Blogging with confidence

I have spent a good deal of time trying to convince advisors of the importance of blogging. A great blog can establish your credibility, bring in clients and take your business to the next level. Here is my recipe for the perfect blog post:

Craft an irresistible title. I’ll be honest: This is something I’m still working on. I’ve heard the saying that those who write for an online audience should spend 10 percent of their time writing the body of an article and 90 percent of their time creating the perfect, irresistible title. While I don’t necessarily agree with that equation — if the title is so much better than the article, surely your audience will be disappointed, right? — it does get the point across: Your title is important.

  • A few tips for creating an irresistible title:
  • Use action words (verbs).
  • Explain clearly what the article is about.
  • Know your audience.

Create quality content. Quality content is 100 percent based on the characteristics of your audience. Write with them in mind. What are their problems? What do they do for fun? What’s interesting to them? And above all, how can you help them? Use your blog to share your professional knowledge and expertise. The Internet provides a world of opportunity for you to present yourself as a thought leader in the financial planning community. Use this to your benefit by explaining current events or news stories. If you’re having trouble coming up with quality content ideas, try answering questions from your clients. For instance, take a question you get asked frequently, create a well-crafted response and post on your blog.

Talk to your audience. Encourage engagement within your posts. Ask your audience what they think about your ideas and how they feel about a given situation. When readers comment on your posts, reply to them as quickly as possible. Ask questions and interact. Think of your blog as a community and encourage people to become involved.

Be real. Online readers generally appreciate not being “sold” to. Be real, speak from the heart and don’t be afraid to show your flaws. Instead of talking about your audience, talk to them. The easiest way to do this is to use words such as “you,” “we” and “me.” If you treat your writing more like a conversation than a textbook, readers will be much more likely to read it.

Share on social media. In order for people to read your post, make sure they know it exists. Blast your social-media streams a couple of times a day and share the links to your newest posts. Don’t be shy about spreading the word, especially if your blog is new. By using a tool such as Hootsuite, you can streamline your social-media efforts. Hootsuite offers a free service that allows advisors to create and schedule social media posts in advance.

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