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Blog Writing 101: Using This Essential Online Tool

Blog Writing 101: Using This Essential Online Tool

In our last marketing article, we shared the basics of online presence for therapists. One of these tips was to write a blog for your website. In this article, we’ll dive a bit deeper into what works for blog writing and how you can be successful when starting out.

Why Is a Blog Helpful?

When prospective clients visit your site, your blog provides a window into your voice, personality, and the topics that you are most professionally equipped to assist with. It gives them a better picture of what they can expect in therapy and makes them more likely to schedule an appointment.

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Blog content also creates multiple avenues for prospective clients to discover you. First, blogs give you ample room to increase the number of keywords on your site, terms that search engines look for when deciding on how to rank your site in search results pages. The more valuable content you have, the greater chance you’ll be ranked higher when someone searches “counseling in Anytown, USA.” This ranking increases even more if other sites link to your blog content – if you do write an blog that other bloggers hyperlink back to, it helps even more.

Additionally, for your current clients and followers, a great blog entry can be shared on their own social media pages – it’s a digital word-of-mouth process that doesn’t just provide a great read, but also puts your name out there to innumerable potential clients.

What Should I Write About?

One of the hardest steps about getting started with a blog is thinking about topics. Keep in mind that your blog should be both personable and professional as you generate ideas. Some topics to consider include:

  • Story-telling: Talk about a meaningful experience you had in school, as a young practitioner, or just something you’ve recently observed that would resonate with your ideal client (however, be mindful of confidentiality – never write about a current or former client specifically). You can also use alternative blogging forms (posting videos of yourself, photos, etc.) to keep things fresh.
  • Reflections: Share current news, training you’ve attended, or other updates and how they will impact your practice. Keep things positive and informative!
  • Sharing: Share inspirational imagery and videos from social media and write about suggested reflections for clients. For example, if you share a video about affirmations, write specific tips and ideas for clients using these.
  • Updates: Share new things going on with your practice – have you had a renovation, a new clinician, or a new option for treatment? Write about it in your blog and keep your clients posted.

Other Tips

Once you’ve decided what to write, you’ll should start producing articles for your blog. Here are some final tips for making this activity a successful one for you and your practice.

  • Write in a personable tone, in the first-person (not every online blog is like this, but since this is your forum to speak directly to readers, use it).  
  • Keep your length at 300 – 500 words; this is plenty unless you’re writing on a complicated topic (and even then, you can always split into two or three parts). For longer articles, break things into sections for easier reading.
  • Keep a schedule for blog writing and posting – make sure to allocate the time you need each week to accomplish this. Remember, you don’t need to write a blog every day, or even every week. Try for two entries per month and work up from there. Hold yourself accountable to getting this done.
  • Make sure that the appearance of your article, not just the content, is visually engaging. Use your website template to format your blog correctly, making sure pictures are correctly displayed, videos playing, and hyperlinks working. Always include an image of some kind (use your own or find them at sites like PixaBay). And never forget to proofread and preview before publishing!
  • If you simply don’t have the time or ability to write or maintain your blog, remember that it’s extremely easy to outsource this work as well. Sites like Upwork have hundreds of freelancers that are available for one-time or on-going writing work if this is something you choose to do.  

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Jennifer N.
Posted on 06/24/2017 by Jennifer N.

Jennifer is a writer for OpenCounseling. She has worked at a number of state and non-profit organizations, providing counseling, training, and policy development


 

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