Financial firms: Got a blog?
I sure hope you do.
It might sound like an obvious statement, but your blog is your biggest reader magnet. Without one, you’re practically undiscoverable in the 400 million active websites online today.
According to Demand Metric, 90% of businesses are blogging in 2020. By the time you’re done reading this article, tens of thousands of posts will have been finished and pushed live. With 77% of all internet users reading blogs now, and blogs considered one of the top five most trustworthy sources of information, there’s no bones about it — your finance business needs a blog.
But there’s a lot of content already out there, which means you’re facing stiff competition.
And if you’re in a popular niche like finance, the competition is even fiercer. You need expert financial blog writers on your side.
Psst… we craft industry specialist content for brands in the finance space! See our expert finance writer rates here.
However, competition for eyeballs isn’t all talented financial blog writers have to worry about. From special quality requirements by Google to features of the industry itself, here’s why it pays to invest in a writer who knows that they’re doing in this field (plus plenty of actionable tips for you to get started writing your finance blog!).
Let’s dive in!Financial blog articles are hard to do well and easy to mess up. Why? You need financial know-how AND engaging writing. ✍💰💲 @JuliaEMcCoy discusses the expertise you need and how to write for this tough industry. Click To Tweet
First Things First: Offering Financial Advice Is Tricky Business Even Under Normal Circumstances
Have you ever received well-meaning but inaccurate financial advice from a friend or family member?
They probably thought they knew what they were talking about. It probably sounded good. Maybe you even acted upon it. But surprise!
Things didn’t go so great. 😬
Let me be the first to warn you: Google is well aware of people like your friend or family member, and they don’t have time for crappy financial content in their search engine.
You may already be an expert on finance, but if you’re thinking about starting a finance blog, make sure you do your homework. 📚
Specifically, make sure you know how to convey to Google the fact that you do, in fact, know what you’re talking about.
Your Money or Your Life
Unlike writers in other industries, financial blog writers need to be aware of a small but uber-critical quality requirement: YMYL.
It stands for Your Money or Your Life.
According to Google, YMYL topics are those that can impact a person’s future happiness, health, safety, or financial stability. The Official Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines require a Very High-Quality rating for all pages that fall under YMYL. That’s because if someone follows the advice and it turns out to be poor or inaccurate, it can have serious negative consequences on their life, happiness, health, or finances.
How do you demonstrate quality under YMYL?
You make sure your readers are E-A-Ting the best content! Demonstrate:
- Identify authors and their credentials. Showcase your company’s accomplishments and dedicate yourself to never publishing low-quality content. Ever.
- Develop your brand’s authority by consistently publishing high-quality, well-researched, and cited content on specific topics.
- Be transparent about who you are and what your company is about. Have your contact information clearly listed, and make sure all other important info is easy to find.
But! Make sure you’re actually demonstrating that authority to back it up, even if you’ve got the most interesting blog in the world. 😉
‼HOT TIP: Financial blog writers need to be aware of a small but uber-critical quality requirement for ranking: YMYL (Your Money or Your Life). Learn more ➡ Click To Tweet
How to Write Financial Blog Articles That Win Audiences (and Conversions!)
It’s easy to fall into the trap of dry, uninspired writing, but the best finance blog writers know just how to spice up the copy to win audiences and conversions.
Here’s a quick guide for financial bloggers and a few tips when writing a finance blog.
1. Analyze Your Target Audience, Then Speak Directly to Them
Nobody likes being talked at – on the internet, talking at your audience is a great way to scare them off.
With financial blog articles, it can be easy to sink into that. However, you should be cultivating your unique voice in a way that creates a conversation with your readers.
The best way to speak to your readers? Understand their language, their needs, goals, and desires.
You can identify those things with a target persona. You can think of a target persona as a case study of your readers. It can shed insight into what topics you should discuss, what you should avoid, and how to approach conversations for the best possible reception.
I also recommend that you:
- Define your target audience as narrowly as possible. Finance is such a big topic that it’s better for you to define the scope of your blog as narrowly as you can. That also allows you to develop your content differentiation factor.
- Identify your audience’s reading level. A finance blog written for investment specialists will sound very different from one intended for the general public.
- Embrace the human element. Finances can be a touchy, emotional subject. So, don’t be afraid to address the human element of the conversation to get in touch with your audience.
When your target audience is well-defined, it will show! Compare the Financial Samurai to the Penny Hoarder (below). Who is the target audience of each?
2. Give Your Financial Blog Readers a Reason to Read
We like to know that we’re going to get something for our efforts. So, with every financially-centric blog you post, get in the habit of putting yourself in your target audience’s shoes and asking yourself: what’s in it for me?
People (usually) don’t go looking through financial blog content unless they’re enthusiasts on the topic. If they’ve landed on one of your articles, chances are they’re looking for advice. Therefore, pay special attention to the value that you’re providing by highlighting the clear benefits of each article. Do:
- Make tips and advice as actionable as possible
- Break down concepts and leave your readers feeling more knowledgeable than they were
- Lay out the key points and benefits early (the introduction is a great place) so readers know what they’re getting and why reading this blog is worth their time
- Share your unique wisdom and perspective (content differentiation factor!)
When writing financial topics, you need to be engaging and informative, but NOT stuffy, to win readers. Learn how to take the “stuffy” out of your writing in my Unlearn Essay Writing course.
3. Use Your Blog as an Opportunity to Build Relationships
According to Bankrate, the average adult in the U.S. stays with their bank for some 16 years – five years longer than the average marriage lasts.
The best financial writers know that the industry is used to thinking in terms of (and emphasizing) relationships, so they take care to demonstrate this in the content they create.
If you’re treating each blog as a conversation with your readers, you’ve already taken the first step toward building a relationship with them.
Now, take it a step further.
In 2020, readers want to know that you’re there to provide value, and to be of service beyond simply doing what it takes to win a sale. Readers convert to customers when they not only feel good about the product, but also the company providing it.
Why? Focusing on building relationships sends the message that you care about the experience your customers have with you. According to PwC, 73 percent of customers will stay loyal if that experience is a good one.
So, take the opportunity to show your readers you care. Always remember to:
- Showcase your transparency with author bios and credentials clearly listed (remember: YMYL!)
- Use compelling CTAs to invite your readers to interact with your brand further
- Invite feedback via blog comments or other forms
- Create content that makes your readers part of your story
4. Get Catchy with Financial Headlines
Mastering the art of headline writing matters for all content writers, but it’s especially important for financial blog writers. Why?
Because when 73 percent of people are skimming your blogs, what are their eyes going to catch?
The headlines. And let’s be honest, which would you rather read…
- IRS Advice for the Self-Employed
- Self-Employed? Lower Your Tax Burden With These Lesser-Known Credits
When it comes to financial blog content, use catchy headlines that emphasize what’s in it for the reader. Consider headlines that indicate an article will:
- Make life easier
- Show the reader how to do something
- Present information backed by science
- Share hard-won wisdom or personal experience
- Provide a fresh take on an overdone topic
(These are great tips right here!)
Which headlines stand out to you, and what do they all say about who the Penny Hoarder’s target audience is?
5. Avoid Finance Jargon Jungles
Last but not least, financial articles can run on the long side. (Neil Patel once found that the average length of a finance blog article was around 2,500 words.)
That’s plenty of space to stray waaaaaay into the weeds. 🌿🌼
On its own, that’s not a bad thing. There are lots of gems of wisdom to be found in the weeds. But you also run the risk of getting trapped in jargon jungles, using terminology that might prove confusing to your readers.
Remember: the average adult reads at a ninth-grade reading level. Unless you’re writing specifically for a crowd who you know will understand the terms, it’s better for your readers (and SEO) to use plain English as much as possible.📰 Newsflash: The average adult reads at a 9th grade reading level. Unless you’re writing for a crowd you know will understand the terms, it’s better for your readers (and SEO) to use plain English as much as possible. 👍 Click To Tweet
Need Expert Financial Blog Writers? We Got ‘Em!
TL;DR: finance blog writing is its own kettle of fish bait.
From satisfying Google’s special quality requirements to crafting engaging, accessible copy, you’ve got a lot on your hands. I’ve provided a bunch of tips for you to get started writing a finance blog, but an expert financial blog writer can also help.