"Helping people who help people"

Today I want to address what I think is the oft-ignored topic of a single blog post as it relates to the whole blog.  Most of this information really applies to any web content anywhere.  Remember blogs are not special except you can comment (if you chose to let comments be open.)  You can easily have the “share” options on a website article.  So without further ado, here we go!

The Blog Title

In case you weren’t aware, the title is not only important to get people to read the blog post, but Google also uses the title to try to figure out, in it’s semi-sophisticated robot-brain, what the heck the blog is about so it can match it up with queries it gets.  The title can be a tense  juggling act between a zippy title that gets attention and a keyword rich title that attracts Google readers.

The Body of the Blog

The goal is readership, but then what?  Most blogs have a goal.  Sometimes a single blog post will:

  • convince people to read more blog posts
  • convince people to buy something or hire you
  • convince someone to link to YOUR blog either in their blog roll, their latest blog post, their website, somewhere….you become a clear resource to their readers
  • help a journalist get a better sense of your voice for potential interviews
  • be so amazing that everyone who reads it wants to share it, thus resulting in many more eyeballs than you ever could have imaged

Tagging the Blog

There are tags and there are categories, depending on if you use WordPress, blogpost, or another blog format.  The more analytical therapists will do well in figuring out the right ways to mark their blog posts.  My approach is to think holistically but have a lot of self-forgiveness when you don’t know what the heck you’re doing with these tags.  Eventually something naturally will bubble up for you and you can either go back and tag posts, or just ignore those and start at the point you have an epiphany on how to organize the posts.  For example, I’ve dropped the tags from my blog posts, so I don’t even label them or have the “tag cloud” show up anymore.  A category, by the way, is the most broad theme, and the tag would be less broad within that category.  For example, if you worked with moms, you may have Categories like: Children, Marriage, Self-Care, Health.  But then there may be blog posts that relate to a theme that doesn’t deserve it’s own category.  A tag may then be “Finding balance” which you could easily write about in any of those categories.  Honestly it’s all about who you are, what you’re writing, who your audience is, and seeing what makes sense.  One person’s tag may be someone else’s big category.

The benefit to having categories or tags is that if someone want MORE on that angle, they can click on that category and see everything related to it.  Most therapists struggle because they’re either so broad in their blog, or so narrow it’s hard to splice things down further.  But remember, you hopefully have new eyes every day and they deserve a compass!

Who Are the Eyes On the Blog Post

In any given blog post you’ve got a fantastic challenge!  You have to continue to entertain those who subscribe to your blog and read it whenever you post something.  You’ve got to entice new readers with ONE blog post and hope it does the trick so they read more.  And you’ve got to say something new and interesting every single blog post!  Wow, no pressure! 😉

In Totality, A Single Blog Post Will…

Be stacked up against all your other blog posts to create a bigger, more robust view of how you think about your area of expertise.  A single blog post is where the fires burn for book ideas or products or services you could create.  You start to see trends and can build an entire book off single blog posts that you found were wildly popular.   I have literally seen ONE blog post become a wildly successful book, create an entire business, speaking tours, media attention, coaching opportunities.  It’s crazy fun to watch this happen to people.

 

As always, I’d love your feedback or questions.  Are you using categories and tags well?  Having struggles?  Found some blog posts are really inspiring and considering doing more because of it?

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Comments on: "Anatomy of a therapy blog post" (6)

  1. In the beginning I did not know how to use tags and categories, so I just put any word relevant to post randomly into both. Now I have a lot of categories so I do not need more. Example of learning from mis-takes or just “takes”.
    I put a lot of thought and energy into every single blog post. The way I see it, is that I have all this material stored on my blog ( some people call a blog a personal online journal), and I am in the process of organizing it into a book.
    FUN and hopefully helping some people along the way,
    Thanks Elizabeth, you always make me think!

  2. As always, Elizabeth you present information in a concise and friendly way. -Dare I say “dense with information”???

    I have only recently entered the world of blogging. I like sarcasm, “no pressure”. There is a ton of pressure in writing a blog, especially when you want to say something meaningful and not sound like an idiot. I have seen blogs that say nothing and are just trying to get you to buy a person’s products. They are simply fancy sales pitches.

    I like your blogs because they present useful information. It is like you are my website coach and I really appreciate it. I am still a bit confused about the whole tagging thing and I loved your comment about self-forgiveness in this arena. As a new blogger, I am just learning as I go. I am happy for the reminder about letting go of perfection, it came at just the right time for me.

    Again, thanks for the information. It is always useful.
    Renee

  3. Love the new, clean design! Very useful info, that wasn’t overly technical. For all the Luddite’s out there (and the good Lord knows I know a thing or two about that topic!), it’s about learning as you go along, even if you don’t have the resources to hire someone yet.

    Too many people wait for self-confidence to knock on their door and invite them to put up a website. I think most readers forgive the lack of technological expertise and awesome design if the content is rockin’…at least for awhile.

    The search engines may be less forgiving over time.

    Thanks for the wonderful tech stuff, Elizabeth:).

  4. I love the blog-overhaul Elizabeth 🙂

    I agree that sometimes it’s just about jumping in and figuring it out as you go along. That’s exactly what I did with my blog. I wrote an article for something else, said “This is a good place to start a blog” and slapped it up on the internet. It’s definitely been a learning experience and if I had waited until I had known “it all” (yeah right- when will that even happen?!?!?!) I would never have started!

  5. I guess I’ve said as much before but I’ve GOT to get my blog to another location! With the program it was created with I can’t distinguish between tags and categories on the front end! All my posts say on the side margin is a weird list of different sized text of “Topics” – NOT helpful! I’ve got a new URL. Time to start with wordpress????

  6. Elizabeth,
    I love the clean and organized look of your blog. I appreciate this information as well. I’m just at the beginnings of trying to figure out all this SEO stuff. Thanks for reaching out and providing resources. Melanie G

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