When financial advisers think about a blog for their website, it can bring up mixed thoughts and feelings.
“Blogging” – to some degree – still carries the image of a young person pouring angst onto a social platform. However, blogging has become much more than that. Nowadays, blogging refers to a discussion or information published on a website.
This suggests that financial services firms – such as financial planners – can blog, and even should do so. It presents an opportunity to offer helpful information to your audience, whether these be clients, prospects or both.
In this article, our marketing team at CreativeAdviser will be sharing thoughts on how to create an excellent blog for a financial adviser website. We hope this content is useful to you.
Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your own digital marketing strategy with us.
What is a blog?
A blog can mean something slightly different depending on your industry/niche.
In financial services, a blog is less of a personal update – like it is on, say, a celebrity’s website. Rather, it tends to be an article which:
- Offers useful insight and information about a specific topic (e.g. allowances for the tax year).
- Provides a perspective on something recently in the news – such as a sudden stock market fall/rise.
- Informs readers about some interesting that happened in the company, such as a new hire or an event which took place.
- Inspires people with a client story, testimonial or case study.
A blog can be any length of word count. Yet it is a good idea to aim for 1,000 words of even more (due to reasons covered in a minute).
This needs to be good, useful content, however – not just words for the sake of words.
Why should I start one?
A financial adviser can gain many benefits from starting a regular blog on their website.
First of all, publishing a weekly blog reassures clients and prospects that you – and your business – are still alive and kicking. Many clients do not hear from their financial adviser too often, which can lead to niggling worries. A blog can help alleviate these.
Secondly, a blog is an opportunity to build trust with your audience. By offering them useful, valuable content on a regular basis, they tend to eventually see you as a though leader in the space. This means they are more likely to turn to you – or refer someone to you – when they or someone they know needs help on a financial planning matter.
Thirdly, blogging is an excellent means to generate more website traffic and, therefore, leads (via your contact forms). This is because a great, original blog is often seen by Google, which then “crawls” your website to check its value.
If Google deems your content to be relevant and useful to its users, then it might start displaying your content high up in its search engine results. This then results in more clicks from people looking for your services, which can lead to “organic” inquiries.
How do I begin blogging?
To start, you typically need your own financial website to start blogging.
Some financial advisers and planners are tied to a particular network or bigger brand name, which may limit/prohibit your ability to write content and publish it on your website. In which case, you will need to check with them first.
In some cases, you may need to set up a separate financial website to start your own blog outside of these “umbrellas”.
Assuming these restrictions do not apply or can be surmounted, you will need access to your website’s content management system (CMS) to be able to add blogs yourself. Examples of CMS include WordPress and Joomla.
Once you have logged in, however, you can usually start blogging with relative ease. In WordPress, for instance, you can just look to the left of your dashboard and click on “Posts”. From there, you click on “Add New” and simply start writing!
Consider saving your work as a draft as you go along, in case you lose internet access. It would be a shame to lose all of your work, say, after writing 1,000 words! WordPress does typically save your work automatically as you go, but this is not a fail-safe.
To be extra careful you can copy and paste your work as you go along into a separate, offline word document. If your CMS does not save your draft for whatever reason, then you still have a backup copy when the problem is resolved.
What are some best practices?
To write an excellent financial planning blog, you need some essential ingredients.
First of all, prepare a set of engaging and relevant topics for your upcoming blog posts. Nobody wants to read a blog about something boring, irrelevant or untimely.
Here, consider what is trending in the news and what has been coming up lately in client conversations. For instance, is the end of tax year coming up soon? In which case, an article on how clients can get the most from their allowances might be a good idea.
Secondly, think about which topics might be good from an SEO perspective (search engine optimisation). Certain topics will be easier to rank for in Google compared to others. Here, you’ll need to do some research and factor the findings into your content calendar.
Finally, think about your audience when writing your article. What do they expect from the content?
Here, the length and structure of the post is crucial. Also, think about the right tone to use in light of your branding.
Another good idea is to carefully consider the action you want readers to take, after finishing the post. Do you want them to continue on to read other posts? Do you want them to share the post with friends or family members? Do you want them to inquire?
Have a goal – or set of goals – for your post(s) and make sure your content supports these.