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You’re Insignifcant and You Don’t Even Know It


Perspective is a terrible thing to lose.

This morning I was talking to someone about the number of real estate bloggers there are here in the Phoenix area. We have one of the higher concentrations of real estate bloggers in the country, as best I can tell. And at the end of the day, we amount to less than one percent of the overall real estate population.

To my mind, we’re on the bleeding edge of the changes in the real estate industry. We’re the early adopters, the leaders of the 2.0 movement … and still, we’re in such a minority we barely count as a blip on the radar.

Your Sidebar Widgets Are Sirens

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They seduce you and deceive you simultaneously into believing you’re more important than you really are. I’m as guilty as anyone of watching to see traffic patterns on my home blog, but they don’t impact what I’m writing to any large degree. I know that traffic in and of itself is worthless.

This was proven this week by the “SEO experiment” where traffic was driven to one blog using the name of Governor Spitzer’s favored prostitute.

How does this help you sell homes? What does this have to do with marketing real estate?

Absolutely nothing. The traffic generated was absolutely worthless. If you’re trying to earn a living from your blog, you need focused traffic not traffic for its own sake.

Technorati rankings? Alexa traffic ranks? Please let me know what St. Peter has to say about these some day. They’re irrelevant. Those clinging to them are desperate souls looking for any affirmation of their self-worth that they can find.

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Don’t be seduced by the false god that is unfocused traffic.

Big Fish, Incredibly Small Pond

The notion of who has the most important real estate blog is far less relevant that the notion that it doesn’t matter in the slightest. You’re in a minority writing for a minority. It’s almost sad to see people lose sight of their insignificance.

Most of us write for the public to one degree or another. Most of us are attempting to generate business while simultaneously pleasing the Google monster. Some of us have more success than others.

Want to impress me? Tell me how many closings you have as a direct result of your blog. Tell me about the clients who read your extended resume and chose you from amongst all of the others. Many of the writers here can do that with ease. Some of the best and the brightest in the real estate blogosphere also can do so. Except you don’t see them telling everyone how important they are every other day – the role of a rank vendor or salesman on a me-first static site, not a real estate blogger in the 2.0 world.

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Don’t tell me about your traffic numbers. They mean nothing. Because when you take a few million steps back to get the proper perspective, you’re residing on the same dot as me. And there’s nary an ounce of difference between us.

Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.



  1. Missy Caulk

    March 17, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Tell it like it is Jonathan, love the graphic. I don’t really know why I have that bloglog on my site, I never look at it. LOL

  2. Ryan Hukill

    March 17, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Jonathan, way to bring us all back down to earth. You’re right, it’s REALLY easy to get caught up in traffic and rankings, while losing sight of the real indicator of our online success… the mighty pocketbook.

  3. Benjamin Bach

    March 17, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    AWESOME post
    This afternoon I just wrote my third deal with an investor who started reading my blog in November. About $690,000 in volume. Yesterday I wrote my second deal with an investor who found me on my blog; I have 2 additional pending sales from clients who found me on my blog… 3 closings in the past two month from clients from my blog . . . .

    WAY cooler than a six digit technoranking

  4. Jay Thompson

    March 18, 2008 at 1:01 am

    A freaking men!

  5. Charleston real estate blog

    March 18, 2008 at 5:07 am

    Jonathan, you are absolutely on target. Here’s an example of the benefit of letting people get to know you through your blog. “Howard, I’ll be moving to Charleston to begin a new job on 8/20. Being a first time home buyer, I’m interested in finding a trustworthy buyer’s agent. I’ve spent some time reading your blog and would like to discuss your services in more detail.” The sale closed last September.

  6. florida remax realty

    March 18, 2008 at 5:23 am

    I have learned alot from blogging and am new at it and try hard to be part of different blogs and have my voice be heard. It has really taken me outside my local area and comfort zone and I see what is happening all over US right now and that helps me better do my job.

  7. Mack in Atlanta

    March 18, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Dead On Jonathan. The ROI from an informative targeted blog post is huge. The best success that I have is posting about my First Time Buyer Seminar-Workshop. While the attendance is generally less that 10 buyers, I always get 1 or 2 transactions from them.

  8. Mike Farmer

    March 18, 2008 at 11:50 am

    I’m not sold on the insignificance angle – the whole “the universe is infinite and we’re insignificant thing. Everyone has influence within their sphere. Here at agentgenius I often here praise of the sites’ members as being an influential group in the RE web 2.0, and deservedly so if I judge by the comments — it seems to reaching and helping quite a few professionals.

    I know an elderly lady who cares for her granddaughter who was dumped by the mother. The elderly lady will tell you with pride, at every opportunity, how she is raising the daughter and teaching her valuable life lessons. Preach on, I tell her. In the great big universe, I say she’s rather large on the importance scale.

    We all need to blow a horn every once in awhile, just like the members here do with each other, when we think we are doing good. Saints are humble, we’re just regular people, proud of our accomplishments, big in various, unique ways.

  9. Mike Farmer

    March 18, 2008 at 11:51 am

    hear praise

    seems to be

    That’s only two I caught.

  10. Mike Farmer

    March 18, 2008 at 11:55 am

    often hear

    seems to be

    That’s just two I caught.

  11. Tom

    March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Great post, but there are alway caveats. Sometimes people write for other purposes. For guys and gals that write about real estate that are not agents there can be some upside still for writing these sites.

    Mine pays the mortgage every month for a couple of hours a day. Not bad work if you can get it. Not to mention the fun that I have doing it.

  12. Elaine Reese

    March 18, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    I do so agree with you! It’s about getting showings for our listings, getting listings, getting buyers … and getting paychecks. Those are the numbers important to me.

  13. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Karen (Comment #6) brings up a great point that puts a pretty red bow on Jonathan’s article… we’re all insignificant as self-important individuals (so what if I’m guilty?) but the greatest side effect of blogging is more than ego stroking, it is a learning and teaching environment that makes our business practices better.

    Vicki and I were talking on the phone the other day and we’ve both had the experience of someone in the office telling us about a hot real estate news story with great excitement and our mental response is “are you kidding? not only did i read about that last quarter, i wrote a series of articles about it and spoke at a conference on a panel about that…” while we say out loud, “oh yeah, I heard about that, isn’t it cool?” Blogging may not make us significant (although like Jonathan said, it can lull us into that feeling), but it makes us better informed and keeps us on our toes! 🙂

  14. Cyndee Haydon

    March 19, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Jonathan – I have experienced this when I’ve ranked well for “real estate” keywords and generated new client contacts and requests and then in other instances had the same traffic for non-real estate related words and seen my leads plummet. I think traffic is not a good measure – the kind of traffic is. I can tell by how many home searches consumers are doing what my ROI will be like. Learning this definitely has helped me stay more focused with my blogging too.

  15. Eric Bouler

    March 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    The local niche in New Orleans Condos is even smaller. I happen to be one of the few fish in a small pond. its get don to being much more local. That is where the big companies cannot go with content that is worth a hoot. I am not a great blogger but it works for me since its content and photos of the niche that I work in. It is also compatiable with my other website.

  16. Dru Bloomfield

    March 23, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Jonathan, I love it when you tell it like it is and crack me up at the same time. For me, blogging has been an experiment, a chance to educate, and has open doors that I never knew existed. You, sir, are one of those who shows me the way. Thank you.

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