Blogs are an important element of a successful social media campaign and yet many financial advisors still don’t have one. Here are four excuses for not having a blog that you need to jettison.

1. “I don’t have time.” Yes, blogging takes time. But the time you put into it will reward you many times over. Blogging has a plethora of marketing benefits. For example, a blog:

  • Is inexpensive marketing. Period.
  • Keeps you sharp. Composing good content can require a little research on your part, which can keep you informed about matters affecting your industry.
  • Establishes your expertise. Potential clients have more reason to trust you if you’re continually publishing content illustrating your knowledge.
  • Is great PR. A strong blog is like an automatic weapon: You can fire it off repeatedly. Post your blog to your social media platforms—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest—you name it. It’s an awesome way to get your name and brand out there. (Ninety-eight percent of journalists begin their research online—and they definitely look at blogs.)

 2. “Nobody will read it.” According to a recent Spectrem Group study, “nearly one-third of investors worth $5 million or more say they either read or would read blogs by trusted financial advisers.”

Even if your blog doesn’t get the traffic you hope for, consider its impact on your search engine optimization. Your blog doesn’t need a four digit following to improve your search engine ranking. Use a common search term in your blog (“retirement portfolio,” for instance), and the next time a prospect searches for that term, he will be more likely to find you in his results.

3. “I have nothing to talk about.” It may take you some time to find your blogging “voice,” but the fact is that you are the expert. You already know your stuff. All you need to do is present that knowledge and information in a fun, easy-to-read format. Once you get used to the short, less formal format of a blog, it’s a relatively simple process.

Try these tips to get your juices flowing:

  • Brainstorm the points you want to make
  • Have a short introduction that draws readers in
  • Use bite-sized bullets that address key points
  • Keep language conversational; no fancy jargon
  • Keep blogs short (300-700 words)
  • Use visually appropriate and appealing images
  • Use hyperlinks

4. “I’m not a good writer.” Don’t let pen shyness and writer’s block stop you. Here are some tricks to overcome the anxiety of writing:

  • Hire a ghost writer
  • Compose a video blog instead of a written blog
  • Re-purpose existing content. (Find something else out there and change it up to fit your needs.)
  • Have your team take turns writing content
  • Invite guest bloggers to contribute content. This is not only a great way to attract more readers, it also relieves the responsibility of producing all of the content on your own.

Blogging is just one element of a solid social-media marketing campaign. Start your blog today and give yourself a huge leg up in your industry.

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Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and president of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website at www.financialsocialmedia.com  and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.