Hyper local blogging success

How to define “success”? To start, success for RealCrozetVA is not defined by transactions, it is defined by what it contributes to the community. RealCrozetVA was started in September of 2005 with a simple goal:

I am starting this blog somewhat on a whim, so as to provide a forum for Crozet to (hopefully) discuss their thoughts about Crozet’s growth.

My whimsical vision also sees this as a place to discuss Crozet’s goings-on, music and cultural events, local vineyards, etc. This will be a slow start, as my business and my blog and my life already consume so much of my time. Please be patient, and if anybody wants to help out, please let me know.

You may start here to learn a little bit about some of what has been happening in Crozet.

And it has grown slowly but surely. After a recent mailing to raise awareness of the blog, traffic has spiked. Hopefully we will be able to keep some of that traffic and interest. Darren Rowse might call this “slow and steady” blog growth. That it has been over 18 months since its inception is amazing; it feels like only yesterday that I got the bug to start it.

Realcrozetva Traffic for the past 12 months

One thing differentiates realcrozetva from some of the other “hyper local” blogs that have been discussed in the re.net – it was started purely for the community, with no desire to gain profit (much like cvillenews.com, but even more localized). Only very recently have I added the “Search for Homes” tab, and I debated and struggled with that for quite some time; I do not want to detract from the site’s being for the Crozet community. One of the best features of the site is the Community Map, which shows many, although not yet all, businesses in Crozet.

I cannot yet attribute a single transaction to the site, and don’t really care; that was never the goal. I won’t have advertising on the site. The relationships I have had the opportunity to develop, the ways in which I have been able to give back to the community, primarily due to this blog, and even more importantly, emails such as this make it worthwhile –

Good morning… quick note on your blog.  … I’m a big fan of the RealCrozet blog. I’ve passed it along to many new friends I’ve made here.  It’s great … well done, and a wonderful way to pull the community together.  Thank you!

Here’s to another 18 months.

* I have cross-posted this with RealCrozetVA; it and Real Central VA have completely different audiences, and I think this post will be interesting to both.

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  1. Pat Kitano April 17, 2007 at 10:54

    Jim, what a hidden treasure to see how you’ve been developing a great local venue over the past 18 months… quite prescient. The content matches the community spirit perfectly…

  2. Jim Duncan April 17, 2007 at 11:27

    Pat –

    Thanks so much. I have been reluctant to talk about realcrozetva here, as I want to keep the impartiality that I think I have established there.

  3. Teri Lussier April 17, 2007 at 11:57

    Jim- Fantastic! Of all the local RE blogs I’ve been studying the past few weeks, realcrozetva is the one (and possibly only) that I would consider a role model.

    I’d be interested in hearing more about what you’ve done to drive traffic to your site.

  4. Jim Duncan April 17, 2007 at 12:49

    Teri –

    Thank you so much for you comment. The simple answer is this – I got involved in the community.

    I was fortunate to have been profiled in the local paper, the Crozet Gazette (and the PDF of the story is here), but most important is that I care about the community and want to contribute in a positive way to the conversation. It really is a site by and for the Crozet community, and I hope that shows.

  5. Teri Lussier April 17, 2007 at 13:04

    That is indeed a simple answer. Thanks!

  6. Todd Tarson April 17, 2007 at 19:21

    Wow, great and interesting Jim. After a year of blogging I am finally getting the word out locally in my area. Of course it helps to be involved in a highly political issue or two around here.

    My hope all along was that my blog turns into a place for the community to get solid no frills real estate news that is otherwise nearly impossible to find. I will continue to works towards that, and again am impressed with what you have done.

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