Finance blogging is one of the most popular blog categories, and for good reason. People always want to learn how to save money. They're constantly searching for finance topics like "how to budget," "how to save for retirement," and "easy ways to earn more money." If you know a lot about finance and know how to use SEO strategies to draw search engine traffic to your site, you have a good blogging opportunity on your hands.
The trouble is that finance advice rarely changes. The advice you're writing in your blog is the same advice that Ramit Sethi wrote about five years ago in I Will Teach You To Be Rich, and the same advice that shows up on every finance blog on the internet. Spend less than you earn. Don't buy stuff you don't need. Compound interest is your friend.
Even the expert-level advice is old news. A lot of people, for example, don't know that you should rebalance your 401(k) every year to get the maximum potential return. But a quick Google search shows that there are already 178,000 other articles out there about rebalancing your 401(k). How can you compete with that?
There are two ways to get your blog to stand out from the 178,000 others. The first way is to understand exactly what people are searching for, and how to provide the kinds of answers they want. People search differently than they used to. They're asking questions and using complete sentences. They'll type "how do I rebalance my 401(k)" into Google, instead of "rebalance 401(k)."
This means that you have to make sure your blog answers those questions. You also need to make it really clear to Google and the other search engines that your blog is providing those answers, which means that you need to have a good understanding of long tail keywords and other SEO tools.
It's also okay to get really, really specific. People are making their searches more specific, after all. They're going to be searching complex ideas like "How do I add more mutual funds to my TIAA-Cref 403(b)?" Can you answer that specific question? You've got yourself a good finance blog post. People also search specific brand names; they want to know about certain banks or particular stocks. Basing your blog post around a single specific brand, bank, stock, or company will also help you answer these types of questions.
The second way to get your blog to stand out is to provide information that no one else offers. This will require some research. Take Roth IRAs, for example. There's a lot about Roth IRAs that has already been written, and a lot of repetitive information out there.
So, look for something that hasn't already been covered. Do you currently have a Roth IRA? Blog about your personal experience setting up your account -- personal stories are always popular, and people connect with personal narratives.
If you don't have a Roth IRA, have you thought about why? Maybe you could make the story of "deciding whether or not to invest in a Roth IRA" part of a series of blog posts -- series are great ways to increase traffic to your site and keep people there once they arrive. So plan it out. Read more on why converting to a Roth IRA may be right for you, then blog about what you read. Then look at the pros and cons of investing in a Roth IRA. Blog about how much money you want to set aside for your Roth IRA, and how that will affect the rest of your budget.
Maybe your spouse or partner has a different opinion on the investment -- blog about that as well. Finally, end with a post that announces your decision about the Roth IRA account, and don't forget to refer back to your "is a Roth IRA right for you" series every time you reference a Roth IRA in your future blog posts.
To reiterate: the two ways to make your finance blog stand out from the rest are:
- Research the questions other people are asking, especially the specific and detailed questions, then answer them.
- Provide information that no one else offers, which is nearly always information that is linked to a personal story. Only you can tell your own story, after all.
Add in some strong SEO skills to this mix, and you've got yourself the making of a successful, popular finance blog -- one that doesn't just rehash old finance tips, but brings something new to the conversation.
Do you have other tips for finance bloggers? Let us know!