There’s a lot of talk going on about the future of the media, and how real estate businesses essentially have to become nanopublishers if they want to really make an impact with their online marketing. I’m not a Realtor, but I do see the value in Hyper-local online marketing… and it’s not just for real estate.
I see the beginning of the wave. The ease of modern publishing on WordPress combined with the the ability to bootstrap marketing efforts using social media is too exciting to pass up. Curbed.com just got a 1.5 million investment to expand it’s concept to Chicago. I don’t think investors Brad Inman or Nick Denton are shooting blind. With big news in ’06 and ’07 regarding online media and newspapers migrating focus online in droves, big opportunity exists.
This is why I decided to quit watching and try my hand. I plan to take the morsels of knowledge I have gathered from countless articles read in 2007 and attempt to put it to good use by building a hyper-local blog for my city… and build local traffic that would be invaluable for a real estate professional or any local business for that matter.
What is my motive? The hope that my site will become popular, serving with and along side other media sites in my area to bring relevant information to people. How I use it from there is going to be the fun part. Right now, I’m focused on people. In the words of Derek Zoolander: “but what people?”. And my answer is: “I don’t know, local people!”.
So what defines a hyper-local blog? What does a local blog for a typical suburb, in a typical city, do for people? What information is useful? What are they looking for? Is this audience already online? If so, where do they hang out? How local should I go? What is the scope of the category content? How will I promote it online? Offline? Where do I start? Is it possible for one person to handle it or will I need help? What does the future hold?
These are some of the many questions I will attempt to answer as I chronicle my journey into the local terrain. I need help from geniuses. Stay tuned… I will roll out the concept in coming posts.
January 17, 2008 at 6:18 pm
I have a city-blogsite (for the city I work in), as well as a couple hyper-local blogs. I really should have made them ONE blog, but I decided to keep one purely real estate focused and one strictly community focused. I promote them in my newsletters and when I deliver things door-to-door in the area. People LOVE the sites, and I always get awesome feedback.
LivingInGreenhaven.com and GreenhavenRealEstate.net … if you wanted to see what I put into my hyer-local blogs.
January 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm
Carson, having looked at what you’re doing, I have to say- you are the man… I am glad to know you’re getting close- hurry up! Our readers will want to see this… (no pressure ;] )
January 17, 2008 at 6:23 pm
Carson, I think that your project is an amazing way for your small city to connect and having been a local and your watching it explode over the years gives you unique insight.
It will be helpful to EVERYONE to read a chronicle of making a hyperlocal blog because we typically only see an unveiling and never learn what it takes to make it happen behind the scenes.
Hyperlocal blogging is definitely time consuming, but the readers and writers here are always quick to come up with suggestions if you hit any road blocks. I have a really good feeling about your site’s future success!
January 18, 2008 at 8:17 pm
I am in the middle of implementing an entirely new business plan with deep roots in hyper-local community and real estate website, structured follow-up programs and tons of video. I am from 13 generations of ere and love the community. The bennefit is that by creating this type of site and philosiphy, you create the PERFECT venue for promoting real estate and invaluable and unique services to buyers and sellers. I ave enjoyed the video from Connect that I have seen on successful blogging. I am going the route of finding good, local authors to contribute to the cause.
Consider the market downturn as an opportunity to prepare for the next generation of consumers and be first to the punch in your local market.
January 20, 2008 at 6:17 pm
When I created miamism, the concept was to be hyper-local….but it’s not easy – I’m still trying to answer all the questions you asked.
Of course hitting it from the non-Realtor side like Curbed does is an amazing concept.
August 12, 2008 at 8:17 pm
Local is a relative term. the amount of work that blogging requires is vastly under estimated.
Done well its a couple of hours a day.
If you have three and four blogs that would mean you might need to invest six to eight hours a day to do them justice.
I am not talking about sitting down for six minutes and banging on the keyboard until tow or three posts appear.
I’m talking about picking your current topic target, reading eight to ten top sources for input and stimulation then forming you own synthesis; and ultimately getting to the page.
Then there is the tech aspect of blogging, making sure your read is clean, you have made it easy for readers to share, keeping pace with the evil doers (spammer, hacker, etc) and of course the ever present need for SEO.
Google has changed the way they do certain things fifteen times since I have been watching! That doesn’t make them bad, but it does mean unless you read the Google forums you will be left behind..
Just my thoughts 🙂
August 12, 2008 at 11:38 pm
There is something very intimate and rewarding about a hyper-local blog. I have one, and I really enjoy writing it. It makes me feel connected to my community. My clients like it because it makes them feel connected to me, and more importantly, to something larger than I am, i.e. the online community that visits the blog. In turn, this helps me build trust and authority with my sphere.
I think that one of the most important aspects of a local blog is local pictures. I change my blog header picture about four times a week, and I add local photos to my articles. People in my area are not used to seeing their village up in lights and the beautiful parts of it highlighted on the internet. They are flattered to be reminded of how lovely their community is. I get more feedback on my pictures than anything else. I bring my camera everywhere, and I love capturing the “under-the-radar” beauty of my hometown.
I look forward to seeing your project unfold. 🙂