So, you’re thinking about writing a blog article–great! You absolutely should. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re ready; however, you still may need a friendly nudge to get started. Here’s what you need to know to create and then (more importantly) promote your blog.
Pick a topic—any topic. Select a subject that you would like to discuss. Seems simple, right? It is and it should be. Current trends, common misconceptions, how-tos and suggested best practices are all good starting points for a topic.
Research. Take a few moments and read about the topic. You probably have a good idea going into the article what you want to talk about. And maybe you have a concept that needs some refining. Either way, Google the subject in advance and read a couple of articles. This will help to dust off any writer’s cobwebs, re-affirm your articles position, and might even provide a few statistics that drive home your point.
Just start writing. I can tell you from lots of personal experience that this is the hardest part. Where do you start? What if I lose focus? What if the words suddenly vanish? What if the topic seems so basic and obvious? What if it sounded so much better in my head? And a million other hurdles. They are normal. Just take a deep breath, find a comfortable, distraction-free place, and start writing.
Keep writing. This is kind of funny. About half of our clients say the first story was effortless. “I had the words in my head for years and now it was so much fun to write them down and share my thoughts with the world.” Or—the opposite. “Ah man, that was tough. I haven’t written anything since college—20 years ago. What is a comma? Where do they go?” Either way, don’t worry about it. Just keep writing.
Develop a queue. It’s amazing how quickly you will write three blog articles, then poof! Life distraction and two months disappear. You’re stuck panicking and wondering, “What am I going to write about?” By having a queue of 2-3 articles, a “blog bank,” if you will, you’ve created some breathing room allowing you to think about a topic, let your ideas and research marinate, and provide ample time to fully develop your article.
Power of proofreading. Now that you’ve finished your piece, it’s time for copy-editing. Yes, hire a copy-editor. Find someone who loves the English language and knows all the idiosyncratic syntax rules. Their editing will help your article flow to increase readability as well as save you from grammar embarrassment.
One word to the wise, your compliance department is staffed with wonderful people and they will read your articles; however, please do not expect them to be your copy-editors. Additionally, give your article to a reader not in our industry to see if they can understand and follow the article; it makes for good feedback.
Publish. Deep breath, hit that button. Publish your article on your website. Share it on social media. Send it via email to your contact list. Share, promote, and champion your work. Congratulations, you are now a published author; keep up the good work!
Promote on social media. Post your article hyperlink to your social media profiles and share it. Add a comment about why your social followers should read the article. Then find the #hashtags that relate to your article: try #fiduciary #401k #PlanSponsor #FinancialWellness, just to name a few. Tag your article with key search terms to optimize for search engines.
Get social. Don’t be shy. Send an email to your co-workers and trusted peers asking them to like, comment, and share your article. When people socially interact, your article takes on a life of its own and will benefit from an extended lifespan and exposure on many social media newsfeeds. This helps to promote your thoughts and expert retirement plan advisor authority.
Following these nine steps can help you create and promote a wow-worthy blog. It’s going to take time to develop your natural voice and get your writing chops, but don’t worry. Keep writing and eventually, you will.
Remember, consistency is the key. A consistent blog will help you develop your aforementioned chops and it is a great way for plan sponsor clients, prospects, and centers of influence to recognize your retirement plan voice, experience, and expertise. It will help to boost your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), can lead to speaking opportunities, magazine publications, enhanced social media followers, as well as helping you become recognized as the retirement plan advisory authority in your community.
About 401(k) Marketing
We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Our clients are the best professional retirement plan advisors and TPAs in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voice through industry writings, professionally-designed marketing materials (including websites), and expert content collateral. We support in promoting their businesses through on-going awareness campaigns. 401(k) Marketing is based in San Diego, CA.
Check us out at www.401k-marketing.com.