How to get great content on your website

without the usual stress and costs

How to get great content on your website

In this first of a new series of Insights, we’ll look at the enormous benefits of having great content on your website – and how you can get it there without a lot of stress and cost.

Who are these Insights for?

These Insights are primarily aimed at owners and marketing managers in:

  • Financial advice businesses and
  • Providers of financial products or services

however, they should help anyone in a professional service type business.

If you want truly engaging content on your site, whether you write it yourself or you’re looking to brief a professional to create it for you, these are the essential questions to ask.

Are you happy with what you have now?

It used to be said that financial products (like most ‘discretionary’ services) need to be sold because very few people go out to buy them.

We need to insure the car – but we don’t need to insure our life – or save into a pension. That’s why we now have pensions auto-enrolment – a default option which ‘nudges’ people into making good decisions. And that, along with various changes from the Retail Distribution Review has changed the financial advice market quite significantly.

That said, as a good financial planner, you know that most of us (when it comes to our big challenges) still need to feel some discomfort with our current situation before we’ll take action to change things.

We need to believe that our efforts will remove some current (or likely, future) pain and offer prospects for personal gain – in one form or another.

Your work helps to relieve people of their personal financial pains – whilst here we’re looking at the pains of growing your business and reputation with a focus on the content and style of your communications.

So, the best place to start is to understand your pain (unhappiness) points which, like your client’s ‘boiling frog’ pension challenges, might not all be immediately obvious.

Perhaps you’re aware of the deceptively simple, yet brilliant way to define happiness (the absence of pain) on any issue.

It comes from years of research by Manel Baucells and Rakesh Sarin, as explained in their book ‘Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life’ and was adopted and expanded upon by Mo Gawdat in his book ‘Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy’ – and it’s this:

Happiness = reality minus expectation

So, you could start there and compare your expectations (for the content and style of your communications) to the current reality of what’s on your website.

These seven questions will help you do that:

  1. Do you have a section (or sections) for Insights/blogs on your website that’s clearly separated from other news – e.g. about your business?
  2. Are your Insights easy to find, navigate and search?
  3. Do you have topic categories? If so, are they clear?
  4. Are your ‘recent’ Insights actually recent? (ideally less than two weeks and certainly less than 1 month old)
  5. Are your Insights attracting visitors to your site? Do you have the data?
  6. Are your visitors engaged? Do they stay and read your Insights?
  7. Are a good number of your visitors taking the actions you want?

If you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to all those questions, please stop reading this Insight now. Your content is working well, so just carry on with what you’re doing.

If you answered ‘no’ to a lot of those questions, make sure to read the future Insights in this series (they’ll be shared via my occasional Newsletter)

…and don’t panic.

There could be two reasons you’ve answered ‘no’ to some or all of those questions:

First, your content needs more care and attention – and that’s what this series of Insights will help you with.

Second, you don’t have a blog at all… and that, you might be surprised to hear, is not necessarily a bad thing!

Do you really want a blog – at all?

If you’re not careful a blog will eat up your time and money, as neatly explained by Vladimir Gendelman, of Company Folders here

Vladimir says they spend around thirteen hours on each article, to get it just right, which doesn’t include the time spent on image design or promoting the article once it’s published.

13 hours is well above the average, by the way. So, we’ll come back to ideal blog lengths and frequency in the future – the answers about what works best might surprise you.

For now, let’s just accept that it takes time to manage a blog and respond to comments if you offer that feature.

It also takes a great deal of time to update old blogs, especially if you focus on hot news rather than evergreen content.

Focus on evergreen content for more benefits

Hot News or Evergreen IdeasI focus on evergreen ideas when I’m helping others create blogs, guides or video scripts – for two simple reasons:

  1. If your evergreen content is solid, your readers get a lot more value from it, because they’ll keep coming back to re-read your ideas – and they’ll share your ideas with their family and friends.
  2. With well-written evergreen content – you have little, or no, ongoing maintenance costs.

Think about it.

If you create educational content to post as a blog today – you really don’t want the cost of rewriting those materials in the near future.

And if, as I’d suggest, you write in a way that could work well in a video or podcast, you’ll absolutely want those items to last for a considerable time.

Having a focus on Evergreen content significantly cuts those future costs.

Money pit or brand builder?

In a nutshell, a blog that no one visits is just an ego trip and a money pit.

What’s more, a badly written blog – or poorly finished videos or guides will actually harm your business over time.

This, after all, is your shop window.

On the other hand, a brilliant blog which regularly shares fascinating (and factually correct) ideas to thousands of people will position you as a thought leader and problem solver.

That’s how others in your industry are growing their business fast.

The content on your site is only good for your business if it offers a win-win.

  • A win for you – by maximising the return on your investment of time or money – and minimising your ongoing costs.
  • And a win for your audience – whose lives are genuinely improved by following the Insights you share.

There’s no point in creating content that doesn’t do both of those things.

Coming soon

In future Insights (in this series) we’ll look at:

  • The minimum objectives to set for your website content.
  • What you could write about – to reach a much bigger audience.
  • Ideas on: writing style, format, article length, frequency and titles to help you cut through the noise of the competition.
  • What you’ll need from (and how much to pay for) a copywriter – if you decide to get help with all of this.

If that’s of interest, get my newsletter for updates.

Or, if you’d prefer to chat about how I could help you, let’s do that.

You can contact me here, or via LinkedIn where you’ll find testimonials for my writing and other marketing/sales work.

I focus on developing ideas for (and writing), high impact, plain English and factually correct Insights – to help people make better decisions about their money… and that includes taking good quality financial advice.

So, if you want to minimise your upfront work on a content boosting programme and/or you’d like more evergreen materials (on the fundamentals of financial planning) to minimise your ongoing marketing costs, get in touch.

Thanks for dropping in

Paul

For more ideas to achieve more in your life and make more of your money, sign up to my newsletter and, as a thank you, I’ll send you my ‘5 Steps for planning your Financial Freedom’ and the first chapter of my book, ‘Who misleads you about money?’ What’s not to like?
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