When done correctly, blog posts can drive an immense amount of traffic to your site, and in turn, much more brand awareness. In the Age of Information, people want to be able to find answers to their problems in just a few keystrokes – and they often feel camaraderie with the brands and sources that provide it.
This is particularly true in the financial industry, since most people have many, many burning questions about managing and maximizing their money. It’s also an industry that will immediately benefit from building trust with consumers through providing transparent information.
But blog posts are a dime a dozen, even in the finance industry – so how is a brand to stick out and form consumer relationships? With email newsletter and social leads abounding, it’s important to create compelling, informative, high-quality posts.
Writing excellent blog posts is all about maximizing your readership and connecting with your audience. Half the battle is getting eyes on your article, while the other half is keeping them there. Think about it this way when you’re writing: Would YOU read this post all the way through?
Here’s how to start writing your own compelling articles:
Pick a Topic
This might seem simple, but picking a good topic is the most important task on this list – and also the most anxiety-inducing. For starters, beginning with your topic creates post focus. The more specific each post is to one topic, the better. Not only will it more likely create content that consumers that are actively searching for, but it will also be more gripping to read.
Most long-term traffic comes from search engines. While posting an article to your social media profiles might mean it sees a spike in traffic for a few days, a post tailored to organic search will see traffic increase consistently over time. This is a big perk when it comes to building brand awareness and creating conversions!
To figure out what people are searching, there are a wealth of resources you can make use of. Keyword tools are a great place to find out which words and phrases people are frequently searching. Twitter is another great place to track questions and trends.
And, of course, SEO (search engine optimization) still plays a role in blog post visibility. When you find keywords to create topics around, be sure to use those keywords and their variants throughout your post and embed links to other posts of yours whenever possible.
One last trick for coming up with compelling blog post ideas: See what’s working for everyone else! Resources can be competitors in your own industry or creative ideas from other industries that you can tailor to financial services.
Master Your Headline
Next up is creating a good headline that will draw readers (and potential customers) in. This is a time to borrow tips from your favorite newspaper: The headline should be as descriptive and specific as possible. It’s tempting to get creative or poetic but save that for your copy body – readers want to know what they’re getting into before they click.
That said, you still want your headlines to be engaging. It’s OK to spice them up! Just don’t sacrifice clarity for pizzazz. An ideal headline will be somewhere between five and fifteen words.
A huge part of crafting compelling content is cohesion, and that begins with organization! This step also makes writing blog posts much, much quicker and easier. The easiest way to organize a post is through an outline.
It doesn’t have to be as complex as the one you used to write for English class, but it’s helpful to create a few subheads after you choose a topic and headline. What information are you trying to convey? How would you categorize that info?
You can always spice up your subheads later, too – it’s initially more important to create the scaffolding of your post. After you have an idea of what broad points you want to speak to, you can begin to “dump” notes and information into each category, bullet style. That will make writing each section out a breeze!
We’re circling back to the actual writing process now that you have a headline, subheads, and notes on the page. Your first paragraph should be straight to the point and attention grabbing. As they say in journalism, don’t bury the lede. Readers don’t want to have to guess when you’re going to get to the point!
Part of grabbing attention is also using an appropriate amount of personality in your writing. While it’s always good to be professional, that can quickly translate to boring or stuffy content. Keeping attention, on the other hand, can be aided by making the post easy to read. This is achieved through shorter, broken-up paragraphs and visual aids.
Which brings us to…
Break it up with Bullets and Images
Using visual cues to break up walls of text is a great way to make sure readers don’t get overwhelmed or bored and quit reading. Images in particular add visual pizzazz, and the financial industry in particular can make use of graphs, charts, and graphics to help make complicated topics more digestible.
Bullets are ideal for succinct lists. The only thing you’ll want to avoid when using bullets to break up text is creating bulleted paragraphs. Keep each bullet to one line and two at the most.
Get Expert Opinions if You Can
Another ode to traditional news and magazine articles is the use of the expert. If it’s possible to quote or interview anyone who would add to the credibility of your post (even if that’s an internal source!) helps give marketers a boost in legitimacy and intrigue.
Use a Call to Action
Then, of course, there’s the call to action. While a blog post shouldn’t come across as a hard sales pitch, it’s still important to give readers an actionable step to take, even if that’s just leaving a comment on the post.
Other CTAs you can provide include:
- Share your post
- Sign up for your newsletter
- Enter a contest
- Answer questions
- Utilize a resource
- Make a purchase
In short, writing compelling blog posts is about being useful. The more you can help people by offering expertise and assistance in your niche, the more brand awareness and conversions you’ll generate.
Does your financial firm need help with a blog content strategy? We’d love to help. Reach out today, and let’s get started.
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