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Guest Post: "Why Do Commercial Real Estate Blogs Die? And Why the Heck Am I Still Here?"

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This is a re-post from one of my favorite commercial real estate blogs--David Stejkowski's The Dirt Lawyer's Blog.

It's a rumination on commercial real estate blogs. There are some out there. I have many linked in my blogroll down in the right column. I've been blogging here at TrafficCourt since late 2006 and definitely seen some blogs come and go and waited for robust commercial real estate blog culture to develop. There are definitely some quality blogs out there including the ones David mentions in this post. I read the posts and follow the Twitter feeds of many of these bloggers and learn a lot in the process.

However, one of the things that I believe hurts us and has prevented further development in this space is the lack of interaction between us all. So as one effort to foster that, I thought I'd re-post David's thoughts here so those of you that don't already know about his blog go check it out. There are a few good comments on his page already and I'm sure he'd welcome more. So go to the original post to leave any comments.

When I go through my list of blogs I like to read, I often come across a casualty: a blog that has ceased to exist or has stopped actively posting stories. I'm always sad to see that because I like reading what my fellow bloggers have to say. And there have been some very smart people doing this.


Maybe these factors are the same in all types of blogging -- I'm not about to do the research -- but I have some ideas as to why and would like to hear from others about why this trend goes on. And let's talk about why I am still here, too -- what the heck.

  • Most -- but not all -- of the bloggers who have quit are not professional writers, or part of an organization or a company. As my profile in Real Property Alpha points out, I am not one of those folks. I am just an individual.
  • Time. Yeah, blogging can take up a lot of time. So many people quit because of the time factor. I am not a professional blogger so I do not parse every word. Most of what you read is a first draft, stream of consciousness thing. Some say I have been blessed with the ability to crank out a few hundred words on most subjects pretty quickly -- I think a good liberal arts education helped here as well as some speaking and writing practice when I was a kid. So I can perhaps crank out a blog post without having to spend all day on it, which is an advantage. My clients take priority over writing, but I'm usually able to balance that.
  • Money. I really think some people write because they think they will make money blogging, or attract more clients. Maybe you will, but my humble opinion is that you have to have a passion for the topic about which you are writing. If not, it will show and the blog posts will be boring. I write to educate myself: having to read and think about the business makes me a better lawyer in my opinion. As almost all my clients tell me regularly, I add value or at least try to in every deal.
  • Client development. Maybe. But some people, when they do not immediately see a huge increase in clients calling, drop the blog. I don't get that. As I said, if I get new clients out of the blog, great. If not, that's okay too. This is about learning and self-improvement for me, believe it or not.
  • Fame. Not happening, at least not in commercial real estate. And I don't understand why you'd care. I get picked up in the media from time to time and enjoy doing interviews, but don't expect any notoriety out of this. (Heavens, I think I'd quit if that actually happened.)
  • Ennui. I think this should have been at the top of the list, but hey, stream of consciousness and all that. It can get tedious to think of new things to write about. Finding topics can also be hard sometimes. You want something new to say, without repeating yourself or others. It has to be fun or you may as well hang it up.
You may ask: why am I writing this? Because I gave very serious thought to ending the blog at the end of 2009. As you can see my posting frequency dropped off significantly. Let's see if I can do better in 2010 and write compelling material that you want to read. (This post may not be among them since it really isn't about CRE.) At the end of the day I realized that I like what I am writing and what I do here, and that I need to try a little harder for more content that will not bore you to death.



Of my readers -- and I know there are regulars thanks to analytic tools -- I ask three things. First, if you have ideas or topic you want me to write about, by all means let me know. It is much easier for me to write when there's a set topic. Second, tell your friends about the DLB. Third, if you have constructive suggestions for the blog, please also let me know. Should I move to WordPress? Hire professional designers? Look for co-bloggers? Make this "amateur" blog more professional? Let me know. And thanks for reading.

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Industry news, views and occasional strange stuff.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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