Have your finance blogs lost direction?

Head in sand final???    When was the last time you read a finance blog that fixated you with every word? How long has it been since you wrote a blog post that was an absolute page turner? Why is it that most financial blog pieces are as boring as this year’s election? Instead of writing something that gets ignored more than a salad in Clive Palmer’s kitchen, why not juice it up with something that everyone absolutely loves, and reads… a great story!

As a freelance content writer I write lots of content, especially finance; and in doing so I read zillions of blogs to keep in tune with events. Some are great, but most times I just want to put my head in the sand.

When it comes to creating finance, property investment, or superannuation copy, I’m continually noticing one key area that seems to be overlooked: the amazing experiences clients enjoy either with the product, or on their way to accessing that product.

For example, I once shared a flight to L.A. with an elderly American husband and wife. As one does on long flights, we started chatting. It turned out, husband Cliff had been in the navy and was woken up quite rudely in his ship’s bunk, anchored in Pearl Harbour in December 1941, by some loud bangs.

He told me, at first, he and his shipmates weren’t too concerned. It seemed, at the time, there was a bit of rivalry between the navy and the army. As Pearl Harbour was quite a party town, and Sunday morning sleep-ins were always a desperate remedy, the navy planes liked to wake up the army guys early Sunday morning, and likewise the army planes to the navy.

When loud booms started going off, Cliff’s ship buddies all started screaming, “Wow, those army pilots are in real trouble now, by dropping live ammunition they’ve taken this thing way too far!”

However, it wasn’t too long until they realised it wasn’t their side doing the bombing.

Cliff survived that day, and quite a few other close calls along the way. As his war service took him from island to island, he became exposed to clearing land for airfields and building military accommodation asap.

After a few years in the Pacific, he became quite adept at overseeing construction crews and turning the impossible into reality.

After the war, he settled around the navy town of San Diego. At the time, Southern California was starting to boom with development and Cliff’s construction skills kept him in high demand. After many years of building, he became a licensed realtor and started selling his own developments.

We had a few laughs as he explained: “I didn’t know what was more dangerous, fighting enemy snipers or negotiating prices with customers.”

Over those many busy years, he and his wife, Annie, battled everything from corrupt officials, untrustworthy business partners to economic fluctuations and the financial uncertainties they all delivered. However, all along the way, they made certain they regularly put something aside for their future.

After all, Cliff said: “You never know when you’ll get woken up with a bomb.”

Even though they were spending time in their latter years ‘playing realtor’, as they said, it was more for friends and fun. They focused most of the time travelling, discovering new experiences, chatting to people such as myself, and enjoying the fruits of their labour.

That flight was many years ago. Most of the stories I heard that day have been forgotten. Although, I do remember thinking this couple had lived an amazing life, while still focusing on living an amazing retirement.

Stories like this are a natural for superannuation content. With the turbulent 50s, 60s and 70s, there’s plenty of Australian stories out there that need to be told. And hopefully by clever finance/investment/super brands that want to build their brand, by building relationships.

So, if you’re unsure how to engage with your blog readers, just share fantastic stories that your demographic can relate to. Otherwise, without a good story, it’s just too easy for a blog to bomb.