A recovery blog adds value to your Substance Abuse Program’s website and should deliver the valuable content you offer with care and concern.
Maybe you’re on the fence because you fear a recovery blog will add to the workload to your daily schedule?
Does your recovery blog need to deliver the message that you need to build the connections your treatment center needs to fill beds? Maybe you already have tried to publish a blog, and it failed miserably due to time restrictions, too tired of writing quality content worth reading weekly, or perhaps you didn’t stick to your calendar and readers never took an interest.
There are many reasons for shying away from starting a blog for your substance abuse program’s digital marketing. Many of the purposes stated above are legitimate concerns, creating real-life and time issues. Fortunately, the pros of having a blog outweigh the cons.
Blogging is a powerful tool that can help your treatment program gain recognition, build authority, and engage your audience towards connecting with your substance abuse program philosophy and mission.
A recovery blog helps your program in many ways, but remember, it takes time dedication, and consistently being present to produce quality content.
Before you begin creating a recovery blog, you’ll need to answer some questions that will shed light on the reasons why you want to blog.
- What are you planning to achieve with your blog?
- Are you dedicated to write consistent, quality blog posts?
- Do you have the time to put into nurturing this slow process?
If you answered no to any of these questions, you should stop entertaining the idea of a blog because a recovery blog is not some shiny object you’re creating because your competition has one. It’s not the part of your website where you can showcase your quality treatment program.
It’s okay not to understand how a blog can help a content marketing strategy. That’s why you’re reading this post. This post will outline all the questions you have about purposing your blog as a tool to drive your content marketing.
For those of you who are ready; roll up your sleeves and let’s get at it.
- Some of the points covered here:
- What a blog is
- How is blogging relevant to your treatment programs online presence
- How to be seen in a noisy digital world
- Misconceptions about blogging
- The importance of having a blog on your program’s website
What’s a blog? And why a recovery blog is relevant to your treatment program’s content marketing.
It’s 1994, and Justin Hall first refers to his homepage as his “personal homepage. In the ‘77, the term “weblog” related to “logging on the web.” In 1999, Peter Merholz sliced the ‘we’ from the term and “blog, ” and the blogosphere was born.
The1990’s was when the blogosphere was first born, daily journals or personal opinions reigned as its primary purpose. The power of having a regular online journal allowed people to be creative and write about their passions. As platforms changed, journals turned to conversations, and people began to interact through comments, follow links to further reading or information, and the ability to join a blogger’s community.
Now, some professional bloggers have influenced the worlds of finance, parenting, technology, business, or blogging with their blogs — people blog about all types of passions and desires. As we progress into the future, it is evident that blogs will become even more vital to how a business deals with its customers.
Today blogs help readers solve challenges, gently nudge them into the marketing funnel, and create emissaries for your business.
The blogging doesn’t seem to be slowing down either. In 2013 there were 192 active blogs on the internet. A running count of blog posts published in the last 24 hours shows that on Sunday, the 10th of December at 7:58 AM EST there were 1,611,146 blog posts released to the internet and at 9:04 Am EST there were 1,996,106 posts published to the web. The average is 5,833.5 blog posts published every minute. Worldometers.info, Sunday 12.10.2017 AM/ EST
These numbers are here to illustrate how busy the blogosphere has become, since the early 1990s. I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan your blog strategically, so it serves its purpose. Leverage your blog to illustrate your authority in the field. Build authority with your blog by publishing consistent, valuable content for your readers.
How does blogging help your program’s visibility?
With endless streams of income added to marketing online and Substance abuse treatment, you need to work smarter to be seen and build connections with an audience. How can your treatment program get recognized among the monopolies which have grown on the back of the heroin epidemic in America?
You can cut through the noise and hype of the large corporation’s substance abuse program’s marketing with a recovery blog. Around 80% of the traffic that comes to your site is a new visitor. When your blog is consistent, helpful, and written in a conversational style and empathetic tone, you will capture the attention of unique visitors and keep them coming back for answers.
Some facts about B2C blogging from Hubspot:
- Companies who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to be seen and found in the digital platform.
- It is easy for a person to research your company through your blog
- When your SA Program has a blog, it will receive 97% more links to its website
- People are 5x more likely to believe information found on blogs than other places on the internet
Before I get into how your blog can be a vital tool for your audience and content marketing strategy. There are many myths about blogging that you need to understand. Believing myths and generalizations can cause bias, fear, and insecurity about a blog’s effectiveness. In other words, fear it will just be a money pit that doesn’t serve a purpose.
Nonetheless, here are some common misconceptions about blogging:
A blog is a quick fix that immediately gets visitors to your site.
Blogging takes time, a thorough plan and thoughtful strategy. The process can be slow, but when nurtured just like engaging clients into the idea of sustained recovery, the results are magical.
A blog doesn’t sell your program.
Do not use your recovery blog as a platform to convert readers into treatment or grandstand about your treatment successes. Many times your readers are not those that need treatment. Seriously when a person is trying not to get drunk or high, are they going to be reading your blog?
This idea doesn’t work. If you are trying to hit the mark for consistent publishing of material, you need to speak to a steady audience of persons. Figure out who you are talking too and write your blog to those persons. You can always segment your blog, so each category caters to different personas.
Publishing a blog post is the final process.
Researching, outlining, writing, and editing your blog post is just the beginning. Sharing the job on your social networks is the step that exposes your blog post and its purpose. It’s simple, really if you follow a process.
About comments: you will need to reply to the post so you can start to build rapport and a bond with the reader who took the time to post the comment. Of course, you need to follow a blog process to write consistent blog quality blog posts.
Adam Connell at blogging wizard writes, “The truth is that no matter how much time and effort you put into writing your blog posts, clicking publish is just the beginning.”
Lastly, the idea that the more blog posts I share, the more readers and potential clients I’ll get into treatment.
Your blog can be a tool to engage readers with the idea of treatment. Your blog is more of a tool to build trusting relationships with an audience, offer value and tips about early recovery, and over time, it will be a lead generating tool. I cannot stress enough the importance of consistency.
Consistency is vital to keep your blog in front of the reader and on their mind. NEVER, give up quality for quick publishing. It doesn’t matter how many people read your blog if the words are not engaging, transparent, and providing quality service. Filling your blog with unoriginal fluff and advertisements will fail. Another point about lacking quality is your readers might feel that your blog mirrors your facility. I cannot stress enough that you need to figure out a strategy and stick to it religiously.
Why is having a recovery blog on your website relevant?
1. Build Authority
Blogging consistently and daily overtime will position your SA Program as an authority on the interwebz. Readers will come to your site to get answers to delicate questions that fear to ask friends and colleagues. Let’s face it, even though the surgeon general claims there are nearly 21 million people in the USA living with addiction today, there is still a stigma behind substance abuse. It’s so much easier to find answers on the internet and remain anonymous.
What can you blog about to build authority?
- Give quality advice to family and friend about how to help a loved one suffering in the throes of addiction
- Convey coping skills and outline new therapies
- Inform readers how to use Narcan or destroy the stigma surrounding methadone
- Uncovering further research
- Keep readers up to date on current drug waves and trends
The list is endless. Pick a few topics that are relevant to treatment at your program and set up your treatment program’s blog.
2. Establish Rapport with your recovery blog
As you build authority, you are also establishing rapport with your readers. Your reader will warm up to you through style and tone. Answer questions about your reader and write to that audience. A blog to a specific audience. Build friendship by writing posts tailored to the reader with honesty and integrity. In this relationship, you create allies.
Remember, sometimes the person reading your substance abuse programs blog might not need treatment. He might not be suffering from the affliction of the disease, but he can become an influential advocate promoting your recovery blog’s message. Your blog needs people that resonate with your message to warm up to you and share, like, and comment on your posts. The more one advocates for your blog, the more peoples eyes you’ll get in front.
Advocates are your non-paid referrals to treatment, and everyone knows how important word of mouth can be to your program.
Advocates might be friends, siblings, or parents of clinicians, Doctors social workers, judges, or lawyers working in the field, recovering addicts or alumni of your program. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they do because they are your subscribers and readers that promote your blog posts to the world.
3. Start conversations with blog posts, calls to action, and comments.
Once you understand your blog’s audience, it is vital to speak with them through posts and comments. How they found you are not always necessary, but you should try to find out what works to get new users to your site. More about that another time. What is important is keeping these readers on your website and getting them to come back.
You do this by having conversations with your reader with your posts. See your reader as a person and speak directly to her. Talk with her in comments, answer her questions, support and ease pain, give her hope by being present and available. Generate new blog posts by watching comments and questions on previous blog posts.
Generate comments from your reader by asking relevant questions about the post.
A Call to Action merely nudges the reader to where you want her to go. Remember, you are not always trying to force a reader to pick up the phone and call your intake officer. In your blog, you are providing answers and solutions to your audience. A call to action could be just a simple question to generate responses and comments. Using a call to work at the end of your post builds engagement.
Every post has to offer value and help ease pains. For substance abuse program’s blog, you can
- arm the audience with valuable information about the disease
- help the reader recognize warning signs of relapse
- inform about overdose
- and answer cries for help through well-developed blog posts that speak to her and her pain.
Know your audience
Not only will you speak to those suffering from the disease. Your blog can answer questions and help recruit a team of clinicians and doctors who feel aligned with your mission and philosophy. Your blog needs to reflect what views and safe practices of your client-centered treatment program. Blogging about the interventions and modalities, treatment practices, and the beliefs of your substance abuse program will influence new clinicians to desire to work for your treatment center.
Take time to decide who you want to send your message too. Be unique, so your readers are excited to come back each time you publish a new post.
4. Your substance abuse program’s recovery blog is the center of your digital community.
Design your blog to build trust and authority among your readers. After a reader spends some time on your blog, he might warm up to your program and enter treatment or share your valuable information with others. Intimately knowing your audience allows you to build a community with your blog in the center.
Besides building relationships, your substance abuse program’s blog can be used to provide your audience with relevant information about new treatment modalities, outpatient offerings, or sober events happening in the community.
In a community, there is a common focal point where people go to get the information needed to accomplish a task. It could be to find fun events happening over the weekend, learn how to attend a specific community training, or to get the relevant information needed to enjoy life in this community or to stay informed.
Look at your blog as the central element in your digital home. Let your blog posts provide relevant information your audience needs to succeed. Stay focused on this central theme and build a community from this point forward.
5. Recovery blogs importance is to initiate change.
Your substance abuse program can initiate change in your readers. When choosing the tone and style of your blog, remember to speak to your audience with care and concern. Remember to stay consistent with the tone and style of your blog.
Write from a place that is friendly and light-hearted, yet continue to build authority. Knowing your audience makes this goal more achievable.
When you create your recovery blog’s strategy, categories, and purpose always look for ways to speak to your audience’s persona. Thoroughly researching the combined personas of your audience will ensure that you deliver the content that is most relevant to your audience.
When you are delivering the proper content to your audience, you can position your blog as a way to initiate change in your readers. When you are in the business of selling personal change and recovery, it is essential always to meet clients where they are at in the recovery process. The same holds for your blog.
One way in which you might choose to set-up your blog is by using categories correlated to the stages of change. Once your blog is set-up, you can write content that is relevant to each different stage of change.
Final thoughts on your addiction recovery blogs importance
Now that you understand the value a blog can provide, it’s time to delegate a person to develop your blog strategy. Take the time to decide voice, style, and tone, so you can have conversations, that build rapport and trust. Be present to answer questions concerning your recent blog post. Be present and give it to your audience. I never said it was going to be an easy task; Overtime with proper planning your blog will become influential.
Blogging is telling your brand’s authentic story. Build authority and reveal your humanity to your reader. Your substance abuse programs blog answers questions, reduce anxiety, and fear about recovery. Establish a bond and a connection with your audience. Your blog is a vital part of your content marketing strategy; it delivers your relevant content and nurtures your audience to your philosophy.
Determining the style and tone, defining the mission and value provided to your audience, and consistent writing valuable blog posts can be exhausting, primarily when you’re already spread so thin. It is safe to say that if you are omitting this piece from your content marketing, you are leaving money on the table.
Have you thought about starting a blog for your substance abuse program’s content marketing?
Have you abandoned your blog prematurely because of time constraints or lack of response?
Send a message so we can talk about outsourcing your substance abuse program’s blog.
Stop leaving dollars on the table.
And- Start building long-lasting relationships.
- The History of Blogging
- Blogging Wizard: On Social Sharing of Blog Posts
- Blogging Stats from Worldometers
- Hubspot blogging statistics