Post written for Thriveworks - At Thriveworks, I lead our inbound marketing efforts targeted specifically to counselors. If you are a counselor seeking web marketing, visit Thriveworks Counselor Marketing.
Let’s start at the beginning – blogs, short for weblog, have been over used. So much – that now, everyone has a blog, even dogs.
And it is not so much that blogs have been overused; it is they have been misused. People do not understand the power of blogging. Blogging has become a diary of sorts, but the full potential of blogging can actually make and break a company’s bottom line.
So, What should a Counselor’s Blog Looks like
A Counselor’s Blog:
1. Is designed with goals in mind.
When you write, you are writing to your audience, with the goal of increasing leads or phone calls. A Sample Goal: My blog will be used to inform my audience about _________ (counseling, issues in counseling, etc…) with the aim of increasing __________ (leads or phone calls). When blogging, you use this a filter. If it does not meet this goal, you do not blog about it.
2. Provides your audience with a collection of valuable content.
Your blog doesn’t say what you had for breakfast; instead, it provides valuable information that your audience wants to know. You are the expert; now, you just have to blog about it.
3. Draws potential strangers to your website.
Your business blog is optimized – and your ability to reach others through keyword and organized data grows your online audience.
4. Is not your personal journal.
Your blog should not feature what you are doing this weekend or a crisis in your life. Your blog covers issues related to your goals and your audience; your blog is not about you. It is about your audience and it is filtered through your goal.
If you want to bring more strangers to your website, you HAVE to blog. If you want more traffic, more potential leads, and more phone calls, you have to blog. If you want to grow your private practice, you must blog.
Why does Blogging Work?
Small businesses with blogs get 55% more website traffic, and that number goes up exponentially whether you post once a week, twice a week, or even seven times a day – blogging positions you as a thought leader in your field (stats according to HubSpot).
Blogs give you the opportunity to reach strangers; reach those who would never have found your website otherwise. A website without a blog helps reach those you already know; websites with a blog help you reach those you never knew.
How does Counselor Blogging work?
1. Blogging impacts SEO.
Each blog post creates a new page on your website, and each of those pages are an opportunity for you to get found in a search engine (such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo!)
The more pages you have, the more likely search engines are to find your pages. Every blog post that you write increases your odds of being found.
Think of it this way, a blog is similar to being lost in the woods. If you want to be found, you leave signs. The more signs you leave, the higher the probability that you will be found. Each page is a way to show up in the search engine.
2. Each article that you write helps you answer the questions that your audience is asking.
The more you write, the more questions you answer. And if you answer more questions, you will have more leads. Each blog post is written to attract your audience. The more you help them, the more likely they are to become customers.
Where Do You Begin?
When you first begin blogging as a counselor, you need to focus on turning your specialties into keywords. For example, if you are a counselor in Boston with specialties in couples counseling, you need to craft blog post around the keywords “couples counseling” and “Boston”.
Here is a sampling of keywords /topics you would want to craft articles around if you were a couples counselor in Boston:
- Couples Counseling Boston
- Couples Counselor Boston
- How much is Couples Counseling in Boston
- Couples Therapy Questions
- Couples Therapy Techniques
- Divorce Therapy
- Couples Phone Therapy
- Boston Marriage Counseling
Based on that list, here is a sample list of articles that a couples’ counselor in Boston could write:
- What to Expect from Couples Therapy in Boston
- 6 Reasons why Marriage Counseling is Important
- 7 Date Ideas for Boston Couples
- Does Marriage Counseling Actually Work?
- How much is Couples Counseling in Boston
The list could go on, and it should.
Notice how we tried to fit Boston inside the title? In some titles you won’t be able to (that would be called “Keyword Stuffing), but do make sure you (sensibly) fit your city into the first few sentences. It is a lot easier to show up on Google for “Boston Couples Counseling” instead of “Couples Counseling” all around the world. Plus, the more you put your location (NAP – Name, Address Phone), the more likely you will show up in Google Places.
By blogging and creating solution based content, you A) help you brand by showing off your expertise, and you B) reach potential customers you would have never reached before.
By blogging, you are familiarizing people with your brand without having to talk about your brand. By offering solutions, strangers (and potential customers) land on your website, and learn about you after you have helped them (which is the ideal, because people are more fond of you and your brand after you have helped them in some way).
- Your blog is one of the best ways for you to become an industry leader.
- Your blog helps you reach an audience you would have never had.
- Your blog makes you a credible source of information (and as a counselor, you must be trustworthy).
- Your blog shows that you are an expert and that you can be trusted. Not only do your potential clients notice, but other counselors will notice as well.
- Blogging allows you to rank for solutions outside of your brand, products, or services.
- Blogging allows you to rank for products and services outside your normal audience.