You’ve got ideas! Experience! Advice! You want to help people learn about and develop their own personal finance, and the easiest way to do that in the digital age is to write a finance blog.
Established blogs make this look really easy. But how, exactly, do you start from scratch? Here’s what you need to do:
- Find a Web Host.Do you want your blog to “look like a blog”? Or do you want it to look a little more sophisticated? Sure, you could use a number of popular blogging platforms, and that’s a fine way to get started. But spend some time thinking about your future goals. If you hope to join the “big leagues” one day, a domain name and a customized web hosting service is the way to go.
- Set Up Your Blog.Some web hosts / platforms make blogging a very straightforward process. If you know how to use Microsoft Word, you can create blog posts. However, there are a few more things to think about, like site security, back-ups, themes and design, navigation and more. Put your best foot forward.
- Get Up-to-Speed on the Latest SEO trends.You can’t share your words of wisdom with the world if your blog remains buried within hundreds of pages of Google searches. Get smart about your marketing plan by learning about SEO trends. Optimize both your site and each blog post you write.
- Make Connections.Get involved with social media and other finance blogs. Which blogs do you admire? Which bloggers would you love to rub elbows with? Introduce yourself to them. Share their posts. Comment on their blogs. You may be able to snag a guest posting opportunity, which will do wonders for your site’s traffic.
- Start an Email List.Who’s been visiting your site? Who is interested in what you have to say? You don’t necessarily need super-fancy analytics to find out. Ask people to sign up to receive periodic emails or newsletters in order to stay in touch with your readers, strike up a dialog and build a devoted following.
- Develop a Content Calendar. If you always wait until the night before to write a post, you will quickly work yourself into a frazzle. Get organized. What are some common financial topics that beginners would like to read about? What are some industry trends that knowledgeable readers would find fascinating? Decide how often you will update your blog and what subjects you’ll talk about at various times. Is a conference coming up in a few months? Plan to write about it. Write posts in advance so that you can spend time doing other things that need to be done in the daily running of a blog.
- Outsource What You Can.Speaking of things that need to be done, there’s a lot. Running a successful blog can easily become a full-time job. There are some things that don’t have to be done by you. You don’t need to worry about social media management; people can do that for you! You don’t even need to do all the writing. There are plenty of talented writers in the finance industry who can supply you with plenty of fodder for your blog.
- Create Compelling Content.Yes, having a prolific blog will ultimately give you more site traffic but only if the content is actually valuable. Valuable and compelling content will pull people to your site long after the original publication date. Don’t write something just for the sake of writing something. Fluff is very easy to see through, and you do not want to get the reputation of being a click-bait site or simply a waste of time.
- Use Visuals.People are busy these days. Long-form content is still extremely important, but any time you can tell a story visually (i.e., with quality infographics), go for it.
- Sink Some Money Into It.A successful blog can bring in some cash in the long run, but initially you should expect to invest some money to get things rolling. Maybe you need to hire a webmaster, graphic designer or a marketer. Maybe you want to advertise. We know you know to be smart with your money; you wouldn’t be interested in starting up a finance blog otherwise! But do be sure to have a plan in place, complete with analysis, to get the best bang for your buck.