Blogging is one of the best way to increase website traffic and build trust with potential clients, but so many therapists I talk to aren’t sure how to get started. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the idea of blogging to grow your business, read on, friend!
I don’t know about you, but I like things to be easy. If something feels too labor-intensive, or if I feel like it’ll be a chore to complete, I’m probably not going to do it. In this post, I want to show you that blogging to market your practice can be easy, effective, and even enjoyable.
I’ll give you the best strategy for coming up with highly engaging blog post content, and I’ll give you an outline that you can use to write all your posts from now on.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD BLOG POST?
First things first, by “good,” I mean: effective as a marketing strategy. As a business owner, your time is precious, so if you’re going to spend time writing blog posts, you want to make sure that these posts will actually do something for your business.
Blog posts that increase your SEO and attract ideal clients are relevant to your niche, educational, and actionable. They’re not stream-of-consciousness, creative writing exercises with vague titles, like “Summer Musings.” (I personally love stream-of-consciousness creative writing, but it won’t do much to market your practice for you).
WHAT DO I WRITE ABOUT?
Therapists are the ultimate holders of space… and knowledge. And it can be really hard to figure out what to share and how to share it. “Am I writing academic articles?” “Should I include sources?” “How much of myself do I include?” These are all valid questions that I hear all the time from therapists like you (you’re not alone).
When you’re feeling stuck on what to write about, here’s the best strategy for getting unstuck and creating highly engaging content:
Defer to your clients, email list subscribers, and/or social media following.
There’s no need to try to guess what people want to read about. Just pay attention to the questions your clients and audience are asking, and answer them in the form of blog posts.
Social media is a great way to gauge what people want to learn about before working with you. Pose questions, start conversations, and listen to what people are struggling with. Then, when you publish your blog posts, invite these people to read and continue the conversation on your website.
Writing about things that people are already interested in makes the writing process easier for you, and increases the chances of your posts being read. When your blog posts are being read, that means people are visiting your website - which, as you know, is the best marketing tool you have.
THE BLOG POST OUTLINE
1. Start with a great title
Title your post with your ideal client in mind. Think about the struggle or question that you’re addressing in your post, and the result they want to achieve. Then, craft your title around the result. The more actionable you can make your title, the better.
Additionally, think about the words and phrases they might be searching for on Google and incorporate them into your title.
Tip: “How To” titles are actionable and highly engaging (ex: “How to talk to your child about cyberbullying,” or “How to reduce anxiety in 5 minutes or less.”).
2. Create a blog post graphic
A blog post graphic is basically like a book cover; it lists the title, subtitle, and website URL, and is a visual representation of the post itself. Just like a book cover, it can help people take the extra step of clicking on your link to read your post.
Vertical blog post graphics are especially useful on Pinterest (which is basically a visual search engine). Include your graphic in the post itself, and then create a pin that leads to your blog post.
Post your graphic (with the post URL) on every social media channel you manage to get as many eyes on your post as possible.
3. Write your post
INTRODUCTION: Empathize & Connect
Answer these questions:
How is [insert ideal client’s name here] currently feeling about this struggle?
How does she/he want to feel about it?
Start the post by empathizing with how your ideal client is currently feeling. Explain why you understand the struggle. Then, connect with how she/he wants to feel, and talk about how she/he could feel after reading your post and implementing your suggestions.
BODY - PART 1: Meet your ideal client where they are
Answer these questions:
What barriers/blocks is [ideal client] coming up against when trying to handle this situation on her own?
What does she need to know before implementing the strategies/tips you’re about to provide?
Spend the first part of the body of your post addressing any barriers your ideal client may have. You don’t have to solve these barriers/blocks, but addressing them can be helpful in setting up realistic expectations. Then, answer foundational questions that need to be clarified before going any further.
BODY - PART 2: Educate & Provide
Answer these questions:
What steps can [ideal client] take to help her feel how she wants to feel?
What tools/skills can you share that would help [ideal client] with this struggle?
Focus on providing just enough psychoeducation to help your ideal client rather than overwhelm her. Share simple strategies that she could implement on her own, and talk about the results that she can expect.
CONCLUSION: Normalize & Call to Action
Circle back to the beginning of your post and empathize with how [ideal client] is feeling currently. Also normalize any resistance or difficulty she may experience while trying your strategies, and provide an additional tip for coping with that.
End your post with a call to action. Encourage your ideal client to engage (ex: leave a comment, download a free guide (by joining your email list), schedule a consultation call, etc.).
HOW TO GET STARTED
Now that you have an outline for writing effective blog posts that generate quality website traffic, it’s time to start blogging! Start by making a list of frequently asked questions from your clients or social media followers. Then, look over the list and choose one of the questions to write a blog post about.
Move through this list of questions and write a new post at least once a month, and soon, your blog will be attracting members of your niche to your website, even when you’re out of the office.
If you’d rather have a worksheet to create your blog post outlines, I created one for you!
You can download it from my Members-Only Resource Vault, which is only available to members of my newsletter list.