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Financial Blogs vs. Financial Media

By: Steve Johnson

6/19/2008 - 33 Comments

As the personal financial blogosphere continues to grow, it’s important to understand why.

Today, I want to explore some of the differences between the Financial Media and the Financial Blogs.  Financial Media, like Yahoo Finance and CNN Money are very powerful names with millions of daily readers.  Yet, there is a powerful secrete behind the growing influence of Financial Blogs.

Consistency

Perhaps the most important difference is that financial bloggers are consistent because they target a smaller audience. Financial media giants need to capture the interest of millions of readers, covering a variety of opinions to entertain their wide area of readers.

Building a Brand

Building a brand on the Internet is a key to success, just look at Amazon or eBay. There are millions of other book stores and auctions online, but Amazon and eBay have captured the majority because of the powerful brands they have built.

One of the best ways to build a brand is with consistency. Bloggers are consistent by nature because they are usually one person’s opinion that will attracted likeminded people that have similar views.  Consistency is better for building a brand with a higher rate of returning users, because without consistency users will come and go without committing.  They may stop by to look through the windows, but few will come back again and again.

Taking a consistent position is one of the advantages of a personal blog, because it allows you to build a readership that follows your thinking. Financial Media is where you find many difference positions because they are afraid to alienate anyone. As a blogger, if you don’t take a consistent position, you lose credibility and it quickly looks like you are just repeating what you read somewhere.

Personal blogs are a partnership with readers to create the blogs brand.  Blogs are an open invitation to the readers to join in and become an active participant with their ideas in building the value of the brand.

For this reason, the biggest mistake that a blogger can make is to be inconsistent. For example, a blogger who posts six articles in one week and nothing for the next two weeks, will have a hard time keeping readers. One of the most attractive qualities you can have as a freelance blogger is reliability. Blog readers are looking for consistent, reliable and informative content. They want to know that you will be their tomorrow with them as they journey through life.

Personal Opinion

Another mistake is when a blogger writes about several difference opinions without taking sides, because readers want to hear about their personal opinion – even if it’s controversial. For this reason, the best personal bloggers are opinionated. This leads to another important conclusion. Non-opinionated people will be poor bloggers. A good blogger is a person that has strong opinions and the ability to communicate their opinions in a way that is friendly and open to scrutiny.

No Hidden Agenda

Financial Media giants have paying customers, lobbying groups and policy agendas that guide and regulate their publications. Financial Blogs simply don’t have these constraints. This is a major advantage for bloggers who write without a political or corporate agenda. They are not restrained by editorial reviewers that often limit what writers can and cannot say about sensitive issues.

Every time a story about the media’s hidden agenda comes to light, blog reader’s laugh to themselves knowing they are not being manipulated or influenced by the hidden agenda’s of the media. Blog readers have a sense of freedom. Free to think and discuss issues without a hidden agenda. The cultural movement of Gen-Y to be free thinkers is propelling blogs and social media websites into the future. 

Too many people throughout the world have been held down by controlled information, which the Internet is allowing to spread like wild fire. Controlling information is no longer a successful leadership strategy.  Nations that have historically maintained power by controlling information, like Russia and China, are struggling to adapt to the new world.

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