The Most Unexpected Benefit to Blogging

Today, I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you a blog post from Troy Von Haefen of Von Haefen Financial Management. In full disclosure, Troy is a client of mine and, I’m a client of his. He approached me with this blog post after he continues to see the benefits of his blog. I hope you will enjoy reading his story.

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It’s been four years since I started my blog, The Financial Minute. I’ve spent many hours writing and fumbling my way through growing pains as a blogger.

Sure, the original intention was to create a marketing tool for prospects looking for a fee-only financial advisor, but my blog had, and still has, an altruistic piece: My love for helping others understand personal finances.

Because I do enjoy helping others, my blog has always been written from an educational standpoint. I strive to deliver answers to complicated financial and tax concepts in a complete yet simple manner. I don’t give half the answer and require folks to hire me to get the rest.

Looking back, I can certainly see how this tool has served my business very well. It’s driven clients to Von Haefen Financial Management and has been a connector to get me to writers looking for quotes for the likes of The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal. That itself would seem to equal success, but there’s more.

Writing from this perspective has delivered to me a wonderful gift. This gift has made itself known over the last several months.

After receiving many emails regarding a myriad of topics towards the end of 2012 (a period in which I was extremely busy keeping up with impending changes and trying to best serve my clients), I began to notice I had well-documented answers to many of these client questions in my blog.

Through my blog, I had created a giant repository of authoritative information written in my voice.  A voice my clients trust and understand.

Blogging as a Time Saver

Using my blog to help deliver answers to clients and prospects has been a wonderful tool and time saver. Because of the nature of my work, many of the topics are complicated and require detailed responses.

For example, a client recently asked about an email they received from Amazon regarding the Tennessee Use Tax. Guess what, I blogged about it six months ago.

So, rather than spend 15 minutes reviewing the minutia and crafting a response, I simply guided my client directly to the blog post to answer her questions.

Obviously, I don’t simply respond with a link attached to an email. My relationship with clients is too important to do that.  Sometimes I will offer guidance and refer to a blog post for more details.

After spending four years writing and developing my blog, I have found a new benefit.  What started out as a tool for marketing, SEO improvement, and to increase my authoritative voice, I have since found my old friend, The Financial Minute, to be a great time saver.

What has surprised you about blogging? Have you seen any unexpected benefits come out of your efforts?

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Von Haefen Financial ManagementTroy Von Haefen, CFP, owns and operates Von Haefen Financial Management, a Nashville fee-only financial planning firm focused on helping individuals, families and small business owners reach their financial goals. You can follow Troy on Twitter at @tvonhaefen.

 

Image credit: magarell

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  • http://twitter.com/ltcassociates Stephen D. Forman

    Right on, Troy!
    This is a technique I’ve used to great effect for years. I call my best articles “evergreens” (co-opting a term from the music biz). I try to write with that thought in mind: can this be timeless?
    Just today, in fact, I was able to return to 3 of my earlier articles and reference them*. (It helps to have a good knowledge of your portfolio, and to get in the habit of always looking for ways to expand the initial dialogue you’ve created).

    Cheers!
    Stephen
    * “Who Does Your Insurance Dept Work For?”, “Overcoming Ratings”, and “How to Pay Down America’s Debt $1 Trillion at a Time”

    • http://www.flybluekite.com/ Laura Click

      Thanks for stopping by, Stephen. Evergreen content should always be in the mix on your blog. It’s those kind of posts that provide massive long-term benefits. I’m glad you’re experiencing that too!

      • http://twitter.com/ltcassociates Stephen D. Forman

        If I may– 2 more bits of advice:

        1) When I return to, or share, these articles I’ve previously written, I try always to use a trackable link (such as Bit.ly). This way, I know what kind of traction I’m getting. Just today, by watching CBS News This Morning, I found *new* content allowing me to update “Overcoming Ratings” yet again, and “How to Pay Down America’s Debt $1T at a Time”. I posted fresh comments, fresh “shares”, and fresh tweets– using Bit.ly links.

        2) I also make a habit of re-visting ALL of my old articles & blogs (do you keep a spreadsheet or log with links & stats?) about once a month. Why is this important? To make sure you are on top of any new visitors who may have left comments, so you can reply.

        Case in point, Mr. Von Haefen : )

  • Tvonhaefen

    Stephen…..You have added some great points for this topic. Thanks for you insight.