"How to Write Good Hyper Local Content" - Blog Tips for Rain Drips

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404

E-mail Ping-Pong and Inappropriate Content

For the last couple of days, I've been playing 'email ping-pong' with one of our valued members over the issue of what constitutes 'acceptable' or 'inappropriate' content being published on Localism.

Trust me when I say that if you asked 10 ActiveRain members their opinion on this issue, you'd probably get close to 10 different views or responses. The definition of good, relevant local 'consumer-oriented' content can be different for many of us.

But surely there must be obvious instances where certain types of content are clearly out of place for Localism?

I thought I would first retrace my steps over the past year or so, and pull a few statements I've made prior about Localism, just to give us some context:

What is Localism?

Localism is the valued point of connection, a place of meaningful interaction. It's where neighbors and local merchants share what's happening in their community. It's people collectively communicating the unique flavor and nuances of where they live, work, eat, and play.

Localism is 'Old-School' in a New World portal. It's reminiscent of an earlier day when people shopped where they lived, and everyone knew their butcher. Localism makes the world smaller and more personal. It reacquaints and re-establishes the lost bonds between neighbors. It revives and restores the relational elements of what neighborhoods used to be, and should be.

Localism provides the environment where residents and business owners can create a micro-social network uniquely attuned to their individual communities. Together, they use multi-media to paint a canvas of local color and texture. Their Localism 'Neighborpedia' becomes an extension of who and what they are.

~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~

The New Localism in private BETA

Back when we launched the new look Localism in private BETA form, we asked our members to populate their community pages with content that wasn't specifically 'real estate related.' Our intention was to attract consumer readership/participation (neighbors & residents of our communities). And, in order to achieve this goal, we felt that our community pages needed to have a wider variety of topics. Once Localism was officially launched to the general public, you could return to posting more content that was 'real estate specific.' We also had plans to create links or tabs on each community page that would direct visitors to a separate pages(s) for Listing, Market Reports, etc..

~    o    ~    o    ~    o    ~    o    ~    o    ~

That was Then, this is Now

The advice I dispensed back then is still applicable today, and will hopefully serve to guide our collective understanding on what we should be contributing to Localism. And rather than focus on the negatives (what is inappropriate), let's focus more on what is meaningful and suitable instead.

Technical Writing 101

Let's take care of some of the technical aspects of writing for Localism first:

1) Spell Korecklee:  Use the Spell Check function. If we claim to be professionals, we need to convey ourselves as such.

2) A Blog is NOT a BILLBOARD:  A blog post is not an ad. While some aspects of your post will naturally be self-promotional in nature, that doesn't mean that your entire article should read like one massive billboard touting how awesome you are, and plastered with every conceivable means of contacting you, along with a link to every website and web-page you own. Less is more. Don't interrupt good content with annoying self-promotion.

3) People Like Pictures:  It's a proven fact - good relevant graphics/pictures improve/enhance blog readership. Take your digital camera with you wherever you go. Take your own good local photos and you'll never have to be concerned about copyright infringement.

4) Aim for the Bullseye:  Be as specific or niche-oriented with your subject matter and geo-targeting as possible. By that, I mean, post your article to the most narrow and specific interest and location, as applicable. Think Longtail.

5) Use Your Own Voice:  Don't 'Copy & Paste.' There are no 'quick' & 'easy' shortcuts to effective blogging.

Creative Writing 101

Now for the more 'creative' aspects of effective Local Content Blogging (think 'Romper Room 'Do-Be's'):

1) BE YOURSELF:  It's not rocket science. Sometimes we have a tendency to over-think these things. Most importantly, be yourself. That is one of the foundational aspects of conversational blogging - to convey your own unique personality, perspective, and passions. Your readers want to know who and what you are; what makes you tick; how you conduct your business. Allow 'YOU' to always come through in your writing.

2) BE 'CONSUMER-CENTRIC:'  Don't talk all about yourself. Share information/resources that consumers will find helpful, interesting, and valuable. Put yourself in the consumer's shoes. What would attract them to your post? What would they find most engaging?

3) BE 'LOCAL MINDED:'  Remember to stay focused on relevant local information, news, events, points/places of interest, etc. Think Little League, church happenings, interview local leaders, fund raising events, profiles of everyday people, neighborhood merchants & business owners, garage sales, local politics, school activities/sports, local neighborhood flavor & ambiance.

4) BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR:  Find meaningful ways of giving back to the community, i.e. volunteer work, charity functions, fund-raising, etc., and then blog about it

5) BE BALANCED:   To some degree, try to strike a balance in your writing. Publishing a wider variety of topics will help to keep your blogging muse from getting writer's block, and your readers will appreciate the occasional departure from real estate articles.

Localism Content in a Nutshell

In a nutshell, good, quality content for Localism will:

  • capture and engage the consumer's interests
  • be aesthetic (well constructed & formatted)
  • read well (convey thoughts intelligently)
  • reveal the writer's personality, perspectives, and passions
  • provide practical advice/value to the reader

By incorporating these aspects into your hyper-local blogging efforts, you'll generate good local content, attract greater readership to your blog, and hopefully convert some of those readers into clients!

Coming Soon to a Community Nearest You!

P.S.  Just so you know, our talented development/graphics staff has been working tirelessly, working their mojo magic on finishing up on Localism to the point where we will finally be able to launch it publicly. Stay Tuned!

For Your further reading enjoyment, check out ALL THINGS LOCALISM

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Rich Jacobson is a District Director for Fathom Realty and a licensed REALTOR®; an avid Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 02/03/2009 01:37 AM
  2. Mirela Monte 02/03/2009 01:55 PM
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Trisha P Realty Group
Realty Executives - Leavenworth, KS
"Holding the Keys to Your Dream Home"

Thanks for the advice on Localism!  I sponsored a community and I cant get my pic to show up.  Any ideas how to get it on there?  Thanks is advance.

Dec 28, 2009 01:48 AM #102
Robby Leviton
Keller Williams Realty - Kirkland, WA
Knowles Team

Rich, thanks for the lesson on Localism. Its helpling me look at a service I have not been using much for the folks in my area. I will have to start thinking from this viewpoint.



Mar 09, 2010 01:50 AM #103
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I have never seen this.  I was just sold Localism and set free with it.

Mar 09, 2010 02:31 AM #104
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Hey Gene!  Not sure I understand your comment. Can you please expand?

Mar 09, 2010 02:38 AM #105
Chrysti Tovani
eXp Realty Realty of California Inc - Fair Oaks, CA
Sacramento Real Estate Agent

This is one of the best pieces I've read!  It gave me hope and validation for my efforts, since I have been taking my camera and note book with me everywhere lately.  I have several articles that I want to write about local businesses and I have even interviewed a couple of the owners so that I can write for Localism. 

It was difficult for me to explain what Localism is and what my purpose is.  Though, I must say I have gotten great responses from local businesses.  Now, if I can find the time to sit down and write.  I know I will.  That's why I take notes and write down the key points to our conversations and when I get back and upload my photos to my computer, the story is just flowing in my mind. 

I decided that I will get a small recorder or use my flip camera to record interviews so that when I am unable to write the article (right away), due to working with my loan files and helping clients, I will have the ability to recapture some of the moments that may not be as fresh and my writing will be better for it. 

I really love this! 

Thank you!

Mar 09, 2010 04:19 AM #106
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Chrystina:   Another corresponding strategy is to use Yelp.com as you write about local businesses. Yelp.com allows people to critique/recommend various local businesses. Whenever you write a blog post about a local business, access your Yelp account and give them a review!

Mar 09, 2010 04:59 AM #107
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

Rich, You are spot on as usual.

Mar 09, 2010 06:11 AM #108
Ryan Cha
RC Edwards Realty Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas - Dallas, TX

Reading this reminds me that I need to start adding more pics to my posts.  Thanks for the reminder

Mar 09, 2010 06:47 AM #109
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Thanks for the update.

Mar 09, 2010 06:55 AM #110
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON


I just learned a few things and some 'blogging etiquite'



Mar 09, 2010 08:47 AM #111
Nicole Donaghy
Re/Max Purpose Driven - Lexington, SC
Helping Families Home in Lexington and Columbia

Good to know.  Thanks for posting!

Mar 09, 2010 01:03 PM #112
Nicole Donaghy
Re/Max Purpose Driven - Lexington, SC
Helping Families Home in Lexington and Columbia

Good to know.  Thanks for posting!

Mar 09, 2010 01:03 PM #113
Nicole Donaghy
Re/Max Purpose Driven - Lexington, SC
Helping Families Home in Lexington and Columbia

Good to know.  Thanks for posting!

Mar 09, 2010 01:03 PM #114
George Wilson
Lincolnton, NC - Lincolnton, NC

Thanks for the tips. I've written about local events and where possible link to a local paper websites for more in depth information. I feel this way I can direct relocation people looking for in depth ideas about what is going on locally( top local stories, politics, opinions, local school sports, etc) this way they get a feel for the community they are moving to.

Mar 09, 2010 04:37 PM #115
Jim Straughan
Aros Realty Ltd Brokerage - London, ON
Broker of Record London Ont Realtor of Choice

Very informative post !


Mar 10, 2010 12:08 AM #117
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Thanks for the advice. This is something that I really need to work on.

Mar 24, 2010 03:47 PM #118
Mark Gridley
eXp Realty, Reinventing the National Real Estate Office! - Fountain Hills, AZ
TecKnow Real Estate Agent, Fountain Hills, AZ

I can't wait!

Apr 04, 2010 08:23 AM #119
suzanne welch
Coldwell Banker - Croton on Hudson, NY

Jim Frimmer, Realtor, Mission Valley sent me over..great points, i will be utilizing them!

Jul 03, 2010 01:16 AM #120
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

Thanks for the advice.  I've been doing a few localism posts here and there, and they're always fun to do.  I've received some "thank you's" from the businesses featured, but no real estate leads as of yet.  We will keep at it...

Jul 24, 2010 09:42 AM #121
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

Four years later and it is still relevant!   A perfect post stand the test of time and this one did. 

Jul 27, 2014 01:34 PM #122
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