Remember The Audience Before Going Off The Rails

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

Cass Scenic Railroad in Cass WVThis afternoon I started reading an online article about the Women's World Cup (soccer aka football).  As a guy who used to bounce around between the goalposts, I still take an interest in the sport.


The article was rather long, and I'm okay with long if the topic is appealing and  the author keeps it interesting.  I read to learn and to think a bit.  The author does the job well and the words flow. 


But the author broke the "rules".  Out of nowhere he goes into a political tirade.  A tirade that was totally without relevance to the topic, but off the rails he went.


And with that, I lost interest in the article.  There MIGHT have been some great content later in the article, but the author forgot his audience and made it solely about him.  It's not that I don't have any thoughts about politics, but there's a time and a place and I don't do ambushes.





I doubt any English or journalist professor ever laid out the following outline to use as a template:

Introductory paragraph

Explore topic for 2 paragraphs

Assault unrelated topic the reader didn't expect

Return to main topic



As a blogger or website content creator, it's critical to stay on target and to NEVER forget the target audience.

My approach is dependent upon my audience.  If I'm writing to other Rainers, my topic selection and style may be totally different than a consumer directed post that is likely to be much more factual and much less opinion piece.

I'm not in the business of making people click away before they get to the end.

And with that, I'll keep this one short :)

Bill of Bill & Liz aka BLiz

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The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
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Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Bill. In the age of instant gratification and short attention spans, more important than ever. Enjoy your day.

Jun 22, 2019 04:38 AM #3
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

It's much like the Awards ceremonies from Hollywood, the stars often forget they are in the entertainment industry. Movies and the magic of Hollywood is for escapism - the last thing I want is to have an acceptance speech turn into a political rant.  And yet...

Jun 22, 2019 07:30 AM #4
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Bill,
In addition to that, I dislike puff filled articles to make the reader search for what the Headline promised.

Jun 22, 2019 09:18 AM #5
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Bliz had to laugh at your topic outline suggestions! I've seen quite a number of articles or speeches go off the rails this past couple of years.  Hoping they all get back on the rails sooner rather than later...

Jun 22, 2019 10:42 AM #6
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Liz and Bill - like others I enjoyed the journalism class outline but the message is an appropriate one here and in many parts of life as Chris Ann Cleland commented "an otherwise good message may simply be out of place".  Yes, the audience is important.  

Jun 22, 2019 10:53 AM #7
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good afternoon Liz and Bill Spear ,

Loved the outline that you provided that so doesn't work when you forget your audience and your message. There is a time and place for everything..keep it in perspective and stay the course and your readers will definitely appreciate your words of wisdom.

Jun 22, 2019 12:20 PM #8
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Well done Bill- I echo what Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD said. I used to enjoy the awards shows but they lost sight of their audience. When that happens, I switch to something else.  

Jun 22, 2019 07:14 PM #9
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Sometiimes the human ego takes front and center while the human brain forgets the purpose of what he or she is doing.  Good reminder and what happens when the ego takes over.

Jun 23, 2019 05:35 AM #10
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Great post my friend. Back to a more classic literature? Much needed indeed. Maybe we should include on social media a rating system for each post....

Jun 23, 2019 06:17 AM #11
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

Liz and Bill Spear this seems to be a common issues these days. Both my kids played soccer and I found it as a sport that brings people together internationally. Soccer truly seemed like the international language of sports. The kids had the opportunity to learn about the game and play with kids and coaches from all over the world. Politics are dividing people these days. I agree with you, they need to remember their reader and stay on subject. Let people have common ground and get along without inserting dividing issues that don't belong.

Jun 23, 2019 06:24 AM #12
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

There's rarely a good reason to go off the rails at all. The only acceptable reason I've found for leaving the rail bed is .... when you've gone into a room.... and ... uh....

wait, what were we talking about??

Jun 23, 2019 06:35 AM #13
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

My Jewish humor has failed many times but I didnt fail to use it....

Jun 23, 2019 06:38 AM #14
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great points about tartget adudience, whether you are speaking from the stage on blogging!

If we are writing to other Rainers, our topic selection and style may be totally different than a consumer directed post that is likely to be much more factual and much less opinion piece.

Jun 23, 2019 12:07 PM #15
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

It's very important to stay on topic Liz and Bill Spear .  In this day of reading bullet points, you'd best keep it interesting and on topic lest someone click away.

Jun 23, 2019 03:19 PM #16
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Bill:

This was certainly a telling example to illustrate an excellent point for all to keep in mind in our posting, as well as all online interactions.


Jun 24, 2019 06:25 PM #17
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I loved your outline - but do wish people wouldn't use it!

I just read an article today about how this summer's movies are not doing well at the box office. The writer felt it was because instead of entertainment they are political "preaching." People pay for entertainment in order to be entertained.

Just like people click on an article about soccer in order to read about soccer.

Jun 24, 2019 08:55 PM #18
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Bill loved your post and did not read the comments, not wanted to get distracted... yes the last 12 years had sadly turned everything into a political crusade... but everyone focuses on the last two years... must be attention deficit... and love the fact that they slipped the political diatribe into the middle of the post... clearly if it was in the beginning you would not have read the post:))Endre

Jun 24, 2019 10:51 PM #19
Custom Sign Center
Custom Sign Center - Columbus, OH
RE Panels, Riders, Magnets, Banners & Frames

Great piece! I see that almost everywhere these days. Keeping politics out of business is the best way forward. There is no reason anyone with whom I do business needs to be privy to my thoughts on the political landscape. Either way you go you've lost half your audience, why alieanate people when you can bring them in with your words and artful painting of the pictures you describe.

thanks for sharing!

Jun 25, 2019 05:27 AM #20
Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney

Your article here is a valuable reminder that content creators should stay on target, avoid political ramblings, and remember the target audiece.


Jun 25, 2019 10:28 AM #21
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Great point!  I totally agree ... whether it is a blog, a commercial or a tv program, I tend to get turned off when politics get intertwined ... changes my whole perspective.  Thank you for sharing this very informative post.

Jun 25, 2019 04:51 PM #22
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