Sometimes patience and quality count more for success than razzle dazzle and pushy marketing. These observations seem appropriate for the 2019 Best Construction Blog winner, Ed Zarenski’s Construction Analytics.
His economics-related blog ranked sixth in the popular vote, just one notch above the final spot among the seven blogs with enough votes to win a space on the Page 1 bar graph.
Compared to previous winner and second place winner Pole Barn Guru, which collected 321 popular votes, Zarenski’s blog only garnered 38. (Overall there were 1,089 entries — there can be some double counting, as voters could vote for as many blogs as they wished on a single ballot.)
But in this case, the decision was made by our two judges, proposals guru Matt Handal, and residential business construction consultants Michael and Devon Stone. I asked the judges to pick their first, second and third place choices, and one judge ranked Zarenski’s blog in first place and the other gave it second place. Using a weighted average of six points for first place, three for second and one for third, I then correlated the judged results with the popular vote. (Chicago-area mechanical contractor F.E. Moran, which ranked third in the popular vote, also came in third in the judges evaluation.)
Clearly, our judging system gives much greater weight to the judges’ opinions than the popular vote. While the XS CAD blog ranked second in the popular vote, it didn’t get far with the judges and so did not earn a finalist ranking.
The reason for this weighting is simple — large organisations with big networks of employees and suppliers can engage in major “get out the vote” campaigns that may reflect the blog’s quality less than their size and business relationships. A significant popular vote result is still important — not making the top seven in popular vote would almost certainly result in failure — but the best blogs should have a modest but real natural appeal to voters — enough to get on the top page — without necessarily reaching the very top of the popular vote list.
I’ll speak with Zarenski within the next couple of weeks to discuss his blog and learn his story, but this is a story of a blog that started in 2017 with just 7,000 visitors through the entire year — and which has grown dramatically since then.
“In 2019 so far, this blog gets on average about 1,500 visitors/week that view about 3000 articles/week,” he writes.
His blog’s uniqueness and success results from its detailed analysis and data about the construction economics topic, including forecasts and projections — with a Google search leadership relating to construction inflation.
Zarenski’s blog, effectively, provides a solid overview of the construction industry’s economic picture. That knowledge is useful for contractors, suppliers and professionals seeking to benchmark performance and plan their business’s future based on industry-focused but larger economic trends.