Content Crafters is an interview series where we de-construct the tools, tips, and tactics that top bloggers use to get so much work done. you’ll walk away in mere minutes with actionable takeaways you can try out right away. Let’s dive in!
Priyanka Prakash is currently a Senior Staff Writer at Fundera, a company that helps small business owners shop, compare, and make the smartest financial choices for their businesses.
There, she writes blog posts, data reports, videos, and website copy. Specifically, she focuses on small business topics like financing, credit, law, marketing and technology.
She’s been featured on podcasts and several publications, including U.S. News, CNBC, Ladders, and Inc.
Previous to working at Fundera, she worked as a Managing Editor at Fit Small Business, and before that she worked in law.
In this interview, we’ll talk about her law background and how that associates with her content marketing work now. We’ll also cover SEO, challenges to working in finance writing, and more.
How did you get into content marketing? What’s your origin story?
I had a very non-traditional entry into content marketing.
I practiced as a lawyer for three years before I entered this field. My last legal job was an in-house position at a Bay Area tech startup where I also wore a lot of other hats, including drafting blog posts, customer emails, and press releases.
Some circumstances brought me to NYC in late 2014, and I saw that as the perfect opportunity to change careers and enter the content field. I ended up landing a writer role at a small business resource site and was soon promoted to managing editor and learned a lot about content marketing.
I came to Fundera in March 2018 and am still learning about content marketing everyday!
Is there anything particular to your background, personality or skill set that you believe makes you a great content marketer?
Interestingly, I think my legal background has helped make me a good content marketer.
Lawyers can be terrible writers because they use so much jargon and legalese that no lay person could ever understand! I think I might have been guilty of that as a lawyer, and I became much more cognizant of writing clearly when I entered the content marketing field.
In order to be a good content marketer, I realized you have to give people accessible, well-organized, useful content.
What’s a unique challenge to working on content in the finance space?
Unfortunately, there are some parts of the business finance industry that are less than reputable, and that can make it hard for the good guys to stand out.
At Fundera, we place a lot of emphasis on building trust among readers, identifying our writers’ expertise and backgrounds, and not making our content overly promotional.
Once our readers see that Fundera is a hub for reliable information, they come back to us.
Is there any lesson you learned working and being educated in law that you’ve brought with you to content marketing and writing?
Good structure and organization matter a lot to SEO, and these are skills that you learn as a lawyer. When you’re writing a 100-page brief, you need to make your main points very clear to the court, and your arguments can crumble. Similarly, when writing content that you want to rank well in the search engines, it’s really important to use clear header structure and give your audience the answers they are looking for.
Fundera has a powerful SEO presence and is very good at getting organic results – what aspect of your content strategy do you most attribute that success to?
One of the most important things we do is keep our content relevant and up to date. You could have the most amazing piece of content on, for example, a particular lender, but if the content is out of date, then Google will allow newer content to surpass it in the search results.
To keep things fresh, we make updates a part of our regular editorial calendar. Sometimes, we even take a day as a team to just revise older content. We’ve seen measurable results from these efforts and plan to continue them. You don’t always necessarily need to think in terms of new content.
Take your older content and refresh it or repurpose it for good results.
Are there any tactics in content marketing you believe are overplayed or getting stale?
If anyone is still keyword stuffing in the hopes that this will get their content to rank, they should stop! If anything, that will make your content sound worse and unprofessional.
Conversely, what new tactics or plays are underutilized or surprisingly effective?
It’s important to adapt your content for the various channels it will be found on: mobile, voice search, and desktop. Utilizing video and interactive content like quizzes and polls can also make your content more engaging.
If you weren’t doing content marketing, what would you be doing?
I’d probably have switched from the legal field to engineering. I have learned a little bit of coding from my husband, who is a programmer, and it’s really interesting! Learning to code exercises so many parts of your brain.
What inspires you? Who do you follow? How do you come up with new ideas for blog posts, campaigns, tactics, etc.?
We have a great sales team at Fundera whose focus is on providing small business loans to our customers.
Sometimes, a sales team member will tell the content team about a frequently asked question that isn’t covered by existing content. This is a rare, but very important source of blog post ideas, because it indicates a content gap we need to fill to better serve our customer base.
Gimme three tips to improve my writing? Or rather, three tips anyone can use to write better.
- Write in the same way you would speak or explain something to a friend.
- Write several pages on a topic if you need to get over writer’s block, but be your worst critic when you’re self-editing.
- Do something different than all the other content publishers who are writing about the same topic. For example, provide a cool graphic, data, or expertise that other content publishers don’t have.