Writing has become a popular pastime and marketing tool for psychotherapists. I’ve had many individuals reach out to me asking how they can go about starting their own blog and establishing themselves as writers.
I’ve enjoyed being able to provide professional coaching services to clinicians who are looking for assistance in blogging and establishing themselves as writers. The following are three simple tips if you are looking to start a blog and unsure of where to start.
1. Think About Your Ideal Patient.
If one of your primary purposes in starting a blog is generating referrals for your practice, it is critical to first define your ideal patient. It can be helpful to get as specific about this factor as possible. Additionally, after you have defined your ideal patient, it is important to think about his/her specific interests and “pain points.” This way you can ensure that the topics that you plan to write about are tailored specifically to the clients that you hope to serve in your practice.
2. Define Your Unique Niche.
Take some time to think about the things that set you apart from other clinicians. Maybe you are passionate about a unique treatment modality. Or, perhaps you enjoy working with a very specific population.
It’s critical not to fall into the trap of being too vague and general. It’s important to note that when you write for “everyone,” typically you end up writing for no one. Additionally, it’s a good idea to write about the topics about which you are truly passionate. Writing about specific topics or ideas that excite you will make your posts more engaging and authentic.
3. Take the Leap.
I’ve spoken with people who have thought about branching into writing for a while, but allow their nagging inner critic to take over instead. Some people put it off because they believe that they “don’t have anything unique to say.” Whereas, others are waiting for the “perfect moment” where they will feel confident enough to put their work out there. Still others are caught up in perfectionism and unable to feel a sense of contentment with their creation.
I frequently talk with clients about the importance of “feeling the fear and taking action anyway.” Often we want to wait for “the fear to go away” before taking action. However, the reality is that every experience of true growth and vulnerability will naturally stir up some fear and anxiety.
Therefore, it is important to stop procrastinating on putting your work out into the world. Think about the lives that could be impacted as a result of your writing. In holding back your gifts, you are doing a disservice to the many people who could benefit.
The Bottom Line
Writing is not everyone’s cup of tea. You don’t have to start a blog just because other clinicians are doing so. What’s important is that you work to discover the marketing tools and creative outlets that highlight your unique strengths.
For instance, if speaking is your jam, you could create Youtube videos or your own podcast. If you enjoy the arts, you could try your hand at graphic design. The options for marketing and finding a fun outlet are endless.
If you do decide to start your own blog, it’s also helpful to practice some self-compassion. It takes time and practice to build any skill and it’s okay if you make some mistakes in the process.
Ultimately, you deserve to be able to share your thoughts and highlight your unique voice and perspective.