Blogs can drive traffic to your website. Why, because one of the key attributes Google and other search engines, judge your website on is.. words.
If the words on your accounting or bookkeeping website provide useful information that responds to what someone is searching for, you provide more opportunities for them to find you. Plus, if your information is informative, relevant, and useful, this not only keeps people on your website longer which is good for SEO but also differentiates you from your competitors.
People trust blogs. In research by Evernote, 81% of US consumers trust the information they read on a blog, making them a powerful tool to start building a relationship with prospective clients. Trust is the first buying filter!
But if writing fills you with dread and gets pushed off your ‘to-do’ list each day, we’ve got some tips to get you started.
Put yourself in the shoes of your reader
This will help with what you write about and how you write it.
What will they want to know or find useful? Imagine you are having a conversation with them. If you are explaining technical accounting concepts, can you put it in plain-English and use examples that apply to their specific situation? Showing you understand your reader establishes you as the right choice for prospects when they need your services. You'll also be supporting your existing clients and fulfilling your role as a trusted advisor.
Write about what you know
There is so much information in your accounting practice that might be common sense to you but is highly valuable for your clients. Give away some advice to demonstrate the value you can add for them. Great content should give first and sell second. Here are some ideas:
- Plain-English guides to complex accounting principles
- Seasonal or event-based information such as EOFY or the holiday season.
- Specific advice in the areas of specialty in your accounting practice
- Helpful tips and tricks to make tax compliance easier and more efficient
- News – informed commentary on finance and accounting news or budget announcements, new tax laws and business subsidies
- Insight – offer a new and different opinion to cut through.
- ‘How -to’ guides on anything, whether it’s on payroll, setting up a feature in cloud accounting software or how to sell your business.
- Templates to download like checklists and tax calendars etc
- Case studies with existing clients
- Look at your inbox – are there questions that you often get asked by clients that you can provide helpful answers to?
Start with a plan for your writing
Approaching any task with a plan makes it easier to complete. You don’t need to write the final blog in one day, it may take a few days. The time in between your writing will help to solidify your thoughts and the end result will be better. Try the following steps:
1. Write down three or four headings to frame your blog
- Introduction – Why is the topic/subject important?
- Key things your reader needs to know – the salient points.
- Your recommendation or a call to action (‘we can help’)
2. Write without editing
Jot down the key points you want to cover under each heading. At first, just get something down and the body copy will follow. Write your introduction last – Try to stick to short introductions that get to the point. Simple can be sophisticated.
3. Go for a walk, grab a coffee or get on with other work
A good piece of writing takes a while. Once you have the first points down, give yourself the headspace to think.
4. Bringing it together
Pull out your key points as bullets – If you are writing for Internet readers, be aware that they read differently to offline readers. They scan. Give them strong headings to guide them through and easy take-outs.
Do a read through and edit it. Is it easy to read? Break up long sentences into shorter and cut out extra words. Write your headline last. Make it clearly about the topic and consider what your audience might be searching for, if they want information on the topic.
Optimising your accounting blog for search engines
The content you publish on your accounting website is useful for your existing clients but it also improves your ranking by a search engine.
Keywords are the words that someone uses in a google search. The more of these words on your site, the higher your chances of being on the search engine results page. Use keywords naturally in your blogs and the pages of your website. For example, if you have expertise in succession planning, write about this, if your firm is the farm accounting specialist, make sure you cover the questions that relate to this industry on your website. Use the related words through your blog, the title, the URL and the meta description.
Share your content
Once you’ve hit publish on that blog, make sure you share it. Send it out in your newsletters or share it on your social media channels with a link back to your website to read more. You can also offer your content as a guest blog for an industry website.
If you are using BOMA, simply paste the URL of your blog into a new campaign and BOMA takes care of the formatting to create a social post or email for you.
Check out these useful tools to help you with your writing.
Hemingway – Paste your finished blog into Hemmingway or write in the app. Hemingway gives you suggestions to make your writing clear and bold. You’ll see text highlighted when the app suggests you shorten the sentence or make it clearer. Find out more about Hemmingway here.
Google Docs – Google Docs is great for collaboration. You can invite others to review your writing and make suggestions or comments for you to accept or reject. You can also review version history if you want to revert to earlier versions. Find out more about Google Docs here.
Grammarly – Grammarly is a writing app that goes beyond your usual spell check. The free plan gives you corrections to spelling, grammar, and punctuation and you can use it on your social media channels, in emails, and in documents. Paid versions include more features such as a plagiarism checker, readability, fluency, word choice, etc. Find out more about Grammarly here.
Theasurus.com – Searching your brain for the right word? Thesaurus.com will provide alternative suggestions for the word you type in. Find out more about Thesaurus.com here.
Otter.ai – Otter ai was designed to create captions for live speakers, and generate written transcriptions of the speeches. The app uses AI to turn voice to text so can be a useful way to write a blog if you prefer to do it this way. Find out more about Otter.ai here.
BOMA – Did you know that BOMA has a library or over 400 articles in the content library that are updated every week? BOMA is designed specifically for accountants and bookkeepers so you can create relevant, useful, and compelling emails and social posts. Simply choose an article, customise it and send it within BOMA as an email or a social post. BOMA kickstarts your digital marketing. Trial for free today