Ask An Ambassador: Blogging Bang For The Buck

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

Sunday afternoon I received a call from a potential buyer asking about new construction patio homes in a certain local community.  I knew he had to be looking at an older post because new construction wrapped up in The Cove about 3 years ago.

Sure enough, he was looking at an ActiveRain post from October 2011.  While that post only has about 10 comments, it has 16,000+ views.  The adjacent posts that are local events, a few thousand views.  Another subdivision post?  Over 8,000 views.  A couple of featured posts?  Less than 2,000 views.

And that makes sense.  For the most part anything I write for fellow Rainers is somewhat limited in life span.  If it doesn't get read and commented on within a week of creation, it's probably going to get no further activity.  And FWIW, features don't do jack to increase my business.  For the most part, anything that has broad appeal to the ActiveRain audience is nothing consumers are going to care about (this post as a case in point).

Local events are a bit time sensitive too, but you get the local consumer audience that can search and find those posts, so you'll get some extra views and maybe get some top of mind marketing.

But the subdivision posts with the high view counts?  Those have staying power IF I write them to last, to be evergreen.  Provide the information consumers want to know, tie it to and IDX search and I've got something that can continue to work for me for a long time.

Not every post I write to be evergreen succeeds as well as some similar posts.  I can't explain why the post about Landen Lake's Sailboat Pointe generates regular inquires and the one about Ashmont never results in a call, but that's the way it works for me. 

I write enough community posts and some will appear on Page 1, and others won't.  Maybe more competition for some keywords, maybe the Big Gorilla portals won, maybe someone is paying for ads for the same place.

But here's the bottom line.  Blogging is pretty cost effective, and far cheaper than those continual offers we all get to "make us #1 on Google".  It's probably been about a decade since I last paid ActiveRain a dime.  We don't have to pay Z or any other company to generate business for us.

Our Wordpress site and IDX service runs a bit over $100 a month total. It has paid for itself many, many times over.

Our blog posts get found either directly, or help drive traffic to our Wordpress site.  Either way, it's plenty of bang for the buck, and nothing proprietary at work here.  No mysteries, just identify a need and develop the content that will keep working year after year.

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


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

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Comments (22)

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Bill- I hope that those who are trying to determine where and how to spend their marketing dollars will read this.  If you're willing to learn how to write a blog for consumers and be consistent, you will get a lot more bang for your buck than paying someone who knows nothing about what you do. 

Apr 13, 2021 05:37 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

There's an opportunity to beat the Big Ones in the real estate search battle if we know our market and recognize the opportunities to provide the consumers what they want and aren't being provided by the competition.

And the cost is very low in the big scheme of real estate expenses.

Apr 13, 2021 07:38 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Writing community centered posts is gold for consumers.  It's no wonder they are working for you.

Apr 13, 2021 06:18 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

The pure real estate related posts that catch people at the subdivision and house style level are our most effective.  I abandoned the local event type posts long ago because they did bring me calls, but more along the line of "i want a booth at the Applefest" and not "I want to buy a home in Mason".  I know there's a place for the Localism type posts, but they've not proven to be my best use of time (perhaps because our niche covers a broad geographical footprint).

Apr 13, 2021 07:40 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Evergreen material is always good to have on the blogs, for  absolutely sure

Apr 13, 2021 08:29 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I love how some of the posts keep bringing us calls years and years after writing.

Apr 14, 2021 05:16 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Community posts have worked well for me, especially in light of my focus on relocation since moving to California in 2005. People researching the area find these posts, and admittedly I have written some posts on specific communities as the result of working with certain buyers. I need to spend some time doing some updating some of the more popular article,'s on the list!


Apr 13, 2021 08:53 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've done that too!  Hey, as long as I'm here, take some photos, gather some info later and create another page!

Apr 14, 2021 05:19 AM
Steven Nickens
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii

Okay I need to look up evergreen. Here is what Google says. What is Evergreen Content? Evergreen content is search-optimized content that iscontinually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers over a long period of time - as the name implies. You may think that all online content is sustainable; after all, a blog post doesn't just disappear after you publish it.

You post really inspired me to get back to blogging more, thanks.

Apr 14, 2021 12:58 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's the good thing about Wordpress IDX search pages.  The IDX search portion continually refreshes while the base content is written to stay accurate year after year.  I ditched the "latest sales" information in my subdivision reports because I realized I wasn't going to be able to keep up, and telling someone a community sells in the 300s when it's now in the 400s is not a good thing.

Apr 14, 2021 05:18 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Absolutely correct! I just got a call last week from someone who found a post I wrote about a specific area in Monroe NY. So those types of blogs do continue to be found.

Enjoy your day!

Apr 14, 2021 05:17 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

The whole plan to continue generating leads and referrals after we move is dependent upon evergreen posts.  I should probably expand further the number of pages we have written.

Apr 14, 2021 06:13 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Finding what works in your area is so essential. Local posts in my area work well as I live in a very historic area.

Apr 14, 2021 05:21 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

For us, we find things related to new construction and subdivisions (both patio home and otherwise) have the most power to attract.

Apr 14, 2021 06:14 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill(and Liz too) - although I have blogged about any "real" real estate in a little over three years, I still(at a smaller degree) some calls from those who "find" something written that "lives" on in ActiveRain that sparks their interest.   

Apr 14, 2021 05:50 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I found that the local event posts did well for placement, but over the course of 1-2 years they'd start to fade out as new posts of the news type replaced them on the search results.

Apr 14, 2021 06:15 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Congratulations on the feature- well deserved as always.  Everytime I read something that you write about your niche, I get a little tightness in my stomach because I know you are right - I just get overwhelmed with chasing after one fire or the next and don't do what I should - I am working with someone looking for a home between $500,000 and $1,000,000 from my blogging about a condo comunity here - totally free lead - I need to put a sign on my closet door to stop jumping out of trees putting out forest fires and just stay home and blog! 

Apr 14, 2021 06:19 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Lise, What I love about those type posts is they capture the "free agent" type buyers that are closer to making a decision.  They've often found a particular subdivision they want, found your page and decided you're the right person to help them take it the rest of the way.  I've found those type buyers need to be shown fewer homes, although it may take a little longer in a short inventory market to get them what they want.

Apr 14, 2021 07:14 AM
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

I love your thinking and totally agree! The blogs have a very long lifespan, especially refreshed from time to time .

Apr 14, 2021 06:48 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

That's the nice thing about the IDX pages, they refresh themselves with the latest homes for sale.  The base information (builder, number of homes, type of homes, etc. stays static).

Apr 14, 2021 07:15 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

During the lockdown last year, I kept getting phone calls from people wanting to know if the beach were open.  Never could figure out which of my many blogs that I wrote 3+ years ago re Carmel-by-the-Sea they were looking at and they couldn't tell me.  Hope at least it gave me name recognition but I havent been able to track business from it.

Apr 14, 2021 07:40 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

And that was essentially my experience with non-real estate related local event type posts.  Where is the best place to park to see the air show without having to pay for tickets?  Kids calling wanting to know if a chaperone was required for them to go to St. Rita's Festival.  Can you put me in touch with the owner of the BBQ joint that's now out of business?

Apr 14, 2021 08:30 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Good information for us all. Thanks for posting.


Apr 14, 2021 10:21 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You're welcome!

Apr 14, 2021 11:01 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Bliz, blogging is a good bang for the buck all things being considered.  And you've perfected the art to a T.

Apr 14, 2021 03:27 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've learned what works for me, fortunately many paths that work and each person can find what works best for them.

Apr 14, 2021 04:59 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Blogging has been very cost effective for me and the community and Localism posts generate activity.

It works, just not an instant shot.

Apr 14, 2021 04:51 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's a marathon type activity, but done effectively can really pay off.

Apr 14, 2021 04:58 PM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

If you are going to take the time to write a blog make it have some shelf life

Apr 15, 2021 05:40 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Some posts may have different purposes, but in general if I'm writing for business I want them to stick around for quite a while to give me a better return on the time invested.

Apr 15, 2021 05:57 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Those Evergreen posts ( and videos) are gold. Love it when someone finds us from an old, but thoughtful, effort. 

Apr 16, 2021 06:48 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Debb, some posts just hit the bullseye and pay dividends year after year.

Apr 16, 2021 04:42 PM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

very cool and interesting blog....quality withstands the test of time!!! Keep on blogging

Apr 16, 2021 10:05 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Understanding who pays our bills and focusing on what they want provides some long term results.

Apr 17, 2021 04:52 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Liz and Bill - They do have staying power and even blogs that I wrote on my site in 2014 somehow get reignited so to speak.

Apr 17, 2021 03:44 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You just never know when an old post is going to be the one that gets found on a given day.

Apr 17, 2021 04:54 AM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Yes, it is indeed a good bang for the buck. Hyperlocal posts are a great way to go to "win" your neighborhood. And speaking of "evergreen", I had a listing appointment just yesterday from someone who lives in the neighborhood for one of their other homes. When I asked how they found us they replied "from one of the marketing pieces you sent to the neighborhood". Ok, so this isn't the result of a blog post, but you get the idea.

Apr 17, 2021 11:26 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You find ways to get top of mind.  Maybe it's online, maybe it's direct mail, maybe in person, but you get there.  Congrats on the listing!

Apr 17, 2021 03:52 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

I hear you about the local events posts. Sometimes I wish I'd never written some of them.

Apr 18, 2021 06:02 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I stopped the local event posts long enough ago that I no longer get calls about them.  I know they work well for some people, but for me and my market I can get better business results with other blogging topics.

Apr 18, 2021 06:26 PM