Three Steps to Building Your Content

by | May 14, 2017

Writing holds enormous potential for financial advisors. The key is to create a continuous stream of valuable information for their clients, prospects and anyone else that may land on the post.

How can you transition the use of your content marketing to drive traffic, establish yourself as an expert and ultimately grow your business? That’s exactly what I’ll tackle in this article, highlighting three main steps: finding your voice, creating a routine and managing and monitoring your results.

Finding your voice

Align your reader with your ideal client

Instead of writing content that interests you, focus on content that will interest those with whom you would like to work. Write as though you were talking to those individuals. It’s always nice to add stories and other personal touches.

Follow the 90/10 rule

Opt for sharing high-quality, helpful content 90% of the time to build trust, and be sure to pitch yourself 10% or less of the time. Rather than writing blog posts that are focused solely on the services you offer, write articles that reflect the problems you solve. Not only does this keep you from sounding salesy and spammy, but it also makes your promotional posts stand out and gain more attention.

Brand your posts

Maintain a consistent style not only with your blog images, but also with your tone, grammar and style. Branding makes your blog appear more professional and streamlined, helps your business become familiar to your audience, and fosters reader loyalty.

Write clearly

Writing for a blog is much different than writing a college thesis; people visit a blog and expect it to be very easy to read and easy to understand. A blog post should be a quick read and deliver valuable content. One tip that can help you simplify your writing is to imagine you are writing your post for middle-school-aged children. Make it so easy to read and understand that someone at a 7th or 8th grade reading level would understand it perfectly.

Determine an ideal length

Some suggest long-form content – 2,000 words or more for search-engine optimization (SEO) purposes, while others say that articles should be more in the 500-word range due to information overload and the attention span of the average reader. I recommend that articles range from 500 to 750 words, since the minimum number of words with many article directories is about 500. Writing 550 words is a safe bet. Ultimately, it is up to your personal preference.

Use relevant links

Inbound and outbound links are important for your SEO score.  They can also be a great tool to keep readers coming back to your blog.  These links must be relevant to your content and be useful to your reader, or they will become annoying.  Inbound links will direct your readers to other relevant posts on your blog.  When blogging, link to past posts whenever possible.  It will not only boost SEO, it will also compel them to enjoy past content that you have created.  Outbound links will direct your readers to other resources outside of your blog.  It is so important that these links be chosen with care.  They must not only be relevant, but they must also be reliable.  You do not want to send your readers to a questionable website.

Creating a routine

Inconsistency in blogging sends a message to your audience that you don’t take your blog seriously. Make blogging a part of your regular business routine.

Create an annual calendar theme

By creating an annual calendar you can explore recurring themes that come up each year.  It could be the seasons, holidays, or industry specific topics that are relevant during that time.  By having this reference you will be able to look back each year at what you have written in the past, revisit popular topics, or change things up to keep them interesting.

Brainstorm in bulk

It’s much easier to do this in bulk then one at a time. Sit down and create a list of topics that you haven’t covered yet and you think might engage your ideal client. Put the topics in one file – I use google docs since I can access this file on any device quickly if an idea pops in my head during non-business hours. It is much better if you can outline them immediately. Each time you need to update your blog, you can write your content in less than thirty minutes since the framework of the article has already been cut out for you.

Break it down

Write an in-depth treatment of a broad topic that is informative and helpful to your readers, then break it down into shorter articles. Post the sub-articles in a regularly spaced-out sequence, and do not forget to link them internally to the other parts of the article. The advantages of doing this are two-fold. One, you drive traffic to the other web pages in your site.  And two, you impress your readers with your expertise about a certain topic and cover a lot of perspectives.

Incorporate video

If you only have time to blog a few paragraphs each week, then supplement the web content with videos that instruct and showcase your product or your expertise. Embedding YouTube videos adds to your site’s overall SEO. This is also a great way to let your audience feel more connected to you.  They get to see you, hear your voice, and, hopefully, get a feel for your personality.

Managing and monitoring your results

 Manage your process

You cannot just write the content and then let it sit there.  You must bring awareness to what you are doing.  You can do this through sharing on social media or featuring your articles in an email blast.  No one will know that it is there if you do not tell them about it.

Monitor your performance

Google Analytics is a great tool to keep track of how your blog is performing, and where the traffic is coming from. It can be easy for these metrics to be forgotten, so set up weekly reports from Google Analytics to be delivered directly to your inbox.

Perform maintenance

Inspect your blog and social media postings for broken links. A broken link tarnishes the impression of your site and brand, as well as users’ perceptions of your expertise.

Creating captivating content that promotes your business can be a daunting task, especially for those who have never attempted it before. This task, however, is more than achievable and successful with the right motivation and direction.  You are a professional in your industry and you possess expertise and services that are of value to others.  Don’t be afraid to give some of that knowledge away and use it to the advantage of growing your own business.  Just be sure that you follow and keep to a guideline where you don’t overlook anything and always appear professional.

If you are interested in starting your own blog but may be a little apprehensive about it, or are simply unsure of where or how to get started, please give me a call and I will be happy to help you along in the process and get you moving towards growing your business.

Meet Crystal

Crystal Lee Butler, MBA
Crystal Lee Butler, MBA is a creative marketer and results-oriented business consultant with over a decade of experience collaborating with independent advisors. At Crystal Marketing Solutions, she delivers exceptional insights for financial professionals enabling them to create a consistent marketing presence so they can focus on the things that matter most to them.
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