The reality is, if you want to generate clients online then you are going to have to write and/or produce audio and/or video content.
It’s virtually impossible to get your coaching website to rank without publishing a steady stream of high-quality content.
Some new coaches freak out at the thought of having to come up with original ideas.
If you’re one of them, you really shouldn’t because there are lots of different options and I’m about to share 12 of them with you.
First of all though, a word of advice.
Whenever you have an idea, ffs write it down!
I’m old school (euphemism for just old) so I have a black hard-backed journal that I use to jot ideas in.
A lot of my ideas come from questions asked or comments made in the Coach the Life Coach Facebook group.
However, they also come when I’m watching movies, reading books, talking with a client or walking the dogs (then I do use my phone).
My memory struggles to scale the heights of mediocrity so I know I’d forget most if I didn’t write them down, and you probably will too.
Note: If a client says something that triggers an idea I won’t write it on their notes, but say something like ‘That is an awesome idea for a newsletter, am I ok to make a quick note please?‘.
No client has ever said no or looked irritated/annoyed.
If you get a warning message when clicking on a link to my life coaching site, A Daring Adventure, you can safely ignore it. There’s a problem with an old theme it’s not been compromised or risky in any way. Just click on the advanced settings and then the link.
1. Personal Stories
Personal stories are the single most powerful post a life coach can write.
They allow you to build rapport and connection very quickly and people will be able to relate to you more easily.
Talking about how you encountered issues similar to those your clients face and how you dealt with them effectively can quickly build credibility and trust.
And they are two things that are crucial if people are going to hire you.
- You have a lifetime of material
- People can relate to you more easily
- They can be used to demonstrate your authenticity and honesty
- A finite resource
- Can appear self-indulgent if every post is about you
- Probably not wise to blog about issues you’re currently struggling to deal with!
2. Other Stories That Don’t Include You
Maybe you stumble across an amazing story of some other person who overcame major adversity by sheer belief and determination.
Or, she made some major breakthrough when the odds were stacked against her.
People love stories about others overcoming the odds.
It can be a family member, a friend or even a celebrity.
Although I think the lesser-known the person the more people can relate to it.
I could sit here all day telling you stories about Richard Branson and you’d probably be thinking, “Yeh but that’s Branson, it doesn’t apply to me.”
If on the other hand, I tell you about my next-door neighbour who overcame a ‘terminal’ illness when the doctors had written him off, that would probably grab your attention.
- An entire world of stories to at your disposal
- A constant flow of new material courtesy of the news and social media
- Can be great for generating comments and/or shares
- People don’t relate to you as much as the person in the story
- More research necessary than stories about you
- It’s easy to tell stories like the Harvard Goal Setting experiment often cited by Brian Tracy that are apocryphal and not realise it
Note: It’s also ok to write fictional stories, in fact, I think the best post I have ever written was made up.
3. ‘How To’ Posts
Not much explanation needed here.
All you are doing is instructing people on how to undertake some element of self development.
When writing about self development I was guilty of sometimes forgetting that not everybody knows how to reframe, meditate or set goals and as such fail to remember I may have useful information to share.
Don’t worry about writing the occasional post that you think is obvious because there will be plenty of people who think it’s pure gold.
- Very easy to write.
- Loved by people who want to know how to do whatever it is you’re talking about.
- Can be very SEO friendly when you use titles like How Can I Become Happier? as there will be people typing in that exact search term into Google.
- Will likely get side-stepped by people who have no interest in the subject matter
- May appear condescending if not carefully thought out
- Can be tricky to make entertaining
Example: How Do I Stay Committed To My Goals
4. List Posts
There are entire sites that only post list posts and they often generate high levels of traffic.
I’m sure you’ve seen blog post titles like, 7 Ways To Be Happier Than A Cat In A Cream Factory, 10 Secrets You Didn’t Learn At Law School Because You Were Stoned All The Time and 101 Celebrities Worth Following On Twitter If You Have Nothing Better To Do With Your Life.
I have had 4 list posts (3 of which were on quotes) go viral, with one generating close to one million page views, causing my host to shut my site down multiple times because I was in danger of crashing the server.
- The most likely posts to go viral because people love to share list posts
- Easy to scan for the reader
- Very easy and usually quick to write
- They often lack real engagement and rarely generate valuable comments
- Don’t really demonstrate your ability to coach
- Can inflate your site bounce rate and thus impinge on your SEO (check out this post on SEO if you’re unsure what that is)
5. Video Posts
Not sure you need an explanation here.
You think of an idea, loosely script it out and then deliver it to camera.
Of course, you can also do audio and you can also then transcribe the entire thing and use that as a post.
- Allows you to talk directly to the ‘reader’
- Can help with building rapport presuming you’re not wooden and awkward.
- Good SEO benefits, especially if you also transcribe
- If you’re not relaxed you’ll not inspire confidence
- Can be time-consuming, especially if you want to edit, add intros, outros etc and cannot afford to outsource
- You MUST get the sound right as this will have people turning off/stop watching quicker than bad video
Example: How To Reframe With NLP
6. Interview Posts
There are always people launching books or products who want to be interviewed.
I almost never turn down the opportunity to be interviewed because it’s free and easy access to an entirely new group of people.
I have a good friend who interviewed the entire cast of The West Wing on the final day of filming for his radio station.
Little did they know he had an audience of a couple of dozen people!
- Can be written, video or even just audio like a podcast
- An almost limitless supply of people waiting to help you out.
- You can learn as much as your audience
- Not always easy to get people to watch/listen/read unless it’s somebody that they particularly like
- Can be time-consuming finding people
- You will get a lot of rejection to begin with if you have small audience
Example (kind of): An Interview With Robin Sharma
7. Review Posts
You read a book and then write a review of that book
Or, you take a course and offer your opinion on its efficacy
Or maybe you buy a related product and tell your readers how you got on with it.
What could be easier?
- You can use affiliate links and maybe make some extra cash (just make sure you declare that you are being paid)
- You can (often successfully) ask for advance copies of books and free access to courses and products
- You can buy books, attend courses and order products guilt-free and claim it back against your tax!
- It can detract from the enjoyment of the book, course etc having to take notes
- It’s tricky writing about stuff you think sucks if you have a bad experience
- It’s hard not to look like you’re sucking up when you totally love something
Example: Barking Up The Right Tree
8. Special Offer Posts
Maybe it’s late July or in the holiday period between Thanksgiving and the end of the year and things are a bit slow.
Well, you could always do a special offer and generate a few new clients.
I have done this to excellent effect many times, especially in my first 7 or 8 years of coaching.
- You can bring on new clients and also sell more products or services when things would normally be quiet
- You can make more people aware of what it is you do
- It will help you hone your copywriting skills because in essence, you are writing a sales page
- Usually a very low level of engagement and comments dry up (I often close comments on such posts)
- Google usually doesn’t like them because they are time-sensitive
- May upset some of your readers that you’re actually trying to make a living!
Example: Amazing Life Coach Training Offer
9. Research & Factual Posts
There are certain blogs I used to subscribe to purely and solely because they offered factual information around coaching/neuroscience etc, rather than opinion pieces.
As such, I occasionally wrote a post off the back of new research.
Or even old research for that matter.
- Many people like to hear about new breakthroughs
- Can help build your authority as an expert
- Will help generate social shares and comments
- You need to do your due diligence and to make sure what your writing about is correct
- You need to ensure you credit the sources
- More care in writing the post needed than for say, list posts
Example – 30 Amazing Facts About Your Brain
10. Controversial Posts
Oh baby, have I exploited these in the past to great effect!
Some people aren’t comfortable writing controversial material, but I love it.
So if you cannot stand the thought of maybe coming under attack (and you will), don’t write them.
Their entire purpose is to polarize people.
- May lead to a LOT of engagement in the comments
- Can generate a lot of social media shares
- Will really root out the people who get you and belong in your tribe
- They may annoy some people
- If done too often and without humour, you can come across as whiny and a bit of a malcontent
- Will result in people unfollowing you and/or unsubscribing (but hey, they just weren’t for you anyway)
Example: The Law of Attraction Is A Con
11. Case Study Posts
This is an area I have neglected and have probably not written more than 2 or 3 in 15 years of blogging
- Will help you demonstrate your abilities as a coach
- Can allow you to sell your services in a totally unsalesy kind of way
- Are often really interesting if done properly
- Can take a very long time to write
- If the coaching process doesn’t go as well as you had hoped it was all for nothing
- You will need the agreement of your client
Example: Backlinko – Link Building Case Study
12. Link Bait Posts
I really don’t like linkbait posts and I have probably only written two or three in 15 years, but they can be very effective.
A linkbait post is usually where a blogger with a smaller following will ask other more established bloggers for advice she can then share with her readers.
I had a request recently from a blogger who wanted to know what my 3 favourite productivity tools are.
I have no problem helping bloggers out by responding and they will always offer a link back, but here’s the rub.
There is normally a tacit expectation that the person offering advice then shares the post with their social media followers.
This is why the posts are often called link bait as they are set up to attract inbound links.
Having said that, they can be useful.
On the very rare occasions, I have published them like the example below, I never expect nor anticipate help promoting them.
- There’s not much to write, just come up with a question that will intrigue people and then an intro
- You may get an ‘A’ list blogger to pimp out the post and bring in an entirely new (and much larger) audience
- As the name suggests, you may pick up some super valuable inbound links
- They can come across as sycophantic and inauthentic
- Most big bloggers won’t help with the promotion because there is very little in it for them
- Requires you do a potentially time-consuming outreach that will involve emailing people or contacting them via social media and then waiting
So there you have it.
Of course, some posts will cut across more than one category and you could end up with a post called, ’10 Top Bloggers Tell You How To Tell Stories About Yourself On Video’.
You also have the opportunity to use headlines that may seem counter-intuitive to the reader and make them curious.
When I wrote ‘7 Reasons To Avoid Meditation’, it was very tongue-in-cheek but it generated a lot of interest.
Now you don’t have the excuse that you don’t know what to write about, do you?
Do you have other ideas I’ve missed (and I’m sure there are some), if so, please let me know in the comments?