What’s your honest opinion about how important blogging is for therapists that don’t have much traffic yet? Like for new clinicians?
Thanks so much for this question.
Lindsay, I think you’re discovering a bit of the chicken and the egg situation here right?
If you are not known online and don’t have any website traffic, should you start blogging to an audience of none? Or should you start building an audience and then start creating content for them?
Well, with online marketing, you will almost always need content to attract an audience in the first place. After all, no one will drive to a destination if there is nothing to see there.
You Need Content, Not Necessarily In Blog Form Though
Now notice that I said content, not blogging. Content is key but it does not necessarily need to be in blog form. Content is a part of EVERY type of effective online marketing tactic there is.
From online networking to ads to getting featured in the media to having stuff to share on social media.
All online marketing includes content of some sort.
In rare cases, I’ve seen therapists grow a practice through community marketing only. Like, therapists that have a two page website and are doing great because they are social butterfly extroverts who built a strong referral network through bringing donuts to doctors offices and taking every relevant business owner in a 20 mile radius of their office out to coffee.
But if your goal is sustainable practice growth through online marketing, you’re most definitely going to have to create content at some point.
Does that content have to be written blog posts? No. Not at all!
But perhaps you may want to have a really high value ebook on identifying anorexia in teen girls that you can share with teachers and school counselors. – That’s content.
Or you might want to create a video on the benefits of group therapy for anxious adults and put that video in a Facebook ad that drives traffic to your site for the free ebook with anxiety busting tips. – That’s content
Or you might want to start a podcast on LGBT relationships and start interviewing LGBT community members to build your authority on the topic as well as capture the audiences of everyone you interview. – That’s content.
So no, you don’t have to blog. But you do have to create content to do any digital strategy there is
You’ll Also Want To Distribute Your Content
Something very important to note about content is that it doesn’t distribute itself. If you create content and you want to use that content to get website traffic, you’ll want to be getting that content in front of people.
It’s not create content and they will come, it’s create content, get it seen, and they will come.
This approach is a lot more pro-active than most beginner content creators think it will be. A good rule of thumb is based on the pareto principle: spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time distributing it.
Where can you distribute content? Social media, to your network, to the media, to other people’s audiences, to your email list…
Having a simple strategy in mind will ensure you don’t miss out on this vital step.
Further Posts To Help You With Creating Content and Online Marketing
- Why content marketing is crucial for private practice therapists
- If you’re at the beginning of your content creation journey, this post on what to write in your first blog post or my friend Cinthia’s post on starting a blog can help you take the first step.
- Or you may generate blog post ideas for free (this tool has already generated over 45,568 ideas)
- And it’s not just blogging, what about worksheets, checklists, ebooks, and other types of content? If you’re moving in that direction, here’s how to effectively share PDFs on your website
- 62% of therapists that blog or do content marketing have “strong results” or “some results” from their website. Just one relevant data point from our survey of therapist website efficacy.
- Content also helps you use your website to get referrals (Hint: item # 3 has to do with creating content)
The Sooner You Start, The Better
Your question Lindsay ultimately is one of timing. The summary of my advice is this:
Getting any attention online relies on content, so create it, and then get attention.
Early days in particular, when your practice is not yet full, is likely the best opportunity you’ll have to create and experiment with content creation. It’s the best time to put stuff out there and see what resonates. It’s the best time to build your content creation muscle so that it becomes quick and efficient to flex it when things do get more busy.
Do not wait to start creating and distributing content. If your goal is to have effective online presence, and help more people because you are being seen, the best time to start is the minute that just passed.