Remember when a blog was more like an online diary? Used to fluffily recap the week’s activities and share random thoughts? Those days are well and truly over. Blogging is now one of the top marketing tools for health and wellness businesses.
Yes. You should have a blog.
Big brands like Fitbit and Weight Watchers blog. Successful individuals like Brene Brown, The Wellness Mama and The Healthy Maven blog. That’s because businesses that blog get 97% more links to their website than blogs that don’t.
Have you ever been walking down a busy street or doing your shopping when suddenly you’re interrupted by someone trying to sell you roller shutters or an anti-aging moisturiser made from the Dead Sea? It’s irritating!
I don’t know about you, but my standard move is to pull out my phone and pretend I’m so busy that I don’t notice them. It’s the same deal online. People don’t like to be interrupted with ads, email spam or annoying popups that cover the entire screen.
The key is to attract people to your business before they are thinking about becoming clients. How? Content Marketing. It’s simple: Provide something valuable and don’t try to hard-sell anything. Help people. And do you know what? It works!
A little story about Jell-O
Jell-O was invented in 1845 and sales stayed fairly stagnant for almost 60 years! A clever new marketing team handed out free Jell-O moulds and recipe books to housewives. The book didn’t try to sell anything, it simply shared recipes and tips on how to cook with Jell-O. Sales skyrocketed. That, my friend, is content marketing.
Blogging is at the beginning of the inbound marketing process, of which content marketing is a part. Inbound marketing goes like this: Attract people to your business organically. Convert them from visitors to customers. Make them love their experience with you. Let them spread the word. So you see, it all starts with the attractive blog.
How blogging can help your health business
Increase your visibility online
The point of inbound marketing is to have potential clients come to you. Relevant and useful content on your blog can attract new clients through search engines and social media. This means that people who don’t yet know about your business can find it while they search online. The answer they seek is in your blog post.
Increase opportunity for leads
A great blog post will keep readers on your site for longer. The longer a prospective client is on your site, the more opportunity there is for them to:
- Respond to calls-to-action.
- Navigate to other pages on your site – like products and services pages.
Build relationships with clients
Your blog is a great way to interact with your audience and prospective clients. By encouraging comments on your posts and replying, you begin to build trust and a sense of community. You can use the comments section on your blog as a way to:
- Provide general helpful advice.
- Acknowledge reader problems.
- Get a sense of what your client wants.
- Evaluate which of your posts have the most shares or comments and write more posts like that.
Position your brand as a leader
You know your stuff. You know you know your stuff. Do potential clients that haven’t heard of you know that though?
Your blog is how you can showcase your expertise in your field. Give people a reason to seek you out by providing useful, accurate and quality information. Be a trusted resource and you will increase the likelihood that potential clients will seek your services when they are ready.
Drive traffic from search engines
A regular and consistent blogging schedule increases your search engine ranking and encourages click-throughs to your site. Google loves new content.
Every time you post a blog, you create a new page on your website. Every new page is an opportunity to be indexed on search engines. This increases the likelihood that you will show up in searches. Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages than those who don’t.
Increase awareness of your brand
You can also use your blog to network with other health and wellness experts. This might sound counterintuitive but I assure you, it’s a sound marketing tactic. By linking to an expert, you’re providing your reader with value. If you’re creating great content in your field- other blogs will use you as a resource and direct their readers to you.
This is known as a backlink or inbound link. Google loves backlinks. Backlinks prove to search engines that you are an authority in your subject matter. Backlinko explains that a backlink is essentially a vote from another website. The more sites that link to your content, the greater the chance you have to rank on Google.
Example: A Health Coach writes a blog titled “7 little known reasons you might be exhausted”. In her post, she details the effects of diet on energy levels. She links to a lengthy and in-depth post by you, a nutritionist who’s done extensive research on the link between gluten and fatigue.
The reader wins by having access to quality health information. You because the backlink helps increase traffic to your site. The health coach wins because prospects view her as an expert in her field and a resource for quality information.
Share latest news, products and services
Do you have a new product or service? Write a blog post on the best ways to use your new product or share the latest news from your business. Take the opportunity to link to your products and services from your other blog posts in a non-pushy way like linked text.
How blogging can help your clients
Provide accurate information
Dr Google is a problem for health and wellness professionals. There is an overload of health information online. Not all of it is true. Some of it is downright dangerous. I can’t tell you the number of times someone has told me “I know I shouldn’t google this but…”. Then they tell me they’re convinced they’ve contracted a rare tropical disease despite never having been to the tropics.
Let’s look at this doozy as an example of false health information: Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness site Goop claimed that inserting a jade and quartz crystal into the vagina could balance hormones and regulate periods. Hmm. Mmm. Ok. Science took offence to that and Goop was ordered to pay USD$145000 in penalties as well as full refunds.
Use your blog as a way to show your clients and prospects that they can count on you to provide quality health information. Follow industry rules and regulations. Leverage your expertise to establish credibility and counter the misinformation online. Back up what you’re saying with evidence-based research.
Is there a specific condition or topic that you find yourself explaining to clients over and over? Save yourself the time of repeating yourself and direct clients to a blog post you wrote. Cover all the common questions that come up and make it a great resource for your reader.
Let your client know you
I want to know what a dietician buys at the farmer’s market. Or how a pilates instructor recovers from injuries. Where does a wellness coach go on holidays? Use your blog as a way for potential clients to see what you’re about before they decide to use your services. Share what you’ve been up to and how it relates to your practice.
Blogging pros and cons
Cheap: Setting up and running a blog is relatively inexpensive.
Effective: When done right, it’s an effective marketing tool.
Easy: A blog is not difficult to set up and maintain, even if you’re not technically minded.
Flexible: You can blog from anywhere.
Time-consuming: Although setting up a blog is not difficult, it can take some time. You need to commit to a regular and consistent writing schedule to see results. If you can’t do this you could consider outsourcing.
Uncertainty: It can be difficult to come up with topics to write about.
Not instant: Although blogging is an effective marketing tool, it can take time to see results on search engines. That’s why it’s important to consistently and regularly blog.
Requires skill: Blogging requires good written communication skills. If this isn’t your strong point you may find it challenging.
What to write about
You don’t want to write about just anything on your blog. Your blog has 2 purposes:
- To provide value your reader
- To promote your business
Your blog posts should address at least one of these points.
Provide value to your reader
Think about your ideal client. What kind of questions do they commonly ask you? What do they want to know? Perhaps most importantly – what is a common problem or complaint they have?
Common issues for health and wellness clients could run along these lines:
Money: “Do I really need all these supplements? It costs so much.”
Time: “I don’t have time to exercise.”
Uncertainty: “I don’t know what happens in an acupuncture session.”
How To: “I get shin splints when I run. How can I stop this happening?”
Latest trends: “Is ketosis dangerous?”
Next, address these issues in a blog post:
11 supplements you shouldn’t spend your money on (and 5 that you should).
20 Minute Workouts You Can Do At Home.
Everything you need to know about your acupuncture session.
Shin Splints: How to treat them so you can get back to running.
The keto diet: pros and cons.
Promote your business
Industry updates: What is the latest news in your industry? Have there been changes to regulations recently? How will this impact your client and the services you provide? What can your clients expect from you?
New products and services: Have you launched a new e-book or client program? Let your reader know all about it in a blog post and don’t forget links to your services page!
Make it good. No, make it great!
What makes a good blog post?
Even if you’ve got thousands of people visiting your site every day, it doesn’t mean much if your content isn’t any good. Readers will bounce – take one look and leave.
…and there goes a potential client.
Search engines are smarter than ever and the consumer knows what they want. Up your game and make your blog post content stand out.Your blog content should be:
Original: Search engines love original content. They also penalise sites who duplicate content so make it yours and make it outstanding.
Engaging: A great intro, questions for the reader, anecdotes and a conversational writing tone all keep your reader interested.
Relevant: Don’t lure readers in with a headline about Vitamin C and veer your writing off into veganism. It’s frustrating and your reader won’t come back. Deliver what you promise.
Concise: Writing for the web is different from other writing you may have done before. Lengthy paragraphs and complicated words can put your reader off. Did you know that the average person’s reading level is that of a 13-14 year old? Cut away any fluff words and keep your sentences short and concise.
Informative: Your reader should get to the end of your article with their questions answered.
Accurate: Be prepared to back up claims and statistics with high-quality sources. Your reputation depends on it.
Actionable: Your reader should have an idea on their next steps after reading your blog. This can be anything from being inspired to try a different way of doing things to wanting to make a purchase.
Easy to read: Break up your post with subheadings, bullet lists and short paragraphs. Make sure you incorporate plenty of white space for easy readability.
Visually appealing: Add images to support your point and break up long sections of writing. You can also use infographics, diagrams and charts to support visual learners.
You’ve got your blog. Now what?
Is that it then? Your magic potion to business success has arrived. Start a blog and watch business boom? Sorry to be the bubble burster but as we saw at the beginning of this post – the blog is just the beginning.
Writing compelling, engaging and useful content is step one on your marketing journey. But what good is your amazing article if no one sees it? You need to get your blog out there:
Use it as part of your social media marketing strategy: Share your latest blog post on your social business pages. Learn which social media platforms your ideal clients are using and target those. Be sure to use hashtags to reach a larger audience.
Post at the right time: What the “right time” is, depends on what you’re going for:
If you want traffic, Monday at 11 am is your best time. For comments, it’s 9 am on a Saturday. Post on weekends and in the evenings if you’re after social shares. Consider what you want from your blog post. This post by Co-schedule is a fantastic resource.
Link to your blog in your social media profiles: Example: share an image with a short snippet in an Instagram post and link to your blog in the bio.
Share more than once: Share your blog posts at different times and on different platforms. For popular posts that are still current, re-share every few months.
Email marketing: Send an email to let your list know you’ve published a new blog post or include it in your E-newsletter.
Encourage others to share: Add social sharing buttons to your blog post. When someone shares your post, reach out, acknowledge and thank them. This increases your visibility and is great for networking.Add social sharing buttons to your blog post. When someone shares your post, reach out, acknowledge and thank them.Click To Tweet
Share in online communities: Chances are that you are in some social media groups related to your industry. Answer people’s questions by sharing your blog post with them.
Include links to your latest post in your email signature:
Ask affiliates and partners to share your post: This works both ways as you can share their post as well. Only share content that you think your audience will benefit from. It can appear spammy and annoying otherwise.
If you’ve linked to others in your blog, reach out and let them know. This is a great way to network and they may just share your post!
Paid marketing: This is not necessary but depending on your goals, you may consider advertising your blog post on social media.
Optimise for social media by using:
- Appropriate keywords
- Eye-catching headline
- Accurate meta descriptions
- Relevant image alt-text.
Blogging remains a highly effective marketing tool in the health and wellness industry. It’s the first step in attracting your ideal client and converting them into paying customers.
Blogging is cheap and not too difficult once you get the hang of it. Sure, it may be time-consuming. But if you can produce great content that people want to read, the benefits may surprise you.
The health and wellness space is constantly evolving. There’s no shortage of topics and trends to put your unique spin on. So what’s holding you back?
Do you have a blog for your business? What are your pros and cons? Let me know in the comments.