Now is a great time to start your insurance blog. There’s no better way to stand out from the glut of agents trying to make an impression and convince a customer that it’s dedication to the highest quality, integrity, and delivering the best service — not the lowest price — that matters. Here’s seven tips to help you get started:
1) Write naturally. As you write your insurance blog, imagine you’re speaking to someone. Try to keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Avoid bombast and big words when small words work just as well.
2) Use subheads or at least boldface the lead sentences of your paragraphs, as I’ve done here. This helps the reader organize your text visually. Using bullet points for lists and numbering longer lists helps you and the reader stay organized.
3) Each time you write a blog post, pick a topic and stay on subject. You don’t need to write about insurance or risk management in every post. Write about what interests you, though you probably want to find a way to connect your interest to your profession.
4) Pick a schedule and try to stick to it. This will help you be more productive and readers appreciate predictability. Too many bloggers — not just insurance bloggers — post feverishly their first few weeks then drop out of sight for months or even years. If you’re not sure what you can commit to, set a modest schedule, at least at first. If you hit your target for a while — maybe you’re posting monthly —you may gain confidence and want to increase your posts, especially if you begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
5) Create an editorial calendar or a list of topics to write about in advance. This will help you stay on schedule. You can always deviate from it if something else inspires you.
6) Read, read, read. Or if you’re a visual person, watch, watch, watch. In any case, stay informed and learn all the time about your profession and what you blog about.
7) Finally, think of how writing an effective blog post is like writing an effective ad. Follow the four AIDA rules:.
a) Get the reader’s Attention. Photos, videos, quotes and other devices can be effective attention-getters. You’ll still need to hook the reader with your text though. Posing your topic as a question often works. Could you be the target of identity theft and not know it yet? “You” is a powerful first word for any sentence. In short, just be interesting.
b) Sustain Interest. After you say something interesting, keep being interesting. This is actually the strength of a blog, because even if the subject isn’t particularly interesting to someone, the fact that you are giving it a personal dimension usually raises the interest level. One of the strengths of a good salesperson is the ability to tell a good story. Can you tell a good story?
c) Build Desire. The formula for building desire is as old as the Bible. Just reading about situations that evoke fear or greed or love or happiness or similar emotions makes us want to take some action to embrace or avoid the same kind of situation.
d) Trigger Action. If you’re writing an insurance blog, you’re probably trying to persuade your reader to do something (the call to action), even if it’s just to come back to read your next post. I’m not using the AIDA device here to suggest you should hard sell your reader to act now or turn your blog post into an infomercial. Just close with something like, “If you want to learn more about how identity theft insurance works, give me a call.”
If you think Smart’s could help you out with a blog or a newsletter or anything else, give us a call. (See how that works?)