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Blogging recipe: 4 parts listening, 1 part writing

Panelists share insight on topics, personality, pet peeves

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ben Martin, director of communications and new media at the Virginia Association of Realtors, has a recipe for blogging. "I try to spend four times as much time listening and reading than writing because then I can start to cite other people's stuff," said Martin, who spoke during a Bloggers Connect Workshop on Wednesday at the Real Estate Connect conference. "You can develop the readership that you want by listening and then saying, 'I want to engage with that type of audience.' " Some bloggers choose to write for themselves and attract an audience while others research the audience first. Benn Rosales, founder of the AgentGenius blog, said he focuses on a specific audience first and curtails his content to that fit. Meanwhile, Mike Simonsen, co-founder and CEO for real estate data company Altos Research, said he begins by writing about his interests and trusts that the audience will follow. "I write for myself -- things that I ...