Will Blogging Help Your Wellness Practice Grow? Well, that Depends…
You’re gung-ho and want to set the world on fire after returning home from a marketing seminar. So you hire someone to build a new website and following the must-do advice you picked up over the weekend, you insist on having a blog. You imagine yourself crafting a beautiful essay, posting it on your website, and suddenly having thousands of readers.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered this scenario: a client hires our design firm to create their brand identity and website and they are determined to have the quintessential blog. With a pie in the sky attitude they set off to create themselves as the “expert”. But, unless you’re already famous, it takes tremendous effort and preparation to attract and keep readers. Even if you cultivate some followers by enlisting your family, friends, and associates — nothing will really happen. Sure, you may get a few high fives, but mostly you’ll hear crickets. Acquiring new clients/patients is a whole other story.
A more realistic way to approach your blog is by adhering to a comprehensive strategic plan to increase SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and drive new clients/patients to your website.
So if you’re up to the challenge of writing and managing a blog on your own, start with an online search for articles to assist you. Strategic plans vary but here are few ideas of what to research before you begin writing:
• Determine the audience you are trying to attract
• Create topics that are useful to your audience and speak to their pain-points
• Understand the structure of a blog post: headline, photo, subheads and sections, etc.
• Discern key words and avoid “keyword stuffing”
• Produce content in the 1000- to 2000-word count
• Build inbound links to your blog post
• Post your blogs with frequency and consistency
All of this can start to feel like a second job. For many practitioners, it makes more sense to invest in a monthly service with an online marketing expert. And remember, this is not a short term deal. You will need to keep it going month after month, year after year, in order to sustain an ongoing benefit.
Be very clear about the return on investment (ROI) that you’re seeking. Without a clear objective and a measurable strategy, you’ll be throwing away your time and money.
Reality check: Unless you’re a gifted writer that loves to spend many hours a week researching, strategizing and composing a blog post, you may run out of steam within the first few months.
A piece of advice: If you post a few articles and lose your enthusiasm, don’t keep your blog post featured front and center on your site. Having an outdated blog post is a real turn off for a prospective client/patient. They may question your relevance or wonder what went wrong.
I know, this whole blog thing is more than you thought it would be. Don’t fret. If you don’t have the bandwidth to handle your own blog or the budget to hire someone else to do it, here are a few easy things you can do to drive traffic:
• Pay for a listing on Psychology Today, the Wellness Institute or other affiliate websites.
• Get your free business listing on Google My Business to start building visibility in Google Maps and Google • Search in your local community.
• Build relationships with a circle of peers that will refer to you.
• Ask your existing clients to refer you, too.
While blogging may help drive new clients/patients to your website and potentially help your therapy practice grow, it is not a quick fix. It requires strategy, hard work, and patience, or the money to pay someone else to do it for you. Blogging is not for everyone.
Co-founder of Pear Design; Creator of the Spirit of Your Brand, Practitioner Licensed by Centers for Spiritual Living; an Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapist