Successful blogging for therapists

Does the idea of blogging make you throw up your hands in horror? Here’s our handy guide, with therapists in mind.

As small business owners, we are often told that blogging is good. But what is a blog? And why should we bother?

The term blog comes from ‘web log’. They were originally a sort of online diary, with brief entries telling people what you (or your business) were getting up to today.

These days, that sort of post seems to be used more in social media, and blogs have become more like a library of articles. So, broadly, a blog is an article.

Why blog?

  • Search engines tend to ‘like’ websites that are regularly updated and often list them higher in search results. Adding a blog on a regular basis proves to them you are actively promoting your business.
  • It’s a useful source of content for your social media pages, newsletters etc. If other people like or share your links it helps to spread the word about your business.
  • It demonstrates you know what you are talking about, and helps connect you with other therapists who see these links; they can form a support or referral network.
  • It helps to connect you with potential clients – if you’re offering free tips and advice, via your blog, they begin to build a relationship with you which might encourage them to pick up the phone for an appointment.
  • You can test what your audience likes to hear about then recycle or re-purpose your most popular blogs – turn them into ebooks, leaflets, articles for publications, courses, or books. Lists, in particular, can be converted into social media image posts, with one tip on each image.

How much should you write?

Historically, as we’ve said above, blogs were short – often 200 to 250 words. Conventional online wisdom also says that visitor attention span is brief and we should keep word length down to a minimum, but according to some research, the changed way that blogs are used means things might not be quite so simple.
  • Search engines like longer pages, the average number of words on a page that comes up on page one for a google search is around 1900.
  • Articles over 1000 words get more shares on social media than shorter ones.
  • Human visitors to your website like posts that take about seven minutes to read (usually around 1600 words).
  • The optimal word length for healthcare topics is around 2000 words.
From all this, we’d say between 1000 and 2000 words might be a good target for therapists.

How often should you write?

Many sites on blogging tell you to post at least once a day. As a sole trader who has to do everything for your business from washing the floors to seeing the clients, it may well be impossible for you to do this. And it’s obviously quicker and easier to write 200 words than 2000, so how often you write may also depend on what (or how much) you’re writing.

Our advice is to write when you can, but make it regular. Even if daily or weekly blogs are the gold standard, common sense implies that blogging once a month seems better than not doing it at all. Set time aside every so often, write a number of blogs and schedule them to appear on a regular basis.

If you really can’t commit to regular blogging, you might find places which accept ‘guest blogs’ (one-off articles from someone other than the blog owner). That still gets you many of the advantages of blogging, but without the regular commitment. (We accept guest blogs ourselves now and then, so have a look at this page if you want to give it a go.)

What should you write?

  • Who is your audience?
  • What are they interested in?
Don’t just blog about what you do.

By all means, include a quick plug for your services, but no-one will read a 2000 word advert!
Cover less directly related topics as well as the specific areas you work in. So, if you work with people suffering from anxiety and stress, talking about improving happiness or satisfaction with life is likely to attract their attention. This has the added benefit of allowing you to write about positive feelings, thoughts and habits, where your sales pages might focus more on the issues and problems faced by your clients.

‘Listicles’ are very popular; titles like ‘7 tips to …’ or ’10 things to avoid when …’.

Mix these in with longer, factually-based pieces to give audiences some variety, then keep an eye on which approach gets the most hits. Adapt your approach over time to suit your audience.

How to write a blog

Everyone writes differently but here’s my process to get you going.

Getting inspiration
  • If you use Facebook or other social media, you might get ideas about what to write from questions posted on groups you belong to. Especially if a similar question is posted a few times by different people.
  • Think about what your clients most often ask you – answer that.
  • What about the news? Has someone from Strictly recently admitted to having hypnotherapy for stage fright? Write an article on performance anxiety and refer back to the news article.
  • Is there a new study out about dieting, anxiety or quitting? Talk about that and how it fits with what you do. (Tip: the YHT Facebook page often posts links to news articles that you could use, and our newsletter always includes at least one link to some relevant research.)

Start with research
  • It’s a really bad idea to copy other people’s blogs. Not only does Google penalise duplicate content on your website but it’s a breach of the original author’s copyright. However, looking at what others have said about your topic might give you an idea of your ‘angle’ – how to approach it.
  • Get something down on paper (or more likely, a screen). Brainstorm ideas, putting down even the silly ones. Notes, words, phrases, slang, whatever comes to mind. Then start to organise it into some sort of logical progression.

Put it together
  • Start to write, filling out each point, linking your ideas together and smoothing out grammar, structure etc. (And editing out the sillier ideas, of course!)
  • Spell and grammar check – twice! If this aspect of writing is not your forte, get someone else to read it as well.
  • I find reading the article aloud is a really good way of checking that the words, sentence length etc work well.
  • Images are important, to catch people’s attention, but always ensure they are royalty-free, or you’ve taken them yourself.
  • I pick my title at this point, so it really reflects what is in the article.

You’re now ready for publication: press the publish button and go!


Author: is an experienced hypnotherapist and hypnotherapy trainer. She is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words and has co-written the Hypnotherapy Handbook, both of which are available from Amazon.
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