When developing an online presence beyond the website, most financial advisors think of the “Big Three” (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). While these social media platforms are great for increasing engagement and building followers, you still need content to share on these sites to be effective. And while yes, you can share 3rd-party content (and you should some of the time!), to drive traffic back to your own website, you need to share your own original content as well. Enter: Blogging.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing the most important information all financial advisors need to know in our new blog post series: Blogging for Financial Advisors 10. The first feature in this series will be about the 5 W’s of blogging. This is the very basics of blogging – but follow along with the series for more in-depth information in the coming weeks.
Did you know that those who blog regularly generate about 67% more leads?
The Five W’s of Financial Advisor Blogging
WHO – Who Is The Audience Of My Blog?
As any writer knows, you need to think about your audience before getting started. What questions do your target audience typically ask you about in meetings? What is happening in the news that you know they would be interested in? Additionally, if your firm targets a certain niche market, then it is extremely important to target them with relevant information.
For example: if your clients are young professionals, a post about college savings. would be extremely relevant. If your target audience is pre-retirees, then an in-depth comparison that shows how taking social security at different ages affects your overall income would be well-received.
WHAT – What Do I Blog About?
Writing an effective blog post takes time and effort. To make getting started easier, you should begin by creating a “brainstorming document”. When an idea for a blog post strikes you, simply add it to the list (even if you only have a headline!). We like to use evernote for this – but you could use any method that works best for you. A few other tips:
- Stock pile articles that can be scheduled over a long period of time
- Get ideas for potential blog posts from your clients most frequently asked questions, or discussions you have with team members
- Topics you can write about on your blog are limitless. Use your imagination and write something informative.
HERE ARE SOME GENERAL TOPICS TO GET YOU STARTED
- How-To. Provide a step by step guide to accomplishing something. How to create an estate plan
- FAQS. What is the best age to start saving?
- Opinion on a current event or topic in the industry. What is your opinion? Where do you stand on the issues?, example includes The economy – be specific
- Lists. Lists can be a great way to parlay your blog post into additional posts and them link them all together. The best financial tools for women
- Interviews. Interview guests on topics related to what you do. When you interview an expert, their expertise rubs off on you.
- Personal. Readers love hearing about the team, their favorite book or a recent trip they took. An example: Meet the Team post
COMING UP WITH ORIGINAL CONTENT IS OFTEN EASIER SAID THEN DONE
- Invite guest bloggers. Industry leaders are always excited to share their opinions and experienced advice. It helps them gain online exposure and you get blog content that offers a new perspective for your readers. You could ask a local CPA to do a blog on tax tips, or an Estate Planning attorney to share “5 things you should know about Trusts” for example.
- Repurpose old material from a newsletter or Whitepapers. Evergreen content isn’t time sensitive, so using old evergreen content is a great way to have “fresh” content for readers – because it may be something they haven’t seen in years.
WHERE – Where Do I Keep The Blog?
- You want readers, clients and leads to easily locate your blog. If readers don’t know a blog exist or can’t find it, all your hard work will never be read.
- Blogs can be called “Insights”, “Blog” or “News & Review”. It is best to have it clearly labeled on the home page.
- Usually the best approach is to design your website so that you can blog directly on the same platform. At Twenty Over Ten for instance, we offer a blogging option built directly into the website (which also allows all blog posts to automatically be archived as well for compliance purposes).
WHEN – How Often Should You Blog?
“Blog as often as you want people to pay attention to you.” – Josh Hallett, Director of Voce Connect
- The more you can publish a post, the better. While there is no hard statistic regarding the amount of blog posts you need to write per week or month, usually aiming for at least once every week or two is a good approach. For small businesses where one person is handling everything, even once a month is better than nothing. If your posts are going to be more spread out, it is better to call them ‘insights’ or ‘updates’ as the title BLOG gives the connotation of regular posting.
- Quality over quantity. You want to produce quality blogs therefore if your posts have great, interesting content you can afford to blog only once or twice a month.
- Consistency is key. Regardless of how often you post, one thing you absolutely want to do is be consistent. Don’t post 3 times in one month and then just once over the next 50 days. The more you can stick to a schedule, the more your readers will know when to expect to hear from you.
WHY – Why Should I Blog?
While there are an abundance of reasons a blog is crucial to your financial business, these are the top three.
- Blogs are a great value-add in respect to increasing your site’s SEO. The more published blog posts your blog has, the more indexed pages you are creating, and the more keywords and phrases specific to your niche that will be associated with your page. Blogs also provide the best platform for sharing and creating new and original content, which search engines love.
- Blogs help establish you as a thought leader in the financial services industry. Regularly sharing industry specific and useful information helps you earn and build people’s trust, and shows potential clients you have the expertise they are looking for.
- Blogs also give you place for Call to Actions. Having Call to Actions on your blog will also help generate new leads and clients.
If you are looking for even more examples or would like to discuss ideas for building or redesigning your own website, please contact us and we’ll be happy to setup a time to speak with you!