If you want your blog to be an effective tool in your financial advisor marketing arsenal, you need to commit to regular posting. But who has the time? Between addressing client needs and managing a practice and other responsibilities, many advisors struggle to carve out time for blogging.
Fortunately, crafting a great blog post doesn’t have to take hours. Embrace these four strategies and you should be able to quickly prepare a smart, engaging post. With practice, you can eventually cut the time it takes you to write a blog post to 60 minutes—or perhaps even less.
1. Make It Relevant
Choosing a topic is often the biggest stumbling block for advisors who blog. If you have a bad case of writer’s block, look no further than today’s paper. The news hook should help jump-start your writing, while timely, relevant content will help draw readers in.
The latest financial headlines are an obvious source of ideas, but don’t limit yourself to the business page. A story about the U.S. presidential race might inspire a post on maintaining a long-term perspective if the election affects the markets. An article on recent grads struggling with student loan debt could trigger a post on saving for college. A story about a dog biting a neighbor could help you explain why a person might need umbrella insurance.
When blogging about a topic that’s been in the news, be sure to add your own spin. If you’re writing about changes in tax laws, explain how those changes could affect a reader’s retirement planning decisions. If you’re discussing the latest housing data, discuss what the numbers could mean for homeowners in your area. Always make sure you’re adding value to the larger conversation.
2. Write What You Know
Writing on issues you know a lot about—such as retirement planning for business owners or estate planning—means you won’t waste valuable time researching unfamiliar topics. In addition, blogging on topics you’re already familiar with and passionate about will also make your writing lively and engaging. Your post will be more fun to read, which will keep your audience coming back for more.
Think about developing a niche for your blog, which will give it personality and purpose. Rather than writing about generic financial topics, you could become the “401(k) Guy,” or perhaps focus exclusively on the financial issues facing divorced women. When you focus on your unique area of expertise, you’ll be able to write confidently and from a position of authority, which will help you further position yourself as an expert.
3. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
Any length of post can benefit you. Rather than worry about the quantity of your words, focus on their quality. Use as many words as you need—no more, no less.
A few more tips about length:
- Write as much as you need to, and then stop. If you’ve written a great post on new tax laws, but it’s only 450 words long, don’t add on to it just to reach some arbitrary word count. Unless those extra words provide valuable information, they’re dead weight.
- If you have an extra-long post, break it into installments. You’ll keep the word count under control, and your readers will have a reason to come back to your blog the next day or next week.
- Use headings and bulleted lists to break up your post. Readers who are pressed for time can just scan for the highlights. These techniques can also help you quickly organize your thoughts.
- Good writers always edit their work. Before you click “publish,” review your post for grammatical errors and superfluous words. Not sure what to cut? Watch out for empty phrases like “it should be noted that,” “the fact of the matter is” or “that being said,” which should usually be deleted. Wordy phrases should be trimmed. Why say “depreciate in value” when you can just say “depreciate” or “due to the fact that” when “because” means the same thing?
4. Make It a Habit
Writing can be intimidating and time-consuming. The best way to efficiently turn out great blog posts? Just start writing, and then keep at it. With practice, you’ll find that blogging will get easier and take less time. Eventually, blog writing will become painless—and perhaps even fun.