Blogging tips for accountants and bookkeepers
Accountant & Bookkeeper Guides
5 min read
A blog helps you communicate with clients and prospects. Even if your firm already uses social media, it's great to have a blog too. Here we look at how to set up your firm's blog and get the most out of it.
Blogging is about branding, marketing and communications
Blogging is one of the most effective ways of communicating with clients and prospects. It can also enhance brand awareness, and market your firm to a wider audience.
Used alongside social media, a blog can improve your firm's reputation and boost traffic to your website. That's a lot of return for such a small investment of time.
In this guide we'll explain how to achieve these goals. We'll give you some blogging tips that will help you make the most of your firm's blog.
The benefits of blogging
Blogging is different to other forms of online communication. It's not like social media, emails or website text. If you want to get the most out of your blog, you'll need to understand its potential benefits. A blog can:
- help you stay in touch with existing clients
- help new prospects find you and learn about your services
- build your firm's brand – and give it a unique voice
- demonstrate your firm's expertise and the professional knowledge of your staff
- boost your website's search engine rankings through regular fresh content
- enlarge your potential market, since good content travels a long way
- provide a solid foundation for your firm's social media presence
- reach prospects who don't respond to conventional sales and marketing methods.
Even though it offers so many benefits, blogging is essentially free. You don't need to buy special tools or software. But for the best results you do need to invest your time and so do your staff.
Finding a home for your blog
There are plenty of free blogging services available, such as Squarespace, Blogger and WordPress. But ideally you should incorporate your blog into your own website. That way you'll gain from the extra traffic it brings. Also, your blog won't display other people's advertising, which is how the free services make money.
Whoever manages your firm's website should be able to set up your blog quite easily. Many web hosting companies offer blogging tools for free, while others charge a small fee to add them.
Once set up, your blog will become a part of your website, for example: www.yourfirm.com/blog. Then you'll be able to add and edit posts directly through a browser.
Your blog is a channel for communicating with your clients and prospects. If you want them to read it, you must offer something valuable.
Using your blog to inform and engage – 10 tips
"Content is king," as the saying goes. Your blog will be judged by the value of its content. So consider these blogging tips when planning and writing your blog posts:
- Stay focused
You're an accountant or bookkeeper, so stick to your areas of expertise. Don't write about politics, sport or where you went on vacation. Stay on topic.
- Add value
Your blog is a channel for communicating with your clients and prospects. If you want them to read it, you must offer something valuable. Give them helpful, useful and timely accounting or bookkeeping information. They'll return the favor by spreading the word about your expertise. And they'll return to read more of your posts.
- Get your staff involved
Encourage your employees to contribute. This will spread the workload, increase engagement, and widen the range of topics covered. Not everyone will be a great writer, but you can edit their work before it's published.
- Write for your readers
Your readers are your existing clients and prospects. You must interest them, not bore them. Avoid formal writing – this isn't an accounting textbook or court deposition. Be conversational and interesting. Writing in the first person is fine – for example, "I always do this." But keep your ego in check.
- Understand your audience – and empathize
If you really want to impress prospective clients, show that you understand their business. Tell them you can help overcome their specific challenges. Explain how your expertise can directly benefit them. Your prospects are almost certainly not accountants. So talk to them in their business language, not yours.
- Write enough, but not too much
Posts are usually between 400 and 600 words. If they're much shorter than that, search engines will ignore them. If they're much longer, you may lose your readers' attention. But some topics are too long to fit into 600 words. In that case it's OK to write a longer post. Alternatively, you could split one long post into separate parts.
- Maintain momentum
Stale blogs give a bad impression, so yours should be updated regularly. This doesn't mean you must write a new post every day. But the more content you publish, the more visitors you'll get. Regular posting will also contribute to your site's search engine rankings. Create a calendar of planned content, perhaps one entry per week, and stick to it.
- Avoid writer's block
Sometimes it can be hard to think of new topics. Consider writing about financial events. These may include tax deadlines, annual returns and monthly payroll issues. You could also read popular accounting or bookkeeping websites and refer to them. Don't copy their content, though. Instead, write a brief summary and offer your own opinion on how it affects your clients.
- Break up text with images and videos
A long wall of text might put off some of your readers. Break up the content with sub-headings and bullets. Add useful charts and graphics to your posts. You could also embed practical videos about common accounting issues. "How to" videos will be helpful to your clients. They will also help people find you through search engines.
- Promote your blog at every opportunity
Unread content has no value. Use social media to share your posts. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook will all bring traffic to your blog if used wisely. Consider adding social media buttons to your posts, too. That way people will be able to share your content easily, bringing in more readers.
Build blogging into your marketing strategy
Blogging is a powerful means of communication for your firm. But you should use it as one component in your overall marketing strategy.
Social media, blogs, websites and email communications are all powerful in their own right. So are business cards, community involvement and advertising. When combined, these methods are even more powerful.
So use the blogging tips in this guide to get started – and keep blogging. Regular, fresh content will bring visitors to your website and keep them coming back for more.