I recently met counsellor and hypnotherapist Susan Leigh and when she told me about the articles she has written and the opportunities they have brought, I knew this was a perfect case study for this blog.
Here’s Susan’s story:
Before August 2009 if you would have told me that I would have had nearly 800 articles published on the web I would have smiled in disbelief. Up till then it had never occurred to me to write anything that might be read by others, let alone complete several hundred articles.
And yet, since that time I have had articles published on national and international websites and in publications, been interviewed by several newspapers and magazines, written regular columns, seen my first book published and appeared on BBC TV and on several radio shows.
How has this all come about?
In August 2009 I went to a network meeting and during a conversation with the organiser asked how I could inexpensively promote my business. He replied, ‘write articles and put them on your website’. I had never thought of this, but I went away, wrote my first article and then repeated the process. I have never looked back.
I found that after writing several articles the challenge became to find new ways to motivate myself and write fresh content, to pick titles that might be of interest to read. I started writing articles on specific themes like hypnotherapy, counselling, guilt, divorce, stress management, bereavement, sometimes producing a series of articles on each topic.
As time went by emails started to arrive, requesting permission to reprint articles on various websites, saying that I would be accredited, or wanting to include an article in a book. Some sites wanted me to write for them and I was contacted by several journalists who interviewed me for features in a variety of magazines and newspapers. Quite a few requests came from overseas; Australia, US, Scandanavia, one was from the national newspaper of Cuba!
In 2012 I wrote an article on mixed and arranged marriages after a conversation with a friend at the gym. That article led to me being contacted by the BBC and asked if I would appear on the panel of a Sunday morning discussion programme. Of course I said ‘yes’.
Then later in 2012 I received a telephone call from South Africa, asking for 86 copies of my book entitled Dealing With Death, Coping With the Pain. This was the title of an article I had written, not a book. However, he was insistent about wanting a book so I went away, worked 24/7 and dispatched it to him within a month.
Since then the book has sold well, especially to funeral directors who find it helpful for their bereaved clients. I have been featured in and written articles for The Journal, their national magazine. Radio 5Live and several other stations have invited me to appear on panels to discuss bereavement, loss and the book.
I have learned that it is important to write about subjects that I am familiar with, like hypnotherapy, counselling, stress management. Here are some of my top tips.
– Write in a niche that you feel comfortable with and establish a brand identity in that field. Be wary of subjects you’re unfamiliar with.
– Be generous and give away help, tips, information rather than just delivering a sales pitch. That way people will look out for your articles and be interested in what you have to say. You will become someone they trust to provide quality advice and guidance.
– Write regularly and put your articles on your own website first. Allow others to print them so long as they agree to provide a link back to your site. Don’t stress too much if they don’t.
– Keep a notebook handy at all times. Ideas and inspiration can appear unexpectedly, like when you’re drifting off to sleep or having a coffee with friends.
– Some people say that it’s important to allocate regular time for writing. That doesn’t suit me. I prefer to write when I feel so inclined.
– Use keywords in your articles, words that you want to be found by, that relate to your business. For me that might be hypnotherapy, counselling, stress management.
– Include a call to action, as in ‘if you want any more information/ if you have any questions/ want to buy a copy of my book, please contact me’.
And above all else, enjoy what you’re writing; your enthusiasm will shine through.
Susan Leigh is a long established counsellor and hypnotherapist who works with clients with relationship conflict, stress management, assertiveness and confidence issues. She works with individual clients, couples and in corporate environments.
Her book ‘Dealing with Death – Coping with the pain’ is a self help book that helps the reader cope with the emotions, grief and distress caused by endings in many life situations. The loss of a loved person, animal, relationship, career is often a devastating blow that this book helps the reader deal with.
To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit http://www.lifestyletherapy.net