Tag Archive for: blog post ideas

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.

financial blogging tips being typedStep 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

Blogging the mistakes your clients make

Looking for something to blog about—and an easy way to organize your post? Find inspiration for blog posts in “The Mistakes Charitable Startups Make,” a Wall Street Journal article that’s called “Starting a Charity? Here’s What To Do, and What Not To Do” in the online edition.

Blogging mistakes effectively: Copy the formula

Here’s the basic formula:

  1. You do these good things
  2. As you do these good things, you may make common mistakes
  3. Mistakes and their fixes

Mistake 1 and its fix

Mistake 2 and its fix

Mistake 3 and its fix

Mistake 4 and its fix

Part I: You do these good things

It’s good to start with something positive your clients do. It gives them a chance to feel good about themselves.

The Wall Street Journal‘s article kicks off with “People who are passionate about a cause typically have several options.” One of them is starting a nonprofit, the article’s focus.

You can substitute any activity your clients feel passionately about. For example,

  • Teaching their children to spend money wisely
  • Creating corporate benefits that boost employee morale and retention
  • Leaving a legacy for future generations
  • Planning to travel in retirement

Part II: You may make common mistakes

Teach your clients that their activities may come with challenges. You don’t need to scare the heck out of them. Just give them an incentive to keep reading.

The Wall Street Journal article says the following:

Starting and running a nonprofit is a complicated business, and one that nonprofit experts say individuals all too often seriously underestimate—from raising money and choosing the right board members to filing paperwork correctly. Such shortcomings can lead to costly mistakes, ultimate failures, and sometimes even lawsuits against well-meaning but nevertheless unprepared philanthropists.

Part III: Mistakes and their fixes

After quickly attracting your readers’ attention, provide them with a list of problems and their solutions.

The Wall Street Journal sets off each problem with a heading. For example, THE MISTAKE: Not doing your research or THE MISTAKE: Underestimating the paperwork.

After identifying the problem in a heading, you can quickly explain it. Or, you can follow the Journal‘s example by telling a story of an individual who grappled with the problem. The author of the charitable startup article interviewed people. You may have stories from your clients, colleagues, or personal experience.

Next, explain the solution. The Wall Street Journal makes it easy for readers to find the solutions by adding a heading saying THE FIX.

Wrap up your post

The newspaper story ends with the conclusion of the last mistake-fix pair. You can do the same. However, if your blog post tackles one of your areas of expertise, consider adding what’s known as a “call to action.” A call to action urges the reader to take another step.

Imagine you blogged about “Mistakes People Make When Retiring to Costa Rica.” Your call to action might be “Click to download our report about ‘Managing Your Finances from Costa Rica,'” “Sign up for our webinar on ‘Living in Costa Rica,” or “Call us to discuss how we can ease your transition to Costa Rica.”

Blogging mistakes that your clients can make can turn their mistakes into your success. If you’d like to learn more about better blogging, check out my financial blogging class.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net