A WordPress Blog for Your Acupuncture Business Website?

November 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Websites

WordPress Post

Acupuncture Business Blog??

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is, Can I use a WordPress blog for my business website?

It’s an understandable question given that I write about how acupuncturists, or any self-employed business owner, can benefit from Site Build It’s affordable website building software.  (Especially since they announced their new “Recession Buster” special of $29.99 per month.)

But WordPress is FREE blogging software, so why have I not specifically recommended it to acupuncturists to use as their business website?  It’s a fair question!   I mean, if you are on a budget (and you should be!) who wouldn’t want a free Internet marketing platform for their business?

Unless… there’s a catch.

Is there a catch?

Okay, so what’s the catch?!

All right, hang on.  I promise to answer your questions and put you at ease so that you can make a very informed decision.  I really want you to understand what’s at stake here and why you definitely do NOT want to jump into a blog without understanding one very crucial piece of the “free” WordPress blog puzzle.

Let me explain a little bit about how I know so much about WordPress.

Ever since I wrote the book, “Complementary and Alternative Marketing: How to Attract New Patients, Market Your Practice, and Generate Passive Income With Your Acupuncture Website”, acupuncturists have been asking me if the easy marketing methods I describe can be applied to a WordPress blog.

I use and promote web building software by Site Build It, mostly because you get incredible training in marketing at the same time that you learn how to create a website.  And since most acupuncturists never receive any training in marketing from their acupuncture college, this education can be a practice saving benefit.  (It was for me!)

But I also understand that Site Build It’s step-by-step website building program is not for everyone. Let’s face it, it’s a lot of work to develop a business plan and learn marketing at the same time that you are creating a website. I know that you want to be an acupuncturist, not a web designer. I get it!

Which is why I personally investigated other methods of acupuncture business website creation, including the free WordPress blogs that are so attractive. (Hey, in case you haven’t noticed, you are reading this article on my WordPress blog!  But it is also connect to my Site Build It website, Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com for a very good reason.  But that’s another story.)

So What’s the Deal With WordPress?

Here’s the deal with WordPress. (Drumroll!)

YES! you can absolutely apply my marketing strategies and passive income generation to a WordPress blog, BUT here’s the catch:  BE SURE TO PAY FOR YOUR OWN HOSTING.

Do NOT use the free WordPress blog available through wordpress.COM where they give you a domain name.

Instead use the free WordPress blog available through wordpress.ORG and purchase your own domain name.

The reason is because since WordPress is hosting the site and absorbing those (minimal) costs, they actually own your domain name and the ‘real estate’ on which your material resides. They can pull down your business blog any time they want for any reason they want. This is true of any free blogging sites, such as those by GoDaddy, Google, Yahoo, and the thousands of other companies offering free blogs and websites.

If WordPress decides they do not like your content or subject matter they can simply delete your entire blog. POOF! It’s gone!  Although WordPress has not censored any acupuncturists to my knowledge, they have removed other blogs from other businesses without any warning or explanation. And they have every right to do it because they are paying for the hosting!

This is the equivalent of you renting an apartment and the landlord changing the terms of your lease. Landlords hold all the cards and you have to comply or move out. Sure, you can take your furniture, but where are you going to put it? You need your own web “real estate” and domain name to ensure that you are in control of your business.

Instead of using wordpress.com, go ahead and get a wordpress blog through wordpress.org (which is still free) and pay for the hosting yourself.

I use and recommend the “Baby Plan” through Hostgator, which you can look at here:

Just click on ‘Web Hosting’ and select the ‘Baby’. You can also start with the ‘Hatchling’ and upgrade to Baby when you are doing more income generation and need some of the features that will facilitate that.

The Baby plan costs $7.95 a month and it is well worth it to own your blog, which means you own your business. Plus Hostgator gives you unlimited hosting so you can get a bunch of other WordPress blogs (through wordpress.org for free) and host them through Hostgator without any additional costs. That’s what I do! Here are some of the other WordPress blogs I have hosted through Hostgator:

You may notice that they all look similar, but that’s just because I like this particular ‘theme’ (design).  There are lots of affordable designs to choose from or you can use the free themes provided by WordPress. (Check out a large selection of functional WordPress themes by Brian Gardner.)

3 Awesome WordPress Resources to Help You Set Up Your Acupuncture Business Blog

Here are 3 awesome WordPress Resources to help you get started.

You may need a little help with the initial set up of your acupuncture business blog (which is why I recommend the easy to follow video tutorials, below). If you have a geeky friend who can help you, this is the time to ask for it. (I LOVE my geeky friends!) Just be sure that you learn how to create your own posts so you can add content. In other words, do not turn everything over to your geeky friends unless they are going to teach you how to use the blog yourself.

#1 WordPress Resource: Burton Kent’s Acupuncture Clinic Websites. Burton Kent, author of, Never Market Again, has a company that builds acupuncture websites for practitioners using WordPress. He sets them up using all the practical applications that are important for a functional business website. Plus he has added some incredible features that are specific to acupuncturists and solo-based providers.

However, Burton makes it very clear that he is not a fan of generating passive income through your acupuncture site. It’s not that he is against it, but he’s not sure it is worth your time. I, on the other hand, believe that passive income generation through your blog is so easy that it is a no brainer! So setting up your income generation is something you need to do on your own (which I recommend anyway and it’s why I have #2 WordPress Resource below).

Burton Ken’ts set-up fees are very reasonable and you will not find better support for acupuncturists.

You can learn more about his website packages here:

http://www.insights-for-acupuncturists.com/burtons-webspecial

Please let Burton know that I referred you!

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#2 WordPress Resource: Step-by-step WordPress Tutorials. I HIGHLY recommend these WordPress training tutorials because they are:

  1. Easy to understand
  2. Affordable
  3. Focus on how to maximize your income generation through your website

If you are using Burton Kent’s website package these are the perfect tutorials to help you set up your methods of passive income generation with easy-to-use ‘plugins’ and instructions.

Learn more about Step-by-step WordPress training here:

http://www.empoweredbusinessentrepreneurs.com/wordpress-step-by-step

This guy really knows his stuff and he over-delivers with helpful tips. The video instructions are clear. If you plan on incorporating a way to generate income through your blog, then these training tutorials are a must.

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#3 WordPress Resource: Educational marketing with your blog. Another option is a service provided by Charles Heflin, who is a WordPress guru and traffic generation genius. If you like the look of moving graphics and are willing to pay extra for the set up, then check him out.

His personal philosophy is geared towards supporting businesses that create quality content and his services are especially appropriate if you are a practitioner who really wants to advance your practice through educational marketing using article writing, video posts, and social media connections like Facebook and Twitter, and bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit etc. This is a great way to elicit interaction and develop a strong socially driven following. You can get started from the gitgo with a powerful WordPress site for your clinical practice that is perfect for monetization and attracting the right patients, customers, and visitors to you.

Learn more about Charles Heflin’s WordPress set up services here:

http://www.empoweredbusinessentrepreneurs.com/wordpress-services

This WordPress package comes with many extra bells and whistles to help you with traffic generation and instructions on how to continue to develop your site. I am currently using his Content Syndication services and I can tell you firsthand that they are POWERFUL!

Learn more about Content Syndication here:

http://www.empoweredbusinessentrepreneurs.com/synnd

All three of these WordPress resources can be used individually or combined, so do not limit yourself to just one.

If you have any questions feel free to Speak Your Mind in the box below and I will be happy to provide answers.

Your success matters to me!

Lisa Hanfileti, LAc
Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com

Does Acupuncture College Prepare You For Success?

February 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Acu Insighter Newsletter

Acupuncture College Graduate

Acupuncture College Graduate

When I graduated from acupuncture college in 2000 and started my practice, there were very few online resources available to help acupuncturists start their businesses. But even if there were a TON of resources, I would not have known to look for them.

I had a few classes on “Practice Management” and I listened intently to a successful acupuncturist give great information about how to get all the paperwork together to run a practice. I do not ever remember anyone suggesting writing a business plan. Maybe there was a recommendation, but if there was, I totally missed it!

Acupuncture college is overwhelming as it is, so when it was time to graduate I was not thinking about taking on a whole new career as a business entrepreneur. So I just kind of ‘fudged’ my way through and tried to do what I thought everyone else was doing. Since I didn’t know the difference between what was good or bad for building a business … I THOUGHT I was doing everything right!

And I am worried that you are out there trying to start your acupuncture practice thinking that you are doing everything right too.

Of course this is also complicated by the fact that you just want to focus on being an awesome healer instead of marketing your acupuncture business. I know… because that’s how I felt too. (In fact, this is MISTAKE #4 that I talk about in “10 Big Mistakes I Made Opening My Acupuncture Practice & What You Can Do To Avoid Them”.)

I do not want you to repeat the same mistakes I made, so please stay open-minded and look for information and resources to help you with your practice. If you are actively looking for help, start with your acupuncture school to see of they have any resources to help new graduates set up their businesses.

The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) started a Professional Development Center to meet the growing needs of acupuncturists starting out in business. This has been a tremendous resource for graduates. I have no doubt that OCOM’s commitment to helping students understand the practical aspects of acupuncture marketing will help new graduates build successful practices.

I am curious other acupuncture colleges? Do you feel like your school is preparing you to be a successful business entrepreneur? Are you ready to learn those skills? If your college offered serious training in starting a small business, would you eagerly attend them? Or are you too overwhelmed with learning herbs, acupuncture treatments, and all the other aspects of Chinese medicine?

Wherever you are in your training and mindset, I hope you know that it’s never too late to ask for help. Look at many of the online resources listed in the “Blogroll” on this site as well as the resources listed on those websites. We are here to help you succeed!

Best Regards,
Lisa Hanfileti, LAc

To Blog or Not to Blog? That is the Question…

January 19, 2009 by  
Filed under News for Acupuncturists

Insights For Acupuncturists

IFA

I have been resisting putting a blog on my Insights-For-Acupuncturists website for some time. It just seems like a lot of work without much reward. And if I am going to do a lot of work, I would rather be adding quality content pages to my website, instead of sharing ‘musings’ on a blog.

You see, that’s my problem in a nutshell! Blogs seem like places to ponder ideas and share whimsical musings and opinions. I do not see blogs as places to put quality information and resources. A website on the other hand seems to have more authority, in the sense that the information appears to be more credible. (Remember, perception is reality.)

But I must admit, I am intrigued by the blogging process and the newer WordPress blogs look really cool. (I especially like the look and features of Brian Gardner’s WordPress Revolution Themes. Plus the guy gives great tutorials for newbies!)

So anyway (I can say that since this is a blog)… I thought perhaps I should step out of my comfort zone and give blogging a whirl. After all, I do see lots of acupuncturists creating some awesome blogs and even clinic websites that are in blog format. So, thanks to to my husband, who set this blog up and told me where to point and click to post my ‘musings’, I will be blogging for acupuncturists in the weeks, months and hopefully years to come!

Insights for Acupuncturists Has Switched to a New Blog Format!

January 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Acupuncture Websites

lisa150Welcome to the new Insights-For-Acupuncturists.com Blog. I’m Lisa Hanfileti and I am learning how to write my first WordPress blog. Wish me luck! (I’m going to need it!)

Friends of mine have been raving about WordPress forever, saying that it is “so easy” to use once you get the hang of it. So I decided to take the plunge. I know lots of you are more adept at blogging than I am, so if you have any tips or suggestions for simple WordPress tutorials and step-by-step instructions, please let me know. Also if you see some mistake I am making on my blog, please tell me. Thanks!

Okay… I’m off to see if I can learn how to upload a video!