A life insurance blog is NOT a business. A life insurance blog is a marketing channel.
You, your sales skills, your back end office, your technology and your marketing channels are your business.
Many agents are getting this confused. Your life insurance blog is just 1 tool in your marketing quiver and you shouldn’t rely 100% on it or else you’re leaving your income at risk. Every single life insurance blogger that’s been doing it for at least 2 years has taken algorithm change “hits” on their traffic. It doesn’t matter how good your content is or how “white hat” your linking methods are.
I say this because I’ve had a bunch of emails this week from agents who got hit by the last Google algorithm update on 10/4. This update hurt a lot of life insurance blogs.
Some guys who invested thousands of dollars and spent 100’s of hours working on their blog, went from 10+ leads per day down to 1-2 per day. Some agents were getting a couple leads per week and are now down to almost nothing.
This algorithm change didn’t discriminate from “white hat” (by the rules) or “black hat” (cheating the algorithm) – both types of marketers got hit.
Unfortunately, some of these agents were completely dependent on their blog and are basically starting all over. Some agents were just getting started and seeing some traction and will probably throw in the towel. Others had different marketing channels and they just felt a little pain (kudos to you guys for diversifying). Some agents had back-up blogs (kudos to them as well).
The lesson here is that you can’t depend on 1 life insurance blog as a marketing channel, especially with SEO. With that said…
You CAN recover from algorithm updates
If you were hit, don’t get discouraged.
Here’s one of my life insurance sites that took a hit in the past. My traffic dropped by 40% on this site, but I put on my big boy pants and pushed on. 8 months later, I was back at the same traffic.
So those of you were knocked down by this algorithm change, you can come back.
Here’s my advice if you’re investing in your blog daily (this doesn’t apply to you if it’s a side project):
Work with an expert who can advise you on how to optimize your site – both on page and off page (link building).
SEO is an ever changing landscape. There’s no way you can keep on top of writing a blog, other marketing, writing new business, working with your clients, keeping sharp on new life insurance industry trends etc…AND staying current with SEO.
I’ve been hit by algorithm changes multiple times, but my SEO expert always gets me back on track and never lets me make mistakes that could kill my sites.
Some may be thinking, I don’t want to spend the money and I can learn this myself. My response is:
“You don’t know what you don’t know”
You can’t be a life insurance expert AND an SEO expert. You won’t reach full potential in either. There’s just too much to learn. A small SEO mistake can cost you all your work.
Is it possible to be successful on your own without an expert? Absolutely. You’ll just grow slower and be taking on a lot of unrealized risk.
Again, if your blog is just a side project while you have other marketing running, this doesn’t apply to you.
So Why Should You Have A Life Insurance Blog?
(1) You can pick up visitors searching for long tail keywords
This is the most obvious reason.
With that said, you need to write consistently and you need to build QUALITY links to gain any sort of traction. It’s become too competitive to write an article or 2 every week and think you’ll get any leads without any sort of support of backlinks or outreach.
Remember, this is a marketing channel and not a business. Those who blog for life insurance as their sole source for leads are playing “Google russian roulette” – one of these algorithm changes will bring you down. Use your blog as 1 prong of your multi-prong approach.
(2) Your blog is a place where big opportunities present themselves
Out of over 250 blog posts, I can count 5 that could probably be their own six figure businesses. Let me explain.
When I write a blog, it’s usually based on how I just helped someone find life insurance. After receiving dozens of leads and people needing help from 1 blog post – this is validation that there’s a big demand for help in this area.
I mean, why are these people contacting me when I just wrote a 500 word article? It’s because there’s not a lot of information out there.
I’ll share just 1 example:
Life insurance for foreign nationals and non-us citizens
I get a ton of people outside the US contacting me for life insurance. Some cases it’s doable, some cases it isn’t. It takes a lot of extra work, but these people are always successful and high net worth people. A website built around this niche would kill it. Besides blogging about different countries and how to secure coverage in the US (the US has the cheapest life insurance in the world and people want it!), plant yourself within foreign advisors, multi-national families, ex-pat communities etc.
Please…someone…take this idea and run with it! I’ve already validated that there’s a market for it.
You get the point though – you’re getting market validation when you see lots of interest.
(3) Your blog is a low friction way for prospects to interact with you
Consumers will ask questions as a “reply” to your blog. It’s a low friction way for them to contact you so they don’t have speak with someone live.
Are there lots of tire kickers that reply to blogs? Yes. However, I’ve made some good sales strictly through e-mail (via EZlife) from those who replied directly to my blog. By the way, you don’t help them in the “replies” section of your blog. You email them through the email address they gave in order to leave the comment.
Recently I’ve added chat to my blog and pull a fair amount of applications per week from people who I believe would have never filled out a form (I haven’t tested this though).
If you have a blog producing leads and you haven’t experienced a dip in traffic, it’s only a matter of time…so diversify! The best place to diversify are the niches that are bringing in the most traffic or prompting the most questions.
If you don’t have a blog or just got started blogging, it takes time and patience and won’t make you a lot of money in the beginning, but it can down the road if you do it smartly. Just be prepared for these algorithm changes and be ready to adjust.
In no way is blogging something every agent should do. I help agents who place in excess of $200k per year over the phone who laugh at the thought of picking up blogging. Blogging is just 1 of the many ways you can market for life insurance online.
Where there’s vulnerability, there’s always an opportunity. Since the algorithm change, I’ve bought out 2 life insurance sites. If your site has generated leads or is over 2 years old and you’re thinking about throwing in the towel, please let me know and I may buy your site from you (or have a buyer for you). No use in just letting it sit there.