How to Pick Your Next Blog Post Topic for Financial Advisers
Writing a blog post with any regularity is challenging. Writing for your business needs to generate results in order to justify the investment in time and effort. A few years ago one of the companies in my portfolio was in the news and I wrote a post about my thoughts on the potential consequences. Mainly I did it because I was sick of repeating myself to clients on the phone so I thought that writing a blog post about it would save me some time. While it may have saved me a little time and prevented some boredom, it wasn’t until several months later that I discovered the real benefit.
The Long Tail
One afternoon while I was checking my blog stats instead of making calls, I noticed some search traffic related to the investment I had written about months before. It wasn’t much, but it was the first time I’d noticed organic traffic for something so specific. For months I’d get a hit or two every few days, nothing significant, but it was consistent. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d stumbled on to what’s now commonly referred to as “long tail keywords.”
By this time I’d already read Chris Anderson’s book, “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More,” but I didn’t connect the dots between selling things and search terms. Essentially its the same thing. People are searching for something they want, be it products or information. Similar to the way you can find almost any product on Amazon…Google does the same for information.
Why It Matters
Google has an army of brilliant engineers trying to make sure you get good information when using their search engine. If you write something that is relevant to a question someone asks in Google you stand a good chance of getting found…assuming the question they are asking is specific enough IE a long tail question. In the example I used earlier, the particular investment I wrote about wasn’t well known, and when people started searching about it, there wasn’t much information available so my blog post was ranked high enough in the search results to get read.
Leveraging the Long Tail
I blogged sporadically over the next few years, but in 2013 I put what I learned about long tails to good use. An investment in my portfolio was making plans to go public and the information they were providing was vague and confusing. Recalling what I had observed a few years prior, I tried to identify questions people would be asking about the investment. Whenever the company released new information, I’d write a blog post. Eventually I created a special page on my website so people could easily read through all the information I’d collected.
At one point in my little experiment, I was ranked on the first page in the search results and I was getting over 500 page views a day. I realize that this isn’t much traffic in the grand scheme of things, but these were people who had no idea who I was…and they were asking me for advice. Some of my posts from that period had dozens of comments which led to multiple phone conversations with people who needed my help.
The next time you are trying to pick your next blog post topic, be sure to check your analytics to see if there are any search terms you can use as a starting point. If you don’t have that kind of data (contact me), try to recall recent questions from clients. Is there something there you can write about?
Let me know how it works for you, I’d love to hear your stories or answer any questions.
If writing blog posts isn’t your thing that’s cool too, we’d be happy to do it for you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to talk.
Bandon Capital Management was acquired by Logan Circle Partners in late 2014. The beautiful website we spent months building was unceremoniously retired as part of the transaction.
Mutual Fund website design made easy
Publicly communicating anything in the investment world is difficult to do (but we know how to do it, more here), and creating a website that is both informative and visually stimulating the primary objective for our client. Bandon Capital Management is a pioneer in the investment (absolute return long – short bonds if you are wondering) world and they’ve taken that same approach to their website design. Eschewing stock photos and cliche images of old men in suits, they opted for a design that was fresh, modern, and full of custom graphics and images.
A few details
In addition to good design, they had a few other requirements to make their website compliant with FINRA. One of those was the ability to make certain content only accessible to financial professionals, but still be easy to use and maintain. To accomplish this we customized a lightweight membership plugin to keep it simple, yet still do the job. The other was a separate section for BandonFunds.com that used the same data base, but didn’t run afoul of the regulators (how we accomplished that was a challenge!)
Another interesting add on was a quiz to test visitors knowledge of Long – Short debt. It’s a fun and clever way to help educate people on what they do without being boring. A nice little add on is the ability to share results with your friends (or not if you didn’t do so well). Take the Long – Short Challenge.
Great clients make great projects
All in all it was a great project to work on. The team at Bandon is very knowledgeable, yet they allowed us to use our expertise to help communicate their message. We look forward to continuing our relationship as we move into an ongoing marketing role where we’ll help create content and continue to broadcast their message with the goal of attracting more investors in the fund. (If you are worried about the possibility of rising interest rates, give them a call or tell your broker to look at BANIX)
What do you think?
Social Media Makeover for WIN members
For the rest of March, we’re taking half off our social media makeover!
Social media is one of the first places new customers are going to “meet” you and your company. What will that first impression be? Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube profiles send the right message.
If you are within 30 miles of our office, we’ll send Brady over with his fancy camera to take pictures! If you’ve ever had professional pictures taken, you know this is a screaming deal. If you are not within range of our visual arts master, we take what you have and work with it. If it’s rubbish, we’ll do something with graphics instead.
Custom Profile Image
Custom Cover Photo
Google Plus Page
Custom Profile Image
Custom Cover Photo
Custom Profile Image
Custom Channel Art
Custom Profile Image
Custom Background Image
Custom Header Image
Custom Standard Logo
Custom Square Logo
A Simple Question
What do we (Workshed) do? The imprecise answer is that we build websites and help businesses with marketing; it’s also an oversimplification of what’s really going on. The reality is that these are just outcomes – solutions to a challenge, but not really what we are actually doing. If you were to start asking why we do various things, you’d quickly realize that the why, is what Workshed is all about.
Asking this one question (why) over and over allows us to understand the core issues facing our clients; even if they don’t. In the day to day running of a business, it can be difficult to discern areas of inefficiency. Our objectivity allows us to observe operations without the biases that come from years of experience.
In addition to understanding the how’s and why’s of your business, we also have to acquaint ourselves with your customer. During this get-to-know, you phase of a project we are (among other things) seeking to understand your customers. Who are they, why do they buy, what need are they attempting to satisfy, and how you can optimally serve them (taking into account your own goals and values).
Once we know what you do and whom you should be doing it for, we start to craft solutions to bring the two of you together. This is where the websites, social media, and marketing come in. They are specific methods crafted to connect you with your ideal client. The outcome is the focus, not the tool. We are solution agnostic.
When you’re a hammer, all you see is nails.
When the tool takes precedence over the objective (to sell stuff) it’s easy to waste time and money. If you start with a clearly defined objective, the probability of success is dramatically increased.
What’s the Difference?
It all boils down to perspective. You might be tempted to assume that because our process usually ends up in a website that our websites are just like that of any other web design firm.
You’d be wrong.
I Thought You Built Websites for Business
Workshed is a team of passionate problem solvers who help businesses succeed as a way of expressing that passion. Contrast what we do with the typical web design company who build websites as an expression of their interest in technology. The technology might be cool, but if it doesn’t attract paying customers it isn’t getting results.
We get results because we focus on them.
The Simple Answer
So what does Workshed do? We get you the right kind of customers and more of them!
How do we do it?
By focusing on the solution rather than the tool.
Do you need more ideal customers?
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What do you do?
Part of what we do at Workshed is help our clients distill their value to potential customers into bite-sized chunks that are easily understood. It’s a lot easier to do for other people than it has been for our own business. In truth, we do a bunch of different things that are all intended to do one main thing – make you more money (not in the Ebenezer Scrooge sense, but in a healthy, sustainable sense). Communicating that succinctly has been challenging.
In nearly all of our initial meetings, the question of the cost comes up. While this is perfectly normal question, it’s not very helpful in making a decision about retaining our services. In reality, we perform our services and build websites that cost nothing. No, we don’t work for free, but the additional revenue and cost savings we create more than pays for what we charge.
Enter the analogy
Imagine the revenue of your business as a delicious pie (or a pie chart if you have no imagination). To explore the cost issue in this scenario, we’d essentially be asking you to give us a slice of pie. For some businesses, $5-10k might be a significant chunk of that pie, and with pie being so delicious, they don’t want to share. We understand your aversion to pie sharing in this situation…we are businesses owner too and have been asked to share our pie many times. That’s why we became bakers.
Rather than ask for a piece of your existing pie, we help you bake a bigger one. A pie large enough to give us a slice and still have more leftover than the pie you started with.
We bake bigger pies
What’s our recipe? Simple, we focus on the result rather than just one or two ingredients like the flour or baking soda (which are not delicious on their own). We combine our ingredients (websites, design, photography, marketing, social media, video production) to bake a delicious pie for your customers.
Now you know what we do. Anyone hungry?
Order a Pie