For students and practitioners of complementary and alternative therapy everywhere.
Start A Therapist Blog
Promote Yourself - Start A Therapy Blog
by Jane Thurnell-Read
‘Blog’ is short for web log – it’s essentially an online diary that other people can read. You can write in it as often as you wish – several times a day even, or weeks apart – it’s up to you. You don't need a web site to have your blog on the web for all to see - and it's free.
Why not start a blog yourself to promote what you do and the successes you’re having? It’s not difficult – honestly, and it could really benefit your business.
You could put details of clients you’ve seen, and your successes. (Don’t forget to get your clients’ permissions first if you are writing about them in a way that they can be identified.) Talk about new courses you’ve been on, interesting and relevant books you’ve read, new connections and insights, inspiring quotes – whatever will help to promote you and your practice.
You can post as often or as little as you like. Someone visiting your blog will always see the latest post first, but they can scroll down to see others too. I started a blog earlier this year. Click here to have a look at it. (My blog doesn't include information on client successes because I'm not really seeing any clients anymore, and my purpose isn't to promote myself as a therapist.)
There are three things you need to do:
Start a blog
Promote your blog
Add the blog link to your web site if you have one (if you don’t have a web site, you just leave this step out)
Follow these easy instructions to get yourself started. (yes, I know it seems like a lot, but it’s not that difficult)
Starting A Blog
I use Blogger and the instructions that follow are for using their software, although there are other free blog sites. Not only do you use their software to create your blog, but they also look after it for you, so you don't have to have your own web site.
You can look at all the explanation provided there, or you can click on 'create your blog now'
The first thing you will have to do is create an account - just fill in the fields - it's very easy and there's handy hints next to the field, if you're uncertain what to do.
Once you've created an account you get to name your blog. Mine’s called ‘Health & Therapies’. I suggest you use something explicit that includes the name of the therapy and the location, e.g. ‘Acupuncture in Leeds, UK’ – you may want to include your name too - the search engines will treat this as significant information, so you need to make it obvious. It may not be 'pretty' but it will do the job better than something witty or deep.
Next you give it an URL (web address) – you can use your name here if it’s not already taken by someone else (the system will tell you if it’s not available), or the name that you chose earlier. Don’t use spaces – you can use underscore if you want ( e.g. john_smith). The programme then fits in the rest of the URL around it. Let me give you an example: the address for my blog is http://janethurnellread.blogspot.com/, so in the form I just typed in my name and then the software added the rest.
Type the wavy coloured letters into the ‘word verification’ field – this is to stop someone maliciously setting up lots of blogs.
Next you choose a template by clicking on it.
Scroll down (if necessary) and click ‘continue’.
Now you click on ‘start posting’!You can change the size or the style of the text, do indents, add an image all sort of things – just use the icons that are identical or at least very similar to normal word processing ones.
When you’ve finished, click on the ‘publish post’ button (you may have to scroll down for this).
You can add photos and description on the home page of your blog. Just click on the settings and template tabs.
Remember to revisit it often and put up new material. It can be short or long, whatever takes your fancy. Have a look at some of the other blogs to see what people do.
Promoting Your Blog
Blogger is part of Google and so your blog will be indexed by Google and other search engines, so that anyone anywhere can find your blog, but you need to promote it too:
Add the URL (web address) for the blog to all your business stationery.
Use free ‘pinging’ software to notify the search engines that specifically deal with blogs that you’ve added something new to your blog every time you do. I have set it up in preferences so that this is automatically done every time I write soemthing new. I also use http://pingomatic.com/
Adding A Link From Your Web Site
Many people have web sites that they don’t manage themselves, so they don’t change the web site very often. Adding a blog link to your web site will enable people visiting your web site also to visit your blog and read what you’re up to currently. Just ask your web master to add a prominent link to your blog on all your pages.