So You Want To Be A Feature Machine…

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs TX Broker 0513551

Gold Stars

I've been reading all the recent posts on who gets featured and why. The recent series started with Bob Stewart's post titled, "Why Was THAT Post Featured?" and quickly followed up with posts by Richard Weisser, Nestor & Katerina Gasset, and Lenn Harley.

To some extent it is a numbers game. Those bloggers who have been here longer have a much larger subscriber base. I'll argue that there's much more to it than that. It's also about the quality of the writing or the personality that comes through.

Take a look at Lenn Harley, Greg Nino or Barbara Todaro if you want to see some feisty personalities come through. If you're looking for well-written and logical, take a look at Leslie Ebersole. Want inspirational? Take a look at Loreena Yeo.

Although an AR Member since December 25, 2007, I started serious blogging on AR in April 2010. In those 9 months, I've written 305 blogs, have 72 AR subscribers, and have been featured 33 times.

I average one blog per day and I write two kinds of posts. One kind is looking for business at the local level and the other kind is giving back to the AR community or something with a broader scope.  

I browsed through my featured blogs as part of writing this post and 32 of the 33 featured blogs dealt with larger issues. My first featured blog (May 2010) was titled, "Are You Combative or Cooperative? " and talked about agent styles.  The last featured blog (Jan 2011) titled, "New Single Level Townhomes at Craig Ranch in McKinney, TX" was the only one that was local in nature. While Bob Stewart liked the post, I would have traded it for one of the two others I wrote that day.

If you want to be a Feature Machine, you need to step back and look at what you're posting. Lenn's blog touched on it but the bottom line is finding your voice and finding topics or issues that will appeal to larger audiences. I call it "developing your Blog Brand."  "How?" you ask. Read the comments left in your blog and interact with those who comment. Seek feedback from other successful bloggers, most of them will be more than happy to help you.

Once you find your voice, be consistent. Blog often, have fun, and use the voice you discovered in the first step. People will subscribe to your blog and come back expecting to find that same voice (your Blog Brand). So once you find it, you have to deliver on it to keep your readers coming back.

Photo licensed from iStockPhoto 

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Tom Branch and Gina Branch, The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs, service the greater North Dallas suburbs including Dallas, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Lewisville, and Carrollton.  While Gina concentrates on traditional listings and buyer/tenant representation, Tom specializes in assisting distressed homeowners to avoid foreclosure.  Tom and Gina have published two books (Achieving Rock Star Status and The Field Guide to Short Sales) and are available for speaking engagements in the greater Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex. Subscribe to The Branch Team Blog.

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Judith Parker
ProStead Realty - Charlotte, NC
CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC

Hi Tom, thank you so much for sharing this.  I am pretty new at this and am feeling much more comfortable with blogging but still testing the waters with my brand as well as personality.  No features yet but one day I hope to be among the many great bloggers that I find here.  Thank you!

Jan 07, 2011 07:07 AM #14
Tom Branch
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Plano, TX
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador

Angelina #13,

Cute post. I suggested it and subscribed to your blog. Keep cranking them out. They're light and fun-loving!


Jan 07, 2011 07:17 AM #15
Tom Branch
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Plano, TX
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador

Judith #14,

You have good local content. Try looking for a bigger issue topic--something you're passionate about--and write about it. Your passion will come through and bring new life to the post.

Note you have to let a passionate topic simmer in draft mode for a few hours so you have time to re-read it. I wrote one when I was angry and failed to follow my own rule. I deleted it because I attacked the person rather than the topic.


Jan 07, 2011 07:24 AM #16
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Tom:  Good topic for contemplation and discussion.  I understand the "law of averages" thing.  I also understand the "finding your voice and brand identity" thing as well.  For the majority of the most Featured AR bloggers and their posts, I get it.  Other times, it still remains a mystery.  Personally, I'm trying to still establish myself and gain myself loyal "fans" ... whether they be here as members on AR ... or the public.  That remains my main focus.  The Featured articles are just the gravy ...


Jan 07, 2011 07:35 AM #17
Bryan Robertson
Intero Real Estate - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

Great post Tom and I really appreciate you putting up the stats on what you've done in the last few months.  I've been seriously blogging about half the time you have and have about half the stats (39 subscribers, etc).  That tells me that I'm doing the right things.

One thing I did was to look at the best bloggers and copy aspects of what they did.  Or at least just take their advice.  One big change I made was adding pictures and better formatting similar to what Alan May does.  As a result, I'm getting more comments and more features.

Jan 07, 2011 07:40 AM #18
Tricia Hoffmann
Your Home Free - Highland Village, TX

I think it's funny Tom that the posts I write that don't get a lot of comments are ones I think would and vice versa.  You never know what is going to be on Rainers hit list for the day.  Thanks for the advice!

Jan 07, 2011 09:20 AM #19
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co. - Frisco, TX
Real Estate Agents

If I had to analyze, I'd go crazy. Those I thought is worthy of a feature doesnt get and those that become, sometimes I wonder why myself.

I'll say it again every time this topic is posted, serial featured bloggers do get featured often because their thought-process is usually different. Bottom line, they do write better blogs. Yours included.

Jan 07, 2011 04:32 PM #20
Tom Branch
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Plano, TX
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador


No real analysis, just my opinions based on watching what gets featured. Like you, I'm usually surprised to see what actually gets featured.

For the most part, I'm in this for the SEO value although I do like to write a few blogs that are bigger than me simply looking for SEO or business.


Jan 07, 2011 05:19 PM #21
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Well thank you, Tom. I wish my Dad was alive to see your nice comment. He was pretty sure I would never be able to write a clear sentence.

You are the clear and straight forward writer. I learn more on your site than in a year of sales meetings. (And I also appreciate the emergency tech support).

My posts have been pretty dry lately. I am populating the new site a page at a time, and it requires writing about the exciting stuff like "title insurance". Tomorrow will probably be something equally snappy, maybe preparing your house for a showing. Yawn. Oh well, a page a day is better than no pages at all.

Jan 07, 2011 05:21 PM #22
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert


As always, great advice. Once the new AR blogger realizes that there isn't a high school English teacher with a red pen grading them, they can relax. Then they can "find their voice" as you keenly noted.


Jan 07, 2011 05:37 PM #23
Tom Branch
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Plano, TX
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador


Good morning and thanks for dropping by. You are one of the most analytical bloggers I've read. I'm that way by nature but I think you have me beat!

I've been working on the website a little at a time. I have a tons of work to do on it, but need to actually sell some real estate to pay the bills!



Jan 07, 2011 05:44 PM #24
Nick Good
The Good Home Team with Keller Williams Realty - Allen, TX

Tom - Another great posts! Even though I would blog here and there I lost touch with really focusing on AR blogging in 2010 even though I got some great business in 2009 from my AR blog.  Towards the end of 2010 and now in the beginning of 2011 I am refocusing on AR in order to help our team grow and to eventually get more business because of it. 


I just read a great article in today's Sunday Dallas Morning News about how to be more successful in social media and that has really got my AR juices flowing again.  Personally I could care less about having a featured posts, I am more interested in networking more on the local level with more short sale agents such as yourself and then also network on a national level to help possibly grow a referral network.


Look forward to reading more of your posts!



Jan 09, 2011 05:30 AM #25
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Good feedback on how to get featured. Consistency is certainly key, writting good contect of course, and timing. Your chances of getting featured (even if its a masterpiece) is better at certain times of the day. For me, I write late in the evening usually. During those times I see less comments and less features. When I write first thing in the morning, I see a lot more action. :-)

Jan 09, 2011 11:02 AM #26
Tori Toth
Tori Toth, International - Howard Beach, NY
888.667.6643 NYC & Beyond, HSR, SAR, RESA, LIBOR

great advice tom thanks for sharing this info., I'm going to check out all those links.

Jan 10, 2011 05:06 AM #27
Tara Cummins
Stratagy4SuccessNow - Mesa, AZ
Marketing Concierge, Strategy4SuccessNow

Love it!  I still feel pretty new around here, and in some ways I feel like I'm just starting to find my voice.  But I'm having a lot of fun in the process!

Jan 10, 2011 11:26 AM #28
Joshua Zargari
MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating - Lynbrook, NY
MJ Decorators Workshop

Keep writing you'll get there.

Jan 11, 2011 11:20 AM #29
Olga Diaz
Potter, Mng Broker, CRS, ASP, ePRO, ABR

A great piece of advice.  Thank you for your post and happy blogging to all.

Jan 12, 2011 05:28 AM #30
Jen deManincor
Long and Foster - Columbia, MD

 Being more consistent is something that I need to work on as far as blogging goes! Thanks for the advice!

Jan 13, 2011 04:23 AM #31
Kathy Caylor
Realty Executives Associates - Maryville, TN
Maryville, TN Real Estate

Good post Tom. As someone just on the path to better blogging, I appreciate the advice!

Jan 13, 2011 04:29 AM #32
Arleen Montford
Selling NW Florida Homes in Pace/Milton/Pensacola FL

Good Morning Tom, Thanks for sharing this great post with us. I will bookmark it and study it until I a featured.l Thanks

Jan 15, 2011 05:40 PM #33
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