13 WAYS BLOGGING CAN HELP YOU TO THRIVE IN, TRANSFORM & GROW YOUR PRIVATE PRACTICE
This article is excerpted from my Blog Your Way to Private Practice Success: 52 Weeks of Blogging Prompts, Calendar & Planner
I trained in the Master of Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy in London from 2000-2008. Returning home to Australia on completion, I was shocked at the state of psychotherapy in Australia. There was, and still is, a lack of understanding about what psychotherapy is and a lack of promotion regarding the benefits of psychotherapy from our professional associations. Frustratingly, it is rare to find a psychotherapist (or a family/play/art therapist or counsellor) working as part of a multidisciplinary team in private or public health.
There is also a deeply pervasive myth here (that most of us have fallen for at some time or another) that it is impossible to fill a full fee paying, private practice as a counsellor or psychotherapist because of the mental health plan insurance system in Australia (similar to the NHS in the UK) which only provides rebates to psychologists. Trying to attract clients to engage in weekly, depth psychotherapy (without a rebate) literally felt like mission impossible. My private practice reflected this and was sporadic to say the least. Desperate and down hearted after training to become a psychotherapist – I found myself smack bang in the middle of a major career crisis.
This was the start of my personal journey through private practice business coaching and the beginning of my online content creation via blogging. I now have over 200 blogs and 50 podcast episodes between my 3 websites. I’m described by my colleagues as a prolific blogger and I have a strong online presence. Alongside my personal Psychosynthesis therapy and life-changing counselling, coaching and psychotherapy training at the IOP – I credit creating online content as the foremost reason for my practice growth and success.
Now as a private practice business coach myself, I am passionate about helping other therapists grow their practices by sharing their gifts and creating rich and juicy content for their websites via blogging!
Here are 13 ways that blogging can help you to thrive in, transform & grow your private practice.
1) Build a strong online presence and become known as the go-to for your niche
Historically, therapists have been great at therapy but not so great at creating an online presence. If you don’t appear on the first page of Google for your niche and key word searches, your potential clients will find it hard to find you! It is therefore imperative in 2023 that therapists have a strong online presence. Blogging regularly will help you and your practice to become known for your niche locally, nationally and globally to both clients and your therapy colleagues.
2) Network with colleagues
I started my blog after joining a blogging challenge. I now run challenges via my Facebook group: Blog Your Way to Private Practice Success. It’s a great way to network with other therapists inside and outside of your particular niche. Some of the blog challenges specifically ask you to reach out to colleagues for guest posting – this is a great way to network and build relationships with other therapists in your area. Connections are crucial, especially when working from a home office, private practice as many of us do.
3) Higher ranking on Google searches
Six months into blogging (if you have your ideal client niche messaging correct) you will start to rank higher on Google for your key word searches. Google loves fresh and juicy content and ranks accordingly.
Potential clients will use keywords such as counselling + anxiety + area. If you have several blogs mentioning counselling and anxiety – guess who is going to rank higher in their Google search? Even if you appear straight under an AdWords counselling practice, once the client clicks on you – they will likely connect with you ahead of the AdWords therapist because your website is rich with content aimed at that specific niche or concern.
Be sure to have an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) plugin attached to your website; I use YOAST – it is very easy to use with its red, orange and green light system.
4) Increase in client inquiries
Due to your SEO increase, within six months to a year, you will likely see an increase in client inquiries. Many therapists that I have coached, report seeing a dramatic increase in inquiries within six months to a year. Within one to two years, they have wait lists and are often approached by the media for expert opinion regarding their niche.
5) Use your blog to sell your courses or products
Your blog is a wonderful lead magnet to sell your workshops, courses or products. At the bottom of each blog, add a call to action. For example, I have an inner child online course in the works so every blog this year will be focused on the inner child. At the bottom of the blog, my call to action is ‘Join the wait list for my Inner Child course coming soon’. The blog is then shared on social media and to my mailing list. As a recent participant in a therapy bundle sale, feedback from the owner said that 75% of sales came from our mailing lists. Your blogs are also the content you send to nurture your mailing list.
6) Keep current on research
Writing one to four times a month will keep you up-to-date with the latest research and news within your specific niche and therapy field. Research style blog posts will also shine the light on your authority as the go-to for your niche.
7) Build writing confidence
If you are not already blogging, it may feel frightening to put yourself out there. Maybe you feel that you are not a good enough writer or perhaps you are worried about what your colleagues will think? It is scary but the more you publish your blogs, the more comfortable you will become. Over time, your confidence will build. An important tip is to remember that your blog is aimed at your ideal client, not other therapists (unless your ideal clients are therapists) so be sure to remember that, keep your tone conversational and aimed at your ideal client.
8) Resource centre for your clients
A blog is a great resource centre for your current clients and your mailing list (potential clients). Once your blog is written, share it on your social media pages, for example, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn – TikTok, Reels or YouTube for videos. Always choose a beautiful image for your blog and set it as the featured image. I often pay for images so that my blogs stand out. Sites such as Unsplash are great when you are just starting out but be mindful that 100s of 1000s of people may be using the same image. One of my favourite stock photo sites is Body Liberation by Lindley Ashline for Diverse Stock Photography. I interviewed Lindley about why therapists should use more diverse stock photos here.
9) Provide professional credibility
Historically, psychology articles were limited to journals or written by journalists for popular in-print and now online magazines. As therapists, we have a wealth of knowledge to share. Blogging helps to raise the profile of our profession, and in our own words so we have the opportunity to destigmatise and myth bust also when we blog!
Blogging will raise your profile as an expert in the field and to become the go-to professional for your ideal client niche. Many journalists find counsellors and psychotherapists for expert comment by using key word searches.
Once you start appearing online and in print, you can add the publication’s company logo to your ‘social proof’ badge or page – otherwise known as the ‘As Seen In’ page.
10) Employment opportunities
Several of my coachees have been head hunted for counselling positions having been discovered through their blogs published on LinkedIn. I was personally contacted by an Australian outpatient treatment centre in consultation with renowned eating disorder therapist and author of Eating In The Light of The Moon, Dr Anita Johnston. They found me through my blog and offered me a part-time Assistant Clinical Manager role.
Staying current and positioning yourself as the go-to therapist in your ideal client niche will grab the attention of potential employers. Adding your blogs to your CV under Published Articles is also a great way to stand out to potential employers.
12) Sense of power and effectiveness
Blogging can help you to embrace your sense of personal power due to taking responsibility for the growth of your practice and career progression. Many therapists who are struggling to grow their practice are filled with a sense of hopelessness. For every hour you would like to serve a client, spend that time blogging and creating content for your website. Focus on the abundance of resources you have to offer and be generous with them – this abundance mindset will return twofold.
13) Shine the light on your therapeutic modality
Finally, blogging is a wonderful way to shine the light on your therapeutic modality and to keep it in the spotlight. It’s also great advertising for training organisations!
Support for Starting or Growing Your Blog
If you need support or inspiration to start or grow your blog, I have two workbooks and planners to support you – both are AU$29 each. Once you have purchased, you will receive an invite to the private FB group for extra support.