Episode 218

Apr 26, 2019

Running out of inspiration for your blog posts? We’ve got ideas! Spoiler alert: you’ll need to think about your niche.

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Running out of inspiration for your blog posts? We’ve got ideas! Spoiler alert: you’ll need to think about your niche.

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Sponsored by: Acuity & The Jojoba Company.


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

Allissa Haines And I’m Allissa Haines.

MR And we’re your hosts. Glad you’ve joined us today. You’re lucky we’re here today because apparently it’s been kind of a crazy morning for one of us. (Laughter)

AH Okay, so the moral of the story is that I almost and accidentally stood Michael up on our podcast recording meeting.

MR I was not worried.

AH He was not worried, but like, you know, ten minutes past our start time — or six min past our start time, pardon me, he was like, hey are we recording? And I’m all like, in the car on the way to the laundromat. So no. No.

MR (Laughter)

AH But Michael, the ever flexible partner was cool with waiting a few minutes. I had a whole password debacle yesterday, and I didn’t look at the right calendars on my phone this morning because everything had gotten logged out of, and then there was like this thing and I was picking up laundry for me and my office neighbor, and I just — and, not for nothing, on top of that, Walt went into work early this morning, which means I had to get the little one to school, so that was a whole different routine for me. So I never opened up my laptop this morning to look at my full calendar because I was, you know, dealing with whatever. I literally — sometimes we have to peel a bagel. Yeah, the little one — he likes the stuff in the bagel, but doesn’t like the outside part of the bagel, so — he’s learning to — he just scoops it out mostly now, but sometimes there’s like a I can’t get this little bit off the bagel peel. And you know what, when you have a kid with sensory issues, you just do it because you need them to eat. So that’s my morning. How are you?

MR Oh, great. I can’t – -well, I can’t count how many times I have been a few minutes late to our recording because of my little one delaying in the morning when I am getting him to school, so.

AH Who are we?

MR I know. I remember like ten years ago, we were not these people at all. (Laughter)

AH Nope. Nope.

MR I like who we’ve become, though.

AH I do. And you know, I like that we have a business that allows us to be flexible.

MR That is true.

AH So for that, I am grateful. What are we talking about today, Michael?

MR We are talking about blog posts. And specifically we got a question from one of our listeners, and the question was what to do when you run out of ideas for your blog posts. They basically said — well, I’ll let you kind of frame the question. But they were kind of looking for ideas on what to do when they ran out of ideas. So how was the question — what is the full question, Allissa?

AH The full question is what do you do when you’ve run out of ideas of your blog posts? And this particular — it’s a premium member — has done all 25 of the suggested posts, blog post ideas, that we have in our — we actually have a post about it and we also did a podcast about it. And I’ll put the links in the show notes. We have a 25 blog post ideas for your massage business website. This particular member has used a bunch of our free content. So when we used to produce a blog post for everyone for free monthly, they’ve gone — they’ve used a lot of those. They use our — now our premium members get a blog post every month. She’s used many of those and is a little bit stuck on what to do next.

So let me just jump into — I’m not going to repeat all of our 25 blog post ideas because that’s not going to help this member who asked the question. But I do want to fill everyone in. They are things like the story of how you got into massage. You could talk about your favorite massage music. You could talk about your favorite massage product.

And yeah, also, I just want to make a note that my alarm, my cell phone alarm, is going off right now because I set an alarm to make sure I picked up the laundry for the office. So sorry about that because my colleague was counting to me to do so and I was afraid I would forget.

MR (Indiscernible) crickets outside my window.

AH Yeah, sorry. You can talk about your modality, the specifics. What makes your modality or your particular massage and approach to massage different? You can debunk common myths. You can answer all kinds of frequently asked questions from your client: Do I have to take my clothes of? Am I supposed to tip you? What if my feet smell? All of these things.

And we created that 25 ideas because we wanted it to spur other ideas, and this member has really taken that and run with a little bit. But we all get stuck after a little while and feel like we’re completely drained. So I’m going to give a few ideas now, we’ll jump into halftime, and then I’ve got some more specifics.

So, one, it’s okay to look at your blog content — go back to your oldest handful of posts and see if they need to be refreshed and made into new blog posts. Sometimes, you know, if you have an article about how lactic acid isn’t actually what causes delayed onset muscle soreness and you wrote that five years ago, there’s a lot of new information in the last couple of years about that. So maybe it’s time to refresh that article and present it as new. There you go.

You can also — to kind of stretch your content, you can take the same stuff you wrote about and create something in a different format. So maybe you can take a blog post and you can make a video of you talking about it with those same bullet points that you made that blog post with. You can take the salient points of that blog post, weed them down into bullet points, and create a video using an app like the Animoto app that you could put still pictures or video behind text. And you could — so there’s a lot of ways that you can use the same content that you’ve created, freshen it up and present it as new, or spin it into a different type of format and use that content. You don’t get to — you can, but you don’t have to just write a blog post and think that it’s done. You can reuse all of that work and all of that foundational effort a few times, many times, in different formats because different people like different types of media and they consume their content in different ways. Some people prefer video, some people prefer blog posts. Some people need lots of pictures along with it. And if you can use that same content and recycle it, but change it — I’m not saying use the same stuff over and over again. But change it so that it is palatable to a different or new audience or that information can be received in a different way that might be more effective, do it, man. That can be really helpful.

What do you have to add in that portion, Michael? Content king.

MR (Laughter) Who dubbed me content king? I agree with all that. I think recycling stuff works really well or — repurposing is sometimes the word people use to take old blog posts and kind of refresh it or turn it into something else. Also putting things together. If you have multiple articles on different topics that kind of go together, it works really well sometimes to do one big mega post where you kind of take the best parts of each and put it together into kind of a full guide-type article as well.

AH That is a really cool idea. And actually, I’ve been thinking about doing that with some other stuff I’ve written in the past. Boy, I like that. Thanks, Michael, I hadn’t thought of that.

MR Yeah. I think the key here is not to — and you’re not suggesting this at all, but just to make sure our listeners know, to me the key is not to just spit something out for quantity sake, but to make sure that it’s something that is truly high quality that you’re teaching, that you really have heart behind.

AH Exactly. So who is our halftime sponsor today?

MR You know it, our friends at Acuity, our favorite scheduling software on the planet.

AH Yay! Thanks, Acuity, for sponsoring us.

Sponsor message They are our software of choice. Acuity scheduling is your online assistant working 24/7 to fill your schedule. No phone tag, you can handle forms before the appointment. You can look and act professional by offering convenient scheduling to your clients that matches your brand and your voice. You can customize the heck out of it. You can get a special 45-day free offer when you sign up today. And you can check that offer out at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

AH All right. Let’s jump into part 2. I’ve got to flip back over to my notes. That was a bad stall, sorry.

So the second post of this what do I do when I’ve run out of blog post ideas is a little bit annoying, and I kind of groaned to myself as I started to make notes about it. But the answer to this question really depends on your niche. And if you have been resistant to thinking about exactly who your target client is and exactly what your niche is, this is one that comes back to bite you in the butt. So in order to come up with more specific and more defined and more quantity of topics to cover in your marketing, you’ve got to think about who exactly are you serving.

So I actually went to this member — the member who asked the question, I went to her website. I’m not going to give all the information out because — I’m not going to be highly critical or anything, but I didn’t ask permission, so. This member has a fantastic website. It’s great. It’s easy to navigate. It’s got a ton of great blog posts. But there’s nothing in here that has told me specifically who she serves. So I think that there’s room for some specificity. So I’m going to just, as an example, say that this particular therapist — who it seems to be concentrates in trigger point work — I’m going to say okay, let’s say they do a bunch of work with — I don’t want to use runners because I always use runners as an example — but let’s say migraine. So trigger point work can be great for people with migraines. So I think if you’re willing to nail down a little bit more specifically and think a little harder about exactly who you’re treating and exactly what you’re treating them for, a whole bunch of other ideas will naturally spring from that.

So let’s say migraines. If you’re treating people with migraines, one, you could write a couple of blog posts, make a video, something with a chart about how massage can help migraine. What your massage does. Why your approach to massage, and specifically trigger point work, can be helpful for people with migraine. You could do a blog post specifically about the different kinds of migraine. You could do a blog post about how migraine is misunderstood in many areas of medicine. You could do a blog post, you know, about the different kinds of migraine, what migraine is, and who it primarily affects. You could do a blog post about self-care for migraine. Or all of the practitioner — I’m totally spit-balling this off the tope of my head, people, but all of the different kinds of practitioners someone with migraine might want to see. So they might want to see — as anyone who has experienced chronic pain issues, it affects your psyche, so we know that for people who have chronic pain, seeking some kind of mental health counseling can be really appropriate. For people with migraine, perhaps seeing a nutritionist can be helpful to nail down the food triggers. For someone with migraine who tends to cycle with hormones, perhaps they need to see an endocrinologist, or acupuncture has been shown to be effective in some cases for hormonal migraine in women’s health issues. You could do an article about those kinds of special — oh, also in that practitioner one, maybe certain neurologists and plastic surgeons are using Botox injections in the occipital area for migraine. So you could do a whole post on all the different practitioners someone with migraine might see.

You could think about all the problems that are concurrent with migraine and how people could deal with them. So nausea issues, dizziness. What are the things people can do to treat those symptoms while they’re trying to conquer what’s causing their migraines and conquer the symptoms so their life is livable? You could think about — I’m just really, totally spit-balling this. What kinds of self-care is most appropriate for people with migraine?

So I think you get the idea here. If you can nail down an ideal client, if you can — and let’s say you’re super resistant to niching for something in particular. You don’t want to just change your whole website to be like I treat people with migraine and only people with migraine. That’s cool. But you can still create a series of posts about each niche. So if migraine is one of the things you do, great. If TMJD is one of the things you do, take these same concepts and think through what could be interesting to someone with TMJD and create a whole series of posts about that and just conquer one at a time. Take three months and make them migraine months. Take three months and make them TMJD months. You could take three months and you could place it just before and at the beginning of training season for runners and do a series on how trigger point work is really effective for people with knee issues or training-related issues or plantar — think of every problem that a runner would have. Or whatever sport’s big in your area. If you’re somewhere where there are lots of cyclists, then this would be appropriate for that population.

So really think through a couple of your ideal clients. And even just think through, okay, what are my five most favorite clients that I enjoy when they walk in the door and I like treating them and what are the things they care about? What can I do that would help them? So for me, I’m treating people with extreme stress and anxiety, and I found they are mostly small business owners and also people with small children. And so I — when I think about what I want to create for my website, it has to be something that’s related to or relevant to such people. So mine includes five activities you can do to chill out with your kid. Because you can give all the self-care ideas in the world to somebody, but if they’re someone with small kids, they can’t do them unless you make them self-care activities they can include a kid with. See what I’m saying?

So that’s one of the upsides to niching, and at least thinking with niching on the brain can help you identify all of these things that are important to your clients and write related blog posts that will bring them to your website, that will improve your search engine optimization, where Google will be like oh, yeah, this is totally relevant to these people and show up in their searches.

Michael, I’m done my rant.

MR Cool. Mind if I add a little bonus tip?

AH I was hoping you would.

MR (Laughter) So one thing you can also do if you are just kind of wanting to just knock around some ideas and just kind of play around, go to Google and just start typing stuff in and start sentences and questions and let Google’s autocomplete give you some ideas. So for example, Allissa, while you were talking, I was just kind of noodling around here. If you’re not niching and (indiscernible) just in general massage stuff, I start typing “how can massage.” And I got all sorts of autocomplete suggestions like how can massage help arthritis, how can massage therapy help migraines, how can massage help plantar fasciitis, how can massage help with stress, with scoliosis, blah, blah, blah. All these different things came up, and here’s the nice thing about it is Google autocompletes the top searches that people are searching for. So these are things that are in demand.

Instead of “how can massage,” I’m going to type in next “how does massage.” How does massage help, how does massage therapy work, how does massage reduce stress, how does massage help muscles, how does massage release toxins. Ooh, there’s a fun one you can have controversy over. All sorts of things. So generalize things by just starting with general questions.

But then if you’re niching — while you were talking about migraine’s, Allissa, I typed in “how do migraines.” How do migraines happen, how do migraines occur, how do migraines start, how do migraines go away, how do migraines affect the body, how do migraines develop, how do migraines affect the brain. All sorts of topics pop up about just migraines. Then you could go back and change the wording. “How to stop migraines”. How to stop migraines naturally, how to stop migraines for good, how to stop migraines home remedies, how to stop migraines when they start. So all sorts of variations on that.

You can go super, super deep and super detailed. And the key to some of this stuff is when most people write articles for their website, whether it’s a blog post or a video or a podcast topic or whatever, they don’t go deep enough, and therefore they run out of ideas because they don’t go deep enough. So it’s pretty easy to write generalized articles that are like hey, how does massage therapy help stress? You know, that’s fine, okay. So whatever. But can you deconstruct different elements of that topic and pick one element of that topic and then go super deep into that topic. And if you can, you can repeat that over and over because every topic has more layers you can peel back and go super deep into an element of that topic.

So the deeper you go, the more high value your article is going to be because it’s something that no one else is probably writing about, and you’re never going to run out of ideas. So see how deep and how specific you can go, and that’s a really good way to never run out of ideas.

AH Brilliant.

MR So there.

AH Yeah. Thank you. Because you said what was kind of in the back of my head, but you said it a lot more elegantly, so thank you.

MR Well, I’ve got a second bonus tip too.

AH Oh, my gosh. Bring it.

MR (Laughter) Second bonus tip is don’t overthink it. Don’t stick to your focus area too much sometimes. This is very, kind of like, totally against the advice you probably just heard, which is hey, go super deep in this niche. But also have fun with it and write about stuff just off the wall sometimes.

AH Oh, like five great places in your area to go for a walk.

MR Yeah, exactly.

AH Five favorite lunch restaurants. All those kind of things. Be– remind people that you’re part of your community. Or like — I’m just going to throw out things in fives. Five other small business owners I want you to meet. And that could be a really nice way to instigate some cross referrals too and to just be friendly.

MR Yeah, don’t make it all about massage or about your area of focus. Don’t make it all about that. Make it about anything you want. Talk about your cat, you know. Sometimes — maybe somebody out there wants to hear about your cat, and if so, maybe they’ll become a client. (Laughter) Maybe not, but you never know until you try.

We’ve had — this is episode 218 of our podcast. So somehow — I like using ourselves as examples whenever we can. Somehow, we have come up with 218 topics to do a podcast about, and we have not missed a single week ever since we started back in 2015, not once. And you know what, it’s because we don’t always overthink it. Sometimes we’re like, you know what, we don’t have any questions coming in this week, nothing that really strikes our fancy for some really cool, meaty topic, so we’re just going to talk about something fun that we just happen to care about. And you know what, every time we do that, someone out there tells us it helped them. So have fun with it too.

AH Truth.

MR That’s it. That’s all I got.

AH That’s all. That’s all I got, man.

MR (Laughter)

AH I’m worn out, man.

MR Love it. All right. Well, thank — that was a great question from our listener, so thank you, thank you for that. That was a lot of fun. With that, hey, we are all set for the day. Thanks everyone for joining us today. We appreciate it. Reminder, our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com. Check us out online. Consider joining our premium member community if you have not already. There’s a ton of great benefits to being in that community, one of them being our office hours, which we hold a few times a month where we hop on a video conference and we help each other by sharing best practices and answering questions. I think it’s one of the most fun part of our premium membership among other stuff. As well as we also do a monthly free blog post you can use in your practice. So every month we offer you a template blog post that you can download and you can customize to your hearts content. So if you never want to run out of ideas for a monthly schedule, just join up and we’ll give you an idea every month and we’ll give you a fully written article that you can just copy and paste. So have fun with that too.

If you have a question or a comment or any kind of topic you want to bring up for us in a future episode, email that to us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com, and we’d love to hear from you. So until then, have a great day, thanks, and we’ll see you next time.

AH Bye.