To blog or not to blog, that is NOT the question! Content or Personality? 9 blogging Tips!!

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.

"Aacckkk!!! I am getting known for everything except luxury home design here on AR!!!"

The above statement was going to be the title for this blog -- but at about 3 am, I decided to change it.  Not only did it not reflect the original topic of this blog, but that I had a revelation about this subject!

What was the revelation?

A successful blog should be about the readers' interests, not the writers'.

You Are What You Blog

Think about it.

We are what we blog...  Sage advice here has been to work your blog around what you want to be known best for.  This has been obvious for a wide range of subjects: SEO, branding, social media, video creation, niche building, motivation, near death turnarounds, jokes, ethnic food, blogging tips, Facebook tips, interesting historical trivia, etc.

And we know almost immediately, from the title of the posts, exactly WHO is blogging on any particular topic.

If that topic relates strongly to real estate, then not only will the blogger stay in your mind, but the author will probably show up higher on searches for their specialty, etc.

So, blogging topics are important.  But we can't write on the same subjects over and over and over.  We try.  In fact, there is empirical evidence to show that blogging topics are so content heavy that the SEs have discounted them big time.  So... now what?

If we have the luck (through SEO and other methods) to be 'found', how would YOU like to be remembered?

Will you be known for your recipes, branding ideas, trivia, local events, specialty interests, etc.?

Readers of blogs are interested in things that help them the most - in their businesses, and even for their personal lives.

If you can create an audience that feeds on your niche and branding, great!  But many of us don't consistently blog about our niches.

And that is not necessarily bad.

Because: Readers will remember YOU and your qualities, empathy, honesty, humor, earnestness, savvy, friend-worthiness, etc. possibly more than your subject!!

And this revelation may even be more important than your content!!

And it is not just the blogger.

Those who respond intelligently and have obviously READ the blog, also have a following, even if THEY don't blog regularly.  Those who reblog have a following.  Why?  They are helpful, they are taking their time and energy to enable YOU to be more efficient.


In looking back on about a year and a half of thoughtful blogging, I wanted to see what clicked and what did not...

Here are my top 10 posts:

The 2 ft. rule may change your life

A Novice's approach to diy SEO: 15 tips to improve your visibility, and observations about the 'industry'

Analysis Paralysis: Blinded by Process and Technology

The Truth about the Mediterranean Diet... I know, I was there!

12 Reasons to Go the Extra Mile

31 years ago a guy drove up in a beat up car and... (true story with a marketing lesson)

5 great Branding ideas you can use!

My Piece de Resistance is coming -- stay tuned, it's not pretty.... BONUS: link to a valuable blog

MOAB -- The Impossible Dream: is AR advice small-business achievable?

Florida Architect John Henry debunks Not So Big? -- "Not So Smart!"


2,228 views on the 2 ft. rule.  About organization.  Not a peep about Vitruvius or the Golden Section... sigh...The tenth most popular post exposes the Not So Big myth -- 954 views.  Closer to what I do.  Other top entries not listed?  About goal setting, business relationships, and how things are done in Italy!

Any takeaways for bloggers out there? SURE!  And some pointers...

1.  Readers prefer to hear about stuff that impacts THEIR lives -- not fluff about what YOU particularly do, like, or think, or received awards for.  Really? Well, it is interesting to know what others think but if not connected with a "moral of the story", you may lose your audience.   hmmm

2.  Readers prefer to be entertained while being informed.  We call that 'edutainment' around these hallowed grounds of Disney.  They want to hear about the HOW and WHY of things.  Sure, the technical how-to's are truly golden bits of knowledge.  Facts are good.  Inspiration is easy to digest and keeps one's fingers crossed.  It offers hope.  We are all looking for better ways of doing things.  Workarounds.  How to get ahead of the curve, etc.  Readers like to be entertained along the way.  How? A tongue in cheek write up, humorous graphics/joking, self deprecation, a personal story woven in, etc.


3.  Write something compelling that will capture the interest of many of your readers.  Write about something that will help them.  A timely topic, some news that impacts or concerns their business, a great way of doing something to save time and improve their profile, etc.

4.  The title should grab their interest.  There are thousands of blogs on AR every day.  Similar to sending out an email that someone will actually open.  You need a hook. I rewrote this title a few times, even rewrote the story line!  People scan their emails by looking at the subject line.  Come up with a pithy hook.  Think about it.

5.  Tell the story in a natural mannerWeave an interesting story.  Writing is an art.  And a blog is about writing.  Think about all the things that make reading any article or book engaging.  Suspense, teasing introduction, build up to a finale, etc.  People and first hand experience in the matter makes you real.  Write from the heart.  And mind.

6.  The digital age requires all sorts of graphical interest to keep the eyeballs on your blog: photos, color, text breakup, etc.  You can evoke a response simply by the font, spacing, size, paragraph breakup, etc.  You can lose some people on how 'dry' the layout looks or astound them with overdone formatting.  Here is one of mine that went way beyond: MOAB -- The Impossible Dream: is AR advice small-business achievable?

7.  Make subtle references to YOUR specialty, but do not use a hammer or shotgun.  When your reader realizes the blog is completely self-serving you will lose them.  If you use the same tricks every time, they will avoid you completely.  Watch out for overwhelming signatures... Ahem...

8.  Remember: people are going to remember YOU and your personality almost as much as the content of your writing!  People engage you for business and other matters based on what they know about your thinking and approach.  Your blogs reveal how you communicate with others, how much you understand your audience, how willing you are able to share your experiences and truly hope the reader will profit in some way.

9.  Edit your content during, and immediately after posting.  Fonts, images, syntax, spelling, etc. can go awry.  Correct constantly.  I walked away from the moment I published this post and two hours later was aghast that the fonts were completely messed up.  I am correcting this now three days after posting because I realized I had to elaborate on a thought here and there.  Never 'close' a blog.


In the last 18 months most of my top blogs were about motivation, SEO, branding, and... food.  Things I would have NEVER written about -- ANYWHERE.  Because I am not necessarily an expert in any of these.  I just notice a few things here and there.  And.  I Ponder... (there are a few of us here who do that regularly...)


So...  I now offer up this important PSA... (this has nothing to do with architecture so you can breathe a sigh of relief).


This is about food!! And the kind of meal you should have at least once a week.  It is based on Mediterranean Diet precepts... oh yes.  It will keep you healthy.  It will maintain your...ahem...regularity.

Of course, ONLY on AR would I even DARE to write about this.  I am breaking the limits of polite discourse, yes.  I am not following any 'rules' about most of the things suggested here about blogging...  But wait, doesn't Kat and Barbara and others suggest exercise as a critical component of our lives in order to reach our maximum potential!?


So, without further ado...


I had been eating a lot of meat lately.  Barbequed beef and lots of chicken.  Mornings: baguettes wrapped around omelets dripping in butter with great sugary danishes and coffee to finish.

So, I says to the wife I says: "Honey, how about a night of just veggies.  You know, a bit of zucchini, some carrots maybe..."  And she told me to shut up because she knew what she was going to do...

Dinner that night consisted of boiled zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and green beans.  She also boiled separately swiss chard.  (should that be capitalized?  I don't want to be non PC)

The meal was inhaled.  Literally inhaled.  It was HOMEMADE, fresh, and tasty.  (This happened two nights ago.)

It was garnished with olive oil, oregano, some parsley, a pinch of salt and pepper.  I lavished on some lemon.  That was it. (ah, I guess you could add some mushrooms, garlic, perhaps roast the zucchini and squash...just sayin'! etc.)

In about 2 hours something magical occurred.  And I was smiling for another day or so.

And I realized: this is EXACTLY what mom would make two or three times a week.  Of course, there would be thin cut fried lamb chops, roast beef, etc. Plus a salad. Always a salad. (she tried fish sticks back then and I couldn't take it)

And I was healthy for years and years and years.  (see the Truth about the Mediterranean Diet if you missed it).

We eat too many processed foods and sugar.  (we never had cookies, carbonated sugar drinks, etc. at home.  Always ate fruit).  OK, some ice cream now and then!

Well, I am not a dietician.  For cryin' out loud, I'm an ARCHITECT.

But I didn't get this far without blissfully enjoying my Mom's fabulous healthy Mediterranean style cooking.  THANKS MOM!!

So, I hope you take this message to heart.  It is FOR your heart...and everything else to keep your body healthy!

Posted by

JOHN HENRY ARCHITECT  Orlando Florida Custom Home Designs

Beautiful European and American classical period luxury homes and plans created by premier residential Architect John Henry has been a passion now for over 30 years.  Inspired by old world archaeology and medieval to Renaissance architecture -- and having lived in Europe and the Middle East-- John Henry is widely known for the romantic and period details that make his work breathe a certain soul and drama. Striving for world-class results, his award-winning work reflects the details and proportions of luxury real estate plans in historical European and American traditional styles. Attention to detail and continuity mean that the architectural interiors should also be integrated properly.

Portfolio of Luxury Homes:

Office on 7491 Conroy Road Orlando, Florida  32835

Tel: 407.421.6647


YouTube Videos:

Free Home Planning Questionnaire, inquire here.



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Todaro 02/18/2019 09:40 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
regular blogging and regularity
successful blogging tips

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Vickie Teel
Allison James Estates & Homes - Punta Gorda, FL
Sharing Florida sunshine one homeowner at a time!

This was my first time seeing your posts and I'm a follower now.  Loved it and thanks for the links to your top 10 posts.  Now I can go back and read a few. LOVED the veggie recipe.  Water first, veggies most - yum!

Feb 18, 2019 06:41 PM #8
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi John and very feature-worthy post!!!  When I started blogging I could not fathom writing all of the time about staging. I would get bored...heck my readers would have gotten bored. Write using your own words; write about what interests you; write just as you do. Always is YOUR post to do with as you will. I happen to love what you write and I have a feeling that many others here do as well!!!


Feb 18, 2019 07:25 PM #9
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

John, Loved reading this post. Thanks for the tips and about the Mediterranean diet. Fresh is always the way to go.

Feb 18, 2019 08:11 PM #10
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I guess we need to use our personalities to color the content and interesting and new ways. That might be the thing in so many words.

Feb 18, 2019 11:42 PM #11
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I didn’t know that the Mediterranean diet would be so popular, but it’s really hard to take it off and I was kind of a life of its own. Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®

Feb 18, 2019 11:43 PM #12
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Creating an audience for my niche is kind of what it is my bread-and-butter with what I do for sure Kathy Streib

Feb 18, 2019 11:47 PM #13
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning John.

Thanks to Barbara Todaro I started following you several months ago. I'm so glad I did, you provide us with interesting things like Michael Jacobs would say to "ponder".

Feb 19, 2019 12:51 AM #14
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

As usual when I read your posts, I love this one. I do have to tell you that when I see your name, I really do say, Ahh, John Henry, THE architect! So it doesn't matter that your most read posts are about the things people love to read about (which might not be architecture), somehow you still are getting your architect expertise across. And I did read, enjoyed and commented on your Golden Section post!

I agree with your blogging tips and your food suggestions. I make vegetarian dishes about 3 times a week (and there are all sorts of delicious things to make without meat) and I do admit I feel great and everything works fine!

Thanks for your post!


Feb 19, 2019 03:11 AM #15
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

there is so much content in this post that I had to bookmark it so I can come back to it later - i do remember the 2 foot rule and keep trying to follow it! 

Feb 19, 2019 05:30 AM #16
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

In a way, I knoiw I should not mention his name right now, but Gary Vaynerchuck said three social media posts about non promotional stuff allows you to post one about your business. So, all these poosts allow people as you say to get you, to understand you and I love reading your posts. Never anything wrong with veggies and a good ratatouille is delicious.

Feb 19, 2019 07:43 AM #17
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

You have a great flair for titles! That's something I always struggled with. And I'd probably eat more of the Mediterreanean diet if fresh fruits and veggies weren't so expensive. :( 

Feb 19, 2019 08:11 AM #18
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Quality found here...

Feb 19, 2019 08:16 AM #19
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

I'm a bit binary.  If I'm writing to the consumer, I'll sprinkle in some humor as it makes sense in an otherwise Sgt. Friday approach.

If I'm writing to Rainers, I'll loosen up a bit....but I'm still and engineer so I've got my limits :)

I know what works for me and I'm comfortable in my blogging skin.  It's changed a bit (maybe a lot) since I started, but to this day it's still a learning process.  Refining what works and what doesn't, and to the keyboard again we go later today.

Feb 19, 2019 11:27 AM #20
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

This is great advice and definitely great tips, but what the heck are you doing awake at 3 a.m.?

Feb 19, 2019 11:35 AM #21
Joyce Marsh
Regal | Christie's International Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Regional Manager Regal Christie's Int'l Realty

I am a big fan of your blog, a follower, and have reblogged many of your posts. With that being said, I believe that you have made quite an impression on many people and when they think about hiring a very talented Architect, you will immediately come to mind.  Business doesn't always come immediately.  It takes time for that seed to germinate and grow into a beautiful tree. 

Feb 19, 2019 03:11 PM #22
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi John:

Great job on this post - I think you nailed these suggestions admirably! And all in an entertaining way, too!


Feb 19, 2019 05:47 PM #23
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

John, you do a great job on your blog and this post is no exception. Your writing style is genuine and that shines through. I think that's a big part of connecting with people, they don't just want to see your work, they want to see you - the person behind it. Congratulations on your feature!

Feb 20, 2019 04:15 AM #24
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Congrats on your feature. You're preaching to the choir here ....

Feb 20, 2019 04:20 PM #25
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

This was so good, and really two blog posts in one!  Yes it's true, if you blog it they will come... and who are they?  They might not be who you were expecting. Keep on writing like this and you'll soon have another career.

Feb 20, 2019 07:47 PM #26
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty - Arlington, VA
32 years of providing fully satisfying service!

What a great post & example of how to get it done right! Thanks.

Mar 22, 2019 08:20 AM #27
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Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design
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