5 Steps to Finding Your Professional Blogging Style
Here are 5 steps to getting more comfortable blogging on your private practice website
Maintaining a blog is an important part of your therapy practice’s online presence. A blog is a great way to show that you are knowledgeable about current topics in the field, but it’s also a way to personally connect with your clients. When it comes to blogging tone and style conversational is the new “professional”
Some therapists who are new to the blogging scene can have a tough time understanding how to write in this format. Here are 5 steps to help you find your professional blogging style:
1) Be Yourself
The way you create your blog is completely up to you. You might look at other blogs to get an idea, but remember that this is your endeavor, and you have the freedom to use whatever structure or style best fits your professional style and practice.
We are often conditioned to avoid using first-person pronouns in our writing. But a blog is an appropriate medium to say something like, “My years as a therapist have taught me ______,” or “We often place unnecessary burdens on ourselves by _________.” Don’t be afraid to let you shine through your writing. This makes your content more approachable and helps you build trust with your readers. The key is to balance your professional tone with a personalized voice.
2) Know Your Audience
Remember who you want reading your blog. It’s not for a professor. It’s not a personal journal. It’s not a scholarly publication. It is to attract ideal clients and/or existing clients. You don’t need to include lots of percentages and numbers (although a well-placed, relevant statistic every now and then could work). On the flip-side, don’t write about yourself too much. Although you are drawing from your own personal and professional experiences as inspiration for writing, make sure everything you put out has value for your intended readers.
3) Practice, Practice, Practice.
This might be your first experience with this type of writing. Maybe you’re struggling to articulate what it is you are trying to say or you’re not yet sure how to use certain formatting tools. Whatever it is, know it will take some time to get the hang of things. Everyone starts somewhere. And one of the great things about a blog is that you can go back and change something at any time . If there’s something you want to rephrase or add to, you can edit any past post.
4) Make it Appealing
Using images and graphics can be visually appealing and can also help break up text and make your blog post easier to read. And don’t be afraid to include pictures of you every now and then! It’s good to show you’re readers that you aren’t just a therapist; you’re a human being, too! The aesthetics of your blog needn’t be over the top or gimmicky; instead, a well-placed image relating to your topic can really add to the overall look of the post. Simple is often better.
5) Blog Often
When it comes to blogging, you need to regularly produce fresh content. Not necessarily everyday, but you should aim to publish on a consistent basis. This is good for your SEO, it helps brand you as a relevant source, and it gives your clients reasons to return to your site. If you’re brand new to blogging, twice a month is a good place to start. Once you’ve gotten more comfortable I recommend post a new blog article each week.
Some might worry they will run out of things to write about. Ironically, though, the more you write, the more topics you discover, and the more you have to write about!
Because you’ll be blogging regularly and for laypeople (instead of other professionals), you should make each post short. Keep it to a length that someone could read in one sitting: 400-600 words is pretty standard.
What is YOUR experience blogging so far?
How can you use these tips to help find your own blogging style?
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available.