Episode 192

Nov 23, 2018

Allissa shares a TON of ways to generate blog posts for your massage practice website. This will get you ready to finally start that blog you promised yourself you’d start next year. You’re welcome!

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Allissa shares a TON of ways to generate blog posts for your massage practice website. This will get you ready to finally start that blog you promised yourself you’d start next year. You’re welcome!

Sponsored by Center for Barefoot Massage and The Jojoba Company.


Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by the Center for Barefoot Massage. The Center for Barefoot Massage offers Ashiatsu continuing education classes across the country. They focus on a unique blend of anatomy-driven, game-changing, career-saving “FasciAshi” courses that will “toe-tally” empower you to provide massage techniques with your feet. With this alternative to wearing out your fingers, wrists, and shoulders, they’ll work to invigorate your career and enhance your quality of life. And it all starts from your foundation: your feet. Visit massagebusinessblueprint.com/barefoot to visit more and sign up to win a free day of training. That’s massagebusinessblueprint.com/barefoot.

Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I’m Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines And I am Allissa Haines.

MR We’re your hosts. I’m out of breath because I discovered when I started the intro, I was halfway through exhaling, and I ran out of breath almost at the end of that. [laughs] So I did not prepare well for the amount of words I had to speak in that breath.

AH [laughs] And I am — I was just telling Michael, I’m on a tripped out old computer because my primary computer is in the shop, and I’ve got half-working USB ports and we’re trying to deal with good sound and good internet connection and it’s pretty much — and I’m in the middle of two days of pre-Thanksgiving madness because I’ve got all my clients for the week in on Monday and Tuesday because the rest of the week I’m out. So we are just —

MR So we are barely functioning.

AH — struggling today. And yet it’ll all be okay. Michael, what are you guys going for Thanksgiving? I know that when this airs, Thanksgiving will have happened, but what’s your plan?

MR Yeah, yeah. Going to the in-laws. Ariana’s parents are in town, like they live in town, as in 20 minutes away from us, so we’re going to their house. And my mom’s coming up. So just a quiet — not really quiet because my mom is not quiet, but like a small, intimate gathering of family for Thanksgiving so. We’re going to have gluten-free pumpkin pie for me, so that’s going to be the highlight of my day because pumpkin pie is my favorite dessert.

AH There are so many gluten-free crusts now, too.

MR Yeah, yeah. Should be fine. I’m looking forward to it.

AH So we’re doing a gluten-full Thanksgiving.

MR Awesome.

AH Because nobody in my house likes the regular Thanksgiving thing, so last year we did make your own pizza.

MR Oh, I so wish we were doing that. My in-laws are all about the traditional turkey stuff, so I envy you with your off-the -wall Thanksgiving food.

AH So this year, we’re actually doing a bagel bar because the kids really like bagels and there’s an amazing bagel shop near us that’s going to be open on Thursday. So we are going to get the baker’s dozen of a variety of fresh bagels, and the kids’ll just do regular — Liam really likes blueberry — or I think Sanne really likes blueberry, Liam likes plain, and he’ll just, like, eat the bagel as is. Sanne likes a little butter, maybe some cinnamon sugar, but I’m going all out for the grownups and getting full-on cream cheese, lox, onion, capers, tomato, the whole bit, the whole lox bagel bar. And I’m really, really excited about it.

MR It sounds so much better than traditional Thanksgiving stuff.

AH And I usually use a little bit of goat cheese on mine because —

MR Oh —

AH I can’t do regular cream cheese.

MR I love goat cheese.

AH One of my clients — my 7 a.m. client this morning told me about an almond-based, fake cream cheese that is actually good, so I’m totally going to go to Whole Foods at 10 o’clock tonight when I finish work and get some of this fake cream cheese that is supposedly really, really good.

MR That sounds lovely.

AH So that’s enough of that. I’m glad we both have good holiday plans and that’s why we’re recording so early in the week to get this done so we can all take some time off.

MR Right on.

AH I hope everybody else has some time off. What’s our topic today, Michael?

MR Our topic today is blog post ideas for massage therapists.

AH Yay.

MR A great topic for wrapping up the year because a lot of our community, I know, is kind of talking about setting up their blogging schedule for 2019. Some people are committing to starting blogging in 2019. So good timing on this, I think.

AH So let’s take a — I didn’t prep Michael for this, but, Michael, people have been talking about blogging for a long time and a lot people just roll their eyes and they’re like I’m not going to write a blog. I want to start by pointing out that a blog does not need to be written content. It can be pictures, it can be video, it can be — it doesn’t have to be (break in audio) thing — it could be bullet points. It could just be listicles. It could be anything. But why might someone want a blog post on their website, Michael?

MR Sure. Great question. The first reason that popped into my head — there are two of them. One is it is a resource you can use for sharing with your clients, information. I like to think of it as if you have the same question you answer over and over, wouldn’t it make sense to write it down and just hand it out or make it available or at least have a reference you can send as a follow up? That’s what a blog can do. It can give you a reference library of material that you can send to clients, use in marketing, help them to learn things like self-care that go with the massage treatment. So it’s a great resource. And then, two, it’s really good for helping your website get found in search engines like Google. It’s not magical. It won’t automatically happen depending on how you do it, but blogging can go a long way toward helping your Google visibility and your Google ranking get higher. Those are two great reasons. There are other reasons, but those are the two main reasons I think of usually.

AH Yeah, and it seems like such an overwhelming task to write a blog. And it can be an overwhelming task to get started. But once you start rolling, it’s a great way to, again, get those Google search rank stuff up — I forgot the words there — to get that up and to also just to have content to share with your clients and potential clients. So in an email, if you’re always like I know I need to send a regular email, but I don’t know what to put in there, a blog does double-duty as email content and information that lives on your website that will improve your search rankings. It’s also just a really great — like Michael said — a really great resource. If you meet someone out in the world and they’re like oh, you’re a massage therapist, do you work on rotator cuff issues? and you’re like yeah, as a matter of fact, I’ve got a whole blog post on how massage can be helpful for rotator cuff issues. Would you like for me to email that to you right now? Would you like me to text you the link to that blog post right now? And then you’ve been helpful, you don’t have to do a hard sell with let’s schedule an appointment — though, you know, sometimes that’s appropriate and you should say that. But if you’re a soft-sell kind of person or you know this person’s on the fence, you can just text them a link to that blog post, and then they’re on your website, they think oh, my goodness, this person knows a lot about rotator cuff injuries, I want to schedule an appointment. And handy dandy enough, there’s a big schedule now button all over your website where they’re reading this blog post, so it becomes this really nice subtle marketing tool and it makes it easier to market yourself without feeling sales-y because you’re helping someone without necessarily trying to sell them massage, although selling the massage is often a byproduct of that.

But the big hurdle here is what do I write about or what do I video about or what do I do? And legit that’s scary if you’ve never done this kind of stuff. If you failed English, if you were never good at essay writing, this can seem really overwhelming. So the first thing I want to tell you is that we have a bunch of starter template blog posts for you at massagebusinessblueprint.com. Go to the website, click on the top of the website where it says “Free Stuff”, and you’re going to see a whole bunch of free stuff. You’re going to see — we used to create content that we put out every month and we’ve got like four years’ worth, like 48 blog posts in there. Some of them will be appropriate for you; some of them will not be. If you don’t do rehab massage, then the article about massage for people who had knee surgery is not relevant to you. But there are probably a hundred others — or at least 47 others — that might be helpful starter blog posts to you that you can take and use on your own website. You customize a little bit so it sounds like you. You put your own links to your own scheduling page in there. But they are a really nice way to start.

I have to say I just redid my website in the spring and when I had the information transferred over, I didn’t have every old blog post transferred over to the new site; I had just the really great ones that I had found most useful. And then I went back into the four years of free content and pulled — hand-picked some more of my favorites out of there, customized them to be right for my massage practice, and now I got a big, fat chunk of blog posts on my site that only took me like half a day to do because I was putting pre-written content that I just had to edit and customize. So know that. First of all, I’m not saying that you have to sit down with a blank page and paper and start teaching yourself how to write blog posts from the beginning. So let that overwhelm just wash over you, and then take a deep breath and look at the free resources that will make this a lot easier to get started. So that’s the first thing.

And the second thing is I want to talk though some really easy, basic ideas for blog post content. Because we always sit down and we’re like what the heck am I going to write? And I promise as you start doing this more, blog post ideas will come to you anytime anybody asks any kind of questions. So the most obvious things are the questions people usually ask you. So I’ve never had a massage before — or I had a massage on vacation, but it hurt. Does your massage hurt? You can do a whole blog post on that — answering that question. You can do a whole blog post on what to expect for your first massage. And that’s a really easy one because you can just walk through all the things that happen when someone comes into your office for the first time and all the common questions that people ask. Do I have to take all of my clothes off to get a massage? What kind of music do you plan during your massage? Am I going to be sore the next day? Answer those questions just as you would if you were sitting and talking to somebody. If you have a really hard time writing, record yourself doing your standard verbal answer and then type that up and spiff it up a little bit so that’s it’s more blog form. Or do a video of you — or an audio file of you answering that question. You don’t even have to write. Seriously, all of your blog could be entirely video content and that would be okay. So the basic stuff — things everyone always asks you over and over again.

All right I’m going to give a few more ideas — I’m going to give a bunch more ideas. The story of how you got into massage, or the story of the first massage you’ve ever gotten. You can talk about your favorite — so that’s one idea. Another one: your favorite massage music and why. And also any great experiences you’ve had with clients bringing in their own massage music.

You can take about your favorite massage products. You could do a whole blog post — and I’m also going to stipulate here, blog posts don’t have to be 3000-word feature articles like in a magazine. They can be 300 words. They can be three paragraphs, or less if — and I’ll give some examples of that. It doesn’t have to be a whole, long thing. It can be super, super short. You can talk about your favorite massage product. I’m thinking about doing a whole blog post on why I love to end a massage with Pure Pro’s peppermint pedango cream for the feet; I usually end with that. I have done blog posts — I’ve got to freshen one up and get it back on my website, but I’ve done blog posts about why I use the products I use: why I use jojoba, why I use Pure Pro, why I don’t typically use any oil on the face, and it’s very, very short. It’s like three or four paragraphs that’s like I love using these products because they’re soaking into my skin for twenty-some hours a week and they don’t have any of these particular preservatives I try to avoid and I find they don’t have — clients don’t have an allergic reaction to them. I’ve never had that experience. Or they’re all nut free so I don’t have to worry about allergies, so you’re safe when you come to my office.

You can talk about the best or worst massage experience you ever had and why it was great or why it was terrible. You could share a self-massage technique. Once of my first blog posts was just a video of me sitting at my desk and demonstrating the neck and shoulder stretches that I show people who work at desks. It’s a thing I was doing over and over again to clients in my office. I would be like okay, try stretching this way at work a couple times a day and see if that takes the edge off your neck pain. And I decided to just record myself doing it one day and that was one of my very first blog posts. It might have even been my very first video blog post.

You can describe your approach to a health issue. So if you deal with a lot of TMJ or you deal with a lot of fibromyalgia, you can say here’s how I tend to approach this issue with massage. I’ve found this, this, and this to be helpful. I’ve found that massage might not be helpful for certain clients and here’s why. And you can even tie that in to referring out to other practitioners for whom you may have gotten better results. I’m thinking about doing one on peripheral neuropathy. I’ve had a couple of really great experiences with clients who have peripheral neuropathy from chemotherapy. And over the course of six or eight moths, we’ve gotten really great return of feeling in the hands and feet, specifically in the clients I’ve shared with the acupuncturist here who’s worked on the same thing. The client’s that we’ve seen in combination have had a really great result so we’re thinking about doing some cross promotion based on that and one of those things will be a blog post.

I’m going to take a moment to talk about our halftime sponsor. Michael, who is our halftime sponsor today?

MR Jojoba!

AH Yay, jojoba.

MR I took a big breath so I had plenty of breath to say that one.

AH Oh, bless you. You clearly were not like a performance singer. No, you’re a concert cellist. So —

MR I am a cellist. Although I did singing back in the day. I was in show choir. I did the singing-dancing thing. I should know better.

AH All right, we’ll talk about that another episode.

MR Sure. [laughs]

AH And I’ve already mentioned jojoba in this episode and specifically because it’s non-allergenic, and I want everyone to be reminded of that. This is great for massage therapists because we can use it on any client without the fear or the client having an allergic reaction. So if you’ve got a pregnant client with a nut allergy, you don’t have to worry because jojoba doesn’t have any of that junk in it. It is non-allergenic. It is the closest thing you can get to the skin’s natural sebum. So it’s non-comedogenic. It won’t clog pores. If you’ve got a client prone to acne breakouts, jojoba’s not going to cause that reaction or make it worse, and it’s going to rinse clean off of their skin. So those are the two big things I wanted to tell you about today about jojoba. And we just love The Jojoba Company. You can find out more at massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba, J-O-J-O-B-A.

MR And I love their Facebook page today. They posted a picture that says “winter is coming” — with the Game of Thrones guy, and it says “winter is coming; the jojoba is solidifying.” And it says “tis the season; simply place your jojoba in a warm room and it will return to its liquid form.”

AH Yeah, and it can get hot and cold and hot and cold and solid and liquid and solid and liquid over and over again without going rancid. So if you live in a funky climate or your oil or your lubricant storage is in a cool place, its not a problem. So yay. Double win on jojoba.

All right so hopping back to blog post ideas. One of my favorites is to list local business that you patronize. So a handful of years in a row, I ran a blog post around this time of year, in November, that was my favorite things. My favorite local business. And I would list the café I go to a lot, the coffee shop, the dinner restaurant, my car guy, whatever. Any and every local business that I like to frequent, I would just make a blog post of these are my favorite local business and I think you should do a lot of your holiday shopping here, and here’s why. And it was really short. You know, I’d say, I love my car guy at Robert’s Automotive because they treat me with such respect, which is a big deal when you’re a woman going in to have your car fixed. I have always found them to be fair and accurate in pricing whenever I’ve compared prices and they talk to me like I’m a human being and not like I’m an idiot who doesn’t understand my car. And when I need them to dumb it down for me, they do, and they do so respectfully. I don’t feel like I’ve ever been taken advantage of there, and I love their service. And ditto that. I go to so-and-so breakfast place and this is the thing I normally get and the service is great and you should tell them I sent you. And ditto that for any small business that you patronize in your neighborhood. And then you can send an email to each of those business owners and be like hey, I just wanted to give you the head’s up I gave you a shout-out on my blog and on my website and I hope you get some business from this. And it’s good because it helps you make another business friend, too, if you haven’t already made friends with the owner.

You could make a list of healthful or positive or if it’s your target audience has people — pardon me, has people with children, family events coming up in your community. You could post — you could share their Facebook events, but you could also just make a list of what’s happening in your community in the next month for families and that would be a regular, monthly thing you could do.

You could debunk a common body or massage myth. So if you don’t do work that causes people soreness and you don’t think that’s a great approach, then you could say here’s why I don’t think you need to feel sore to have an effective massage. You could talk about what’s on your medical history form and why. At one point, I think I had a post up talking about why I ask people about their medications. Because I have a history in pharmacy, I can articulate that pretty well. But also if you do a lot of work with people with diabetes, maybe you need to tell them why you’re asking about — if they have diabetes because it’s going to inform your work, timing of the massage, using hot or cold on extremities or anywhere. But if you work with a particular population, you could talk about things you need to know and why that’s on your intake form, and that makes you look really good.

Again, some of the most frequently asked massage questions. People ask — they used to ask, especially earlier in my career, where did I go to massage school? Do most people take their underwear off? How often should I get a massage? Do you ever get clients whose feet smell? All of those things people ask — their curiosity factor about massage. Answer those questions on your blog posts, on your blog, and make it so that people who — and the whole idea of this is making it so that people who’ve never met you can read through a couple of blog posts and feel like they know your even before they schedule a massage.

Talk about an ailment or an issue that you treat well. If you’ve got good results for people with TMJ, use your blog to talk about that. Talk about why you yourself get massage because you want to walk your walk. You can talk about what licensure and certification are like in your state or town and what it means and why it matters if you feel like it matters at all. You can talk about your scope of practice, why you don’t recommend supplements to people, or maybe talk about if you’ve got in-depth aromatherapy training, why you feel comfortable using aromatherapy in your treatment because it gives you a chance to talk about your training.

And that’s it. I mean, we’ve got a ton of free content and we also have a blog post about 25 blog post ideas for your massage business website, which I will post in the show notes of this episode. But I think you get the idea, and I hope that this has taken a little bit of the edge off. You don’t have to write a 3000-word article on all of the research of massage for fibromyalgia. That’s not what a blog post has to be. This is not a journal. It is a bit of information on your website to help someone get to know you and your massage practice. Period. And it comes in a lot of different forms. I’m done, Michael.

MR Awesome. Very thorough.

AH Thank you.

MR And this — I think this was implied, but I just want to add that a blog is not a place to sell your services. I mean, occasionally, it can be mildly promotional. But really, as has hopefully become clear by Allissa’s examples, a blog is for educating, not for selling. So it’s not a place for your specials and your marketing stuff, it’s for educating and teaching. I mean, it can be for whatever you want, but the education is what really works.

AH Word.

MR Word. All right, we good?

AH We’re good.

MR I like it. By the way, I wanted to — I would also be remiss if I didn’t say that these same ideas could also apply to podcasts as well.

AH Yes, they could.

MR You know we love some podcasting. So that will wrap it up for today then. A reminder you can visit us online at massagebusinessblueprint.com. A lot of free stuff there as well as our premium member community, which as it so happens, also comes with a monthly, free blog post — or included blog post per month as a premium member. So as a premium member, you actually get a super high-quality, very well-written, extremely professional blog post that you can literally copy and paste onto your website and just tweak if you want to. And they are absolutely amazing. They are so well-written. So if you want to use that once a month for your monthly blog post, join as a premium member and start using that. It’s awesome.

Aside from that, if you have questions for us, you can email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. We love all feedback, love notes, hate mail, suggestions, topics for future episodes, we’ll take it all. We read it all. So thank you for that. And again, thanks for joining us today. We will see you next time.

AH Bye.