Under an agreement that shows the growing interest in independent advisors among some of the biggest names in business journalism, RIABiz has begun contributing stories to Forbes.com.

Forbes.com approached RIABiz looking for content to help re-establish its Financial Advisor Network. Over a several-month period in the fall, RIABiz and Forbes.com negotiated an agreement to benefit both organizations. We started posting on the Forbes.com site in mid-December. Our stories continue to be published first on RIABiz, of course, and the bulk of our coverage remains on our own site. Here’s our home page the Forbes.com site.

The agreement marks a new level in our company’s development. The economics of Internet publishing mean that RIABiz needs to continue bringing new readers to our site, so that we can continue offering our content for free.

18 million visitors

What may be more interesting for readers, however, is the high level of interest that we have seen lately from big media organizations like Forbes.com. We’ve been approached by several companies (you’d recognize the names!) looking to add stories about independent financial advisors to their coverage of financial services.

Forbes.com made the most sense to us because of its well-known brand, and the fact that its general business news focus meant that we weren’t competing directly with it. The fact that it has 18 million unique visitors a month (according to the totals on its site) didn’t hurt.

The phone calls that have flowed into our offices from companies looking to partner with us signify that more people are becoming aware of the slow revolution in financial services that RIABiz chronicles. Increasingly knowledgeable investors are shifting their money from the old, conflict-ridden model of money management to one that is governed by independent advisory firms operating under a fiduciary standard.

RIABiz is the only online publication focused entirely on that revolution, written and edited to the standards of old-school journalism. The two journalists working on RIABiz, Brooke Southall (brooke@riabiz.com) and Elizabeth MacBride (Elizabeth@riabiz.com) have a combined 40 years of experience covering business and financial news. The RIABiz team includes Sales and Marketing Director Frank Noto (frank@riabiz.com), who has spent three decades working for publications in the industry, Chief Technology Officer Nevin Freeman (nevin@riabiz.com), a Google App Engine developer, and Michelle McCarthy (michelle@riabiz.com), who works with us part-time and is primarily responsible for posting to Forbes.com, and Reza Sadeghi (reza@riabiz.com), who has just joined us part-time to work on the RIABiz Directory.

Power of two

We make mistakes – a full-time editorial staff of two means there are more of those than we’d like — but we aim for multi-sourced stories that delve into many sides of an issue. Today’s U.S. Trust story is an example of that. We covered the news of the company’s planned expansion, and reached out to sources to talk about how U.S. Trust is situated against its competitors, including independent RIAs.

We’re well aware that what we do breaks most of the new rules of Internet publishing. Our stories aren’t short. We don’t have a lot of flashy bells and whistles. We don’t use black-hat marketing tricks to fool the search engines into sending uninterested visitors to our site.

So far, thanks to the depth of interest among independent advisors and service providers, what we’re up to is working.

We hope our agreement with Forbes benefits not only our company, but our wider community. The sources who talk to us will get wider exposure for their stories. Our contributors will be able to send their ideas out to a wider audience.

We’re also hoping that by shedding more light on the differences between independent advisors and those who work for wirehouses, we’re encouraging their clients to consider the alternatives.

Commune vigorously

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