I was very pleased to see an article last night about Baby Einstein videos being put in their place. See this article about how they’re being forced to refund money to parents for the videos – no receipt required!
This excites me a lot because I have always disliked the way corporations are able to lie to parents and feed their most base fears (my child will be behind her peers! I am not stimulating my child enough and this will be THE SOLE REASON he has problems as an adult!)
One of the many reasons having your own website is useful is to be a voice of sanity among the crap out there. And the sad truth is “reality” is far less threatening, scary, or stress-inducing to people than hype and spin. Reality and research is frankly a lot less sexy.
The trick, however, is to calm fears, reduce stress, and not come off as an anti-conspiracist. I think of my father (Bill Doherty, Ph.D., LMFT) who is a little of everything, researcher, writer, cultural commentarian, therapist, professor. He does a great job when I ask him parenting questions, or questions about things in the news, of putting it “in its place.” This is a very calming thing if for no other reason than he helps me see “experts” rarely have The Answers, or Know All. There are simply too many variables in life for there to be One Truth. He’ll share the real truth, the real research, and help me with a bigger context.
OK, let’s translate this back to your website. Whatever you do, whatever your speciality, take the current news on that topic and write about it! Write about it in a therapeutic, educational way that helps put the news in its place. Think of your reader as either afraid/stressed with the news, or your reader who is going to get “sucked in” to a mostly mythical “fix” for whatever their ailment is.
You don’t even have to write more than 2-3 paragraphs, and there is nothing wrong with adding in what you DO with people suffering from that issue. It’ll give your website a freshness, a sense of current timeliness, and it’ll be a way to sell what you do, what your passion is, and perhaps…. this is the big one to me, perhaps GET SOMEONE IN YOUR DOORS who might not otherwise seek help! If you don’t have a way to edit your website, set up a free blog! WordPress.com or Blogger.com are two easy bloggers. Then from your homepage, have a link for “current event blog” and voila.