6 Simple Blogging Strategies for Financial Advisors
When you think about digital marketing, what comes to your mind first?
It might be social media, and that’s a good answer. But another cornerstone of digital marketing, and the one we’ll be talking about today, is the venerable blog post.
That’s right, you’re reading one of them right now. Pretty meta, huh?
Blogging has a long history; the first one was published in 1994. But even though it’s one of the oldest tactics in the digital marketing book, blogging is still incredibly popular.
Let’s look at the reasons blogging is a foundational piece in a solid digital marketing strategy and give you advice for how to make sure yours is successful.
The Benefits of Blogging for Financial Advisors
We’ll begin by focusing on why investing time and energy in your blog is important. Simply put, if you want your website to gain more visitors and do more work for you generating leads for your firm, your blog is a great place to start.
Here are three key benefits of blogging:
- Improve your SEO
A blog gives you the content that Google wants to see when it’s indexing websites and ideally leads to higher ranking webpages. Case in point: Websites with blogs have 400% more indexed pages (e.g. web pages served up in Google results) than those without. When you develop fresh content regularly, you create more opportunities for people to find you. Content that resonates with readers also helps keep people on your site longer, a key ingredient in SEO rankings.
- Give visitors a reason to return
Approach blogging the same way you do your friendships. You develop more trust with the people you spend time with regularly, and the same is true for your blog. By regularly blogging, you give prospects (and clients) a reason to keep coming back to your website and spend more time with “you” so they come to see you as the foremost financial authority in their lives.
- Anchor your digital marketing strategy
Your digital marketing needs an anchor strategy, and blogging can serve as the foundation from which you build everything else. If you use social media, a blog gives you new content that you can continually push to your followers and bring more visitors to your website.
While it has benefits of its own, a blog’s value is most inherently tied to the value it delivers to others. Before you start blogging every week, it’s critical that you decide on your ideal audience so you know you’re always creating content that will resonate with the people reading it.
Deciding on Your Ideal Audience
If you’ve spent any time reading about digital marketing, you’ve likely heard of the term “ideal client personas.”
What is an ideal client persona? It’s a description of your ideal client, fittingly enough. It characterizes the types of people you want to work with according to what is important to them and how you can help them achieve their goals.
When you’re planning content for a blog, you want to start in the same place and identify your ideal audience. If you haven’t yet created your firm’s client personas, this exercise will help you figure out what those should be.
At its most basic, a client persona can be made of three questions:
- Who are they?
- What’s their goal?
- What’s preventing them from reaching their goal?
By answering these three questions, you can be sure that you’re creating content that will attract the type of people you want to serve.
You’ll also get a jumpstart on ideas for what to write about by focusing on the types of problems and goals that your ideal client often thinks about.
Developing Your Editorial Calendar
Once you know who it is you’re writing for, you need to develop content that will bring them to your website, keep them there, and bring them back again later on as you continue to publish more blog posts.
The easiest way to develop your editorial calendar and to know that you’re scheduling content that will attract your ideal audience is to use topic clusters.
Topic clusters allow you to build out your blogs in a cohesive way, creating opportunities to go deep into valuable content while demonstrating your experience and expertise.
Furthermore, topic clusters are impactful from an SEO standpoint. Each topic cluster has a pillar page which functions as a broad overview on a specific topic. With each cluster blog post, you can easily link back to that pillar page, creating a tight web of content on your blog.
How do you create a topic cluster for your blog? It’s easier than you think.
First, you’ll want to decide on a general topic idea that you can cover broadly. This will become your pillar page. It should be something that you can cover extensively and deeply, like tax planning.
Underneath that broad topic of tax planning, write down everything you can think of that might fit under it. Your clusters could include things like the tax efficiency of Roth IRAs, college savings accounts, and tax loss harvesting. All of these clustered would be separate, detailed blogs.
By structuring and planning your content in this way, you can avoid the dreaded “What do I publish next?” question. When done well, you may even be able to plot out your blog content for an entire year at once.
Blog Writing Tips for Financial Advisors
Not every advisor can be like Michael Kitces and publish a 5,000 word article each week. So here are our top 6 tips to help you with writing a blog and keeping the ideas flowing.
- Spend time on your headline
The headline you write for your blog post will determine how many people decide to click and read the content you’ve written within, so it’s critical that you spend time on a headline that captures attention and grabs interest. You can have a well-written blog post that gets few readers simply because the headline wasn’t exciting enough, and no one wants that. Try asking a question or using numbers or a list to get more readers to take that first step and click.
- Create a template
It’s easier to write a blog post if you have a place to start instead of a blank page. Create a template that you can use each time you want to start writing. It could include prompts for headline ideas, your main idea, and which three key supporting points you want to include.
- Use clients for inspiration
Your topic cluster strategy can serve as the foundation of your blog, but you may also want to write about current events. You’re writing for your ideal audience and your clients, so use your conversations with them to influence any additional topics for your blog.
- Be concise
As much as you can, stick to the point of your blog and write intentionally. Analogies can be useful, but don’t get bogged down in too many examples.
- Create lists and how-to articles
Even though you may have the topic ideas written down, you still have to write the blogs. A template can help, but you also should be aware of common types of blogs. Articles that include lists as well as how-to blogs are both popular and can keep you focused on the blog and avoid writer’s block.
- Ask for help
Sometimes, you may need help with writing blogs. Look for professional editing or writing assistance from those with experience in financial experience, or add a marketing automation platform into the mix to supplement your content production.
Now you’re ready to get started, or if you’ve already started blogging, keep your focus and continue creating valuable content for your readers.
Remember, start with your audience in mind, look for ways to tie your content together with topic clusters, and work from templates to help you create content faster.
Looking for more ways to master digital marketing? Check out our ebook, Top 5 Lead Generation Ideas for Financial Advisors!