The problem with your own blog is it generally does not have the authority with google that active rain does. Remember, Active Rain has almost 300,000 real estate professionals putting out content daily, and google and the other search engines love fresh content. I find my active rain blogs rank unbelievably well. Also, you are marketing to 300,000 other folks on active rain, which is also not bad. For the $199 a year I find it works well. There are some other options like Patch.com and I am sure others, but activerain still works.