The other day I was reading Michael Kitces’ take on participating in Investopedia’s Advisor Insights program. This allows advisors to post articles on Investopedia’s highly ranked website which supposedly puts them in front of a wider audience. The basis of his argument is that Investopedia stands to benefit more than the advisor because they get rights to the content, the content ranks, and they benefit from the SEO and hence the advertising dollars. Instead of “building someone else’s business for free”, as Kitces puts it, start your own blog on your own website (Kitces, 2016).
I love Michael’s analysis here and think the logic behind it is very smart. While I agree with Kitces’ point, I also see a few ideas that this article neglected to mention. These points are important for advisors to consider if they are creating a digital marketing strategy.
The Backlink Can Help Your Google Rank
When the advisor responds to the question, his or her name, picture, and website url are posted along with the response. This creates what is called a backlink to your website.
Why are backlinks important? Because the more backlinks a site has, the higher it ranks in Google. Google trusts websites that are highly backlinked because it shows that people pay attention to it. There are marketing firms dedicated to “link building” as this is called.
Link building works best if the site that is linking to yours has a higher domain authority than your own. Investopedia has a high score so any backlink you get from them is a worthy one.
It Helps The “Surround Sound” Effect
For advisors who are looking to build a niche, and if you follow other blogs I’ve written you know that this is something I strongly advocate for, it can be highly useful to appear in publications across the board that discuss a certain subject.
For example, if I were to position myself as an advisor for small business owners, I should create a presence with some regularity in several of the publications that small business owners read. For example, Small Business Digest, and maybe Entrepreneur, and then a few other trade rags.
And I could top it off nicely by responding, here and there, to a question on Investopedia Advisor Insights about how business owners can create a 401k plan for their employees most effectively or something.
So if you were to meet me and Google my name, you’d see that my website and I come up in several different places as an authority in finance for small business owners (that’s again because of all the link building).
Or, more importantly, do this enough and the people reading these publications will eventually start to recognize you. You want them to say to themselves, “Geez, I see this person everywhere I go. He or she must be pretty important.” Now, you’ve got to post up some pretty insightful content in order to do this. Commitment and consistent visibility along with well thought out ideas will get you noticed.
Most Advisors Don’t Have Substantial Website Traffic
While I have a great respect for all that Kitces discusses in this article, I feel that his recommendation that advisors start a blog on their own website could benefit from a few in depth insights.
The first insight is the fact that most advisor websites aren’t getting much traffic at all. Maybe it is just me and whom I am speaking with, but I find that the average advisor I know gets less than 50 views on his or her website per day. Much of the traffic is probably vendors, their own employees, or their own clients. With this level of visibility, you have quite a ways to go before you start drumming up business from your own blog.
Moreover, I find that most advisors are so pressed for time (and even moreso in a down market) that creating one blog post every two weeks is a stretch for them. It will be especially hard for them to justify spending this time in the beginning before they see the rewards.
So given both these factors, how can an advisor take Kitces’ idea (which is a great one) and translate that into practical reality?
Here’s where I’m going to advocate for participating in programs such as Investopedia’s or others, to some extent. Maybe Investopedia isn’t the one. As I mentioned, there are numerous publications that will accept guest articles. Publish awesome content that gets viewed on these websites and then redirect this traffic back to your own blog.
It would go something like this:
- Publish article or blurb on third party site
- Reader visits your site. When they do, make sure you have something on your landing page to direct them to your blog so you can build their interest further. Make sure that blog content is Good with a capital G!
- On your landing page, have an email capture prompt that asks people to submit their email address
- Send out a newsletter every few weeks directing these captured email people back to your blog. Again, feature Good content with a capital G!
Most advisors don’t have the time to produce a guest blog and one blog for their website every month. In that case, consider a ghostwriter but make sure the person is knowledgeable about finance enough to express sophisticated ideas. If not, your content won’t get any attention.
Thanks for reading and I hope by now you’ve signed up for my newsletter to receive notifications about my YouTube livestream. I host a session every month where I answer advisors’ marketing questions free of charge live on my channel. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified directly as well.
Kitces, Michael. (2016, March 24). Investopedia Advisor Insights: Why Most Financial Advisors Should Skip It. Retrieved from https://www.kitces.com/blog/investopedia-advisor-insights-why-most-financial-advisors-should-skip-it/.