Ask An Ambassador: Diagnosing The Problem

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

Yesterday I watched a digital version of my heart pump.  We could see each chamber and valve as the heart muscle contracted and the technician took measurements, sound recordings, flow measurements and more to provide a thorough report of how my almost 60 year old ticker is working.  The ultrasound check was a routine follow-up prescribed by my cardiologist and part of ensuring that we're keeping my afib under control. 

Experts provided me the diagnosis years ago of why I could feel a heartbeat tango in my chest, and they continue to monitor me and adjust treatment as needed.  

And similar to my ticker, our blogs can sometimes use some diagnosis.  Is it providing a steady supply of what we seek?  Referrals, comments, clicks, consumer calls, pick your measurement of choice, but are your posts performing or underperforming?

If your blog is underperforming, there are some key factors to examine.  

1.  Have you picked the right audience with your topics?  If you want consumer calls, ranting about Z or some (as determined by you) unprofessional agent isn't likely to get you found or called.  Give them real estate specific information to YOUR market (market reports, subdivision summaries and searches, new construction news, etc.).

2.  You're trying to take away a big dog's bone.  How many millions do you think the big dogs (Z,, national brokerages, etc.) spend to get top placement for terms like "__________ homes for sale" in places like Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles?  How many millions do YOU have to spend?  There is a reason we have emphasized so many times to go after long tail results (e.g. Lebanon Ohio patio homes for sale) instead.  Smaller and more specific has less competition AND finds consumers closer to making a decision.

3.  You write for the bots and not humans.  Using your keyword 5 times in the first 20 words is borderline unreadable.  And the bots are smarter than they used to be about keyword stuffing, so it's a lose-lose.  Yes, you need to follow good SEO practices, but don't go overboard either.

4.  Your posts are written for humans, but they're still unreadable.  Small size font with no breaks for the eyes.  The "wall of words" might have good content, but just too bleepin' hard to maintain eye focus and people move on.  Some eye candy doesn't hurt either!

5.  Your blogging platform has no Google juice.  To be frank, ActiveRain isn't the powerhouse that it used to be when there was much, much less competition.  Now anyone with a handful of dollars can set up their own website.  That doesn't mean that ActiveRain still can't be effective, it's just not as easy as it used to be.  Again, long tail search terms have been where it's at for us.

6.  Blogging just isn't your thing.  Some people do better at Instagram, videos, Facebook, etc.  If creating content is painful and requiring way too much effort, maybe another way of generating engagement is better for you.  

7.  Your posts are unoriginal.  There's a place for purchased canned content, but if 1,000 other agents are POSTING THE EXACT SAME THING, how can you gain any traction with the public?  Again, be original and specific to YOUR market for best results.

8.  You've ticked off your potential audience.  I understand some people live and breathe politics, but putting your opinions on blast has real potential to alienate readers.  Substitute politics for any other divisive subject matter and the net effect is the same.  PEOPLE LOOK TO BOND AND THEY DON'T BOND OR WORK WITH PEOPLE THAT MAKE THEM ANGRY.  Your opinions might be spot on, and still your net paycheck will be ZERO.

9.  Your posts are too long! (or too short!).  Both extremes can be ineffective.  Too short and the bots don't consider you.  Too long and humans won't read you unless your content is compelling and offers them exactly what they seek.

Okay, I'm pushing 700 words, I've probably already hit TLDR territory :)

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

Bill & Liz aka BLIz  

P.S.  If your heart does some strange pitter patter and it's not because you just fell in love, you might want to see a doctor ASAP.  You only have one heart, don't break it!  Looking back, my symptoms had displayed for over a decade before finally getting diagnosed.  Intermittent problems can be a challenge to figure out!

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


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

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

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Comments (17)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill (and Liz too) - I admit that the thought of sitting half-clothed in a medical examining room can set my heart aflutter.  That doesn't usually happen when writing (or reading) blog posts.    However, your point is well-made.  At least for me - in a roundabout way.  

Jan 31, 2023 07:31 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Fortunately white coat syndrome isn't one of my issues.  Liz on the other hand has to measure her blood pressure at home if they want a true reading.

Jan 31, 2023 07:39 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

As I was writing my blog today, I thought to myself, this is too long.  I had a lot more to say, but I did some editing.  I think it still ended up too long.  I hope my use of humorous (at least to me) pictures helped offset all the text.

Jan 31, 2023 08:37 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Ray, me personally, I have no issues with long if it's engaging and offers value for my time.  I tend to write longer rather than shorter.  For something other than our Ask An Ambassador series I might throw in more pictures or graphics, but considering most AAA posts fall into the advice/tutorial category, I'm not as prone to chase additional eye candy besides the lead pic.

Jan 31, 2023 09:09 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

You always provide us with much wisdom and excellent AR advice. Hope all is well with you both.

Jan 31, 2023 11:44 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

All is well here, hope the same for you!  We've been here long enough to learn a few things about blogging, and hope that sharing helps others be successful.

Jan 31, 2023 12:17 PM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Bill ~ Thanks for a great post to help us all check our blog offerings for any of the "issues" that are probably working against us.

Jan 31, 2023 12:29 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Sometimes an outside set of eyes that are impartial can help identify what might not be obvious to ourselves.

Jan 31, 2023 12:43 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

these are all great points to consider - I have to say avoiding politics and other hot button issues is one that seems so easy to follow-- why wade into that territory online? seems like a no brainer but people do it! 

Jan 31, 2023 12:31 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Lise, I thinned out my FB circle significantly over the last 6-7 years because some people just lived in that stuff full time.  Am I aware of the issues and have opinions?  Sure.  And unless we're on the phone or across the table from each other and YOU initiate it, you'll probably never know those views.  

Jan 31, 2023 12:44 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

First of all, I am glad you are taking care of your pitter-pattering heart, and thank you for the P.S.

Second, you are absolutely right that there are many issues that could be resulting in an under-performing website/blog/posts. Thank you for your list - Those are good things to check!

Jan 31, 2023 02:34 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It was only through some weird circumstances that I was diagnosed.  I went in for a hernia repair, and maybe it was one of the drugs to prep me, but on the operating table before they could get started my BP and pulse spiked and my heartbeat went into afib.  They stopped before they started and admitted me and kept me for 3 days while they figured out the right drug mix to get me back to normal.  I still have the occasional afib episode, but my BP and pulse don't spike.  I spend anywhere from a part of a day to over a week out of rhythm.  Net effect for me is fatigue during the episodes and for a day or two after.

Looking back, the signs were there long before that (two times falling down on the soccer field playing goalie and me thinking it was a hot day and I was probably just dehydrated, other times with a beat I could feel...written off to too much Dt. Mt. Dew!).  Live and learn :)

Jan 31, 2023 03:23 PM
Kat Palmiotti

It's interesting how we can explain away issues, even when we know in the back of our mind that they probably are issues.

Feb 01, 2023 04:22 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

The fact that is was intermittent made it tougher.  My primary care doc had me wear a heart monitor for a couple of days, and since I didn't go out of rhythm it didn't detect anything.  Even now, I may go a month or two, maybe a bit more without a rhythm issue, but when it goes out I can sense it almost immediately and confirm it checking my pulse.  There's an uneven spacing between beats when I'm out.

Feb 01, 2023 05:11 AM
Steve Penner
Royal LePage / Pro Ledger Online Software - Winnipeg, MB
REALTOR / Pro Ledger Online (owner)

Some good tips! ... yes, google is a very crowded place.. and without a team of writers, editors, SEO experts, and a big budget... as you suggest, best way forward seems to be long key words and good writing skills. 


Jan 31, 2023 03:28 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

If we want the DIY approach, we have to figure out how to do it and make it worth our time.  For us, niche blogging has more than paid the bills.

Jan 31, 2023 05:08 PM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Wow, this post addresses every single important point for great blogging in  specific details.



Jan 31, 2023 04:06 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Engineers do details :)

Jan 31, 2023 05:08 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I'm sorry to hear about the heart issues but you are absolutely right for monitoring it regularly. But thank you for the lead in to some great advice about our blogging and some important issues to monitor regularly. If we notice we are not getting the desired results, a diagnosis of the potential causes, as you've suggested, is necessary.


Jan 31, 2023 08:08 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Jeff, I think it's been about 5 years since diagnosis, and for the most part the meds do their job.  I just have to pace myself a bit differently than I did when I was younger.  I've learned some of the triggering events so I can try and avoid them.

Always happy to provide some advice regarding blogging that might be useful.

Jan 31, 2023 08:20 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

People have often told me this but now I see it a little better than I did earlier in life.

Jan 31, 2023 10:47 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I think a lot of things get clearer with age.

Feb 01, 2023 05:12 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am glad to hear that you keep a close watch on your ticker and its ticking ability!

Feb 01, 2023 04:36 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I see my cardiologist more often than my regular doctor.  I don't get sick very often, it's usually special cause like an injury that brings me to my regular doc.

Feb 01, 2023 05:13 AM
Charles Ross - (785)-819-6944
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Great information.Thank you for sharing.Have a wonderful day and a blessed week,

Feb 01, 2023 05:58 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You're welcome!

Feb 01, 2023 07:23 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Wow Bill I am so glad to hear you've got your heart issue under control.  I've heard of afib from a few other folks but now I understand  it better by reading your post and comments. I've got the white coat thing too - why I don't know but the doc is used to it by now,. Seems so silly to me as I'm calm person!

Awesome post once again.  You're so spot on with all the points you make. Almost makes me want to get back into blogging again and have some fun with it as I know how easy it really is once you figure it out.  You've nailed it!

Feb 01, 2023 11:25 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

The biggest risk from it is a stroke.  That's mitigated by the blood thinner meds, so basically it just because a quality of life issue.  If it becomes worse, there are options beyond meds to address the heart issues.

I've got a few posts/IDX pages I should create.  Found a nice little pocket of upscale duplex ranch condos under construction while out with clients.   It wasn't the right fit for them, but it might be for someone else.

Feb 01, 2023 07:04 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

Well that's not good.  Thankfully you've got it all under control and know what to do in the future.

Most likely someone will find and appreciate your new pocket1

Feb 01, 2023 08:14 PM
Brad Andersohn
Retired Executive Director of Education at eXp - Boulder Creek, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Loved 1-9!!!

I tend to puke/write everything out onto the blog post, then go back in and read/erase most of it!! haha~ My backspace key on the computer is actually blank! lol~

When I finally found my Activerain voice, I also found out it "talked" too much!! :-) I think back in the day I was referred to as the "Wall of Words!" Colleen Irwin 

Great post, thank you, my friend!

Feb 02, 2023 12:02 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Great to see you!  You're a huge part of the history of this community and why so many of us are still here a decade + later!

We each find what works for us, and away we go! :)

Feb 02, 2023 01:14 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Bill= ok I'll get this out of the way first...I'm glad your ticker is ticking and being cared for. Larry went 4 months before we pushed for further tests and he received his first stent.  YOU keep taking care of yourself. 

Next- one of the best posts you've shared with us. All of your points are spot on. I've known of some who find a lot of success with Instagram and the FB local groups they sponsor.  I've read long posts from others that I could barely get through  but I never consider yours long or too long. 

Feb 02, 2023 01:27 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've become pretty aware of what my ticker is doing and hopefully recognizing the warnings early enough to (mostly) keep myself in rhythm.  If I'm doing yardwork, more breaks are needed.  During peak summer heat, it's generally not a good idea to mow the entire yard in one day, so I'll break it up over a couple of days.

I enjoy blogging, it's a nice change of pace from my engineering work.  I can't exactly drop a joke into a technical summary report :) 

I've learned a fair amount about what works for me personally with blogging.  The same blueprint may not work for someone else, but I'll share what I can to hopefully help other members succeed with their individual efforts.

Feb 02, 2023 04:12 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

As always, you have hit this out of the park!  I always gain knowledge reading your posts.  Thank you Liz and Bill Spear -- have a wonderful weekend!

Feb 04, 2023 10:30 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's my goal to provide something useful each Tuesday with these posts.  Just a bit of Pay It Forward for all the help I received early in our time here.

Feb 04, 2023 10:40 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

You always provide such pertinent analogies with an insightful message. Thank you again for addressing the need to evaluate our posts on an ongoing basis so we can see if they are performing as they should or under performing.

Feb 04, 2023 04:28 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Dorie, Something I picked up on long before my real estate work started, if I could establish common ground early, the rest comes easier.  A good analogy is a tool to establish that common ground.  Some work better than others :)

Feb 04, 2023 08:04 PM