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Content Creation Opportunities For Shrinks

Writing articles for high-traffic websites can help you grow online presence and your practice.

Content creation is crucial for building an online presence, particularly on your own professional blog on your private practice website. In addition to creating content for your own small website, you may want to start strategically writing for other websites, too. Seek out higher-traffic sites to write for

If the thought overwhelms you, don't stop reading quite yet. Some of the benefits of writing or blogging on other sites as part of your private practice marketing strategy are:

    • Getting more back links to your own site which increases traffic and boosts SEO
    • Increase name/brand recognition
    • More credibility as a trusted expert
    • Opportunity to educate and build awareness of important issues
    • And best of all, you can re-purpose the content and post it on your own website

All of these benefits will help bring more visitors to your website, which will, over time, mean more clients for your practice. It's important to write on topics directed to your ideal client. Write  on your areas of passion and expertise in order to bring in clients that are a good fit for your practice. Writing articles for other websites does take some commitment, but in my experience, it has been well worth the effort.

Consider pitching articles or blogs to these sites:


About.com has different levels of paid contributors: guides, topic writers, and video producers.

Psych Central

If you're ready to make a regular commitment to create and write regularly for your own blog, pitch your passion here. you can also submit individual articles to PsychCentral's World Of Psychology blog.


Sharecare is a health social media site owned by Dr. Oz. You can sign up as an expert and answer questions on a variety of health and mental health questions. Here's my Sharecare page.

Your local news website

Every newspaper and TV news station have websites and I've yet to come across one that doesn't have additional bloggers contributing. Here's an example from my articles on a local Utah news website


The Examiner accepts bloggers based on specific topics and locations. See if they are looking for bloggers in your area of expertise.

Professional organization websites

Check with your professional organization to see if they have a blog and accept articles from licensed professionals. The American Counseling Association has a blog with contributors.


This professional therapist listing site also allows therapists to become "topic experts" on their site and publish blog articles.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the writing opportunities for therapists on the web. My hope was to get you thinking about how to build your online presence and create content that you own and can reuse on your own site.

Do you contribute articles or other content to larger websites? I'd love to hear about your experience. Have you noticed an increase in traffic to your site? What benefits have you experienced writing for big websites?

I've just launched the 2013 Therapist Blog Challenge. Join us!


Boost Social Media Engagement Through Content Curation

I recently wrote a blog post encouraging therapists to start start creating content as a way to boost website SEO, create value, to create backlinks through social media sharing, and to develop your online practice presence. In my consultation and in online forums I've heard private practice therapists express feeling overwhelmed by creating content like blogging or producing videos on a regular basis. That's where content curation comes in.

Content curation means sharing (tweeting, posting, etc.) the very best resources that other people have produced. I suggest that you share 40% your own content posted on your practice website and share 60% curated content through your social networks. Curating adds value to your social media followers, solidifies your practice presence, builds credibility in your practice specialty area, and creates networks with other professionals through sharing their content with your social media followers.

Are you a content creator or content curator? Hopefully, you're doing both.

4 Reasons To Start Creating Content Online

Fast Hands

Creating consistent online content can help grow your practice faster than almost any other marketing or networking activity

According to PCMag.com digital content creation is "The development of newsworthy, educational and entertainment material for distribution over the Internet or other electronic media." It falls under the umbrella of content marketing which is a narrative form of sharing information that speaks to a potential client's need while sharing who you are and the benefits of what you do. Content creation is a way of building trust online and with potential clients by being a valuable resource without asking for anything in return.

Consistently creating compelling and relevant content is the primary reason my private practice has continued to grow in spite of the economic downturn of recent years. Not only has my clinic grown, but since I started regularly blogging, writing, producing videos, and doing media interviews amazing opportunities have come my way. Publishing offers, national media interviews, conference invitations, consulting business, and over 25,000 social followers across multiple social networks are just a few of the incredible doors that have opened to me since I started focusing on content creation.

Here are 4 reasons that becoming a content creator can help build your private practice:

1) Visibility

Posting new content on your own practice website will help your site rank higher in search engines. Creating content for other websites, like guest blogging or interviewing with local news agencies who post the video clip and story online, also provides a SEO boost because it demonstrates that you are relevant and it strengthens your online presence. The easier it is for potential clients to find you online, the quicker your practice will grow.

2) Presence

Because the majority of adults are searching for health information online a strong online presence is critical for growing your practice. A general marketing rule is that it takes about 7 exposures to a brand or product before someone will buy a product or service. Strengthening your online presence makes it more likely that potential clients will be exposed to your "brand" and chose to become your client.

3) Value

Content creation can be another form of community education and a way to provide value to everyone, whether or not they become clients. Content that shares helpful information and answers the needs of people you are qualified to help is tremendously valuable. From a business standpoint, content creation provides an incentive for visitors to return to your practice website for your valuable content, which helps build trust in your services.

4) Credibility

Content allows you to show or demonstrate your expertise and competence instead of just telling someone about it. While I have always been an early internet/technology adopter and I've owned a private practice for over a decade, it wasn't until I started writing this Private Practice Toolbox blog that I became a credible practice building "expert". Creating regular content that meets a need for private practice therapists has allowed me to connect with therapists around the globe and to add private practice consulting as an additional income stream. Largely due to content creation on this blog alone, I have been invited to present to the National Association Of Social Workers on building an online presence, to co-present with PsychCentral founder John Grohol at South By Southwest Conference, and to write the feature article for the current issue of Online Therapy Institute's TILT magazine, and have presented locally on practice building.

Creative Commons License laffy4k via Compfight

5 Tips From My Trip To Guest Post Heaven

How my guest blog post landed a feature spot on Yahoo! front page and 5 things that you can learn from my experience.

Last week I received an email from Anne Krueger, the Editorial Director at Sharecare, letting me know that my Sharecare guest post Empathy: The Secret Sauce To A Happy Marriage was being featured on Yahoo front page in the #1 slot!

By the end of last week my article was featured again on Yahoo! front page as "Popular This Week." As of today, the article has had 6.8K Facebook shares and 468 retweets on Twitter. Yes, I am basking in the glow of guest post heaven.

So, how did this happen? Last Dec. Sharecare (an interactive social media health Q & A platform founded by Dr. Oz, WebMD's founder Jeff Arnold, and Discovery Communications) named me the #1 online influencer making a difference for depression online. They determine the online influencers by calculating influence "including disease-area relevance and online syndication, presence and reach" throughout the past year and "across multiple online channels, including Twitter, blogs, forums, mainstream news and video." (Sharecare)

At the time I was blogging regularly on JulieHanks.com, WasatchFamilyTherapy.com, PsychCentral.com, also contributing to local NBC affiliate KSL.com, regularly going news interviews, and actively sharing content on several social media platforms.

After being named the top depression influencer I got acquainted with some of the folks at Sharecare, including their always delightful and witty Sharecare editorial director Anne Kreuger. I asked Anne if I could start submitting guest blog posts on mental health and relationship topics that might helpful to their readers. Anne has generously published several of my articles on Sharecare's main blog, one of which ended up on Yahoo last week.

What can you learn from my accidental trip to guest blog heaven? Here are 5 things I did right that landed me on Yahoo! front page last week -- my guest blog heaven.

Tip #1 Publish killer content on your own website

Create great content on your own website to prove to "big shots" that you can deliver a good guest post for their readers. Post new content at least once a week on your own blog about your specialty areas and topics of interest to your ideal clients.

Tips #2 Tweet, post, like, & share every day

Share your blog content and other relevant articles on multiple social media channels to build your social media following and reputation as an expert. I share my articles, Q&A's, and website links daily on Twitter, Facebook profile, Facebook pages, Youtube, iTunes podcast, Pinterest, Google+, StumbleUpon, Ning, and LinkedIn.

I've learned that social media sharing is more than just broadcasting information into cyberspace. It's about having meaningful conversations online. I ask questions, respond, and genuinely care about making a difference for good in their lives of anyone who follows me online. Follower engagement (comments, shares, retweets) was a big factor in getting recognized by Sharecare. It still blows my mind.

Tip #3 Create win-win relationships

Consider how you can provide value to the site that you're pitching to, not just how they can provide exposure for you and your practice. Do your research on the website's readership before you pitch a guest post so you can provide something worthwhile to their readers. Nurture those relationships as you would other important professional relationships through an occasional email, tweet or phone call.

Tip #4 Pitch BIG

When you pitch a guest blog post to another site make sure they are A LOT bigger than your own website. Target high traffic sites and appeal to your ideal clients, particularly in your geographic area. You can find out how the site ranks by searching Alexa.com. Remember, that on Alexa a lower score mean a higher traffic and the more desirable it will be to guest post there. You provide excellent content for them and they provide you with additional visibility and visits to your practice website.

Tip #5 Promote the heck out of your guest post

When you land a guest blog on a big website share it everywhere -- social media, newsletters, websites, email, and press releases. By directing more traffic to the site that publishes your guest post you demonstrate your value and your influence. This increases the likelihood that you will able to continue to guest posting for them, which helps drive traffic to your website.

Tip #5 Think long term growth

Did being featured on Yahoo front page directly impact my practice last week? No. We haven't had thousands of phone call for new clients this week at Wasatch Family Therapy. Though this blog post had thousands, maybe millions of hits, it hasn't, and won't translate immediately into growth of my practice. What it does do is add credibility to me as an expert, add more value to my article, and demonstrate that my guest blogs appeals to a wide audience. All of those things are valuable exposure that will help open up additional opportunities over time.

Now, here's what I did wrong. There's NO LINK to my website on the Yahoo article. When this article posted on Sharecare it was accompanied by my author bio which linked to my websites. So, from now on I'm going to request a link at the end of each guest blog article in the text area, and not in a separate author bio. I guess something had to bring me back to earth.

(c) Can Stock Photo

Therapist Roll Call: Can We Peek Inside Your Office, Please?

53/365 Sneak a peekThe physical "space" you work  in says a lot about you. Does your office space appeal to your ideal client? Does it speak about your tastes and preferences? Would you be willing to give other shrinks a tour of your office? Why or why not? Every time a new client comes into my office they comment on my denim couch. It feels cozy and casual, which is how I want my clients to feel when they're in my office. The color scheme of the office decor coincides with our logo and website colors...and that's no accident.

I thought it would be fun to peek into the offices of private practitioners to share ideas and get inspiration. So, if you're willing to let the world (or the readers of this blog) see YOUR office space follow these simple step.

  1. Take a brief video tour of your waiting area and office (2 minutes or less). You can do this with your iPhone or camera phone.
  2. In the video please introduce yourself and tell us what you love about your office space.
  3. Upload your video to your Youtube channel and set it as "unlisted." If you don't have a Youtube channel, it's time you set one up.
  4. Title your video "Office Tour: [your practice name]"
  5. Email me the video link here. Include in the email your name, location, practice name, website link.

I'll feature different office videos in upcoming blog posts with your practice name and website link (this is a free PR opp for your practice & a good excuse to set up a Youtube channel). You'll also be able to embed this video on your own website so potential clients can see inside your office before they meet with you.

Ready, set, go...

Here's a peek into my therapy office Wasatch Family Therapy. I hired a professional to shoot and edit this. Don't worry - your video doesn't have to have music and slick editing :)

Creative Commons License photo credit: The Suss-Man (Mike)