You have decided to write that blog, great. However, when you sit down at the computer you look at the blank screen and think “What should I write about?” You start to doubt yourself thinking “What do I know that others don’t?” You think, how long should my blog be anyway?” Now the hard part begins.
Never fear I got your back. Below are my 10 tips for creating a fantastic Blog.
- Decide what to write about. I would suggest using your specialty or niche and write on topics that are of interest to the population you serve. That is not to say occasionally you can deviate from the main topic, but try to stick to one or two themes. You don’t want to confuse your reader.
- Generate high-quality content. Don’t just write junk, give real help to potential clients. Content should be written to give your readers an enjoyable experience on your site. Be engaging and make the content unique. Do not plagiarize, if you quote someone given them credit.
- Be consistent in posting. Post blogs on a regular schedule. If all you can manage is one post a month great, just make sure you do it. Aim to post a bit more frequently but don’t go months without posting as it reflects poorly on your business. It tells readers you don’t care.
- Chose a hosting platform. Most therapists will use the blog associated with their website. However, there are “stand alone” blogging services like Word Press.org (Self- hosted), Typepad.com, Typesmith.com or Blogger.com. For my site, I selected a WordPress theme in part it had a great blog already integrated.
- Keep a list of possible blog posts. You will never know when a great idea for a post will hit you. If you don’t write it down it will be forgotten. I often get ideas in the car, the shower or when reading or talking to someone. I use the APP Evernote to record my ever-growing lists of ideas.
- Schedule a time to write each week. Like many things what doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t happen. When I first started out writing blogs, I would wait until an idea just popped into my head. There were many weeks that nothing popped, and other weeks too many ideas popped. Now I schedule about 4 hours a week for blogging. That time includes research, writing, editing, posting, finding the photo and scheduling.
- Watch the colors your use. Because reading is harder on a screen than a piece of paper using a light background with darker text is preferred according to Jessica Knapp of blogging Basics 101 “5 Beginning Blog Mistakes You Can Fix.”
- Use photos you have permission for. Google photos can’t be used it on your website. You must have “permission” to use it. Allison Puryear of Abundance Practice building has an informative blog on I Got Sued (For Something You Have Done). For my photos, I use ones I have taken myself or a few photo sites like Depositphotos or iStock by Getty Images. I have a subscription to both services. They also keep my list of purchases which proves I actually purchased them.
- Add links, metadata and keywords. When you take the time to write a blog you want people actually to read it. By adding links (hyperlinks) within your blog that point to pages within your site (internal links) you are directing your readers to other pages of interest on your site. Don’t worry if you don’t have internal pages yet to link to. As your blog pages grow, you can always go back and put in the links. Also by adding external links will provide your blog with more SEO ranking. That will ultimately it helps Google properly understand your blog. Metadata is information about your page that helps search engines understand the page and how to index it examples are author, title, date, file size. Keywords are what people put into search engines to find pages about the topics they are looking for. Every blog you write should have at the keyword mentioned naturally 6-8 times per page. I write my blog then go back and adjust my words to get the proper keywords per page.
- How many words do I need? Depends. The current research says that blogs need to be at least 2500 words if you want more traffic (Don’t worry this post won’t be that long). We are not writing just to obtain more traffic we are writing to serve the clients, and potential clients hear our voice, take a peek at how it is to work with us, and for us to demonstrate our authority in a subject. Word count can be looked at as many as you need to say what you must. Longer post for more detailed ideas or a how to post. Fewer words for telling stories or convey simple concepts. A good rule of thumb is to aim for somewhere between for 500 to 1500 words.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed or you still can’t get your head around why you need to blog check out my article on Should Therapist’s Blog?
© 2017 All Rights Reserved, Therapist Practice In A Box, Sherry Shockey-Pope, LMFT