Eight Reasons You Need A Financial Blogging Process
by Susan B. Weiner, CFA
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To improve your writing skills, please consider attending Susan’s five-week online class, “How to Write Investment Blog Posts People Will Read,” which starts Oct. 17. Participants will walk away with tips for how to:
- Generate and refine ideas for blog posts that will engage readers
- Organize thoughts before writing to blog more quickly and effectively
- Edit blog posts, so they are reader-friendly and appealing
You’ll find an overview of the class on Susan’s website. Early Bird pricing is available until Sept. 30.
A financial blog brings you many benefits. It attracts clients, deepens relationships with your existing clients and referral sources and makes your website more prominent in online searches. But you’ll reap none of these benefits if you fail to blog regularly with posts that appeal to your target audience. Avoid these problems by developing a process that makes it easier to achieve your goals.
Having a process means that you always know what your next step is. You focus your energy on decisions that make a difference instead of making the same decisions repeatedly. This will ease your path to powerful blog posts that are produced on time – or even ahead of schedule.
You must create a process that overcomes the eight reasons that many financial bloggers fail:
- You are daunted by facing a blank screen
Without a financial blogging process, you face a blank screen every time you start to blog. You have no idea what you’re going to write about. This can paralyze bloggers. At a minimum it slows you down.
With a process, you’re never at a loss for ideas. You know the topic areas that you want to cover. You have techniques, such as mind mapping, that help you to generate lists of potential topics ahead of time. You also know how to mine current events for topical posts.
- You don’t know how to organize your thoughts before you write
If you sit down and start writing as thoughts come to you, you’ll need to do a lot of editing.
If you organize your thoughts before you write – using mind mapping, a template or a checklist – your writing will flow more quickly and be better organized. Despite spending more time up front, you’ll spend less time overall on your financial blog posts. My Financial Blogging book includes a “Blog Post Preparation Worksheet.”
- You don’t know how to tighten your post’s organization
Every blog post benefits from a review of its “big picture” organization. Does it flow smoothly, or will readers be turned off by the difficulty of navigating your post?
My first-sentence check method is one way you can systematically check your post’s flow. It’s easy, too.
- You don’t know how to line-edit
Clear, grammatical sentences using plain language are most effective in reaching your target audience. If you don’t know how to evaluate your content, you’ll take longer than necessary.
Create a checklist of your most common mistakes and resources for fixing them, which will save you from researching them. Or, you can use – and customize – the “Blog Post Review Checklist” in my Financial Blogging book.
- You run into compliance problems when you don’t know the rules
Have you heard about people who’ve had problems with the SEC, FINRA or their firm’s internal compliance officers because they broke rules?
When you have a compliance process, you’ll stay on the right side of financial laws and regulations. For example, you’ll identify topics that you will and won’t write about. Talk with your compliance professional ahead of time to identify the necessary disclosures and what to avoid.
Read the full article here.