This content is provided by Brighter Vision, an affinity partner of AAMFT. This information is not necessarily the views of AAMFT and should not be interpreted as official policy.
When it comes to marketing and promoting your practice online, we often recommend that mental health professionals start blogging on their website.
A private practice blog provides several benefits for both your business and your client and gives you a leg up on your competition.
But, in our experience, blogging tends to be viewed by therapists in either one of these two ways:
- it evokes feelings of inspiration and excitement
- it elicits a sense of fear and apprehension
If you fall into the first category, you’re likely already off to a great start with your private practice blog. But if you find yourself in the latter, this post is for you and hopefully can help change your mind!
In this post, we’ll talk about how you can blog for your private practice in a way that’s effective at growing your online presence, building your brand, and, dare we say, even a little fun.
Before we dive deeper into “how” to build a blog, let's focus on the initial reason why we're here and start with the reasons “why” you should take the time to start a blog for your practice.
Why Blogging Works
You Get the Upper Hand
The best way to understand the why behind something is to hop into a potential client’s shoes for just a moment and consider things from their point-of-view.
As a potential new client, you’re looking for a therapist, and you’ve been given three different recommendations by people you trust.
Therapist #1 doesn’t have a website – just a contact phone number – so there’s not much to base your decision off of.
Therapist #2 has a website that talks about helping people just like you, with the same problems you’ve been dealing with.
At this point, you think that therapist #2 has got this one in the bag. Usually, that would probably be true, but then…
Therapist #3 not only has a website that also speaks directly to your needs, but this website ALSO has a blog with multiple posts written about specific issues you’ve been struggling with. They even wrote about that one thing you’ve never talked about with anyone else – that thing you’ll barely admit is an issue in your own head.
Now, which therapist do you think is going to get contacted?
Yup, you are right. It’s therapist #3!
By blogging about topics that speak directly to your ideal client, you’re showing them that you care about their needs, you’re passionate about what you do, and you have extensive knowledge that can help them.
Blogging Gives an SEO Boost
One of the main questions we often hear from therapists is, “how can I get my website to rank higher on Search Engines?”
While we handle everything we can on the back end of your website to ensure Google understands your site and the keywords you should be ranking for, there are other things you can do on the front end of your website to help as well – and blogging is definitely one of them!
Regularly posting blogs to your website informs all search engines of a couple of things:
- It tells them that your website is active and hasn’t been abandoned. Google understands that its users don’t want outdated, inaccurate results, and they consider your website’s “last updated” as a time stamp in determining your ranking. Every new blog post is another opportunity to have your website show up at the top of a new potential client’s search results.
- It tells them more about all of the different services you provide and the keywords your site should be shown for. Googlers often type questions into a search box like “trauma therapist near me” or “child therapy in Denver.” By repeatedly providing Google and your new potential clients with blog content containing your most important keywords, you’ll dramatically increase the likelihood of being ranked higher.
How to Blog
Now that we are all on the same page about how important and helpful it is to create a blog for your website, it's time to dive into how you can accomplish this easily.
Start Keeping a List of Possible Topics
For many therapists, the most challenging part of blogging is coming up with the post's topic.
To help with this, keep a notepad nearby throughout the day and note any particular questions that you notice multiple clients asking you throughout the day.
Are you able to answer any of these questions by writing a blog post about them? Are there any common questions you hear that you think could be addressed?
Inspiration can hit at the most random of times, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re ready to make a note when it does.
Provide Value for Your Ideal Client
Don’t write a blog post just to write one. Make sure that the content you’re writing for your private practice blog is something your ideal client will want to read. When writing blog posts, the process tends to be more enjoyable when you know your content has a purpose and will be put to good use.
Think of the clients you’ve been working with or those you’d like to begin working with. What would they want to hear or learn more about in between their therapy sessions? What questions might they still have about what they’re going through? How can you further educate them on their diagnosis or treatment? How could you help better explain their pathway to healing?
Schedule & Batch Your Blog Posts
Did you know that multitasking can steal up to 40% of your productivity? It’s been proven that each time you move from one task to another, it takes your brain time to switch gears. So, it makes the most sense to only focus on one thing at a time. That’s where task batching comes into play.
Task batching consists of scheduling similar jobs together so you can do them more efficiently. Elon Musk has become famous for using task batching (or, as he calls it, time blocking) to run multiple highly successful companies and still have time to spare for his family, hobbies, and fitness routine.
So, try to dedicate a certain amount of time to writing blog posts only. Prioritizing this as an essential, regular appointment on your schedule and treating it as such will help you produce better content more easily.
Just as you wouldn’t walk out of a client consultation to make a cup of coffee, don’t do this here either. Grab your cup of joe beforehand, turn off your phone, get rid of other distractions, and get to work. Scheduling in writing time ensures that it gets done. Batch writing your posts ensures that you stay ahead of the game.
You don't have to set aside multiple hours of work. With no distractions and a strong topic in mind, you might be surprised how much you can get done in just thirty minutes. Depending on how long you want your posts to be, it’s extremely possible to roll out 2-5 posts all in one sitting.
Your time blocks don't all have to be the same length too. If you find yourself with extra free time one day, how awesome would it be to invest those few hours and have blog posts scheduled out for the next 2-3 months?
Create a Post Template
To really streamline your entire blogging process and make batch writing easier, consider creating a simple template to follow for all your blog posts.
Here’s an example to get you started:
- Start by introducing the topic.
- Outline your supporting information (or subtopics)
- Now go back in and expand on each of those subtopics.
- Briefly summarize everything you covered in the post.
- End with a CTA (call-to-action) such as a “Contact Me” button linking to your website’s Contact page
Creating and following your own blog post template (similar to the one above) can dramatically speed up the process of writing new posts because you won’t have to spend time thinking about its structure or any other technical elements that may slow down your creative process.
What Are You Waiting For?
Now that you know the basics of how you’ll benefit from blogs and how to blog, it’s time for you to get started.
And the best way to get started blogging for your private practice is to literally just start blogging for your private practice. It’s as easy as it sounds. All you need is your first topic, and you are ready to roll!
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