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Knowing What to Write About

There are a few things that financial planners struggle with when it comes to blogging:

      1. Lack of time.
      2. Lack of interest.
      3. Not knowing what topics to write about.

While there are several ways to address the first two (hint: it’s all about finding your “why”), the third blogging roadblock is a little bit trickier to move past. Finding topics worth blogging about is a two-part equation. First, you need to uncover the topics your niche audience wants to hear about. Second, of those topics you need to pick which ones you’re passionate about. Once you know these two pieces of the puzzle, you can narrow your focus and start creating engaging content that brings real value to your practice.

Finding Topics For Your Niche

When you’re trying to brainstorm a list of blogging topics, you need to make sure you’re addressing the concerns your niche audience has. You can do this a few different ways. Some clients have had a lot of success sending out a simple survey using SurveyMoney. They offer a range of topics and ask either their subscribers, clients, or prospects what they want to hear about. This is a good way to get honest feedback about your current selection of blog topics (if you have a library built up), or to get some insight on what blog posts people are actually interested in reading.

If you don’t feel like you have a good email list of built up to send out this kind of survey, you might consider looking to other financial planners who work with your niche. What are they writing about? It’s worth knowing what your competition is up to, and what kind of content performs well for them – especially if you’re working with the same groups of people. Is this an excuse to rip off their content? Absolutely not. Mark Twain put it best:

“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations.”

When you gather inspiration for your own business blog, you’re taking topic ideas and putting your own spin on them. You’re coming up with an authentically you take on a topic – and providing insight and education from your viewpoint. This is amazing because it puts you at an advantage. Nobody has your unique perspective on any given blog topic, because nobody else is you. You provide value that nobody else can – even if you’re writing about the same thing.

Finally, when trying to decide what topics will resonate with your niche, it helps to ask yourself some questions:

  • What financial problem do the majority of my clients face?
  • What topic have I recently seen someone make a misinformed statement about?
  • What did I talk about most in my last client meeting?
  • What value do I bring to the table when talking to a new prospect?

These are just a few questions to get the ball rolling, but the answers to them can spark a wide range of blog topics to pursue.

Finding Topics You Like to Write About

When working on a content marketing strategy for your business, every decision you make needs to bring some kind of value to your firm – even the topics you choose to write about in your blog. You may think that struggling through a topic you find boring is valuable because it will be good for your clients to no more about Topic X. However, it’s important to always keep the following rule in mind:

If you aren’t engaged while writing, your audience won’t be engaged while reading.

When you’re building a list of blog topics, every single one of them needs to light your fire in one way or another. Your expertise is valuable, but it doesn’t make great writing. The passion you feel about a specific planning topic is what’s going to connect you with a reader. If you’re not sure which topic you’re most excited about, go by feeling! This isn’t a scientific process, but the more intensely you feel about a topic, the more exciting the blog post will be.

You might not even feel positively about a given topic. In fact, something might completely *enrage* you. Good! Let your readers know all about it (while staying compliant, of course). They’ll appreciate your honesty, and they’ll better understand the ways in which you’re regularly fighting for your clients (and probably wish you were out there, fighting for them in a world of financial unfairness) – which is exactly what you want to capture in a blog post.

Get Specific

Don’t shy away from the ideas that are incredibly specific. You might want to tackle the cross-section between psychology and student loan debt. You might want to write about how Midwestern doctors are suseptible to insurance scams (and how that grinds your gears). Who knows – you  may have had five clients in the last year who all had a parent pass away and had to deal with unexpected (and unpleasant) hiccups with poorly thought out estate planning. Write about it.

Take your experiences and turn them into incredibly specific posts. Give as much detail as possible while still protecting your clients. Use anecdotes to paint a picture. Your readers want to know that you not only know financial planning, but that you know their financial pain points upside down and inside out. The more specific you can be, the more likely they’ll engage with your writing.

Always Save Your Ideas

When you’re jotting down ideas, save everything. There isn’t a bad idea out there. With time, you may revisit an idea and find a way to make it even more niche-specific, or have a more recent experience to contribute to the piece. If all else fails, you can use old ideas to spark new ones or to get warmed up when you sit down to start writing.

Need A Little Help?

Brainstorming blog topics can be hard – especially if you’re pressed for time when it comes to your content marketing. That’s why I put together a sheet of 50 Blog Ideas for Financial Planners. It’s free, and divided into categories so that you can find topics (or ideas) that are relevant to your niche or a specific area of financial planning. Whether you use these as they are, or use them as a jumping-off point for your own awesome blog topics – I hope they help!

You can download your FREE copy here.