When I joined Hawaiʻi Life in May 2009 one of the attractions to me was the ability to blog.
My very first post, May 16, 2009, was about the creation of a West Hawaii Planning Commission — up until then, all decisions were made by a single body covering the entire island. That first post has a respectable 1,777 readers to date. I think is a good illustration of the broader purpose for which I blog, which is to educate, whether or not it generates business for me.
Of course I do get buyers and sellers who read my posts and choose me to represent them as a result. Sometimes I fantasize about what it would be like to quit real estate and make a living from my writing…but as it turns out, perhaps I am already making a living from my writing.
August 2022 brings me to this post — the 500th article I have written for the Hawaii Life site! I decided to look at the most popular posts, think about which I consider the most important posts, and mention my personal favorite over the past 13 years of writing.
Most Popular Blog Posts Out of 500 Written
Some of the blog posts with the most views are not the ones that generate the most calls – and I get calls every single week from my body of writing. I get calls about Short Term Vacation Rentals; buying a bed-and-breakfast or retreat center; Horse Properties and Working Ranches; Coffee Farms and Macadamia Nut Farms, the “malasada post” or how to finance vacant land; communities like Kohala Ranch, Waikiʻi Ranch and Puakea Bay Ranch; and of course conservation easements and purchases.
In terms of sheer numbers of views, the most popular post I ever wrote was in 2019 during the period when Hawaiʻi County first implemented Short Term Vacation Rental registration. My writing proved so helpful the staff at the County Planning Department wanted me to share their most frequently asked questions and the answers to them. This STVR application tips post generated 113,631 views. I just re-read the post and feel proud that I ended it this way:
The second most popular post, coming in at 42,408 views, was also a matter of some urgency, Big Island Lava Zones and the eruptive activity of 2018.
Typical posts? Those get anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 readers.
My “Must Read” Blog Post and My Personal Favorite Among the 500 Posts
Despite the thousands of views and weekly calls, not many of my blog posts generate comments from readers. The exception is the post I pick as the one I would urge every single prospective buyer and newcomer to Hawaiʻi to read: Is the Welcome Mat Out for Newcomers to Hawaiʻi.
The Welcome Mat series is in a different tone of voice than when I write helpful Hawaiʻi real estate tips or heavy market analysis. And yet it comes from the same place: my desire to help clients and customers of Hawaiʻi Life, as well as the general public, understand what it is to live and thrive here in Hawaiʻi; and my commitment to protect and preserve Hawaiʻi as land, people, and culture.
My absolute favorite post is this 2011 article about the small town culture of Kohala where I live. Many of the locations I mention in the post, from the Bank of Hawaii branch to Sushi Rock, are no longer open. Both 87-year-old parents mentioned have passed. But the spirit of Kohala remains intact. And as a sweet piece of writing, it gives me hope that maybe I have a future as a writer.
Do you have a favorite post of mine? Feel free to chime in …comments are welcome!