The complete guide to blogging

Jenny Hall

You’ve finally sorted your therapy practice website, congratulations!

You’ve stopped worrying about whether starting a website blog will make you look ‘too salesy’ to people considering therapy.

You know a blog will help drive traffic to your therapy website. That it provides an opportunity to demonstrate your experience and credentials, as well as build trust with prospective clients. You also know that providing new, relevant and regular blog content will improve your therapy site’s ranking on search engines like Google.

But what to write? How often? And how many words? And … lots of other questions, right?

Our therapists have asked us questions about how to blog right, so we pulled together this complete guide for therapists, counsellors and coaches, and now we’re sharing with you.

1. Mix up your blog categories

Blog posts largely fall into three categories:

Awareness – where you provide tips and advice (this is an awareness post). This type of blog allows you to position yourself as an expert in your niche.

Consideration – in this type of blog post you can answer frequently asked questions. For example, on our FAQs page, one of the questions we include is, ‘How do I know if I need therapy?’ and we could turn that into blog post to support people who are unsure whether therapy is for them.

Sales – you’re a therapist or counsellor who’s passionate about supporting clients with short term issues or longer term problems. But if you work in private practice, you’re also a business, and all businesses need to promote themselves if they’re to remain afloat and grow. So, sales blogs are important and in this type of blog you can talk about your niche (perhaps you’re a family or child therapist?) and your unique selling proposition. In other words, what makes you different from the other therapists in your area, and why should clients choose you?

You should write more of the awareness type blogs than the others, but definitely do write the others.

2. Keep blogs short & sweet

People are time-poor, so make your blog posts easy to read with lots of short paragraphs and no confusing jargon.

3. Long blog posts have their place

While short blogs work well for readers, long blogs work better for SEO (search engine optimisation, ie. how high you rank when people search eg. on Google) so it’s good to have a mix of both.

4. Conduct keyword research

This might sound obvious, but make sure you include keywords in your blogs to ensure you show up in people’s Google searches. But don’t guess this! There are some great free tools out there. You can’t go wrong with Google’s own Adwords Keyword Planner. And the IM for SMB’s Bulk Keyword Generator is great for researching local keywords, which will be important for therapists working in a specific town or city.

5. Add images

Blog posts and articles with images get 94% more views than those without. And Info-graphics are also popular.

6. Use numbers, lists & headings

Research has shown that blog titles that include numbers get up to 25% higher click through rates than those that don’t include any. And people love posts that use lists – like this one! Lists (and also highlighted headings) makes articles easier to scan read.

7. Blog content ideas

Stuck for ideas on what to write about? Try these:

Write about topical events  – for example, ‘how to keep calm at Christmas dinner’.

Industry news’ round-ups – A great example is this post by City Road therapist, Jamie Kelly of Y Therapy. Jamie wrote a summary of the Mental Health Foundation’s body image study and published the posts at the start of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (#BodyImage was the theme for 2019).

Jamie Kelly
Jamie Kelly, City Road therapist

Therapy sector news – round ups of sector news can help position you as an expert in your field

Write local – try writing about ‘The 5 best things to do in [insert name of your town] to improve your wellbeing’. Round-ups including other businesses in your area can grow your reach and web traffic because they’ll want to share your post on their own social channels. Key tip – make sure one of the 5 best is your therapy practice!

8. Get your title right

Introduce curiosity or a ‘what’s in it for me?’ into your blog title – eg. ‘Do you know the 7 ways therapy can help you resolve conflict at work?’

Or, titles such as ‘If you want to feel like x, then try/do y’, or ‘Do this one thing to improve xyz’ also work well.

9. Include a call to action

Including a call to action or opt-in message in your blog articles is important if you want to grow your email list. But make sure you have a privacy and cookie policy, plus a cookie pop-up notice on your website making it clear what you’re asking people to sign up for.

10. Blog consistently

It doesn’t matter how often you publish your posts, but be regular. (We missed one last month, oops).

11. Prioritise blogging over other content

If you’re busy seeing clients and only have a few hours each month for creating content, focus on getting your blog post finished. Once that’s done you can repurpose that month’s content into smaller content chunks for Facebook and Twitter posts, and for your email newsletter.

12. Write blogs in batches

We find batch-writing works well for us. So we allocate a couple of days every now and then to write a handful of articles, and then publish and promote them over a period of time.

13. Read it out loud

A good tip is to read your blog aloud afterwards to check it’s easy to read.

14. Hosting your blog

If you have a website, it’s best to host it there because it’s better for your search engine ranking. You can then replicate the post on your LinkedIn profile, although it’s a good idea to tweak the blog title and intro paragraph slightly. Technical copywriter, John Espirian, explains why in this article on how to republish your blogs without receiving any duplicate content penalties).

If you don’t have a website then you can publish posts using Medium or LinkedIn.

15. Share blogs regularly

If you’re on social media, don’t forget to post or tweet to tell people you’ve just published your latest blog post. Don’t forget to update old posts, and re-share. And link to old posts in new ones and vice versa to keep people on your website.

16. Give clients value

Lastly, the key thing to remember is this – the main aim of any blog should be to add value. Value could be information, advice or the confidence to reach out for your therapy support.

Did you find our blogging tips for therapists and counsellors helpful? Let us know in the comments and feel free to share the article with your fellow therapists, counsellors and coaches.