Are you wanting to expand your network and reach more people with valuable information?

Are you stepping into thought leadership and want to speak more at conferences?

Do you like writing but you haven’t known exactly how to get it out there?

Blogging is a great way for a psychiatric practitioner to diversify their daily grind of seeing patients without the pressure and stress of always needing to do journal submissions.

Plus, it’s often a different audience that’s reading your material. Journals attract technical readers, whereas blogging can attract a wide variety of colleagues, patients, community members and more.

Another reason many practitioners start off with blogging is that it’s a great way of building a large readership without a ton of effort.

And if your practice doesn’t quite have the specific patient population you’re wanting, it’s another way to attract more of the types of patients you would love to treat.

But in order to get to have readers that can find your blog you need an email subscriber list or else your blog will sit in cyberspace without a following and you probably don’t want that if you’re putting in the time and energy to write.

So, here are 12 tips to get 1,000 email subscribers in a matter of months:

1. Write. Write. Write.

Oh and write some more. Blogging is a creative endeavor just like any other form of expression. You’re only going to engage and grow your list if you have consistent and well-crafted material to keep them interested in. Two blogs a month that are roughly 500 words in length is a good starting point.

2. Multimedia Campaign

Even though it’s technically a blog, don’t be afraid to use images, videos, short posts, personal videos, clips of interviews to drive traffic to your blog. A multimedia-based campaign will attract the most people to your website.

3. Social Media

There are many other ways to attract traffic to your website, but the place where nearly everyone spends time online is social media. Post your blogs in relevant sites such as your facebook newsfeed, any groups that allow posts, LinkedIn Publishing, Twitter, basically any social site that you like to spend time on and your intended audience likes to spend time on. But don’t force it.  If you don’t enjoy spending time on the site, you’re going to have a hard time keeping your account up-to-date.

4. Paid Advertising

It matters. And it’s very cheap for advertising a blog if you do it correctly. I recommend starting with boosting posts on Facebook. As a benchmark, you want to get your cost per click in the .14 to .18 cents range. Read up on setting up a facebook ad. You need to get your audience right or you’re wasting your money.

5. Guest Blogging

It’s a slam dunk if you can get your article posted on a big readership such as Huffington Post or Psychology Today. You could easily drive thousands of readers to your website in a matter of days if your article goes viral on a big site.

6. Converting Traffic

Now that you’ve got traffic coming to your website, you need to collect email addresses. Without email addresses you have no list. This is where the opt-in form comes. The opt-in is that form on a website where you can subscribe to a list to get future blog posts, offerings, etc. I’ll break them down into parts because they all matter.

7. Mobile Opt-In

On a mobile device, if you can convert website visitors 2 to 4 percent of the time to email subscribers you’re in some really good territory. And it’s not easy to do. You need a laser targeted offer, like a free guide that has “7 Steps to Falling Asleep at Night.” Without a giveaway, you’re lucky if your opt-in rate will be in the .05 percent range. And at that range you have no readership.

Next, make sure your opt-in is in all the right places. If building a list is really part of your strategy, it’s important to have an opt-in before every post, after every post, and on the general website. I know it might seem like a lot, but if you’re going to enter this world of wanting to reach a large audience to write to, then you need to give them enough opportunity to sign up.

8. Desktop Opt-In

As a psychiatric practitioner, do this mindfully. If you plaster your website with opt-in forms, you will lose credibility. But if you don’t put them in the right places you’ll be lucky if you get one email subscriber a month. The highest converting opt-in form is using something like exit-intent technology from a company called opt-in monster. It forces a pop-up window for your opt-in form when you are about to leave the site. It’s needs to be super classy if you’re going to do this. But if you do it right you can convert desktop visitors in the range of 10 percent or more. And many of these people are potential patients.

9. Opt-in Form

The form itself matters more than you think. It needs to be sleek, attractive, colorful, classy and have great copy that speaks to the website visitor. Remember, you are a psychiatric practitioner so everything has to be aligned with the service you provide, the mission you are on, and your intent to provide something of value.

10. Solidify Your Brand

Your expression builds momentum. However, if you express yourself in a chaotic way with inconsistent themes, teachings and ideas you won’t build a following. This is why branding is so important. Branding essentially represents your outward appearance to the public about the services you provide. The more you focus, refine, and express your deepest insights, the more people will flock toward you wanting to receive your message.

11. Forget About SEO

SEO is search engine optimization. This is how search engines like google ranks websites and web pages. Relying on people finding your blog article based on google searches is a losing battle. Even if you get your blog ranked in google for a keyword it’s unlikely it will stay there very long. However, your blog has a secondary benefit for SEO which is more important. A heavily visited blog with lots of content will help the overall ranking of your website.

12. Be Controversial

If you’re truly being yourself, some people will love what you write and others will not. We can’t please everyone if we are truly unique. It’s extremely difficult to build a readership and stand out amongst the millions of other people writing online unless you’re willing to say things other people aren’t willing to say about mental health and illness. So, be ready for criticism and even an occasional hate mail. And also get ready for a bunch of new fans who absolutely love what you have to offer.

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