I have received several emails from both experienced and newbie accountants asking me to provide guidance on how to start an accounting blog. I haven’t heeded to their requests for long for many reasons – including reducing the competition that I have to face as we already have too many blogger accountants. Yeah, I needed to protect my interest 😊☹
Anyways, my defense are now down and here I am writing about how to start an accounting blog as an accountant.
Before I go into sharing my over 12 years’ experience of blogging as an accountant, I would like to firstly sound a general warning that blogging is not one of those get rich quick scheme.
You can check out how accountants can make money for cool insights that you can adopt and start a better chance of making money quicker. Haven said that, it is time to let the cat out of the bag.
How to start an accounting blog as an accountant and run it profitably
Know accounting very well
You cannot give what you don’t have no matter how hard you try because giving requires a lot of substance. Before you start blogging as an accountant, you must firstly stuff your accounting and finance knowledgebase with real stuff that when processed will spew out contents that people will read and want to come back again for more.
Have passion for writing
This is a warning to all intending accounting bloggers. If writing is not one of your forte, becoming a blogger requires that you have real passion for writing. Some people will argue that you can use ghost writers and all that, but how many articles will they write for you?
Except you want to go into full time publishing, it’s probably not worth thinking of hiring full time writers to write your accounting blog posts. Your best bet is being passionate about writing and the learning the art and sometime mechanics of copywriting to excel in this accounting blogging space.
I have over 420 accounting related articles in this blog with over 99% of them written by me – that is passion.
It is your passion for writing that will unlock your creativity and also spur you into action to write and promote your accounting block when you hit the writers block. Believe me, writers’ mental block is real. The love for what you do is the only way out of this writers’ mental block when it comes.
There are times when I have gone for months without making any post on here – the result for those unprefessional act of mine was high decline in revenue and popularity of this blog.
Do some keyword research
You don’t just start an accounting blog intuitively without having some form of audience in mind that you intend to cater for. There are many keyword research tools that you can make use of.
The two that I use are www.ubersuggest.com and google keyword planner (the link to this tool keeps changing so I didn’t link to it, but just search for it using any search engine of your choice). How to use these tools are beyond the scope of this article.
I use keyword research tools to gain insights into what it is that people are looking for in the field of accounting. Armed with this information, I will then proceed with researching and producing contents designed to proffer solution to the problem that triggered the search.
Buy domain name
I made the mistake of starting my accounting blogging journey with a free blogspot domain name. It was almost too late before I realized that I was just wasting my contents and efforts on something that I don’t own and would probably own. Domain names are not that expensive so get one.
Make sure that an accounting related keyword is in your domain name. There is no rule that says you cannot go with domain of your choice but I have seen the benefits of including a field related keyword in my domain names. If your core strength is in the area of internal audit for example and you plan to write more post around auditing, find a way to incorporate the keyword ‘audit or auditing’ in your domain name.
Having the keyword in your domain name is not a guaranty that your site will for that keyword but it sure helps – at least human eyes.
Get a hosting account
The extra savings from going with free hosting is not worth it. I am not a position to recommend a hosting company for you but I just have to let you know that I had horrible experience in the hands of yahoo small business hosting back in 2008 when I launched my first blog. Do your due diligence when looking for a hosting company that is best for you.
Do well to avoid the free hosting companies, remember that there is no such thing as free lunch even in Freetown – oh I loved Freetown the last time I visited!
Learn some bits of HTML
There are times when you need to get your hands dirty with some codes. This should not be a problem as accountants are now being encouraged to learn how to code. It is not every issue with your accounting website that requires you hiring a web designer.
I have overtime realized that I tend to proffer better solution to issues on my websites than the so-called professional web designers – this is because I know what I want to implement better than the web developer who will still to firstly gain understanding of what it is that I want to get done.
Build your website
Yes, you can build your website yourself using CMSs (Content Management Software) like WordPress. Your site will be up and running by simply making few adjustments. The knowledge gained from learning some html skill will be very handy here.
Drive traffic to the blog
Driving traffic to your site arguably is the hardest part of blogging in general. A lot of efforts and sacrifice goes into driving real traffic to your accounting blog. My best kind of traffic are the ones that come from search engines (these are called organic traffic).
Over time I have discovered that social media traffic doesn’t make much impact on accounting and finance blogs. Social media traffics perform better on gossip blogs.
The best that I have seen is when you write all your articles for both humans and search engine. Avoid black hat or shady practice as this will only create problems your site in the eyes of search engines. You can also engage in some blogger outreach campaign for some exposure.
Maintain and maintain your accounting blog
If you think that driving traffic as discussed above is difficult, you better think twice as maintaining your accounting blog is probably harder than driving traffic to your site.
Maintaining your accounting blog includes but is not limited to the following tasks:
- Creating captivating high-quality content on a regular basis: quality content is king when it comes to blogging. Get this wrong and say goodbye to every other hard work you have put into building your accounting blog. Always write original content that solves an actual problem or provides an answer to at least a question. Content creation is what makes you a blogger in the first place, create useful quality content for the readers of your accounting website.
- Re-tweaking the feel and look of your blog from time to time to meet the prevailing reality: things don’t just happen and stay that way for ever. To be a successful accounting blogger, you need and must always keep the looks and feel of your site current and trendy. No one wants to associate with outdated technology for long.
- Managing spam: you cannot have a blog that is active and expect not to be bothered by spammers. Your focus should be on how to effectively manager the activities of spammers. ASKIMET plugin maybe all that you really need. Although I use some other additional tools to completely be in control. These other tools are especially important if you have any form of contact form in you accounting blog.
- Securing your accounting blog: security of your blog is a non-trivial task that needs to be performed. I combine both manual and automated tools to have some sense of security. I use Wordfence plugin and I also ensured that all plugins and themes used in this accounting blog updates automatically so I don’t have to regularly check for out of date plugin or them – this does not mean that I don’t occasionally check things manually.
- Building backlink and expanding your network: backlinking is an ongoing exercise that every blogger must not joke with. There are loads of how to articles on backlink building so I will not bore you with what I do as they are basically same as what those SEO experts have written about. I use www.searchengineland.com to keep up with most SEO issues. I suggest you do same.
- Keeping track of the numbers: through your numbers, you can gain useful insights on how your visitors interact with your contents. I use two primary site visitors tracking tools. They are www.statcounter.com (its free to use to an extent) and google analytics. As at the time of writing article, Google is planning to retire the legacy analytics tool. This will be replaced with what they call analytic4 (GA4). I just recently set a property up on it so cannot talk much about it but this is something that you have to bear in mind.
Monetize your accounting blog
Monetization of your accounting blog is the last stage after you must have built your audience and reputation over time. You can start by applying to any ads network of your choice once you have built traffic that is ripe and ready to be monetized.
Every single point shared in this article on how to start an accounting blog as an accountant are all personal experience of what I have done to take this hybrid accountant from zero to the level that it now operates on. You too can replicate the success that I have had blogging here if you can just follow these simple steps as discussed in this post religiously – there is always room for personal ingenuity touches that you can apply.