Brighter Vision asked us to participate in their writing bootcamp and I have no idea what to write! I’m not a writer, just a SimplePractice team member trying to support a longtime partner.
Maybe you’re in the same boat? A few colleagues of yours suggested you start a blog to get new clients. You thought it was a great idea at the time, but when you sat down to write your first blog post you had no idea what to write.
If so, let’s work through this challenge of ours together.
“When should I start?” Right now. Don’t overthink it.
Don’t let anxiety about finding the perfect topic prevent you from choosing any topic. Take this opportunity to realize that compared to your day job, this is pretty low risk. Choose a topic you’re interested in, something you think might possibly interest at least one other individual on the planet, and write about it.
You don’t have to have a series of related topics or a clever theme. You don’t have to write a 5 page, well-researched essay. And you don’t have to worry about following all the SEO best-practices (not yet, at least).
Fact: You can’t optimize your blog post for search results if you don’t have a blog post.
Just pick up your laptop (or pen and paper, whatever floats your boat) and start writing. You might even find that you have a ton of ideas once you get past the hurdle of just getting started.
“Ok, fine. I’ll just start writing about whatever topic comes to mind. But what if I can’t figure out how to write the introduction?” No problem! Write the conclusion, the body, bullet points, the title. Write whatever comes to mind, in whatever order it comes in.
For example, I started writing this part of the post before I finished the introduction and the “Write Now” section. The idea came to me and rather than putting it off until it made sense sequentially, I typed out my thoughts in real time. This way I didn’t lose the idea and I didn’t get stuck on the flow of the content.
Anytime an idea pops into your head, jot it down. You can either run with it and continue writing on that point or go back to your original flow. Do what works. Eventually, you’ll end up with something that resembles a blog post that requires some organization and fine-tuning. If in this process you find that some of the things you wrote down don’t make sense in the larger context, delete them. If writing a few extra lines helps you avoid writer’s block or keep from forgetting a genius (at the time) idea, what’s the harm?
Bonus: Save all the extra content you write to use as potential topics for future posts.
Remove as many rules as you can while writing and you might find that it becomes easier than you initially thought.
Improve over time.
“But what if what I write isn’t great? What if no one reads my post? Worse, what if someone reads my post and laughs?” You have to start somewhere, right?
There is always room to improve your writing. But you can’t get better at it if you don’t do it in the first place. You can decide whether or not you feel comfortable publishing your blog post once it’s done. (Just post it, I know you want to.) But the act of getting your thoughts down alone will help you improve. The only way to become a better writer is to write.
Another thing, just because you keep things simple to start doesn’t mean that you can’t optimize your blog in the future. As you get more comfortable with the idea of writing, start to familiarize yourself with SEO best practices for writing blog posts to help market your business.
You have to learn how to crawl before you learn how to run.
“Thanks so much for that amazing, awesome, wonderful advice. I guess I’ll go and try to figure this writing thing out.” Aww shucks, any time. But don’t worry, I won’t leave you without at least one idea for a blog post. Better yet, it even ties in some SEO value.
Find an article about something you have interest in. Read it and then use it as a springboard for your blog post topic – write your take either in support of or against the topic, write a review of the content or product, or simply let it inspire you to write about a related topic.
The SEO value
Regardless of what approach you take writing on the topic, make sure to link to the original (reputable and high-value) article. This is called an outbound link (or external link) – a link from your website to another website. You can use these links to help build SEO value for your blog.
– increased site credibility,
– improved search relevance,
– enhanced subscriber value, and
– raised page ranking.
At SimplePractice, we are driven by our mission to empower private practice owners to become successful business owners. That’s why we create valuable content for our customers and the health and wellness community. Maybe one of these topics might be a good starting point for your first blog post?
– Average Session Fees by State – Apprehensive about setting or raising your fees? Use the data in this guide to explain to your clients why you charge what you do.
– Top ICD-10 Codes in 2017 – Interested to see what ICD-10 codes your colleagues bill most? Maybe it will spark a blog post idea about a certain diagnosis?
– Getting Started with Telehealth – What’s your thought about Telehealth? Love it, hate it, unsure? Check out this article and then write your opinion on this new innovative technology taking over the health and wellness field.
Remember, whether you write about one of the topics above or something else completely, don’t forget to link to reputable and high-value content to boost your SEO benefit.
Well, what do you know? The blog post is done. That wasn’t so hard after all.
– The only way to become a better writer is to write. You don’t need to write something groundbreaking. You don’t need to say something provocative. You just need to communicate your point of view. You are unique, so be yourself and whatever you write will be unique too.
– Remove as many rules as possible. Don’t get bogged down in trying to optimize for SEO, organize the content perfectly, or create a theme. Get your thoughts down on paper and then revise as needed.
– Make a plan to improve. As you get comfortable with each stage of writing, challenge yourself to take on something new. No longer have anxiety about choosing a topic? Maybe consider writing a series. Comfortable posting on a regular basis? Try implementing some simple SEO tips.
– A great tool is to open the newspaper (or your Facebook feed) and write about your take on an article in the news… politics, lifestyle, arts. Or listen to a podcast and write about the important that resonated with you. All of these are unique content that are simple to imagine.
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