A post in AdvisorOne today about the “debate” over whether to get a canned or customized newsletter tells advisors what they already know—you can build a canned or customized newsletter—and it then falls short of providing advisors useful money-saving advice.
In fairness to the writer, who makes an earnest effort, the subject requires a lot more research than you can expect from a short story in any trade publication. It also highlights a consistent pattern in the trade press, which usually results in giving my company, Advisor Products, short shrift.
The really important advice missing from this story is in telling advisors to hire a writer. While the $200 to $400 per page range is fair and accurate, the story fails to mention that those prices should get you much more than just a newsletter article.
For $300, Advisor Products writes an article for advisors that will be search engine optimized and tuned up with your strategic marketing goals. The article will be packed with your keywords. If your objective in writing a newsletter is to grow your business and market your services prospects, this is crucial. Since, the main premise at the outset of the story is that advisors provide newsletters for marketing purposes as well as touching clients, not mentioning the online benefits of writing your own content is a big miss.
Canned newsletter articles will not help you with search engines. Content that is on multiple websites can actually hurt your search engine ranking unless your website vendor marks up the HTML to be ignored by search engines. (Advisor Products does that.)
Moreover, writing your own content allows an advisor to use an article in a blog post as well as in your hard-copy newsletter. You also can then link to the article in social media status updates and, thus, use the post to lure people to your website. Plus, you can also use it in an email newsletter. These are all key reasons why you want to hire a writer to create your own.
In addition, in telling advisors they have a choice between canned and customized newsletters, the story puts all canned newsletters into a single category. Are all jewelers the same? Are all advisors the same? You cannot put content provided by Advisor Products in the same category as most of the other canned newsletter vendors.
The story also fails to mention a really key aspect of the value provided by canned newsletters: they give advisors a great way of creating your own customized content. To be clear, when an advisor buys Advisor Products content, he can use it as the basis for creating a blog post. Borrow our facts and rewrite the story. Make it so different as to be unrecognizable from the original version and then it will help you with search engines. Add in your own keywords, add in your spin. (Again, the search engines do not like duplicate content, so rewrite the original language in the article.)
Finally, another disturbing aspect of the story is the way it plugs a couple of vendors and gives Advisor Products short shrift. These are fine vendors and I am not protesting linking to them, but notice how Advisor Products does not get similar treatment.
This kind of double standard has been happening for years to Advisor Products in the trade pubs. Because the trade magazines see me as a competitor, they usually ignore my company, Advisor Products. While Advisor Products is far from perfect, it has been on the leading edge in providing advisors with technology and content marketing for many years but it gets little recognition in the trades. Here’s why.
From 1996 to 2005, I wrote every month in Investment Advisor (AdvisorOne), and then I switched to writing a monthly column in Financial Advisor, which I occasionally still write. My column always has been one of the most popular features, according to ad sales people over the years. That’s why Advisor Products rarely gets plugged in the trade magazines. That’s why there’s no link to the Advisor Products website. And, now that I have my own online magazine in the form of A4A, and it is very successful, you can bet I’ll get even fewer mentions even for doing great at Advisor Products.
It’s okay. I’m doing my own thing, telling my own story, and providing enough value to have two successful businesses. Advisors I want to do business with are figuring out that Advisor Products provides extraordinary value--without any help from the trade publications--and, best of all, I’m being intellectually honest in my work and helping my customers at Advisor Products and the 5000 registered members of A4A. And I am totally independent. How cool is that!