Every now and then I take a break from real estate blogging to update the blog’s backbone with the goal of making it easier for readers, like you, to read. For the past month I have been working behind the scenes to clean up about 80 broken links and now that those are fixed, the time has come to make another move.
A couple of years ago when I bought my iPad, I was very impressed with the resolution and speed of it. Since then, Apple has sold about a billion of all three versions, and another billion iPhones.
…to work better on your iPad
With so many people now seeing my blog on “mobile devices”, I have worked to keep up with everyone by updating my professionally designed theme (by StudioPress) so it is easy to see and read. Subtle changes in fonts, sidebars and white space make a huge impact on your experience here. I’m sure you know what I mean especially when you get to a site where the type is too small or doesn’t fit on the screen.
This week I switched from GoDaddy to a WordPress hosting shop called Synthesis. Since they specialize in WordPress hosting, the switch made sense because I want the blog to load faster and have a higher level of security. (UPDATE: My instincts were spot on with this one, as WordPress guru Yoast just wrote a little blog post where he recommends Synthesis for hosting.)
Being a fairly active real estate agent provides me with daily ideas for creative content creation. If Jerry and George were writing this, they would constantly be reminding me; “Doug, there’s a blog post!” Real estate blogging gives me an opportunity to write about what I see, deal with and experience provides a state of catharsis that helps me digest an event helping me and you in the future.
It’s fun too!
Most real estate blogs these days focus on keywords, are heavy on sales pitches, and are offering to show you the same homes that you already find on Trulia, Redfin, or Zillow. You can search for homes here too, but it isn’t my core strategy because their apps are pretty good already.
almost limitless material to write about
When I started this blog, the blogging culture was different primarily because blogs were available only to the geekiest people around. Times have changed to meet the demand of the market. These days, even Zillow has a low budget WordPress blogging platform that agents can use to create a “web presence” without too much effort. There is a market for it and they stepped in.
I still want to write this blog about things that happen in McLean, Oakton and Vienna real estate. Yes I’m in the rest of Fairfax County, and often Loudoun and Arlington. I don’t believe the national real estate reports that consumers read paint an accurate picture of the Washington DC regional real estate market. Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington are my turf and I am going to share those experiences here on the blog.
The difference here is that I can drill down with my truly local stats provided by RBI in Rockville Maryland. These guys are militant when it comes to the integrity of their local data. Hey, there’s a blog post!
Other important friends online are the people behind Google search. Have you ever heard of Matt Cutts? Jeepers, when he speaks people parse his words like Fed Chairman Bernanke’s testimony before Congress. But if you take a look at this snapshot of stats to my site, you can understand why Google is such a force to be taken seriously (sorry Bing).
The reason that I listen to Matt is due to the fact most people use Google over Bing to get to this site. I pay attention and create original, interesting content that benefits the Internet community (not just Googlebot).
DougFrancis.com is a key part of my business that I take seriously, putting work into it almost everyday. If you have ever seen a successful person and thought they had it easy, understand that anything that looks easy really isn’t. Constant effort with a purpose is essential and having an understanding that immediate results can happen but are unlikely are mantras that keep me going.
These are some of my thoughts why upgrading the blog to run at Synthesis made sense, and hopefully your experience here will be worthwhile. Read a little more…