I'm a massage therapist with decent writing and technical skills. I'm considering a blog for marketing and educating clients about massage therapy. As a first-time blogger, what's the best way to approach this project?
New Feeling Therapeutic Massage
As someone who has published a blog monthly since 1999, I understand the purpose of the blog you are suggesting -- assuring you and your practice remain top-of-mind when clients need massage services. For the marketing-oriented blogger, start with two key elements: audience and content.
You need to know your target for a couple of reasons: how will your blog get in front of them; and what are their needs/interests (which leads to content).
I like to "push" blog posts to a core list -- literally sending them the posts. You could do something similar by sending a link via Twitter or Facebook, but all should take the reader to your website (or Facebook page) where you can tell the rest of your story -- and book a session. Eventually, if you have good content -- your blog may have its own traffic flow because of pass-along from your core readers.
Engagement with your blog comes from delivering content of interest to your current and potential clients. While people who blog their stream of consciousness all day can create a following, they aren't interested in selling a product or service -- just promoting their big thoughts.
As a marketer, you need to create valuable material about your area of expertise. In your case this should be about massage, but may extend to related topics such as relaxation or aromatherapy -- which you may not be selling, but that add to your credibility as a go-to source.
The biggest question for many new marketing bloggers remains: how often should I post? Many believe posting every time you have something to say is a good practice. I find that after a while, that strategy leads to fewer and fewer posts. Commit to a schedule -- once a month, week or day, but stick to it. Just make sure when you write, you have something to say worth reading.
Mike Porter, Ed. D., Director, Master of Business Communication Program University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business