How to be a better financial writer [part 3]

In a world of misinformation and rapid-fire fake news, conveying authority on financial topics demands accuracy.

High-quality content isn’t just compelling; it’s also meticulously sourced, attributed, and verified by a human being.

Your readers can often spot unreliable information. But even if they can’t, providing the “receipts” to back up your claims will make a more influential argument.

If you’re ready to refine your skills and produce more accurate financial content, this one is for you!

Just the facts, SLACC

In this series, we’ve been exploring our ‘SLACC’ editing method.

We first detailed steps for perfecting the article Structure

Then, we discussed how to give your article, blog, whitepaper or whatever you’re writing the perfect word count.

This time, we delve into the third critical pillar of high-quality content: Accuracy.

• S – Structure
• L – Length
A – Accuracy
• C – Consistency
• C – Clarity

Simply put, Accuracy is what elevates your content from merely interesting to influential. Accuracy bolsters your credibility and helps you make bullet-proof arguments that don’t fall apart with the slightest bit of critical thinking.

Here are seven things that contribute more accuracy and credibility to any piece of writing you’re producing:

1. Ensuring Source Credibility

Before you assert facts or make any claims about the truth of a matter, especially when it comes to people’s money, you need to ensure each claim is backed by reputable sources.

Sites with .org or .gov extensions, well-known publications, reputable news outlets, and accepted fact-producing organizations (e.g. Fannie Mae, National Association of Realtors, Harvard University, etc.) provide that layer of trust and validation your content needs.

Avoid using personal blogs as a source for your articles, unless the blogger is a subject matter expert (see #3 below) recognized in the field.

If you happen to find such a blogger who cites a fact you want to reference, go to the blogger’s source and review it before you reproduce it.

2. Comprehensive fact-checking

Implement rigorous fact-checking protocols that include multiple verification steps, especially for high-impact or financial information.

Our motto at Finance Studio is:

“Every writer needs an editor, and every editor needs an editor.”

As part of our 8-step content delivery process for financial clients, two separate editors review each piece of writing before delivering the first draft. 

Using multiple sources and multiple editors to confirm details ensures consistency and reliability across your content.

3. Consulting Experts

Subject matter experts can provide your piece with a layer of expertise that typical research might miss.

Experts can verify technical specifics, contributing to the depth and accuracy of your own analysis.

PRO TIP: Working with SMEs effectively

While thought leaders and executives have experience, vision, and amazing insights, they often have almost no time to put them on paper. It’s crucial to ensure their valuable time won’t be swallowed up by multiple interviews and feedback rounds, so be prepared and tighten up those interview skills!

4. Transparent Corrections

Maintain a clear and honest correction policy. If errors slip through, acknowledging and correcting them publicly strengthens your integrity and trust with your audience.

This is particularly relevant where the use of AI is concerned. ChatGPT, for example, has been known to hallucinate facts and invent research to support it’s own arguments. 

5. Regular Updates

Stay vigilant about updating information, particularly in fast-evolving fields like fintech.

This ensures your content remains relevant and accurate, providing your audience with the most current data, and can also be beneficial to SEO. 

6. Ethical Reporting

The same facts presented in two different ways can lead to people making different judgments or decisions. This is called “framing bias” and it occurs when people make a decision based on the way the information is presented instead of on the facts alone. (CFI) 

It’s crucial for writers to report data and facts ethically, without skewing information to fit the narrative. air representation is key to accuracy and maintaining the trust of readers, investors, and clients over time.

7. Visual Data Accuracy

When using charts or infographics, verify these visual representations as rigorously as textual data. Incorrect visual data can mislead readers just as easily as textual errors.

The value of verifiable content

Ensuring the accuracy of your content is more than a best practice, it’s a commitment to your audience. 

These simple strategies will enhance the credibility of your work and establish your brand as a trusted voice in your field. Embrace them, and watch your authority and audience grow.

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