Financial blogging tip: opinion + summary
If you’re a financial advisor who feels too busy to blog, you’ve got lots of company. It takes hours—maybe even days—to craft a finely tuned, completely original, 1,000-word article. RELAX. I’m not suggesting you write a literary masterpiece. I have a financial blogging tip that will save you time.
Short blog posts are fine. Especially when they also express an opinion and give a sense of who you are, two things that are key to attracting readers. You can do both in only 250 to 400 words. That’s as little as one double-spaced page. In fact, this is the length that I recommend to the beginning writers in my writing class, “How to Write Blog Posts People Will Read: A 5-Week Writing Class for Financial Advisors.”
One quick way to achieve this goal is to summarize and express a personal opinion about an article, blog post, or other brief communication.
Here’s a five-step process to write an opinion-plus-summary blog post.
Step 1: Find an article (or other short piece) about which you have strong feelings
At least for me, it has to be a piece to which I have a gut reaction. Like “This is nuts!” or “I love how this writer made the case for deflation.” Here’s a bonus financial blogging tip: It’s a lot easier to blog when you feel passionately about your topic.
Step 2: Identify the points that you want to make about the article
For example, “This is nuts because of reasons #1, #2, and #3.”
Step 3: Write an introduction that summarizes your topic
It should say the following in a few sentences:
- The author says X in his article “NAME of ARTICLE with LINK TO IT ONLINE.”
- The author makes some good points, but I disagree—or strongly agree—with a certain part of his argument.
Step 4: Summarize the parts of the author’s piece that are relevant to your argument
You don’t have to discuss the whole thing. Be selective. The nice thing about summaries is they’re relatively easy to write. After all, an author has already tried to organize thoughts logically for you. It’s fine to quote the author, but don’t copy too much or you’ll bore your reader and be vulnerable to accusations of copyright violation. For tips about “fair use” of other people’s content, see “Legal danger for financial bloggers: Two misconceptions, three resources, one suggestion.”
Step 5: Inject more of your opinion into the piece
You hinted at your opinion in your introduction. At some point, you’ve got to explain why you feel that way. Where you place your opinions depends on the flow of the blog post. For example, in “‘CFA credential implies a standard of care not always upheld,’ says Forbes opinion piece,” I spent three paragraphs summarizing the article before elaborating on the opinion I’d briefly expressed in my introduction.
Follow the five steps in this financial blogging tip, and you can write compelling blog posts more quickly than your colleagues who begin by staring at a blank monitor.
If you’re interested in learning how to write better financial blog posts, register now for “How to Write Blog Posts People Will Read: A 5-Week Writing Class for Financial Advisors.”
This article was originally posted as a guest post on the Wired Advisor blog, which no longer exists in its original form.
Image courtesy of Goldy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net