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Creating Effective Blog Post Content

     -     Jul 26th, 2013   -     Accounting Marketing, Accounting Websites   -     0 Comments

By now most accounting marketing professionals know that quality content is the key to an effective SEO and inbound marketing program. After all, it’s the content that draws clients and prospects to your site. However, one area where most firms struggle in is the actual development of that content. Although some firms have in house writers, the majority are required to rely on internal professionals to fuel content for the website and blog. A common problem that arises when working with internal professionals is a lack of understanding for how to write effective blog posts. Often the writing is very technical and complex leaving the reader confused and unable to grasp the underlying concept. To help marketing directors guide their professionals on effective blog writing we have provided important tips below.

Tips on Writing Effective Blog Posts for CPA Firms

Below we have provided some important tips you can share with your professionals for how to write an engaging and effective blog post. These include:

  • Understand the Audience – Knowing who you are writing for is CRITICAL. Not only does it shape the message of the post but provides clues about how you want to interact with readers. In other words, the sophistication level of your audience should dictate how technical you can be in the blog post. There is a difference between how you present an accounting concept to a small business owner versus a CFO. In the former you will use more general terminology and should be more willing to explain terms, whereas the latter may not require such “handholding”. Remember, the purpose of the blog post is to educate the reader, so it’s important to communicate with your audience in the way that’s most likely to have an impact.
  • Identify the Issue(s) – Your audience may not be aware that a new piece of legislation or regulatory updates could create a business issue for them. For this reason it’s essential to explain how they will be impacted. This is especially true if your audience is non-accounting professionals. While they may have the best intentions, they don’t have anywhere near the understanding and expertise you have. For this reason it’s important to ensure you have clearly identified the issue within your blog (or to put it another way…the reason why the reader should care). If you don’t make this connection then the post has little meaning.
  • Present the Solution(s) – Once you have informed the reader about the issue you then need to give them the solution. This doesn’t mean tell them step by step how to resolve the issue, but it does mean making the connection that your firm offers the solution to the problem. Of course if you can provide some details on how you work with business owners or individuals facing a specific situation – that’s great. You just don’t want to make the mistake of not clearly stating you can fix the problem for them or sending them to the IRS website for additional details.   A thoughtful person creates a balance between overtly selling the firm versus subtly providing an option.
  • Avoid Quoting Code/Other Authorities – The worst thing a blogger can do is quote the Internal Revenue or other Authorities.  Of course it’s not that the code is wrong, but the reality is anyone can read the code. Prospects, clients and referral partners turn to you to interpret the code and translate it in such a way that it makes sense. Simply cutting and pasting IRC means that the blogger really didn’t do the real work of interpretation for the audience.
  • Have a Call to Action – A common mistake a lot of bloggers make is not having a call to action. As a result of viewing the post what do you want the reader to do? Traditionally most firms do a good job of including some call to action, but it bears mentioning because the call to action needs to be written into the post and not included as an “add on” at the end of the piece.
  • Provide Internal Links – It’s important to connect blog visitors to other parts of your website. Whether it’s linking to a service you offer, another blog post on a relevant topic, a checklist, or other resource they can download from your site. View the blog post as a means for not only addressing an important topic, but also the chance to introduce the reader to related services and items your firm can offer in other areas of the site. There should be no dead ends on your website, all of your web pages should cross link to other related web pages to keep readers engaged and moving deeper into your site.

In Perspective

Remember accounting professionals are not marketers. They may need a lot of coaching and hand holding. However, if they have the sincere desire to participate and produce engaging content then the rest can be taught. Use the tips outlined above to get your professionals pointed in the right direction.

What has your experience been working with in house authors? Share your experience with us below.

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