2020 was a year that we all want to forget, but in terms of marketing and content creation, many of us reached milestones that we were not expecting. We are heading in an increasingly digital direction, but social distancing rapidly moved us in this direction, forcing us all to make changes and pivot much quicker than we expected.
Many marketers and advisors are planning on blogging this year, and most of those will fail. Why is that? We’ve got 6 reasons that they won’t succeed plus ways to ensure that your blog section doesn’t fail.
6 Blogging Mistakes Plus Ways to Correct Them
1. You Don’t Have a Content Strategy
When you are creating a strong marketing plan, it’s important that you have a strategy. While you want to get your content out there, if you go about creating it without a strategy in place, then it will be more difficult to achieve success.
When you are going to plan a content strategy, organization and planning are key. One way to do this is by creating an editorial calendar. Having one of these can help you to develop monthly theme and blog post ideas with a way to keep track of how much space you should include between each. Original content is best, and your blogs need to provide value for your readers and address their pain points, making them want to continue reading.
When you are trying to decide how many blogs to post, pick a schedule and try to remain consistent. As a financial advisor, we know how busy you can get, so don’t feel like you need to blog every day, especially at the start. We recommend trying to blog at least once a week or 4-6 times a month at the start until you can get into a rhythm and find out what works best for you.
At Twenty Over Ten, we strive to make content creation as simple as possible for you, which is why we offer Content Assist to our users. You can go in and choose blog posts by category then load them into your website where you can then edit them based on your specific audience by adding keywords, SEO specific content and give the fully-customizable blogs your own voice. Once you have chosen the articles that you want to be published, you can choose a schedule, whether it be for the entire month or quarter, making it simple to come up with a content strategy that you can stick to.
2. You Have Not Optimized For Search
Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day, which means that it is crucial that your blog section is optimized for search. This includes using strong keywords that cater to your niche, ensuring that your site is mobile-friendly, including header tags to make for more digestible reading and many other factors. Having an optimized website and blog section does take effort, but doing so can really boost your SEO ranking and help you drive more traffic to your site. With a Twenty Over Ten website, you can easily ensure that each of these sections is optimized to ensure higher SEO rankings.
You should think of a meta description as a short advertisement for your content or web page. A lot of the time, searchers are going to read your meta description before deciding to actually click on your website, so it’s important they’re properly written and optimized.
STEP 1: Access your “page settings” from your sidebar.
STEP 2: Scroll down until you reach the SEO description box and add your content.
STEP 3: Your metadata should be a short 1-2 sentence description of the content appearing on that particular page. After you have added the content of your choice, click the save button.
ADD ALT TEXT TO IMAGES
Google cannot crawl images, so make sure you are adding alt text to images to detail to the search engines what the images are, therefore helping to rank your site higher. In order to add this to your website, you can follow the below steps.
STEP 1: Select the image that you’ll be adding alternative text to.
STEP 2: Access your “alternative text” button from your sidebar.
STEP 3: After you have added the content of your choice, click the update button.
STEP 4: After you have clicked the update button, click the save changes button.
INCLUDE HEADER TAGS
When someone lands on your website, you want your prospects to be able to digest the information bit by bit, rather than overwhelming them with too much text. When your blog content is broken up with things, such as, images and header tags, then it helps prospects that have landed on your blog section to remember things more easily. Header tags also make content a lot easier to scan, which is so important as you generally only have 7 seconds to draw in an audience.
INCLUDE TITLE TAGS
Including title tags are crucial for both SEO and user experience, and it’s an easy way to try and determine the topic and relevancy of a page. When editing your website’s title tag we recommend following a simple formula: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name. To customize them, you follow the below steps.
STEP 1: Access your “page settings” from your sidebar.
STEP 2: Your default page URL slug will be blank.
STEP 3: You can completely customize your page ‘browser page title’. For example, rather than simply having ‘Company Name’, you can list ‘Company Name | Serving Chicago, Evanston, and Oakpark’ to further articulate your geographic location to potential clients. After you have added the title of your choice, click the save button.
STEP 4: You are able to see your custom browser title in the tab above your webpage.
BUILD QUALITY BACKLINKS
As you continue to create more blog posts and other content, it will be important to create an internal linking structure to your website. Also, backlinks to your pages from other websites will show search engines that your website is a trustworthy and reputable source. These linking strategies play an important role in your website’s ability to rank higher.
When it comes to a strong linking strategy, keep these tips in mind.
- Create an ideal structure
- Create cornerstone content
- Link from the top
- Create and link to common categories
3. They Are Not Well-Designed
At Twenty Over Ten, we pride ourselves on creating beautiful, compliant, lead-generating websites with strong design. It’s so important that you have a well-designed website, especially in this increasingly digital world. In fact, 99% of people leave websites due to poor design. This goes for your blog section, as well. Keeping readers engaged by consistently creating well-designed and relevant content is crucial to success. We encourage our clients to include
ASCENSION COLLEGE PLANNING
Ascension College Planning’s blog section is streamlined and easy-to-read as it includes categories as the top plus topics that speak to the pain points of clients, as people come to them to get help with saving for college, paying back student loans, etc. Additionally, we love the option to sign up to receive emails containing blogs, plus a call-to-action in the bottom right-hand corner to schedule a call via Calendly.
Twenty Over Ten client, Plectrum Advisers is based out of Los Angeles and serves an incredibly unique niche of freelance musicians. Like their unique client base, their blog section provides a variety of content to readers and that includes some video, as well.
4. There Is No Call-to-Action
Every blog should have a call-to-action that ties back to the topic at hand that you are discussing. This CTA can lead to your calendar, an eBook, newsletter sign-up, whitepaper, or simply a contact page to get in touch. Keep in mind that someone can land on your individual blog posts and not know a thing about you or what you do and how you can help. Because of this, you should use this as an opportunity to capture new leads.
Twenty Over Ten client, Beacon Financial Group has a CTA that pops strategically in the bottom right-hand corner as soon as you start to scroll through the blog post, where you will promptly be directed to the contact page.
5. You Are Not Sharing Your Content
You work hard to create strong blog content, so don’t you want to get as many legs out of it as possible? If you share your content on your social platforms, then you can really boost your searchability. If you are not sharing your blogs on your social channels, then you are missing out on a huge way to drive traffic to your site.
So, when you share your blog posts on social, here are a few things to keep in mind.
CREATE A CONSISTENT SCHEDULE:
If you create a schedule, then this will help you to stay on track for getting your content out there. At Twenty Over Ten, we try to post a blog every day and then on social, but that is a schedule that works for us. It doesn’t represent what will work for your business, as every company is different. See what works best for your firm as far as time and day goes. Lead Pilot can help you schedule your content seamlessly across your social platforms.
ALWAYS PROVIDE CONTEXT AND IMAGES WITH YOUR POSTS
According to Buzzsumo, posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement than those without. So, in addition to providing a short blurb with your blog post so that the readers know what it is about, ensure that you are capturing their attention by including strong imagery. You can include an infographic, image from the blog or even create your own in something such as Canva.
Twenty Over Ten client, Tapparo Capital Management maintains a consistent posting schedule across their social platforms while including images and context for their blog posts that are shared.
USE BEST PRACTICES BASED ON EACH PLATFORM
Different platforms attract a different type of audience, so make sure you are creating different “blurbs” or titles for each post, changing up the hashtags, etc. in order to get the most engagement.
According to TrackMaven’s data on hashtags in social media, one hashtag is best for Facebook engagement, but it can depend on context, so use more if necessary. The same goes for Twitter, as TrackMaven has shown that engagement goes down after using more than one hashtag on this platform.
LinkedIn is considered the most “professional” of all the social platforms, so think about the types of titles and context that you are using when you share your blogs on LinkedIn based on your audience. As far as hashtags so, LinkedIn recommends no more than three hashtags.
6. It Is Not Distinctive
Make sure you are creating content that your niche would want to read. Because without distinctive content, then you are bound to disappear into the “sea of sameness.”
As you can see, Twenty Over Ten client, C.L. Sheldon & Company does not need to worry about blending in with other blogs. They are a firm that caters to active and retired military members, so they serve a unique niche with clients that have specific financial needs. This is very clear in their blog titles as the most recent blogs cover topics such as military finances and military-related tax forms and information.
Is Your Blog Section Ready for 2021?
We are all excited to bid farewell to 2020 but that doesn’t mean that just because the clock strikes midnight, everything will magically change. It is going to take a lot of work, but the past year laid the groundwork for how we would need to connect virtually in the months and years ahead. If anything, the last year showed us that we can pivot quickly to make the necessary changes to connect with prospects and clients. So, make sure that your blog section is ready to drive traffic to your advisor website as we tackle the coming year.