Many therapists feel reluctant to start a blog.
This can be for many reasons including the confidential nature of the therapist’s room and the idea that what is discussed, should remain sacrosanct.
Sharing content online can seem unprofessional. The word ‘blogging’ has arguably an unprofessional feel to it – almost flippant – as though the content in a blog post is not important or not displaying gravitas and professionalism.
But this may just be semantics, ‘blog’ sounds unprofessional, but ‘article‘ doesn’t. A blog post and an article are really just pieces of content made available online. But arguably ‘article’ has a more professional connotation and expectation.
Marketing and promotion are important for a professional counsellor or therapist as it is for any organisation or business.
If you think of your blog posts as articles then taking this approach may help you develop your website content and online presence whilst protecting your reputation.
‘Selling’ yourself or your practice can be seen as unprofessional but for the unmet need of those seeking professional help to be filled, therapists do require to increase their exposure and reach that audience.
One very successful aspect of marketing online is blogging and it can be very successful and therefore definitely worth considering.
The following are great reasons for therapists to start blogging
These are in no particular order and some will apply more than others to your own practice.
Establishing your credibility and authority
Establishing your credibility with your existing and potential new clients is important. Approaching a therapist can be fraught for potential clients and credibility is reassuring.
A blog allows you to share information with both your clients and others in the industry.
It also gets indexed in Google.
This means it can be found online in search.
Getting indexed in Google ensures that all the content on your website is actually in Google.
For example, if your website has 30 pages (including blog posts), it is important that all of these pages are actually in the Google search engine.
If only 10 pages are in the index then people searching on Google will only be able to find those pages.
The information that is on the other 20 pages, may be very useful, but for all intents and purposes, it does not exist.
Book more clients
Can blogging attract more clients?
Is this a professional approach to take?
Writing a blog post helps establish, trust, credibility and reassurance for the reader.
If you are writing a blog about a particular aspect of mental health (e.g. PTSD or hypervigilance) and you make sure that this is indexed by Google, people searching for this information can then find you via this blog post.
If you add a call to action e.g. ‘Book an appointment’ or ‘Call now’ this page can ‘convert‘ visitors into clients.
Improve your SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of improving the position of your website in the Google rankings.
One of the cornerstones of a successful SEO strategy is content and in particular content that is updated regularly.
This is because search engines ‘crawl’ websites looking for fresh content.
If your website has updated and fresh content, the search engines will visit more frequently and your website will move up the rankings.
This will increase the likelihood that your website shows up in a potential client’s searches.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Add an FAQ to your website.
When people search on the internet these ‘searches’ tend to fall into the following types.
Looking for answers – when, where, who, what, why, how (e.g. what is PTSD?)
Searching for a brand name, product name or service name (e.g. CBT Therapists in Liverpool)
For example, ‘buy’, ‘book’ or ‘download’.
Understanding these types of searches and ensuring your content answers people’s queries will result in your website establishing authority in your professional area.
Many people are terrified of going to see a counsellor.
Many people don’t know how to find a therapist or what questions to ask to find out if a therapist is right for them.
Establishing trust is key if a potential client is to reach out to you.
Blogging allows potential clients to gauge a bit more about you before they contact you and in many cases helps them build up the courage to contact you.
Someone who suffers from a panic attack may search on Google and find your article ‘How to avoid a panic attack’ – which gives advice, recommendations and strategies for panic attacks.
The reader may after viewing the article contact you for help.
Your article has established trust which then made it easier for the potential client to reach out to you.
Potential clients can find it difficult to ‘cold call’ a therapist (especially younger generations) – blogging can make this a bit easier.
Getting to know your audience
Once you have started blogging you will learn which content is successful on your website (and which is not!).
You will begin to understand what your audience is looking for and how you align that with the therapy service that you offer.
There is a common misunderstanding that when people visit a website that they start on your home page and work through your website, in the order that you put it together.
This is not the case – people visit your website in an unstructured way.
In the example above of the blog post about panic attacks, this is probably the first page (and maybe the only page) a visitor reached on your website.
For obvious reasons these pages are also known as ‘landing pages’. Someone landed on it!
Whilst this seems obvious, keep in mind when you are writing a blog post, that this may be the only page that someone lands on.
If this blog post answers their queries, was reassuring and has a clear call to action, then the potential client will reach out to you.
As panic attacks are one of your specialities there is every likelihood that the client has reached a suitable therapist.
Information, help and support
Consistent blogging means that you’ll produce a valuable resource.
This directs people with interests in your professional niche to your website.
Standing out in your professional area
Searching for a therapist is difficult for those seeking help, but it is also difficult for therapists to establish their expertise in a crowded online market.
Blogging helps establish your expertise in your industry, in the search engines and with your existing and potential clients.
What should I blog about
Blog posts may contain professional opinions to establish credibility or help those seeking therapy.
What is Anxiety?
How to deal with depression at work
Why should I see a therapist?
A good source to get started blogging is to think of the common questions that clients ask. Inevitably others will have the same questions and look for answers.
Going to therapy is normal – isn’t it?
One area that is close to the heart of the Centre for Therapy is how to make it easier for people to find a therapist that can really help them.
One way of doing that is to try and normalise therapy and as a result, make it easier for people to reach out to a therapist.
Many therapists’ websites can be too clinical and too professional and this can reinforce to visitors that there is something clinically wrong with them. Perceptions of therapists can also be a barrier to those seeking help.
- It’s for serious mental health issues
- If I need counselling, I am weak
- If I say I need a therapist people will think I am crazy
- Therapists will judge me
- This is not real medical help
Blog posts which explain real-life scenarios with case studies and outcomes (whilst maintaining client confidentiality), written in layman’s terms can help remove barriers and help those to reach out to a therapist.
Blogging helps you become a better therapist
Richard Feynman famously said that the best way to learn something is to explain it to someone else.
Writing a blog will very quickly highlight the gaps in making yourself clear on a subject and is a very worthwhile activity.
Blogging on a topic helps you organise your thoughts with more clarity. These blogs also become useful resources to share.