Blogger Spotlight; Marlow Harris

I ask the same question of every blogger, “what are some of your favorite blogs”. I usually do this because I want to expose this audience to more and more of the RE blogosphere. But I asked this question of Marlow for purely selfish reasons. Marlow makes me laugh, and I wanted to know where she comes up with so much of what she writes about. As I see now, I already frequent most of her favorites.

Like April Groves and Jeff Turner have already proven, your blogging efforts do not need to be all about financing advice, real estate trends, and the latest local news. Marlow Harris further disproves such conventional thinking.

Hello Marlow, how did 360 Digest come to fruition?

It came out of my work on www.SeattleDreamHomes.com. It was developing from just a real estate site into more of a magazine, and some of the things I was writing and posting there were not really appropriate for a real estate site. I started 360Digest in October 2004 on a different platform and moved it to WordPress in November 2005.

As I’m not really interested in Seattle real estate, I’m really not a everyday reader of 360 digest. However, Unusual Life is a staple in my feed reader. What motivated you to start such an eccentric blog?

I rarely write about just Seattle on 360Digest. It really is more real estate and popular culture. It just seems that the two subjects are so inter-related and intertwined, that it’s hard to separate the two. In Marlow’s hierarchy of needs, shelter is right up there with food and water. It’s basic, it’s needed, it’s necessary. Therefore, being a basic need of humans, it’s natural that this need for shelter would permeate our thinking and it’s attainment would be primary to our happiness, and the goal of achieving shelter would dominate our thinking.

With Unusual Life, I was just looking for a way to highlight and feature some of my own art and photographs, and one thing led to another and people started sending me stuff and before you knew it, it just became a stand-alone site. I decided against Google ads and instead decided to sell books via Amazon, and now the site pays for itself, plus my time.

You also contribute to the Seattle PI and the Inman News Blog. How do decide what to blog, and where?

I’m probably spread too thin, but each blog has a different purpose and focus, and I’m still trying to decide what works best for me. As far as the general public is concerned, the Seattle PI site is probably the most helpful for marketing my business since I can send a link to one of my articles to potential clients and it automatically has gravitas and authority, as it was published on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s website. I started that site about a year and a half ago, but it lost momentum as agents realized the time commitment involved. The original writers have turned over and now we have a great crew, some quite provocative, with 100’s years of combined real estate experience. I’m also an occasional contributor to the Inman News Blog.

How does blogging fit into your marketing plan?

Again, only the Seattle P.I.’s blog is really helpful to me in that regard. I still receive the majority of my leads from personal referral and my website.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

Grow A Brain, Boing Boing, www.Neatorama.com . I love bored.com, ebaums world, Fark.com, i-am-bored.com. I’m kind of like that geeky kid in school, the one who read too much science fiction and built robots and knew all the words to Weird Al’s songs, but now all grown up and has to work for a living, but who still wastes too much time on the computer. For real estate blogs, all of the usual suspects, Rain City Guide, Bloodhound Blog , and Inman. I’m really liking Geek Estate because I make my own sites, do my own SEO and I’m interested in staying #1 in Google for the search term “Seattle WA homes for sale“.

Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow real estate professional that’s looking to get into blogging?

Try to figure out who your audience is before you start.

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