At the cornerstone of every mental health marketing strategy is blogging. Social media platforms can change on the fly (you heard Facebook changed its name to Meta, right?), but blogs posts on your website are completely your own. They’re predictable, they’re free to publish, and they’re effective.
A mental health blogging strategy is a valuable tool for increasing brand awareness, bringing in leads, and building your client base. But it can be challenging to write blogs that people can find and actually want to read. The mental health industry is all about connecting with and helping people, and blogs allow you an outlet to do just that. However, you need a plan to do it successfully. Here are five elements that every mental health blogging strategy should have.
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1. Engaging Content: Bringing Value to Your Blogs
First and foremost, you need to make sure you produce content that is interesting, helpful, and valuable. Your blogs aren’t just a way to gain new leads. They are an opportunity to marry your mental health marketing efforts with your passion for helping others.
So how do you write blogs that people actually want to read? While blogging isn’t an exact science, there are several elements every blog should have to make it more interesting for your target audience:
- Relevant: Identify your target audience and make your content applicable to that reader. If you are trying to reach a specific age range, gender, or demographic, your blogs should be written with that person in mind.
- Original: The internet is jam packed with content, which can make it difficult to stand out. Sift through what others in your field are saying and find your own unique twist on the topic.
- Well-Researched: While your blog shouldn’t read like a textbook, you need to make sure you know your stuff before putting out information for the world to digest. As a mental health professional, you likely already know that statistics and data aren’t always what they seem. Do your due diligence to put out information that is accurate and well-supported.
- Conversational: What makes a mental health blog post different than a research article? Blogs are conversational and easy to read. You don’t want to bog your readers down with technical language, statistics, and long droning sentences. Instead, you want to relate with your readers and connect with them on a personal level.
If you’re not sure where to start, begin by choosing topics that are interesting to you. When you are excited or passionate about a topic, that energy will flow into your writing. And remember, your goal is to connect with your reader. Before you start penning your first blog (or more likely typing), you need to make sure you know the ideal client you’re trying to reach.
2. Scannable Format: Increasing Readability With a Clear Blogging Strategy
Remember a moment ago when we talked about how your blogs should be easy to read? While your messaging and tone are a big part of what makes your content more readable, you need to consider format as well. If your blog looks like one giant chunk of content on a page, few people will get past the first sentence or two (if they choose to read it all).
Even if you’ve written the most interesting, engaging content possible, you’re sure to lose readers if your blog isn’t visually appealing. A well-organized blog format includes lots of paragraphs, headings, subheadings, and lists. Pro tip: if you’re struggling with the organization part, start with an outline.
You may vaguely remember a rule back in college that all your paragraphs should be four to ten sentences long. In the world of academia, paragraphs that span half of a page are normal. However, when blogging, your paragraphs should be bite-sized. As a general rule, aim for between three and five lines for every paragraph.
You also want your blog to be easy to scan. Like most things in life, first impressions are key. Many readers will glance at your headings to judge whether it’s worth reading the information inside. Use headings often. And here’s an extra SEO tip: Use your keywords in your headers. Your readers aren’t the only ones paying extra attention to your headings. Google takes your headings into account when ranking your blog too.
3. Call-to-Actions: Converting Readers into New Clients
If you’ve succeeded in drawing readers onto your page and keeping them engaged, what comes next? While educating your readers and building brand awareness are important, at the end of the day you need a mental health marketing strategy that converts. Your blogs, just like your social media content, videos, and other promotional items, should draw people to the next step: contacting you.
Call-to-actions absolutely belong in your blogs. You may worry that your readers will just think you’re just trying to sell them something if you’re direct in telling them to contact you. However, if your content is engaging from the start, they’re unlikely to veer off your page at the sight of a CTA. Instead, they’ll want to know where to find more and how to reach you.
Placing call-to-actions in your blog post makes it easy for potential clients to get in contact with you right away. If anything, they’ll appreciate that you made it as easy as possible for them to get in touch. If readers have to search through your website to find a contact form or phone number, they might not end up reaching out at all. And call-to-actions can be simple and appealing too. For example:
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4. Consistency: Producing Mental Health Content Regularly
Posting blogs regularly shows website visitors that you’re active and lets people who read your content know when to expect a new blog. Also, every blog is a chance to draw more people to your website and your other blogs through internal links, which is huge for your overall SEO strategy.
As a busy mental health professional, helping your clients while posting regularly can seem nearly impossible to do. You may find yourself dreading your next blogging session or dealing with a bad case of writer’s block. While our team at Beacon could help take blogging off your plate completely, we’ve found that the key to staying consistent with your mental health blogging strategy is to create a plan.
First, you want to nail down a blogging schedule. Be realistic with your time. You may not be able to write a blog every week, but maybe you can afford to write one every month. Next, think big picture and then get specific. Nail down your overall goal, target audience, messaging, and keywords that each blog should target. Next, plan out topics for the next couple of months. If you’ve already put the work into coming up with ideas to write on, you’re much more likely to write and post them on schedule.
5. Distribution: Maximizing Your Mental Health Blog’s Reach
A good mental health blogging strategy doesn’t end with your blog. After you hit that publish button and release it to the world begins the process of content distribution. Blogging takes work, and you want to make sure you squeeze your freshly written blog for all its worth before starting the next one.
First, you’ll want to promote your blog anywhere you have a web presence. If you have a social media account for your practice (which you should definitely make if you don’t already have one), create a post highlighting and linking your new post.
Do you have an email campaign or newsletter? Put a link up there. Have access to any article directories? Do you have a YouTube channel? These are just more opportunities to get as many eyes as possible on your new blog. You can even break apart your blog and create entirely new, shareable content from it, including infographics, press releases, slideshows, videos, podcasts, downloadables, and e-books.
Build a Robust Mental Health Marketing Blogging Strategy
Writing blogs takes a lot of time, which is why your strategy needs to cover all the essentials. The last thing you want is to spend time writing blogs that are stale, invisible, or ineffective. If you’re like most therapists, adding blogs to your already hectic schedule may be out of the question. We can help you create a blogging strategy that brings in real results.
Leave mental health blogging to the content experts. Schedule a free consultation today.