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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Brian Pasch

Brian Pasch CEO

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Unique Content Is A Two Way Partnership

In the past few weeks there has been commentary on DrivingSales about how members appreciate "unique content" as compared to articles that are posted on a number of automotive websites.

We all know that there are a handful of websites that are "popular" in the industry, with each site claiming some advantage over the other.  I find merit in all communities personally.

I was thinking about the desire for "unique content" and my own writing practices and had some thoughts to share.  

What Motivates Writers?

Articles posted on this community may fall into a few categories but I believe they are written to better the overal education, awareness, and strategy for the larger automotive community.  That includes vendors because some of the articles shared can help both dealers and vendors better market themselves online.

Other posts are Industry Press Releases which currently are mixed on the the home page timeline.  In any case, writers volunteer their time to write and share their ideas.  It's a considerable time investment for the most active writers.

When I write, it is related to something I am passionate about.  The kyrptonite for any writer on this community is to invest their time to write a well thought out article and have no comments.  

Engagement Needs Improvement

Yes, there could be an argument that some articles don't bear comments, but that is the exception rather than the rule on DrivingSales.  

For example, the last 25 posts on DrivingSales (excluding Industry Press Releases) had the following stats:

  • 22 Articles
  • 9 with no comments
  • 13 with comments
  • Of the 13 with comments, 6 had only 1 comment

So about 40% of the articles, written by good folks, had no feedback from this community.  

This of course is not new to those who are active writers but it may start to help readers understand the multiple posting phenomena by writers.

Who Will Connect?

When I write an article, I never know which community will connect with the message.  It is not always predictable.

There have been times that I posted an article on multiple sites and ADM would have 10 comments and DrivingSales had zero.  The reverse is also true where DS had the most responses.

So, as a writer that appreciates the feedback and to hear what people have to say about their advice, strategy, or experience you can start to see that if a community doesn't reward writers, they may be inclined to multi-post.

So this is where the Two Way Partnership comes in.  Members of the DrivingSales community have a responsibility to engage.  

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me in person or on the phone that they have been reading my articles for years but NEVER said anything.  Never posted a comment.  Never sent an email.

Community Are You Ready to Commit?

You see, if DrivingSales is to attract writers that will create and publish unique content, it will not be sustainable without member participation.  The last 6 days, there were 42 comments on 22 articles, and the more accurate number would be 31 comments.  

JD Rucker posted a similar themed article that asked people to check in and say "hey" which drew 11 responses, as of today.  

So we are rewarding our writers with about 6 comments a day.  That's not the formula to reward writers when thousands of people visit the site a week!

So the vision to have a community with unique content is a great goal but it will have to be supported by the membership of DrivingSales.

One of my favorite lines in the "Dune" series by Frank Herbert applies:  "The sleeper must awaken!" 

Now if no one responds, I'll know that I must be writing to myself...!  :))

P.S.  This is unique content.

Brian Pasch CEO of PCG

Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Digital Marketing

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Jim Bell
Thank you Brian. As a member of the Drivingsales editorial team, you have hit the nail on the head with this post. We all want engagement with everyone. I know when I post something, I am all for feedback and try to make it open at the end for discussion. When there is dead air there, it is frustrating as a contributing editor. Thanks for voicing my opinions for me.
David Johnson
The vast majority of people are most definitely consumers, meaning that they read but don't comment, learn but don't engage. I to have had people say that they read my articles but have never commented, as writers we expect it, but that doesn't mean we like it! LOL I try to stagger my content, and where I share it at but I rarely share content on just one site, because of the exact reason you mentioned, "When I write an article, I never know which community will connect with the message." Nicely done Brian, you got me to comment!
Carrie Hemphill
Hey :)
Jim Bell
At least we know you actually read the article. ;)
Christine Rochelle
Comments are what keep bloggers up at night! I have nearly 1,500 posts on my personal blog after three years of writing but I believe I have less than 1,000 with comments. That's a lot of unloved work.

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