Whenever you search the web, there’s a good chance you’ll end up on a blog. These self-serve mini websites have exploded in popularity in recent years, and now cover every conceivable topic. Free blog software like WordPress and Blogger makes setting up a site easy and come with built-in “social” functionality, so readers can re-post your content, comment, and share it with friends.

As a financial advisor, you can use a blog to help establish or reinforce your credibility on financial planning, taxes, or other subjects. A blog can also be an effective way to build a reputation with your target audience, enabling you to enhance your visibility and position yourself as an expert. Remember that, unless you are a sole proprietor, your blog will in many ways represent the firm you work for — even though it is not part of your employer’s official website. This is particularly true of broker/dealers, who will likely consider your blog “marketing.”

So, should you start a blog? Here are a few pros and cons to consider:

How to get started
1. Check with Compliance — If you are interested in blogging and work for a broker/dealer, check with your firm’s Compliance department to see if they allow blogging (RIAs could have much greater leeway).
2. Think of your niche — There are thousands of blogs out there; what will you bring that others aren’t (and is that something you can support week after week)?
3. Check out the blogging sites (this blog was built in WordPress) — Review the choices of blog designs or “themes” and select one that you think you can support with new content at least once a week.