In an increasingly competitive healthcare industry, medical professionals can immensely benefit from blogging.
A blog is essentially an online journal where you can share credible information with your audience and bolster your authority. Today, many SMB’s run a successful blog to connect with their potential clients.
Why does your clinic need a blog?
According to a survey report published on Pew Internet, around 62% of smartphone owners use their phone to look up information about a health condition.
With more than half of your prospective patients seeking healthcare information online, a blog for your clinic helps you gain many competitive advantages, such as:
- It helps you establish your authority in front of your potential patients.
- It helps you market your professional skills and services
- It helps you connect with a new audience and generate more popularity.
- It helps your website rank higher on search engines and boost your ROI
Dr. Natasha Burgert a popular paediatrician from Kansas City is a staunch believer of physician blogging and, in fact, has an active blog to influence her patients. She believes her active dialog with her patients influences their healthcare decisions.
Indeed, healthcare professionals can explore umpteen possibilities by engaging with their patients through interactive blogging practices. As a physician, it’s an effective approach to extend the outreach which is otherwise limited to only visiting hours.
How to start a blog about healthcare?
Starting a healthcare blog is much less daunting that it may sound, especially with the following blogging tips:
Choose a Blogging Platform:
Establish Your Goal:
To start, establish the goal of your blog and its topics. The objective of your blog could be anything from sharing health tips to sharing your experiences with your patients.
However, you want to keep it limited to the area of your practice in order to make your topics relevant to your audience. It will also help your blog stand out and be seen as a specialized authority for reliable information.
Keep it User-friendly:
While the content of your healthcare blog is the key to your blogging success, its design is no less important. You should aim for a clean and responsive design that has a user-friendly site structure to help your visitors navigate your site easily.
For example, the Cleveland Clinic has a very clean and minimalist design that focuses on being user-friendly and accessible.
Avoid using Jargons:
Your audience (mostly non-medical professionals) may not be very familiar with medical parlance. You might want to use plain English to drive the message.
There are some very useful online tools such as AtomicReach and Readability Score which lets you test the accessibility of your blog when it comes to language.
Focus on a single topic per post:
Focus on the goal of the post while conceptualizing it. You want to keep it simple and easy to understand for your audience. If you cram a lot of information into one blog post, it can become overwhelming for the audience. Aim to focus only on one topic per post.
Engage with Readers on Social Media Channels:
While the information on your blog is reliable and definitive, you can boost its outreach via social media. In fact, a blogging strategy is incomplete without social media channels.
You don’t need to tweet 50 times a day, but you should inform your followers when a post goes live. Don’t forget to reply to their queries at a specific time of the day, which can help increase your outreach to a greater extent.
Bonus: This can help you generate more ideas for future posts!
Blog with Caution:
While blogging allows you the freedom to express yourself and grow your outreach, as a healthcare professional, your responsibilities are much higher than a normal blogger.
Always stick to the doctor-patient code of ethics or HIPPA regulations while blogging.
David D. Perlmutter, a professor in the KU School of Journalism & Mass Communications, has designed a Special Hippocratic Oath for medbloggers, which acts a guide for healthcare professionals.
A healthcare blog is an effective promotional tool for your professional services. However, a lot depends on your blogging strategies and connecting with your audience. You don’t always have to play by the rules to be a successful med blogger. However, with more experience, you are going to be in a stronger position to bend the rules.
Alright, so here you are with some compelling benefits to kick-start your med blog. But still, what are the most intimidating challenges you’re likely to face to create and upkeep a blog as a healthcare professional?
Please, share your comments below! I’d love to hear from you!
About the Author
Susanta Sahoo is founder and chief content marketing strategist at Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter: @sushantsahoo