Therapy blogging serves as an important conduit where you can start to get your message out there to the community.
Being able to combine writing with doing therapy is therapeutic in itself for you. You get an opportunity to share all the knowledge that you have access to as a therapist.
If you are particularly passionate about blogging, there are enormous marketing benefits out there for your practice.
Building relationships with people is really the foundation of a good marketing approach. It’s about communicating about your services and putting it out there in a more accessible form.
If you are new at blogging, or have no prior experience, you can begin with personal journaling. Once you get a bit of experience and develop your own voice, therapy blogging can be used as a powerful marketing tool for your practice. Here are a few tips that can help you write successful blog posts and attract more clients.
1. Seek out inspiration
Begin with reading the blogs of other fellow therapists. Look for what strikes you as exceptionally interesting and get inspired by the work.
Once you have read a lot of different blogs, try personally extracting what you can from them and using it to build into your own life and work. It will also give you an inspiration that there are so many different voices out there, so there’s always space for one more. Allow this perspective to give you the freedom and permission to able to write.
Notice what you feel connected to in a particular blog post and how the writing itself a part of that connection. You will realise that there is a certain voice that you feel drawn towards. Build on that and begin to write.
2. Cultivate your own voice
Once you start reading blogs, you will get a feel for the different voices out there and that certainly is an important part of being a writer.
Next you need to cultivate your own unique voice. The important part is that you try to sound as much like yourself as you can. There might be a real temptation to sound like nobody you’ve ever met. This is not good for developing rapport and won’t help you develop a genuine connection with the reader.
Always keep in mind that there are so many topics that you can write about in a way that that no one else can. This will give you your individuality. Instead of copying someone else’s style, try bringing your own perspective and voice to even a well-worn subject to make it interesting and engaging.
3. Develop a rapport with your audience
All therapists have an ability to develop this rapport with people, because that is what your job is about and therapy is all about getting to know people that come to you. All you need to do with your writing is use the same skill.
Just let go of academia and all of the complicated stuff, and try to write something that sounds and feels real. Consider blogging a one-on-one conversation with a single individual only.
As often as you can, use the words “I” or “you” making it sound like you are directly addressing the reader directly. Using terms like, “one does this” or “it is said” will make the reader feel distant and alienated from your blog content.
4. Connect with your readers and tap into their minds
Therapy is about helping people reconnect with their own knowledge about themselves, about their perspective about the world and life.
Your job as a therapist is to help your client tap into their own inner solutions and get the answers that are right for them . When writing a blog, you should aim for a similar approach.
Try and offer interesting bits and pieces along the content of your writing. Bring some questions into context for people to respond to in their minds or leave an open ended statement to allow the readers to tap into their minds and ask the questions themselves.
Get rid of that power imbalance where people are faced with the writer’s need to talk and allow them to say what they like and bring in their perspectives.
5. Don’t use “psychobabble”
Avoid getting technical with your language. Just relax and convey something simple. Try and engage your readers by sounding more informal than informational.
Try and keep away from fancy words or long syllable words. The fancy words get in the way and will end up distracting your reader. If you are going to use clinical terms, you need to put them in layman’s terms.
When you talk with your colleagues and supervisors in peer meetings, everybody speaks a similar language and it may become habit to use those words in a blog. But the audience of your blog is an ordinary everyday individual who doesn’t know what ‘differentiation’ means. So you need to pare it back a bit.
Blogging provides you a chance to talk about the human experience. If some relevant things concerning therapy can be a part of that and you can subtly add it to the content then that is great. Otherwise avoid treading the complicated technical road because at the end of the day blogging is about a real human connection. It is really just a one to one thing.
6. Loiter around: Let the blog have its own impact
Learn to loiter a bit in your writing intentionally. Even if you don’t have a clue what really may or may not be the outcome.
It allows your readers to avoid the uncomfortable power imbalance and hierarchy that a therapist always know best and will dictate how they are supposed to think. It’s a very pleasant way to make the information about therapy, appear more accessible and down-to-earth for your clients. This way you bring that equalising sense back into therapy.
Make your blog less than perfect knowing that blogging is real. It’s supposed to be a bit flexible. It can be a bit soft around the edges if you like or have the necessary element of roughness that shows imperfections. Leave some space in your content for the reader’s opinion to show up in the comment section.
If it is entirely perfect, readers will be less inclined to comment and add something to it. Blogging is a part of social media and you need to invite interaction to your post.
7. Be more open about yourself
Bring certain aspects of yourself to the blog other than just your unique style to allow your clients to connect with you. This kind of self-disclosure will bring you closer to your audience. It may even lead to revealing your own faults or human aspects that you struggle with as well.
It will make you appear less than perfect but in a good way. This helps bring down the wall of authority between you as a therapist and your client.
It is in fact an interesting balance to strike because most therapists prefer not to do too much self-disclosure in their therapy sessions. It may appear difficult and you may not be comfortable with self-disclosing on a blog.
So the best approach is to sound human and talk about your thoughts or struggles but try not to disclose what that thing is exactly. Keep in mind that if your client was reading that blog, you would still feel okay about it.
8. Take note of your ideas on the run
When you are starting a new blog, it may be a difficult task to generate ideas or content for your blog. This is something that many experienced bloggers struggle with as well. Try and develop some strategies that may work for you.
For instance, keenly notice what is happening around you generally. It might be a piece of graffiti, a book you are reading or it could simply be a sign or a bus going past with some logo that might be a trigger for your inspiration. It may remind you of a certain aspect of therapy that you like.
Make a habit of carrying a notebook with you and write anything that may have a possibility in it. Those fleeting moments are really essential because if you don’t capture it, you’re not going to remember it when you sit down to write.
9. Let go of needing a structure
Give yourself the permission to start however you want and don’t get caught up in having an introduction, bullets, a fixed seven points and a conclusion. Allow yourself to be guided about where the idea comes from.
Don’t fret about finding the structure until it’s nearly finished. Bloggers wanting to link their blogs to a marketing aspect use a lot of keywords at the beginning and frame what they are going to say in the beginning.
Every blogger will have their unique approach but you should work with a method that you are comfortable with.
10. Create a community of learning
There are many results and opportunities that come about from you being a blogger. Overall, it’s about feeling a part of the community worldwide. It allows you to interact and get responses back from people who have a different take on things.
When you put things out there, you may offend some people or get an opinion from people who perceived it in a different light that you may have never thought of.
It’s a lovely opportunity to have an online conversation with a “Let’s see what other people think about this” attitude.
When you add this new perspective to your own, it can be a wonderful learning experience. People will write comments on the blog or write emails trying to get in touch wanting to see if you can work together.
11. Write for other blogs to increase your online exposure
From a marketing perspective, being a blogger or even a guest blogger can be highly effective for increasing your exposure in other markets but also getting those coveted back links.
If a site is considered an authority site, such as PsychCentral.com, each time you get a link, it is very valuable for the ranking of your website.
Your client may read these blogs in between sessions and find them useful. It may help them form a connection or even give them some food for thought to think about in between sessions.
12. Moderate comments to ensure you’re ethical
It is recommended that if you run a blog, you should set your comments to be moderated so that the comments come to you first before they are published. You get to choose what appears inappropriate, offensive or irrelevant. You can even protect your clients if they happen to post and disclose full names and more information that can breach their own confidentiality.
This extra layer of protection can be for those who may not be your clients too. So while you run a public blog, you can ensure that the readers and participants’ privacy is respected. You should also be careful when taking inspiration from your therapy clients. Avoid sharing a client’s story or something that may allow readers to identify them. Instead, use an amalgam of different clients to demonstrate your point.
Many therapists struggle with marketing their practice and many perceive it as selling themselves. Blogging is the solution to this dilemma as it provides a wonderful platform to be an advocate for your business with the support of writing skills that can attract clients and establish a reputation for your practice.
Want to learn how to write compelling blog post titles?
Sign up for this FREE, 3-part video training, “How to Write Blog Post Titles That Grab Attention.”
***Training is only available until May 15, 2016.***
Get it now…