According to HubSpot, businesses who use blogs as part of their content marketing get 67% more leads than those who don’t. So, if you haven’t already started to incorporate blogging into your marketing strategy, then now is the time to start. When creating content, however, there are some mistakes that you should avoid this year to have the strongest content marketing strategy you can!
9 Mistakes to Avoid When Blogging
When creating strong content, avoid these common mistakes with the useful solutions below.
Mistake #1: You Forget Your Niche
While it may seem that catering to a niche will lessen the scope of your audience, it actually puts your firm at a much great advantage. The financial industry is incredibly broad, so if you aren’t narrowing it down, it’s much harder to stand out and really be able to rank online and market your firm.
Solution: Cater to a Specific Niche
So, how do you stand out in a niche? When it comes to communicating to a niche market, there are some things that you can do in order to stand out from others.
Create a Strong First Impression
Make sure you are clearly establishing who you cater to. Research shows that that people can form an opinion about you in a tenth of a second. That is NOT a lot of time to draw in your audience, so make sure your niche and audience are clearly articulated on the homepage. In the example below, you can tell immediately who Twenty Over Ten client, C.L. Sheldon & Company caters to immediately upon landing on their homepage, and that is financial planning for active and retired military members.
Create Strong Content That Caters to your Audience Consistently
When you create blogs and videos that cater to your audience, they are more likely to find your content when searching online. Four reasons to do this are to:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Position yourself as a thought leader in the industry
- Boost your SEO for niche-specific searches
- Develop stronger customer relationships
You want to be able to answer the questions of your audience and provide them with information that will help them in their financial journey. Feed them content that is easily digestible and helps them out, as this is a great way to prove that you are an expert in the industry, keeping visitors on your website and boosting your online presence.
Twenty Over Ten client, Dorsey Wealth Management is a women-led business and caters to helping women in their financial planning, and that is made evident in many of the blog posts.
Have Strong Calls-to-Action
If you don’t have a call-to-action, then how are your readers going to know what step they should take next? How are you going to lead them down the sales funnel and closer to becoming a client? This is why it’s so important to include these on your website. When creating a strong CTA, you should:
- Create a sense of urgency
- Limit the distractions
- Place it in a good location
- Use action words
- Stress the benefits to the user
- Visually eye-catching
Twenty Over Ten client, Century Wealth Advisors, has a CTA above the fold right on the hero image that is easy to find with a CTA button that stands out from the background, “Learn How We Can Help.”
Mistake #2: Your Writing is Too Formal and Full of Jargon
If you are not a financial advisor, then a lot of the jargon and “financial speak” may be confusing or go write over your reader’s heads. Write in a way that the people can understand, as many people do not have a background in finance, so they might not understand the jargon.
Solution: Write Like You Talk
People want to get to know YOU, so be yourself and infuse personality in your writing. Tell stories and share experiences. When you do this, they not only make your writing a lot less stiff and formal, but they make your blog posts a lot more relatable and readable.
This in turn will result in more traffic and keep people spending more time on your website reading other blog posts and checking out other parts of the page.
Keep in mind, however, there is a fine line, as you don’t want to use too many personal anecdotes and digress in your blog posts either. Remember, your visitors have a short attention span, as 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website. You don’t want to lose their attention and have them bounce off your website.
Mistake #3: Your Titles Aren’t Specific Enough
When a topic is too broad, it’s difficult to really narrow it down and focus on the topic. Additionally, when it comes to search engines, you won’t be showing up in as many searches because your title will get “lost in the mix” of all of the other broad topics. Additionally, when there are too many broad details, it can be difficult to answer each topic in detail.
Solution: Have a Clear, Concise Topic
Having a strong blog title is key as it’s the first thing that someone sees when landing on your blog page, and details quickly what the visitor will be reading. When it comes to writing a strong blog title, some things to keep in mind are:
Use Strong Keywords
Not only will this help you to show up in search engines, but it will detail what the blog is about and pique interest from your niche. It is so important to use strong keywords because they communicate to search engines the information that is not only in the blog but on your website.
Include Numbers in your Titles
When readers see numbers, they know that they will get something that is easy to digest, such as a list, so it will be a quick and informative read.
In the above blog from Twenty Over Ten client, Gateway Retirement Solutions, “4 Steps to Take When You Inherit an IRA,” the readers know exactly what the topic of the blog will be before even reading it and that it will be an easy read with 4 steps you need to take.
Tailor the Title to your Audience
As we mentioned above, it’s important you cater your content to what your audience wants to read. It’s about creating content that is interesting to them and will help them to reach their financial goals.
Ask a question In your title
Asking a question gets your readers thinking about their own situation and when you include one, it helps you to connect easier with your audience.
Twenty Over Ten client Freedom Family asks the question in their blog post asking if you should take $100,000 from your 401(k) or IRA. This type of title can get a reader thinking about a question that they hadn’t considered before reading this.
Mistake #4: There is No True Meaning
While it’s important to create content consistently, if you are blogging just to blog, then this can hinder your blog section. When visitors come to your website, you want to be sure you are serving as a helpful resource with useful blog information, and aren’t just writing blogs to fill space.
Solution: Start with an Outline
Make sure you are blogging with a clear concise idea in mind. Starting with a structured outline can help when you to sit down to write.
Structure your Blog Posts
In order to add some structure, make sure you are adding section headers as part of your blog. When creating headers, make sure you are putting the user first.
You should use them to add structure to your content and to describe what each section is about. Not only will this help your readers to better understand the blog and what they are about to read, but it will help Google to crawl and understand your content easier, as well.
Mistake #5: You Aren’t Giving Away Anything for Free
People like FREE, and with the cost of living increasing, getting information for free is a big lure to visit your blog or website. If you don’t have any useful information that will help them in their financial journey, then you are missing out on a big opportunity.
Solution: Offer them Freemiums
Always give your visitors actionable steps to solve their pain points. What is going to keep your visitors continuously coming back? Blogs that answer their question and provide them with actionable information that they can take away and apply to their own financial life. At Twenty Over Ten, we try to blog every day and provide our readers with content that they can apply to their own businesses.
From marketing tips to measuring Google Analytics, social media for financial advisors and much more, we want our readers to come away feeling as though they have learned something, can apply to their own firm and can come back almost every day to find out something new.
Mistake #6: You Don’t Provide Enough Context
You can be providing useful information in your blogs, but including evidence such as linking to a third-party source, including infographics and visuals is key.
Solution: Use Visual Aids
When you include a statistic or a quote, make sure that you are citing the source so that readers can see who the original information came from. Also, if you cite someone, they can see that you linked to them and it will make them more likely to use your information in the future.
Using video is also a great way to provide your readers with content but in a different form. In fact, YouTube has over a billion users with over 500 million hours of video are watched on YouTube a day. Additionally, over 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day. With that being said, it’s a good idea to include this as a part of your content strategy as a visual aid addition.
Using images is a great way to get your point across, such as a useful infographic with visual graphs and statistics. You can also create a really useful and FREE tool, Canva in order to create images with templates, thousands of images, and the ability to include your brand colors and font to make sure it remains uniform.
You can also include screenshots from other websites, or on advisor websites when you are showing examples of a particular way that something is done. As you can see, when showing examples of gated content, we used a screenshot from the website of Forward Thinking Wealth Management to show how they have implemented it on their website.
Mistake #7: You Don’t Blog with a Schedule
We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with a consistent blogging schedule especially with everything else that you have going on. However, if you aren’t creating blog content consistently and don’t update your content section, it will be harder for your website to rank. Additionally, visitors won’t come to your website looking for answers as often if you aren’t giving them on a regular basis.
Solution: Schedule Your Blogs Consistently
A great way to keep up with your blogs is to keep an editorial calendar to help you keep track of everything. This can be done in five simple steps and they are:
- Turn your marketing strategy into content
- Delegate who will do what on your team
- Identify the themes you will be writing blogs on
- Prioritize steps by importance
- Map out your calendar
You can download your own editorial calendar below.
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Want to cut to the chase and get the good stuff? We get it. Click below to download your free planning calendars for blogging, social media and email marketing.
If you are having a hard time creating your own content, you can also use guest blogs. It’s a great way to get a fresh author and if you use their blogs and content, they will be more likely to ask you to guest blog on their website, which can help expand your reach.
Mistake #8: You Are Not Growing in Subscribers
While you may be growing in leads and visitors, you may not be getting more subscribers. While you do want to inform your viewers and want to provide the answers through your blogs and website, the end goal for you is also to get more subscribers which can, in turn, convert to clients.
Solution: Use a Call-to-Action or Newsletter
Ensure that you are using email marketing and set up a “welcome” email to your new subscribers. When you send them newsletters, provide them with useful blogs, videos, upcoming webinars, or anything that shows your value. It goes beyond just including useful information, but make sure you are including strong calls to action that entice users to take the next action. You can include landing pages for subscribers, as well.
Mistake #9: Your Readers Aren’t Walking Away With Anything
Your readers may be finding your blog section, but they aren’t learning anything or taking anything away that they can use in their own marketing strategy or at their firm.
Solution: Make Sure Your Readers Are Learning Something
Provide them with actionable steps that they can implement at their own advisory firm. Giving them takeaway that they can utilize. If you provide them with helpful tips, then it will encourage them to continue coming to your website to get more useful information.
Like many things, blogging can be a game of trial and error, as you try to find the formula that works best for your firm. If you are able to pinpoint your issues with your blogs, then you can use these solutions to fix them in order to drive the most leads and get more subscribers and clients through your advisor website.
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About the author
Blair is a digital marketing assistant at Twenty Over Ten and has a passion for uncovering what drives online traffic and the highest engagement. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her daughter, Grey.