Tools to Be a Financial BloggerBy Gregg Gethard August 9th, 2012
Financial blogging can be a challenging field. Many financial terms and concepts can intimidate writer and reader alike. And the competition is fierce, making it hard to stand out in a very crowded pack.
So, what should every financial blogger have in the toolbox in order to carve out a niche in this tough segment of freelancing?
When people hear the word “finance,” they typically think of things like stocks, bonds and similar types of investments. But financial bloggers can also tackle such topics like health insurance, credit unions and any other myriad of subjects.
Each of these topics and fields has their own terminology. A good financial blogger can explain these terms in a simple way for the reader to understand. However, even the most experienced writer may stumble across an unfamiliar phrase.
Financial bloggers struggling to write about economics may find The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics – available at www.econlib.com – helpful. This website has articles and definitions explaining all sorts of economic topics in layman’s terms.
Some financial bloggers have stood out writing about simple topics like coupons and managing household finances. But many jobs are available for people who can write clearly about higher-concept topics like investing in stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
It does take some experience in order to grasp these topics enough to make a living writing about these fields. But it doesn’t take a MBA to get started, either.
Linda Austin of The Reynolds Center for Business Journalism says her organization offers free workshops which business writers can use to help develop story ideas.
For instance, a recent online seminar on public databases tutored attendees on the ins and outs of municipal. This could prove invaluable to a someone who wants to dispel advice about the potential benefits and pitfalls which await potential municipal bond investors.
Getting known as a financial blogger will likely take the help of other financial bloggers. Getting them to recommend your work to others is a good way to build up an audience.
A good way to network is to find other bloggers who write about similar topics. Meg Favreau of WiseBread.com recommends her website’s Top 100.
“The Top 100 has links to different websites, Twitter accounts and the like. It’s a really great way to network with other bloggers,” Favreau said.
There’s also an annual Financial Blogger’s Conference, also known as Fincon, which brings together many of the big names of the community. This year’s event will be held in Denver from September 6-9.
“Like many of you over the past couple of years, I’ve attended a few of the major blog conferences or events. At those conferences I ended up spending most of my time with other financial bloggers and financial industry professionals. It was with those people that I learned the most, and it was those relationships that helped to create the most success online,” event organizer Philip Taylor of PT Money said.
Simplifying terms, becoming more sophisticated and reaching others can help you emerge as a leader in the growing world of financial blogging.