Published August 21, 2019
Putting the time into creating a quality blog for your financial practice takes a lot of work. You don’t want your time to be spent in vain. If you’re starting a blog, or even if you already have one and you’re just not seeing the jump in traffic you expected after hours of work, you might be asking:
- What topics should I write about?
- How do I get exposure for my blog?
- How long do my articles need to be?
- What are some “best practices” for writing a blog?
- How OFTEN do I have to blog?
No need to be overwhelmed. With our advice, you can confidently write valuable, effective blog posts that will draw in the right kind of website visitors. Which brings us to our first point:
- Know your audience…and what they care about.
Every marketing strategy starts with knowing your audience. You and your team interact with your clients every day. You know what gives them a headache, and what questions they ask. Start there! If your firm caters to working professionals, address the challenges they face in your blog. By creating a list of frequently asked questions, you will have a list of potential blog topics. For example, questions might include the best ways to save for college (there’s a whole series right there!), the difference in varying retirement accounts, and making good buying decisions for larger purchases like a house or a new car. You’re the expert on finance here, so think of new ways to provide value to your clients and potential customers with issues they face in real life. Think about their level of financial education, and what resources could be helpful to them.
Remember, you want to provide value, not sell. Don’t treat every blog post like a pitch for your financial services. Instead, focus on establishing yourself as a credible resource they will return to again and again when they have a need!
- The secret’s in the title.
Spend your time crafting the blog post title. The title itself can make the difference between you or your competitor getting a click during a Google search. Thankfully, marketing gurus have done a lot of research for us on what kinds of headlines get clicks. It turns out people like list articles, the words “free,” “secrets,” and “tips.” Make it sound exclusive and one-of-a-kind! Check out these attention-grabbing blog title templates and craft your headlines to be compelling and creative.
- What’s your focus keyword?
A focus what? The “SEO” acronym scares a lot of us because it sounds technical and time-consuming. But your blog efforts play a significant role in the amount and quality of your website traffic. Google loves crawling your site for new content and your focused blog post can actually rank for queries if you do it right. This is how it works:
- Step one: Choose one specific focus topic/keyword. For example, “retirement planning” might sound like a good topic, but that query is fairly generic and yields millions of results in Google’s search pages. Are you going to knock Investopedia or another Internet giant off the first page? Probably not. Instead, choose a more specific keyword or phrase you are more likely to rank for. Try something like “retirement advice for 60-year-olds” or “retirement planning checklist for your 60s.”
- Step two: Put that focus keyword or phrase in your title, the first paragraph of your blog, and make sure you write the best content for that search query! Don’t overdo it because you don’t want to get punished for “keyword stuffing,” but you want those words in your content.
- Step three: Add subheadings to each section of your article. You don’t want users to lose interest in endless paragraphs of text. Add subheaders every 200-300 words to break things up a bit.
See, optimizing your content isn’t so hard!
- Links, links, links.
What other pages on your website could enhance your blog post? Maybe you’ve already got a page on your site that talks about your retirement planning services. Add hyperlinks wherever they are relevant within your blog post text. Do you use a lot of acronyms or other financial terms people may not be familiar with? It’s perfectly fine to link outside of your site to another website that may offer an explanation. If a link adds value, you want it in your text.
- Develop a guest post strategy.
Running out of ideas for your blog? A great strategy is to guest post on someone else’s site or offer to host guest posts on your own blog. Think of your referral partners and other businesses you may work within the community and offer to do reciprocating guest posts. This is a great way to get links back to your site and switch up the voice and tone on your own blog. All it takes is asking and proposing a few ideas to the website owner.
- Don’t forget to share and tag!
Once you hit “publish” on your blog post, aren’t you finished? Not quite yet! Be sure to share your blog post on all your social channels, and mention any other relevant websites or brands you have included in your text. It’s also ok to publish your blogs on social media more than once. If you utilize social media scheduling software, set it to publish again in a few weeks.
One of the most common questions about blogging is “how often?” There’s not really a hard and fast rule for this, but the most important thing you can do is prioritize quality over quantity. Consider posting longer articles (1500 words+) and interspersing those with shorter, easy-to-read articles. Add images and graphs as appropriate to keep your readers interested, and reduce high bounce rates.
Ask yourself these five questions throughout the writing process:
- Am I providing value?
- Would I click to read this article if I were my client or my potential client?
- Is this interesting to read?
- Do I offer attention-grabbing information or add data from other sources?
- Do I appear as the subject-matter expert on my topic?
Follow these steps and stay consistent and you will see your website traffic grow over time!