We promise, blogging doesn’t have to be a nuisance. You can spend just a few hours a month developing content that your clients and prospects actually want to read. However we understand those few hours are valuable to your financial planning business, so we are making sure they don’t go to waste.
If you’ve been blogging for years, we’re here to warn you about actions that are only counter productive. If you’re only just beginning to think about blogging and don’t know where to start, we are going to tell you exactly where NOT to start.
To make sure your time, effort, and blog aren’t squandered, avoid these top 10 blogging mistakes:
1. Not Having a Niche
We’re going to have to start with business basics here. Sometimes it sounds more enticing to market to everyone and anyone. You’d be bound to build a bigger customer base, right? You guessed it – nope! You’ve probably heard this before but you can’t be everything for everybody.
It’s crucial you define your niche before you do anything else. Having a focus is great for building your business strategy and will drastically improve your blog. By choosing a niche, you can write directly to your readers. Your blog topics will be more specific, and ultimately more interesting and informative to a smaller group of people.
For example, maybe you’re an advisor who is interested in working with small businesses specifically on insurance needs. You shouldn’t waste time writing about the mortgage market when you could provide more valuable blogs to your target audience around the topic of insurance.
2. Not Including a CTA
So you’ve created a great blog and have a decent reader base. Some advisors might think that is good enough, but being in the financial services industry, don’t you wonder how you can capitalize on your blog?
Blogs are great for your SEO and connecting with clients, but they are way more powerful than that. By using calls to action (CTAs), you have the ability to influence prospects to become more than just readers. Whether you want to verify them as leads with a newsletter sign up or you want them to schedule a meeting with you, CTAs are simple but effective.
Adding in CTAs to your blog posts take no time at all and will boost your lead generation and essentially help generate new clients for your business.
3. Not Backlinking
Backlinking is an incredibly easy task, but we still see so many financial planners missing out! All you have to do is link text in your blogs back to other relevant blog posts or website pages.
Backlinks play a huge role in your SEO and Google ranking, resulting in a more accessible website for prospects. However, the key word here is “relevant.” This positive influence backlinking has is based on it quality of the link, meaning linking the words “estate planning” to your friend’s construction business would not be sufficient.
For example, an advisor writing a post on student loans could link keywords back to other related blog posts on tuition, loans, providers, parents saving for their kids, or how to save as a millennial.
4. Not Using the Right Image: Word Ratio
We’re betting you let out a sigh too when you open a long article with no images. Images are not just for children’s picture books, they are essential on your blog too! Even if your using them, you might not be using them right.
Its not the number of images that affect your blog but rather their placement. BuzzSumo found that articles with am image every 75-100 words got 2X the about of shares than articles with fewer images and a minimum of 30 more shares that articles with more images.
For your advisor blog, you should break up your text similarly to keep visitors engaged.
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5. Not Making Your Blog User Friendly
Similarly to our last point, no one is enticed to read a long, boring novel. When prospects see advisor blogs will long sheets of text, it only scares them away. It’s time to make writing blog posts easier for you and even more importantly, your readers.
Instead of writing a book, use a blog the way it was intended! Use header tags to denote important topics or sections within your post. List out important information in bulleted lists when you can. This will make it easier for your visitors to digest the information. Lastly, don’t forget to keep your paragraphs short, giving readers a break and keeping them engaged. If it works for you, make an outline before hand to understand how you will split up the information.
Making your blog user friendly sounds easy, but its just as easy to forget. Remembering this particular point will also help decrease your blog’s bounce rate and instead will increase the time visitors spend on your website.
6. Not Using an Editorial Calendar
Many advisors post to their blogs only once in a blue moon or on a whim when the inspiration kicks in. This doesn’t help you, your business, SEO, or audience.
Blogging is not the place to let go of organization and structure. Not because it’s a rigid task, it can actually be a lot of fun, but because something like an editorial calendar or posting schedule will make your life so much easier! It’s also a great place to keep your ideas so you don’t forget when the time comes to write it out.
Whether you’ve blogged for a few years or are just a beginner, you may not think about blogging as part of your normal everyday to-do list. By using an editorial calendar you can keep your blogging consistent and doable, while holding yourself accountable. If you’re just starting out, we recommend advisors aim to publish 4-6 blog posts a month, at a minimum.
Get Your FREE Editorial Calendar Template! Get organized and keep track of your blog content for each month with our editorial calendar template. DOWNLOAD NOW
7. Not Editing
By the time you finish writing a blog post, it can be so tempting to simply press “publish” and be done. Unfortunately, there is bound to be a few typos and grammatical errors.
When your blog comes across as unprofessional and not polished, it can reflect poorly on your business. By taking the additional few minutes to re-read your blog post before hitting that publish button, you can save time and embarrassment in the long run. It takes less than 30 minutes to revise your blog post and is an easy fix.
Sometimes when you read your own work, you can still miss a few issues so consider having another one of your team members check your work and in return you can review their’s.
8. Not Writing Creatively
Be honest with yourself. Is your writing dry? Lets face it, the financial industry can be dull but that doesn’t mean your writing has to be. Keep in mind your not writing a term paper and even if you were, people don’t like reading them!
You should write in a style that people enjoy reading. Think about the types of articles and blog posts that catch your eye? Maybe they are a bit sarcastic or use metaphors to explain technical matters. Steer clear of the financial industry’s dizzying amount of jargon and get creative with your writing.
To be honest, it can be difficult to get readers to stay and read an entire blog, so it’s important to compel them to stay with a good writing style.
9. Not Showing Your Personality
A blog is often a prospects first impression of you and your financial planning firm, yet we read many advisors’ blog posts that show no personality. We understand it can be a bit uncomfortable to stray from a professional voice, but we promise it is worth it.
As a financial planner, your prospects and clients want to get to know the real you. We’re telling you its okay (actually preferred!) to infuse some of your own personality throughout your blog posts. If you’re someone who is known to crack jokes here and there, don’t be afraid to do that while blogging. Maybe your a huge pop culture junkie? You can make make those references where applicable too.
After you write a few blog posts through your personal voice, we promise that writing will come way easier than when you wrote with a more professional tone.
10. Not Committing
Do you have a fear of commitment? We’re not talking about your love life, we’re talking about your commitment to blogging.
If you want your blog to be successful, you do actually have to put some time and effort into it. Your blog isn’t like PPC advertising with instant results. It takes time to create content worth reading, build traffic, and search engine visibility.
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