2012 was the first year for this annual Financial Blogging Contest. There were over 50 nominations of Financial blogs this year – representing a wide range of financial information, points of view, and target markets.
We realized right away that we had to either narrow our scope, or divide the entries into a variety of categories. For this, the inaugural year, we decided that it made sense to focus on one category – client focused blogs, written by U.S. Financial firms. This eliminated several of the nominations, and some very strong blogs that we hope to be able highlight next year.
The remaining blogs will be awarded a “Top 10″ badge, and appear in alphabetical order rather than numerical order:
Marie Swift is Principal of Impact Communications, a full-service marketing communications firm serving a select group of independent financial advisors, industry thought-leaders and allied institutions. Impact Communications has two service lines – one for independent advisory firms and one for the institutions that support them.
She is a nationally recognized author and speaker, including multiple appearances at FPA national and regional events, NAPFA, Lockwood University and the NFL Players Association (Financial Advisor Program), Swift is the co-author of Just Give Me the Answer$: Expert Advisors Address Your Most Pressing Financial Questions (Dearborn 2004). She contributed the marketing chapter to Garrett’s Guide to Financial Planning (National Underwriter Company, 2002 and 2007).
April is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, Registered Rep, Fundfire, Trusts and Estates magazine, Private Asset Management (PAM) Magazine, Hedge Fund Managers (HFM) Week and many more publications. She speaks both nationally and internationally on issues related to marketing in the Financial Services industry.
Victor Gaxiola is a Social Media Subject Matter Expert at Actiance, Inc, where he combines his passion for social media with his talents for marketing, communications, coaching, project management, and networking. He is an active evangelist for the financial services industry’s adoption of social media marketing practices.
Prior to joining Actiance, Victor was principal at Red 7 Marketing, and co-founder of the Gaxiola Financial Group. He is a regular speaker at industry events.
Brent Carnduff is the principal at Echelon Business Solutions, a financial services internet marketing firm, and author of The Inbound Marketing Insider blog. He holds an MBA in Financial Planning, and is a frequent speaker at local FPA functions.
Each judge scored the blogs out of 15 points (for a total of 60 percent) and then each blog was also scored on less subjective categories of traffic, back links, and readership engagement (social shares and comments), which made up the final 40 percent of the blogs grade.
Although our judges were ultimately free to apply their expertise to reviewing the blogs, possible areas of consideration included: