around.