Many wellness practitioners are eager to blog, at least in theory. After all, you’re passionate about helping people be healthier, and you have a seemingly endless stream of ideas and suggestions.
So what happens between idea and publication that trips up so many would-be wellness bloggers? Let’s look at five bottlenecks that can hinder a wellness clinic blog, so we can turn that frustration back into enthusiasm.
Developing a blog post
What’s the difference between words scribbled on a post-it note and a finished post on your clinic blog?
A polished, readable and effective blog post includes an appealing title, sub-headings and/or lists, a photo, an introduction, a conclusion, and an invitation to action (also known as a call-to-action or CTA).
Bottleneck #1: Not having the time or confidence to complete every step in the blog writing process.
Publishing the blog post
Are you at the mercy of the web developer who created your site, or can you easily go in and make your own updates?
Having access is one thing, having confidence and know-how is another. Headings and lists must be formatted correctly, as do photos and links, and you may need to fill in other details that will help search engines find your post.
Bottleneck #2: Not having access or technical knowledge to get your post to appear properly on your website’s blog.
Promoting your posts on social media
I don’t recommend mass-posting the same message across all your accounts, or automatically blasting out the blog post title and link as soon as you publish a new post.
Instead, write tantalizing teasers for each of your social media accounts that compel people to click to read your blog post.
You can pre-schedule these messages to save time, but if you completely automate your social media activity you will turn away the people who want to engage with you.
Someone must consistently monitor those accounts and reply to comments and people who’ve shared your content. Otherwise you risk ignoring valuable contacts and letting social media stack up until it becomes an overwhelming task.
Bottleneck #3: Not having a system in place for monitoring social media notifications on every platform.
Coming up with new blog post ideas
It happens to the best of us – you or your other contributors may lose steam for the blogging process, or get caught up with the busy-ness of clinic life.
Or short-term situations like travel or a family crisis may have to take precedent over writing new blog posts. This can halt your blogging progress and form a hump that can be very difficult to get over.
Approving post submissions
“A bottleneck in a process,” explains the career site MindTools, “occurs when input comes in faster than the next step can use it to create output.”
You want people to feel excited about being part of the clinic blog, and valued and appreciated for their contributions. If there is a long wait time between submission and publication, your contributors’ excitement will fade.
Bottleneck #5: Not leaving enough time for the clinic owner to review and approve all contributions, OR not delegating this responsibility to someone else.
The MindTools team suggests there are two ways to unclog a bottleneck: increase the efficiency of the bottleneck step, or decrease input to the bottleneck step.
As long as the posts are focused on the right topics, I’d never want to limit the number (“decrease input”) of blog posts someone writes. You can always pre-schedule posts for future weeks when you will inevitably run out of steam again.
Instead, let’s look at efficiency. MindTools recommends we “remove activities from the bottleneck process that could be done by other people or machinery.”
Much as we small business owners like to think we’re as invincible as machines, we do need to delegate, assigning “the most productive team members [sometimes that’s not you – it may even be me!] and technology to the bottleneck process.”
For example, Wunderlist is a productivity tool that syncs across all your devices. It is an ideal place to jot down blog post ideas on the fly, and you can even assign a date and reminder for when you will develop the idea into an outline.
Even though you have an abundance of useful and creative wellness solutions, ideas are not enough. The blogging process includes several specific steps that must flow freely for you to share that wisdom with your current contacts, or have it discovered by new fans and clients.