To build a successful brand, you need to stand out through quality.

By Jeremy Biberdorf

With millennials now making the largest consumer demographic but enjoying less wealth than previous generations, personal finance blogs are blooming.

They provide actionable advice on how to make more money, live within your means, and even go into early retirement.

They also know how to attract an audience by building strong brands.

Here are some tips.

Keep It Simple

One thing that unites the top personal finance blogs is that none of them would win a web design reward.

Not to say their sites are ugly; they’re just not meant to be impressive—instead, they must be functional.

While visually appealing, a fancy design would distract the visitor away from the purpose of the site—to provide financial content.

Instead, finance sites use simple stock themes, with few colors and elements.

This way the user doesn’t get distracted and instead can focus on the meat of the website—financial advice.

The lesson here is: don’t suffocate your product under nonessential fanfare.

Provide Value

With so much content online, few places actually contribute with unique stuff.

Go to any content platform, and you’ll see most of the articles are the same rehashed topics you’d find everywhere.

To build a successful brand, you need to stand out through quality.

While large corporations used to get away with mediocracy due to their enormous market shares, SMEs have little room for staying stagnant.

You can still get by by following the herd, but your revenue will reflect the value you provide.

Back to the financial blogs, the ones that stand out create knowledge—the rest repeat it.

Have a Focus

While nowadays there’s barely a company dealing with a single product, having a focus makes it easier to build a successful brand.

You can still explore several territories but doing so must be consistent with the brand you’re building.

Many personal finance blogs cover a variety of topics, from swing trading to frugal living, but they do so with focused audiences in mind.

For example, such a website could target with different content college students, retirees, and home business owners.

In the end, by aiming to please everyone, you end up not pleasing anyone.

Know Your Audience

“Brand building takes place inside the prospect’s mind,” says famed brand strategist Al Ries.

What he means is that you co-own your brand together with the public.

In other words, there’s a blurred line now between brand (how a company presents itself) and reputation (how the company is seen by others).

The dissonance between brand efforts and reputation could be avoided by doing thorough research of your target audience.

For example, if your core audience is environmentally-conscious, your brand and reputation would be better aligned if your business is environmentally sustainable.

Solve a Problem

Do you know why you are doing what you are doing, or rather, what’s in it for your potential customers?

Obviously, personal finance blogs deal with personal finance, but this is not a problem per se.

Dealing with missed mortgage payments is a problem, and so is not knowing how to invest in real estate.

Finance blogs help solve these issues by providing readers with knowledge, guidance, and actionable steps.

This point actually one goes hand in hand with the previous one—the more focused of a problem you solve, the easier it’d be to build an authority brand.

Don’t Spoil the Fun

While not limited to personal finance blogs, they do it quite well hooking in readers by revealing enough in the title that it leads to a click.

It’s Copywriting 101 that a title can make or break your efforts to get someone to read your article.

Similarly, when creating your brand, you must say what you do and why you do it well, but in a way that leaves people to want to learn more.

Follow Through

Once you’ve risen the structure that is a brand, you need to nurture it.

Nowadays most businesses do that with the help of social media and email.

The newsletter subscription boxes you see everywhere is often how brands, including personal finance blogs, stay in touch with their fans, continuously providing value.

There are other ways of nurturing a brand of course.

Something that comes to mind is the rise of Reebok’s presence in the news the past couple of years.

Whatever it is, CrossFit or 3D-printed shoes, they stay in the public eye, reminding customers about the existence of the company.

Jeremy Biberdorf is a long-time internet marketer turned online entrepreneur.  Check out his site for a list of the top personal finance blogs.

Brand building stock photo by patpitchaya/Shutterstock