Do You Write About What Consumers Want, or What You Want?

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

Do You Write About What Consumers Want, or What You Want?

 

How do you decide what to write?

 

Do you write about what consumers want?

 

Or do you write about what you want?

 

ActiveRain points are a big draw, and I suspect some people write articles purely to get the points. At least that’s the impression you get from some of the very short posts or the copy-and-paste formats you see regularly. You know, the same content, word for word, for a dozen communities with only the name changed.

 

Cardiff by the Sea CaliforniaI think most here write about things that interest them, and they believe will interest other real estate professionals (AR members) or consumers. Some may focus on one more than the other.

 

Writing takes a lot of time, so I only write about things that interest me. The focus, more times than not, is on posts that I believe will interest consumers.

 

After all, a primary reason to blog is to attract business and to do that you have to give them what they want.

 

I took another look today at my AR statistics (the clicks not the views) to see if there were posts that were more popular, in general.

 

While I think I have a good idea of what posts are of greater interest, it’s always enlightening to see which ones, and how much traffic they have garnered.  

 

And as I am planning for 2013 it made sense to see what changes I might need to make in my blogging strategy.

 

Carlsbad Village in Carlsbad CaliforniaHere’s what I learned

 

  • Community posts are the most popular, with articles a couple years old or older having 10,000+ clicks; my article about Cardiff now has over 28,000!

 

  • The neighborhood posts (e.g., complexes, subdivisions) within the larger communities do well also, but generally in the 2000 – 6000 click range. Interestingly, but perhaps not surprising, many do not have many comments.

 

  • Articles about buying, selling, relocation and similar topics generally get between 1000 – 4000 clicks, at least after a year or two

 

  • Miscellaneous topics, often those about my personal life, generally get 500 – 2000 clicks. Readers clearly like to read about who we are and what our lives are like outside of real estate

 

  • Market reports generally get 1000 – 2000 clicks after a couple years or so (with fewer hits for more recent reports)

 

I don’t know how these compare to other Rainers, and maybe these numbers are not all that impressive. My most popular post, based on clicks AND comments, was one written in January 2007 about buying a short sale; over 87,000 clicks on that one, and 430+ comments, many from consumers. Clearly this was, and remains, a popular topic, and no wonder.

 

Happy New Year from Carlsbad CA2013 Blogging Strategy

 

My plan is to continue with those posts that generate the most traffic, including some much needed rewrites, and adding to the stockpile of posts about local neighborhoods – great for relocation clients and listing presentations.

 

As the market is shifting my plan also includes more posts to reflect those changes and educating both buyers and sellers about what IS going on in the local market so I can help them make informed decisions.

 

Monthly market reports will continue to be an important part of the strategy to better understand local market conditions.

 

What is YOUR 2013 Strategy?

 

For 2013 are you going to pay more attention to articles that get the most attention from consumers, and which are resulting in calls or emails, or the ones that get you the most points (i.e., features and those with lots of comments). Will you write more about what consumers want and need?

 

In case you haven’t, why not take a look at YOUR statistics to – click on the TRAFFIC link on the LEFT hand side of your profile page under your photo. You may learn some interesting things to help you with your blogging strategy for 2013.

 

What types of posts are YOUR big click earners?

 

Which article yielded the most clicks.

 

Why not share it – it might be interesting for all of us.

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Rainmaker
669,398
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

Oh...I suggested this too. Great post!

Dec 29, 2012 11:14 AM #6
Ambassador
3,985,732
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Jeanne - well the data don't lie I suspect. Glad it is getting you inspired

Jack - I have missed you!! I look forward to hearing more from you in 2013. BTW we have had several wines recently from Lodi and I ALWAYS think of you! You HAVE made a very positive impression, in a number of ways.

Jeff

Dec 29, 2012 11:48 AM #7
Rainmaker
545,663
Lori Cain
eXp Realty - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer
Happy New Year Jeff! I am going to do much of the same in 2013, but add video and force myself to do more community posts and market reports. In fact, I'm headed to your YouTube channel to view your community videos!
Dec 29, 2012 11:49 AM #8
Ambassador
2,691,725
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Jeff, It's a topic I have to actively monitor myself.  Way too easy to venture into a long string of what I wants rather than what the consumer wants.  Bill

Dec 29, 2012 11:55 AM #9
Rainmaker
312,672
Christina Sanchez Hood
Palo Alto, CA
#SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living

Jeff, thanks for the very informative post about your year and what your strategy is for 2013.  I have learned a lot :)

Dec 29, 2012 12:06 PM #10
Ambassador
1,703,510
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Jeff, I write primarily for the consumer. But sometimes, I have an interesting anecdote to share with the members. Those are usually the posts that get featured and the most comments. A few posts every month are just about my life. For example, yesterday I went to see Les Miserables and wrote about that. So you'll find quite a variety. I hope that consumers find everything I write of interest and call me to assist them in buying or selling a home.

Dec 29, 2012 01:04 PM #11
Rainmaker
442,388
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

Hi Jeff. I try to write for the consumer by providing information that will be useful to them. But I also like to put up some things that are just for fun - like pictures or funny things that happen to me. I think our blogs need to be well-rounded, with a little bit about us, a lot about our communities, and a lot of information about real estate procedures.

Dec 29, 2012 01:12 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,286,971
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Jeff, assuming why or how others blog is a special talent to have...... I suspect you know why you blog, but for me to assume why you blog is not my business. I guess we bloggers have our own reasons why we blog, I just get curious when others say they know why others blog.

Dec 29, 2012 01:56 PM #13
Ambassador
2,008,627
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Jeff - One of the things that's gone the most hits for me are first time buyer programs for specific cities. Unfortunately, they don't have many of those in the current budget crisis. It's definitely important to write for the consumer though I often don't.
Dec 29, 2012 02:31 PM #14
Rainmaker
2,672,457
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Those are some very impressive stats, Jeff.  My top posts are now on my wordpress site (and I'll do another version on here and link to it).  My top one for last yr (on that site) is over 15,000 clicks and then I think the next one is 11,000 and those posts are about 1 yr old.  No benefit of feature or comments from AR on those.  I find that my best posts are questions - the questions customers have and then search for on the internet.

I have a few drafts of some other key ones that I plan to do soon.

Dec 29, 2012 08:24 PM #15
Rainer
126,298
Brian Rayl
Home Value Leads - Highland Park, TX
Active Agent and Co-founder Of Home Value Leads

Great post Jeff. Everyone needs the occasional reminder that hyperlocal is a good thing and that living in a city is not all about the home you live in, but about the community as well. Nice stats by the way!

Dec 29, 2012 11:18 PM #16
Ambassador
1,485,851
Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Happy New Year Jeff!  May your New Year be full of peace, joy, great health and prosperity my friend!

Dec 29, 2012 11:36 PM #17
Rainmaker
2,454,564
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The business plan has to have not only legs...but a purpose too. Posts are living reminders to everyone on the net

Dec 29, 2012 11:55 PM #18
Ambassador
3,985,732
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Mark - that makes sense for lots of things, doesn't it, including blogging

Doug - the comments really don't matter when it a consumer reading unless it raises a issue or adds to the conversation, as long as they are reading. I'd rather have the email or phone call

Martha - I agree with you on the business posts - same experience here! I lok forward to learning more about you persoanlly, although I think you do a pretty good job of giving us a feel for the kind of person you are.  Happy New Year! And thanks for the suggest. Guess it worked. LOL

Jeff

Dec 30, 2012 03:05 AM #19
Ambassador
3,985,732
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Lori - HNY!! I need to get back into videos as well, and plan to rerecord some of mycommunity videos, as well as add new areas.

Bill - that's easy to do, I think. I need to remind myself from time to time.

Christina - great! I hope you will find it useful in 2013.

Tammie - I have no doubt they will. I like the variet that you share and no doubt your readers do as well.

Jeff

Dec 30, 2012 04:32 AM #20
Ambassador
1,541,335
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional
Hi Jeff, My Strategy for 2013 is to take more local photos of subdivisions.And market these subdivisions more. As a side note, I discovered last night that a National Hotel Chain was using one of my photos in their blog ad. They didn't even remove the ©, but credited the photo courtesy of ActiveRain. I guess I should be flattered but that wasn't my first reaction, LOL.
Dec 30, 2012 04:35 AM #21
Rainer
232,598
Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan - Morristown, NJ
Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ

Thanks for such an extremely thought provoking and well written post. Your points are very well articulated.

Dec 30, 2012 05:45 AM #22
Rainmaker
3,204,113
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jeff now this is truly a valuable and informative post. I just wish there was a way to track in these numbers how many were viewed by Active Rain Members and then we could see the difference of the numbers  viewed by non members! If we do not connect have a Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2012 09:40 AM #23
Rainmaker
663,492
Kathy Stoltman
Rockwood Realty - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

Jeff, I am following your lead.

Dec 30, 2012 09:43 AM #24
Rainer
158,984
Suzi Sandore
RealtyONEGroup - San Diego, CA
North County San Diego Homes

Jeff, thanks for the great insight. It seems my localism posts get the most traffic, but I haven't done much with community or sub-division posts, so that has to go on my blogging plan for 2013. 

Dec 30, 2012 12:28 PM #25
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