7 Ways to Make an Impact

Getting people to visit your website and read your blog post is interesting, but the most successful bloggers I see seem to get a kick out of having an impact on the industry. With that in mind, I came up with seven ways to make an impact by blogging:

1. Be more consumer-focused: No one loves an argument about buyer agency more than Ardell DellaLoggia (Here’s her first post on RCG a year-and-half ago to give you some perspective). While she may appear to loose an argument with real estate insiders from time-to-time, she always comes out ahead with consumer by arguing for what she consistently believes is their best interest.

2. Be more principled: Whether it be refusing to accept Brad Inman’s gifts or going out of his way to disclose meager earnings from his site, Greg Swann insists on taking the high ground. Add a prolific personality and the ability to say the right words at the right time, and Greg has clearly earned his reputation as a leader in the RE.net.

3. Be more consistent: Whether your interest is real estate blogs or the architecture of doors; Whether you are Beattles’ person or a Dylan person; Whether you like Odd & Crazy or Odd & Ends, Hanan Levin has been searching out the edges of the internet to return with blogging gold. Despite threats to quit and/or move to New Zealand, he continues to delight with multiple updates every day.

4. Be more fun: Is there a business plan behind traveling the country and playing with photoshop? Who cares. The Sellsius boys have shown us all how to make a huge impact by simply having more fun that the rest of us!

5. Be more credible: Whether taking on short sales, professional status, or subprime lending, Jillayne Schlicke always finds a way to offer the voice of reason by providing an interesting perspective filled with interesting solutions

6. Be more unexpected: With stories ranging from the real estate happenings of Sanjaya, little towns in Austria with unusual names, and hard-hitting coverage of Redfin, one can never know what you’ll get when you land on a post by Marlow Harris… except that it will be interesting and probably provocative.

7. Be more up-to-date: No one else follows the online real estate industry better than Joel Burslem of the Future of Real Estate Marketing. Whether he is analyzing the new guys like Terabitz or the old guys like Zillow, he never misses and interesting story and consistently does a top-notch job putting developments in perspective.


If you’ve made it this far, then I might as well tell you the genesis of this article…

After my presentation a few weeks ago in Austin, TX, the folks at KW asked if I’d like to submit an article on blogging for the next issue of the KW newsletter. Rather than succumb to the usual “5 reasons you should blog” type article, I thought I’d try to be a bit more interesting and profile some of the bloggers that have made the largest impact on me.

I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to deal with the links (which obviously don’t translate well to a written article). I think I’ll just add one link for each individual back to their blog, and include some text that says the article is best viewed “blog” format on Rain City Guide with a link back to this article. If someone has a better solution on how to deal with lots of links within a printed article, I’m definitely open to suggestions…

As always, I’d love to get your feedback. Should I re-phrase things? Should I include another blogger who has made a strong impact on you?

And, no surprise, I put off writing this article until almost the last minute (the article is due by the end of the month!), so if you have some suggestions, you’ll need to make them soon in order to get into print! πŸ™‚

46 thoughts on “7 Ways to Make an Impact

  1. All really good points, Dustin. I think we Realtors get so caught up in self-promotion, we forget how little the average reader gives a hoot about it. Blogging has quickly gone from β€œI love to write and share information

  2. Dustin –

    Good stuff.

    Minor typo in the last sentence of the first paragraph: “I came up with seven ways to make in impact by blogging:”

    It’s obviously a great list of “successful” blogs. But it seems (to me) to send the message that your blog has to have an impact on the industy to be “successful”. I suppose it depends on how you define “success”, but I suspect the average KW agent (your target audience) would define that as what a blog can do for their business.

    I *completely* with Jim’s comment that it should not be “all about me”. Consumers don’t give a rat’s a$$ about that. They want info for THEM.

    So it’s a fine line to walk. Blatant self-promotion doesn’t work in a blog (IMHO – though disturbingly I’m seeing it more and more). Bloggers need to give their readers credit and understand they are fully aware that their is an agent behind the keyboard.

    And yeah, I realize your first bullet is “Be more consumer focused”. But something (and I can’t exactly put my finger on what) is coming though that you have to be national to “have an impact” and “be successful” with a blog. For many agent bloggers, particularly the newbies, that’s a scary thought.

    If you make any changes (and don’t get me wrong, I think it’s *really* good) I’d avoid the over-used and oft misunderstood “hyperlocal” term. But that’s probably just because I find it annoying.

    The linkage part is tricky. In print, links just don’t work. I don’t know what kind of space you have, but unfortunately a “sidebar” with links to the home page may be your only option.

  3. One further thought onthe linkage. *Surely* the KW newsletter has an on-line version? Can you provide two variations, one for the on-line and one for the print edition? Then reference the on-line article in the print edition?

  4. “but the most successful bloggers I see seem to get a kick out of having an impact on the industry”

    Dustin, please define successful for us.

  5. Thanks everyone for the interesting comments…

    Jay, you are so right that I should be careful to not make blogging more scary than it is… I’m going to think on that a bit.

    And Bob, in terms of success, I’d say that each agent would have to define success for themselves. For most it is generating business, but others admit they get a kick out of influencing the dialog. I’d say that each of the bloggers must have found a level of success or they wouldn’t continue to write…

  6. How about “Be More Interactive”? If your goal is to generate business (which I suspect is true for the lion’s share of the bloggers), your target consumer is your Silent Majority – They will be less inclined to participate in the discussion. Being an active participant on other’s sites will tend to generate reciprocal comments on your site, which will tend to keep your site more lively and interesting. The residual benefit of participation is that it will often result in that confidence boost you need to soldier on.

    I don’t think I said this as eloquently as I could have, but I hope you get the gist, Dustin. You personally have been such an enormously positive influence on the blogging community in this way. I remember the thrill of my first “Dustin comment” on my fledgling blog about 18 months ago (the result, I believe, of my camping out at RCG and refusing to go home until someone, anyone acknowledged me). πŸ™‚ Along those lines, I have heard so many, many others remark about how your support and encouragement were instrumental in their becoming established in the community.

    I don’t think you can understate the importance of participation. And, I don’t think this is any less true for the established Industry Mover and Shaker blogs you seem to be focusing on. The strength is in the depth of the comments, and a simple comment from a heavy-weight on a Blog of a Lesser G-d inspires that author to become an instant, raving fan. This is something that everyone at RCG, the Zillow dudes, Greg Swann, etc. are particularly good at.

  7. Kris wrote: “I have heard so many, many others remark about how your support and encouragement were instrumental in their becoming established in the community.”

    Jay raises his hand and waves wildly, “That’s me!” and then echo’s ARDELL’s sentiment about Joe and Rudy.

  8. Phil: I think their site must have been down for a bit, because it appears to be working for me now…

    Kris: Beautiful stuff! And along with Ardell and Jay’s comment, I’d say that Rudy and Joe have definitely earned the intro blurb of “Be More Interactive”. Great ideas…

  9. Joe and Rudy – Yeah, that! Ardell, I should have included you in my remarks about Dustin. I remember my first Ardell comment just as vividly. That was the day I KNEW I had hit the big time. (Okay, so I was wrong, but I thought…)

  10. How about:

    “Be open to learning from the people who leave comments.”

    A person who cares enough to leave a comment (anonymous or named) is trying to engage in a dialogue with you. That person might start out on one point, but the conversation path is a mystery. Realtors: don’t fall into a false sense of being able to control the conversation. Instead, embrace it as an opportunity to learn something from the people who are leaving comments.

    Time and time again, I hear Realtors in the classroom say, “Well, I’m not going to waste my time blogging with strangers.” Okay, that’s fine. “So,” I ask, “how much time do you spend prospecting?” With the majority of Realtors I meet, the answer is “not as much as I should.”

    The best relationships are often forged when we’re NOT selling, but engaging in passionate discourse about those issues that are meaningful to us, with likeminded people.

  11. I agree with you Jillayne…except (that doesn’t sound very open, does it?) when someone is not really interested in having a dialogue with you. I’ve seen some comments where someone may be just trying to be nasty and there is no sincere point or interest in a two way conversation. And I’ve also seen comments where someone is trying to “hi-jack” the post for their own benefit. I do my best to try to see through this and determine if the person (even in spite of a negative tone) is really wanting to communicate. Great point! πŸ™‚

  12. I just want to say a heartfelt thanks for being able to feel a part of this blogging community.
    The best aspect of attending Inman was meeting many of my fellow bloggers face-to-face.
    I am NOT a convention-goer, but that event was pivotal for me at this time in my long real estate career.
    Thanks to all of you for including me in this blogging community.
    You are all incredible professionals!

  13. I may have to go to Connect next time it’s on the West. I loved meeting the bloggers at Blog Tour USA and KOMO-4’s Bloggers event. Bloggers are passionate people regardless what the topic is.

  14. Thanks Dustin, Ardell, Kris, Rhonda, Jay & Phil for the kind words. Having met you all in person makes the compliments that much sweeter.

    Dustin, you hit the key points, along with Kris, when she mentioned be more interactive. For impact, no one engages their readers quite like Ardell. She keeps the conversation going, which is difficult to do. Her comments are blog posts πŸ™‚

    8. Be more techie— see Robbie and Galen (& Tucson Dave, the Lab Guy)

  15. “For many agent bloggers, particularly the newbies, that’s a scary thought.” It is scary, one of the first “successful” bloggers I really watched was ARDELL and she still scares me, but I love her.

    I don’t know that I’ll ever be as transparent or focused as she is but having a great list like this of different styles to view would have been a tremendous help when I first started blogging about 7 months ago. Instead I’ve fumble and followed links around to many great places, it’s been fun and maybe someday I’ll have a good voice.

  16. Pingback: The Odysseus Medal competition — The long list | BloodhoundBlog: Real estate marketing and technology blog | Realtors and real estate, mortgages, lending, investments

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