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 third-party content (and you should some of the time!), to drive traffic back to your own site, you need to share your own original content as well! Enter: blogging. Today we’re going to be talking all about the 5 W’s of blogging to get your blogging strategy started off on the right foot.
Marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI.
The Five W’s of Financial Advisor Blogging
WHo: Who Is The Target 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. Or, if your niche market is females like in the example below from Twenty Over Ten client, Scott Advisory Group, then create blog content that is relevant to them and their needs.
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!) Some of our team likes to use Evernote to keep track of notes like 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.
GENERAL blogging TOPIC ideas TO GET YOU STARTED
- How-To. Provide a step by step guide to accomplishing something. For example, “how to create an estate plan.”
- FAQs. What is the best age to start saving?
- Opinion on a current event or trending topic. What is your opinion? Where do you stand on the issues? For example, anything related to the economy and be specific!
- Lists. Lists can be a great way to parlay your blog post into additional posts and then link them all together. For example, a post on the best financial tools for women would be a great idea especially if your niche is females.
- Interviews. Interview guests on topics related to what you do. When you interview an expert, their expertise rubs off on you.
- Get personal. Your clients and prospects love hearing about your team and what you’re up to. This also makes your firm feel more human. Consider writing about your team’s favorite book or a recent trip they took. Need some inspiration? Check out our Meet the Team series for an example.
COMING UP WITH ORIGINAL CONTENT doesn’t have to be hard
- Invite guest bloggers. Industry leaders are always excited to share their opinions and experienced advice. It helps them gain online exposure and in return, you get blog content that offers a new perspective for your readers. For example, 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.”
- Repurpose old material. From a newsletter or a whitepaper. 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 host my Blog?
You want readers, clients and leads to be able to easily locate your blog. If readers and search engines don’t know a blog exists or can’t find it, all your hard work will never be read.
Often we see advisors name their blogs “Insights,” “Blog,” or “News.” All are great options or you could get even more creative with your blog name! However, it is best to have it clearly labeled on your website’s home page.
Using a CMS (content management system) will enable you to easily create and manage your website’s digital content including your blog posts. When we created our content management system, Twenty Over Ten, we did so with our users in mind, financial advisors. Our seamless dashboard allows you to edit & customize your website and blog content in a snap, without touching any code. Best of all, everything is archived for compliance that meets SEC (17a-4) standards and there’s absolutely no limit to the number of blogs you can post with our unlimited blogging feature!
Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0-4 monthly posts.
- The more you can publish, the better. While there is no hard statistic regarding the number of blog posts you need to write per week or month, usually aiming for at least once every week or two is a good starting point. For smaller financial planning firms 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 three 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.
- Get help. Whether you hire an intern for the summer to help you stockpile content for the remainder of the year or you lean on experts and services like Twenty Over Ten’s Content Assist, there are a plethora of options out there that can help. Blogging doesn’t have to be a burden or a time suck!
WHY: Why Should I Blog?
While there is an abundance of reasons a blog is crucial to your financial business, here are the top three reasons why you need to start blogging immediately:
- 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 a place for Call to Actions. Having at least one call to action within your blog posts will also help you generate new leads thus growing your business.