writing

How to Write a Blog Post When You’re Not Feeling Creative

How to Write a Blog Post When You’re Not Feeling Creative

The struggle is real. And so is writer’s block. I’ve been there… many times. You’ve probably heard that having a blog can help your website’s SEO, connect you with potential clients, and set you apart as an expert in your field. But what are you supposed to do if you’re just not up to the task?

Here are some ideas (that I’ve personally found helpful) to get those creative juices flowing:

  1. Go for a walk. Fresh air and a bit of exercise can help reset your mind frame. You might see something inspirational while your out or simply the change of scenery can be enough.
  2. Talk to someone. Every time I’m in a rut, all I have to do is chat with a friend or colleague. It’s helpful to have a sounding board or to bounce ideas off one another. Sometimes, unexpectedly, a colleague has said to me mid-conversation, “ooh! You should turn that idea into a blog post,” and voilà! You’ve got yourself something to write about.
  3. Just start writing. Grab a notebook, a scrap piece of paper, or heck, even a napkin. Just start writing down whatever pops into your head. It doesn’t have to make sense or be grammatically correct, but will (eventually) put you in the writing mood.
  4. Read. Read a book, read another blog, read a magazine. This will help you think about writing styles and could inspire you to write something you haven’t thought of before.
  5. Get enough sleep. Nothing is as mentally draining as not getting enough sleep. Getting a good night’s rest is an important part of self-care and being able to function at full capacity. As someone who regularly struggles to get the recommended amount of sleep, I know how detrimental this can be to the creative process.
  6. Take a writing class. If you love to write, but not feeling super confident in your skills, take a writing course or attend a seminar. It can be scary to share your work with other people, but usually in these settings everyone is supportive and will help you tap into your hidden talents. Think of it as a therapeutic support group!
  7. Write down any blog ideas. Did an idea for a blog post just pop into your head? Don’t judge it – just start writing (or write the idea down and get back to it later). Put aside all judgmental and critical thinking and just start writing whatever comes to mind. Worry about editing and perfecting it later (or don’t!). Your blog doesn’t have to be perfect. Part of your relationship with your clients is showing your authenticity and genuineness, so what better way to do that than by allowing yourself to be vulnerable in your writing?
  8. Reflect on past sessions. Did something a client say stick with you? Use sessions as inspiration for what you can write about. Have you noticed a trend of people with similar issues? Think about what would be helpful for your current clients (or the type of client you’re trying to attract). Just be sure to leave out any identifying information and keep things pretty vague so there’s no way the blog post can be tracked back to a specific person.

I know that writing isn’t for everyone. It can be frustrating, challenging, or just not something you’re interested in doing. It can be difficult to get your thoughts down on paper (or on a screen) in a coherent manner that people would want to read. So what are you supposed to do if you just don’t want to write or aren’t great a it? Hint: Hire someone else to do it! I’ve been helping therapists write content for websites, blogs, newsletters, and social media for years. Since I’m not a therapist, I’ll leave out all the psychobabble and jargon that should stay in the therapy session. I’ll help you share your message, in your unique voice, to your digital audience, so you can attract your ideal clients and grow your private practice. Contact me today to learn about my writing services and how I can help you reach new clients and grow your private practice.

Posted by Misha Conaway in Mental Health Therapy Marketing
The 1st Step in Creating a Website

The 1st Step in Creating a Website

When someone tells me they want a website, the first question I ask is “why?” If you are a therapist, small business owner, or non-profit having a beautiful, easy to navigate website is a must. But before you start making a website, it’s important to know what your specific goals are and how you envision your website helping you achieve those goals. Are you looking to grow your private practice? Do you need more donors or volunteers? There’s this idea that you just throw a website out there and it will magically solve all of your problems. But websites aren’t magic. It takes planning, time, and nurturing to have an effective website that will help you reach your goals.

What’s the first step in creating a website?

The first step in creating an effective website is to think and plan. You have to have purpose and clarity before you start designing and developing anything. Here are some questions that can help give you direction. When you answer them, be brief and specific.

  • What is the purpose of your business or organization?
  • Who are your clients or whom do you serve?
  • Whom do you want to visit your website?
  • What do you want them to do when they get to your website?
    • If you are a psychotherapist or counselor, the answer might be “contact me for a therapy appointment” or “schedule a consultation.”
    • If you are a non-profit, the answer could be “donate,” “volunteer,” or “attend an event.”
  • How does this help your private practice or organization meet its goals?

When I discuss the process of building websites with clients, I often use the human body as an analogy. You can’t start building a body with the skin. You have to work from the inside-out.

Start with the bones, or the structure of the website. When people arrive at your website, what will they do? What route do they take? How will they navigate through your site? What are the main pages of your site? This will give you the basic framework for the structure.

Once you decide on the pages and navigation (or the bones), you can move on to the organs and meat (sorry if this is gross!). What is the content that will go on each page? First think about text, “call-to-actions” (this is where you tell people what you want them to do with links or buttons), and accompanying images and videos that support the text. What information do you want to convey? Is it absolutely necessary to include on your website? Whatever you include on your website, make sure it serves a purpose and helps you achieve your business goals. All of your content should be informative, educational, and relevant to your business.

Finally we can move on to the skin or look of the website. This goes hand-in-hand with the branding of your private practice or organization. Now you can think about colors, fonts, logos, and additional imagery that adds the flourishes to your website. Do you have a design concept or logo? What’s your brand?

If you are new to creating websites (or even thinking about web design), I highly recommend looking at other websites of therapists or organizations in your field. Take some time to peruse the site and make notes about what you do and don’t like in terms of ease of use, navigation, design, and feel. Did you enjoy using that website? Were you able to find what you were looking for? Did you know what you were supposed to do when you arrived to the website? This will help you figure out what you want (and just as importantly, don’t want) for your website. Take your time with this process and be specific.

When you do this preliminary work and planning, it will make the rest of the process of creating the website go much smoother and quicker. HYHO Marketing & Design offers an array of services to help you market your private practice or organization, including web design, branding, and blogging. Ready to put your business online? Contact me today and get a beautiful, effective website.

Posted by Misha Conaway in Mental Health Therapy Marketing, Non-Profit Marketing, Website Design