Blogging is an excellent way to grow your therapy practice. It builds trust with your readers. It allows your authentic voice to be heard. And blogging builds content (SEO and keywords) so that Google can understand what your website is about and help people find it.
In order for your blog to effectively do it’s job, you need to be clear about who you’re writing for.
Just like your therapy practice, your blog needs to be specific.
A generic mental health blog isn’t going to attract “ideal clients”. It’s also not going to highlight your strengths and passion.
Who is the intended audience for your blog? What do they care about? People are googling all day long looking for information to solve a problem. What are the problems that your ideal clients are looking to solve?
Look for blogging topics, ideas, and inspirations in everything you do.
I often find ideas from:
Books, other blogs, podcasts. If you spend a lot of time reading and learning, as I do, these are excellent sources of inspiration. Don’t worry about using the same idea that you heard somewhere else. Of course, don’t copy someone else’s work! Put your own spin on how to use yoga to calm anxiety. I guarantee you there are many different posts on that same topic and they all provide a unique perspective or somewhat different approach. As you develop loyal readers, they will want to read your posts (because they like and trust you) over someone else’s on the same topic.
Current events. People come together in the wake of tragedies or celebrations in the larger community. They seek community and understanding or a place to grieve or celebrate together. I can image plenty of material coming from our recent Olympic games or posts related to the upcoming 9-11 anniversary.
Holidays or seasonal events. These are also shared experiences that make good blog posts. Hone your focus onto the part of back to school or Thanksgiving that will speak to your ideal clients. For example, your back to school post will be different if it’s geared towards new mothers vs. empty nesters sending a child to college.
Questions potential clients ask me on the phone. What do people want to know? Do they have questions about how therapy works? About your approach? Do they have misconceptions about what PTSD is? Keep some notes as you talk to callers and see what emerges.
Themes that come up repeatedly with clients. Often I notice re-occurring themes in my clinical work with clients. The things I tend to repeat over and over again to different clients provide a wealth of material for my blog. It could be a breathing technique I often teach my clients or it could be noticing that several clients are feeling more depressed as we move into Fall. Or it could be that my clients don’t seem to understand what mindfulness means. It’s highly likely that there are even more people out in the world wanting this same information. These posts can also be great resources for your current clients.
Things happening in my own life. For example, when my son was in the hospital I wrote a post about coping with uncertainty. I didn’t go into all the details of my son’s illness, but I referenced it as an example of how life doesn’t go as planned.
The comments on my blog or Facebook page. I wrote a post that outlined step by step how to set boundaries. A reader commented on that post about how she really needed help figuring out how to deal with people who repeatedly violated her boundaries. So, that inspired me to write a post on that topic the following week.
Popular posts I’ve written in the past. Look at the statistics on your blog and see what the most popular posts are. Choose a different angle on the same topic. If you wrote a popular post called What are Panic Attacks, you might try a post called What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder or one called 5 Ways to Calm a Panic Attack. The more posts you write, the easier it becomes to see what is really speaking to your readers.
I keep a running list of ideas with just a sentence or two to jog my memory about the idea or where I got it.
My online class Get Noticed! Writing and Blogging for Therapists is a great way to step up your blogging game! I’d love for you to get on the interest list and I’ll send you details on the upcoming classes.