It was in June of 2015 on a beach in San Diego, talking with my wife, the therapist, and dreaming about my future when I first landed on the idea of Create My Therapist Website. It’s hard to believe that a full year has gone by! In this post, I reflect on a year’s worth of blogging, what I’ve learned from it and give you some tips for your own blogging strategy for marketing your private practice.
1. Choose a Niche
Create My Therapist Website is not my first shot at a blog. (shock!)
I’ve always enjoyed the idea of creating community through writing, sharing my ideas and experiences and helping others.
The first blog I started was really just an online journal that I started before I left on a six-month adventure where I drove cross-country to Montana where I stayed for three months, followed by three months of missionary work in India and Thailand.
It was fun to use my blog as a way to process the experience and share with others. But I’m pretty sure the only people who read that blog were my mom and a few friends.
My next blog was part of an old website I had built as a way of showcasing my graphic design and photography work. You can still see it at www.danfava.com.
Prior to starting this here blog, I used that website to talk about art and pursuing my passions.
It was there that I began to learn about content marketing and how to promote a blog and create an email list.
I got my feet wet and in my best month even managed to get about 900 people to at least visit my blog.
It was progress but it lacked purpose. (besides being a place to practice blogging)
I wrote about my feelings. I wrote about life experiences. But my audience was not defined and they sure didn’t want to join my email list (I think I somehow wrangled in 19 people).
Who was I helping? To be honest I wasn’t really sure. I just knew I needed to start somewhere and write until that became more clear.
Then I chose a niche and it all changed.
I defined who I wanted to help (therapists and counselors in private practice who wanted to create and market their website) and began speaking directly to them.
Each month my number of visitors rose. People were joining my email list and actually emailing me!
They were commenting on blog posts, taking action and getting results. I was helping more and more people and it was so rewarding to see the evidence of that.
So here’s the main point: Define your ideal client and settle on a niche.
Choosing a niche for your therapy practice allows you to speak directly to their needs and the issues they are facing. It also makes it much easier to write to someone when you know who they are and what they’re going through.
Make it clear on your therapy website who you help and what you help them achieve.
2. Blog Consistently
Oh man, this one’s a tough one.
Let’s face it. Lord Google likes to see that you’re an active contributor to the internet.
They don’t want to send people to a website that isn’t up to date and isn’t consistently adding great content. It wouldn’t be helpful to the individuals searching for specific answers, right?
If part of your therapy marketing strategy is SEO and being found, blogging consistently is the best thing you can do. (Tweet this)
We saw this first-hand with my wife’s private practice website.
Looking in her Google Analytics we saw her number of pageviews and users just about double when comparing a month where she hadn’t blogged to the first month where she blogged consistently.
And that was without social media marketing too!
So here’s the main point: If blogging is a part of your therapy practice’s marketing strategy, get consistent with it.
Decide on a schedule and stick with it. If two blog posts a month is all you can do, that’s fine, just be consistent.
You’ll create more opportunities for Google to send you traffic and you’ll also get the benefit of honing your message and reaching the potential clients you really want to work with.
3. Make Friends
One of the greatest gifts of having this blog is that it has allowed me to connect to people I may never have otherwise been able to reach.
Getting an email from someone in France or Ireland (it happened!) just about makes my day.
I’ve learned that there’s a great community of both therapists and folks helping therapists.
And it’s like one big family of people just sharing their gifts and knowledge to help each other succeed.
Some of the people I’ve met through my blog and social media have been so kind to link to my website from theirs, which is a great way to bring in some extra traffic.
And I love how that’s happened through relationship.
It’s not salesy or gimmicky. I feel like I know these people and I want to help them as best I can and I know they want to help me as well.
So here’s the main point: Make some friends within your niche that you can serve.
You can invite them to guest-post on your blog and perhaps they’ll allow you to guest-post on theirs.
If they do something well, refer to them when you can. Just like you build offline referrals for your private practice, you can build online referrals as a way to grow your traffic and collaborate with others to grow your business.
4. Be Generous With Your Blog
I blog because I want to help therapists create their own websites and market their practices online.
That’s my main goal; to help people.
When I remember that, and seek to serve my audience as best as I can, amazing things happen.
It builds trust and connection.
Yes, my blog is the hub for my therapist website design business, but first and foremost it’s a way to reach people I otherwise may not have had a chance to reach.
When I give away trainings and resources, it helps me connect with those people.
Your blog can do the same thing with your potential clients.
Give them a glimpse of who you are and build trust by being generous with your information.
Create resources for them to download. Maybe even some videos where you explain your therapeutic approach to a specific topic. Give away things for free!
Make your potential clients think, “Wow! If her free information is THIS good, I can’t imagine how great a full, paid session with her would be!”
So here’s the main point: Generosity can build trust and connection with your audience. Be generous and it has a way of coming back to you.
Think of ways you can serve your ideal client and use your blog to do it.
It doesn’t have to be anything huge. It could be a simple checklist or one page of quick tips for dealing with anxiety. Something simple!
Then give it away for free!
I hope you can take these lessons and apply them to your own blogging strategy on your therapist website.
It’s hard to believe that a full year has gone by since I launched Create My Therapist Website. It’s been such a wonderful experience as I’ve learned what it really means to grow a blog and serve an audience online. Thank you for being here and for being a part of it, I couldn’t do this without you!
So, what type of topics would you like me to cover in the next year?
Let me know by dropping a line in the comments!