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May 09, 2022

Blog Writing Best Practices for Mental Health Clinicians

5 minute read

Provider Resources

Written by

Alaya Levi Salley avatar

Alaya Levi Salley

6-minute read

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just getting started, blog writing is an exciting opportunity for all mental health clinicians.

Blogging is an opportunity to build your personal brand and establish credibility in your area(s) of expertise. It gives you a platform to educate, inform, and engage potential clients, and establish yourself as a leader in your field. 

Your private practice can organically grow through patient referrals and marketing, and blogs can help you connect with potential clients who want to learn from you or receive care.  

Blogging also allows you to tap into your creativity. You can advocate for causes and legislation that are meaningful to you, and parlay writing into speaking engagements, training, and other opportunities to increase your income. 

During a recent event, Spring Health Providers and subject matter experts explained the benefits of blog writing, how to blog for Spring Health, writing best practices, and how to promote your posts. Read on to learn the five key takeaways.

What is a blog?

A blog post is a written piece that covers a specific topic or answers a question. It usually ranges from 800 to over 2,000 words, and is informative, educational, and actionable.  

Know your audience

Before you start writing, think of your audience and what they care about most.  Remember to use language that will resonate, and choose topics that will answer their questions or provide a new perspective. 

For example, if you are writing a blog post for individuals considering or seeking therapy, it’s best to explain clinical terms and write in straightforward language. 

If you’re writing for an HR/business leader audience, you may want to cover topics like how to discuss mental health at work or how leaders can create a more supportive work environment. 

For example, in this article one of our Spring Health Providers talks about how to provide meaningful support to employees during the Ukraine War.

If you are writing for other mental health clinicians, focus on topics that make you feel connected to your peers, or areas where your colleagues may need more support or information. 

As an example, this blog by one of our Spring Health Provider Leads talks about eliminating barriers to care for families.

Start with an outline

Your outline is a roadmap to where your blog will start and finish. Like any story you tell, there is a beginning, middle, and end.

  • Beginning: Write a compelling lead-in sentence to grab your reader’s attention, and use the first few paragraphs to ensure they keep reading. You can share a personal story, pose a question, or provide a unique perspective. 
  • Middle: Use three to five key points to explain your perspective and prove the premise of your post. It’s ideal to make this section actionable and ensure the reader knows how to apply this new information.
  • End: Summarize your key takeaways or explain the difference your perspective makes. Conclude your post with a call to action—the next step you’d like your reader to take, like reading another blog post you’ve written, leaving a comment, or scheduling a consultation or their first session with you.  

For our Spring Health blog, we always want employers and HR leaders to walk away with the information they need to create a mentally healthy culture and better support all their employees.

Writing best practices

These tips can help you write an effective article and ensure your audience finds it.

Write scannable content

Most readers are actually scanners, skimming content for the information they need, and no one wants to read a block of text—they’ll skip right over it. 

Keep your paragraphs to a single point, which usually happens every two to three sentences. Add subheadings every three to five paragraphs, and use lists and bullets to create white space whenever that makes sense.

Do your research

You’ll almost always be writing from your expertise for our Spring Health blogs, but it’s still great to do some additional research and support your ideas with credible quotes and stats. 

Always use recent research, within the past one to two years, and source with hyperlinks, not footnotes. 

Use inclusive language

Of course, always use inclusive language, person-first language. These Inclusive Language Guidelines may be helpful to review.

Read your draft out loud

Proof reading is essential. After you’ve finished your draft, read through it out loud. This will help you quickly identify anything that doesn’t flow, missing transitions, and run-on sentences.  

You can also ask a colleague to review your post before publishing.  

Promote your blog post

Blogging doesn’t end with publishing your post. You have to promote it to make sure your intended audience finds it, so they can learn from it. 

Social media is the best way to promote your piece. Leverage the platform you use the most and where you have the most engaged connections and followers. 

Here’s a brief description of each:

  • LinkedIn is where professionals go to connect, share, and learn. This is the best platform to promote your blog and attract new clients, while also reaching more people through what you’ve written.  
  • Twitter is built for sharing information quickly, and it’s a great place to promote your blog—in 280 characters or less. 
  • Facebook is an excellent platform for sharing your blog as well. It’s more geared toward family and friends who are likely very interested in what you’re writing and sharing. 
  • Instagram is the least blog-friendly platform.It’s centered around photos and you can’t include a clickable link to your blog post in an Instagram caption. 

Just get started

Any reader—from potential clients and other providers to business leaders—can benefit from your perspective. Megan Muzychka Tryon, MSW, LCSW is a Spring Health Provider who shares this sentiment. 

If you’re new to blogging, this is an opportunity to communicate in a different way and enhance your skill set. 

If you’re already a seasoned blogger, this is your chance to reach a wider audience, and help more people with your expertise. 

Interested in writing for Spring Health?

If you’re a current Spring Health Provider, please reach out to our Provider Operations team for more information.

If you’re a clinician who currently does not work with Spring Health, please complete this interest form.

About the Author

Alaya Levi Salley avatar

Alaya Levi Salley

Alaya Levi Salley, MPH, is a Product Marketing Manager at Spring Health. She supports the provider marketing growth strategy and helps build a narrative of the Spring Health care team for employers and health plans. Alaya has a decade of experience serving government, corporate, and nonprofit entities.