If you remember my recap of fincon11 (be careful, it’s over 3,000 words full of tips), you will recall that I learned a lot about running a blog, providing relevant content, and connecting with my readers. This year, my biggest takeaway from the Financial Blogger Conference was the importance of relationships!
I Need To Build Better Relationships With My Readers
Just about all of the keynote speakers talked about the need to build strong relationships with your readers. Whether it’s by immediately answering emails, responding to comments quickly, or even writing articles which seek to directly answer common questions.
In the field of personal finance much of the information that we share has already been covered on the internet in some form. Therefore, we must work on building relationships with our readers in order to provide them with unique value.
We can do this in three distinct ways:
Be Personal – don’t just churn out generic information and expect people to return or even share your site with others. Inject some of your personality into your writing and this will help you to stand out from the rest of the sites which provide the same information.
Apparently, most people love stories (I don’t, but I’m not like most people). They will better be able to handle and digest certain information if it is wrapped around a story. I plan to be a little more personal with all of my readers, when it is appropriate. Even though I am not comfortable with doing that (as you can tell by my past articles), I have to make this change in order to better help the people who use this site as a resource of financial and biblical information.
Be Transparent – this does not mean that you have to share every detail of your life, but it does mean that you have to be open and honest with whatever you do share.
For example, if you write about investing, don’t just share basic information about your portfolio, go the extra mile and share the reasoning behind all of your trades and holdings. The same is true for just about any other topic. Talk about the thoughts, desires, and decisions that resulted in your current position – that will help people a lot more than just regurgitating standard information!
If people can see that I am being honest and upfront about my thought pattern and even my faults and failures, it will help them to be able to trust my advice and recommendations, and they will be more eager to leave comments, ask questions, and help out other readers!
Respond Quickly – This is something that I am continuing to work on. I need to make sure that I am responding to all comments and emails quickly. People who read personal finance websites (especially one based on biblical principles) are usually looking for advice that will help them with an immediate decision. I need to be more mindful of this fact and make the sacrifice for my readers.
I Need To Build Better Relationships With Other Bloggers
A couple of people talked about the folly of blogging for other bloggers (yes, Sandy, I know that I shouldn’t be posting this ), and I completely agree with them. However, I know that my website does not exist in a vacuum and I need to build strong relationships with others who are trying to help people in the same way that I am.
Since I began this site a couple of years ago, I have had a number of questions regarding my website, social media, SEO, interacting with advertisers, regulations on how we give financial advice, and a host of other issues. At the beginning, I had to search for hours and hours for answers, since I hadn’t developed any relationships with other bloggers! Now, when these questions come up, I have a number of people who I can call on for either a quick push in the right direction or a full-blown consulting session.
Also, it was great to be able to talk with so many people at the conference who share some of the same passions as I do. There aren’t too many people in my life who want to have conversations about the economy, personal finances, or even about what God has to say about money, but I found myself in the same room with over 300 people who could easily start talking about personal finance (and even about 5 or 10 who base their financial decisions on God’s word!).
So, by developing meaningful relationships with other bloggers I will be able to cut down on the time it takes to search for answers related to blogging, interact with people who share the same passions, and come up with great ideas on helping our readers get their finances in order!
Hopefully, you will see a change not only in my writing, but also in my accessibility and willingness to build meaningful relationships!
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