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For most doctors, writing a blog is not part of their job description. After all, they are meant to tend to patients with healthcare needs rather than to start a blog. In addition, doctors may also not have the spare time to research interesting topics that would catch their target audience’s attention. Although this might be the case, it is important to note that healthcare blogging also has its advantages. But, what is really the point of writing a blog?
Here’s why: The importance of starting a healthcare blog is to show to your patients and potential patients that you are an expert in your field. A blog can differentiate your practice from any healthcare organization in your area. Your healthcare blog will be a platform where you can tell your story to your audience as well as raise awareness that your medical practice exists. You can use healthcare blogging as a way to inform your patients of the services you offer and excite them of what is ahead in the medical field. Nevertheless, writing a blog can be useful to your practice.
It has never been easier to start a blog, and you might be discouraged to write one because there is still a lot of groundwork to work on. However, don’t lose hope. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind before starting a healthcare blog.
Blogging takes a lot of effort.
Contrary to what most people think, writing a blog is not a walk in the park. It’s not just plain writing. You also need to do a lot of research, editing and image sourcing before your article becomes ready for publishing. But aside from that, you also need to learn a few extra skills for your blog to be properly published. Knowledge in platforms such as Tumblr or WordPress may also be needed as these are the most common tools used for healthcare blogs to be available online. The process can be tedious at times but you have to think of the benefits it might bring to your practice in the long run.
Choose your target market.
Millions of blog articles can be found online. The only way to stand out is to have a target market and stick to it. Before writing articles, you need to know who is going to be your readers. Would it be for 7-year old kids, teenagers, parents, or senior citizens? Will your articles focus more on the needs of women or men? Figuring out your target market will help you craft your article according to the interest of your readers. Suppose your target market is men and yet your blogs talk about pregnancy issues or gynecological health, then you wouldn’t capture your target audience’s interest.
Focus on providing quality content.
In order to stay relevant in the healthcare industry, your target audience needs to know that your medical practice exists. And how can you do that? You need to have a website. However, it does not stop there. If you want your potential patients to easily find you online, then you need to work on your content. You can choose to create great content or settle with a mediocre article that will get you nowhere. Your website will just be buried on page 10 in Google page results.
You should always remember to offer valuable and relevant content to your readers so that they’ll be likely to come back to your website for more information. For example, suppose you are a cardiologist. Now, if your website provides important and relevant content that tackles different health issues pertaining to heart diseases among other things, this will solidify your position as a healthcare provider, especially in your specialty.
Learn basic SEO
Learning basic search engine optimization is fundamental in driving traffic to your blog. To have a quick recap, Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing discipline that focuses on increasing the number and quality of visitors to a website. SEO specialists do this by improving rankings in the algorithmic search engine results. To put it simply, it is the set of rules for the optimization of a website that would, in turn, improve the site’s search engine rankings. SEO can be complicated and complex, however, knowing the basics will make a huge difference in the long run.
Have a good design for your website.
You might think that having a good design is not a priority in healthcare blogging since, after all, the readers visit your website to read information. That is a big misconception. The blog design can influence how readers perceive your content. If your blog design is just a so-so in the eyes of the readers, chances are they’re just going to abandon your site and look for information somewhere else.
Google’s algorithms also prioritize mobile-friendly sites. Most of the people nowadays have their smartphones with them. It is important that you make your blog mobile-friendly and responsive to ensure that your readers will have a pleasurable reading experience.
Always be yourself. If you are going to start a blog, make sure that you are being authentic and real. You can easily build a large audience that trusts you and the information you give. Healthcare blogging is a social activity that allows you to interact with your readers. If you want to ensure success, engage your readers and create relationships. If they have questions, answer them. And if you commit a mistake, then apologize for it. This will help you build a loyal audience who love reading what you offer and share it with others.
How to Start your Medical Blogging
With your busy schedule, creating content and blogging on a regular basis are likely not your top priorities. However, by not having a blog on a regular basis, you are limiting your opportunity to grow.
I know how hard it is to juggle multiple tasks without compromising the care that you provide to your patients. From being a great doctor to make sure you get paid, there’s a lot on your plate. And there’s a lot that you have to keep in mind in order to ensure that your practice thrives. However, you have to consider medical marketing as well in order for your practice to grow.
Creating blog posts can help promote your medical practice. It can improve your clinical services, position you as a thought leader, improve search rankings, and can even attract new patients. It’s a must for every doctor to market their medical practice. Unfortunately, most doctors are ignoring the importance of blogging. This blog will help you realize the importance of healthcare blogs.
Why Doctors Don’t Write Blogs
More than ten years ago, writing blogs was just done mainly by bloggers. Today, it’s mandatory for every business to post blogs. According to Hubspot, medical practices who post blogs experience a 55 percent increase in traffic to their website and are around 13 times more likely to see a return on investment each year. With such amazing potential of growth, you’ll probably think that every doctor all across America is blogging, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
A recent webinar in the industry has hosted the benefits and challenges of blogging and found out that nearly half of the attendees said that they don’t post any blogs despite having a website. Almost all medical practices in the U.S have their own website. However, only a few of them feature blogs on their sites. Does your practice fall into the category of not having a blog? If so, as you can see, you’re not alone.
These are the top reasons why healthcare providers don’t blog:
- 40.3 percent said that they don’t have enough time to write and create content
- 35.1 percent said that they don’t have enough ideas for fresh regular posts
- 15.8 percent said that they don’t know a thing about managing the initial blog setup
- 8.8 percent said that they don’t understand the technical end of the process
Truth be told, these are all valid reasons. Most doctors really don’t have the time to sit down and learn how to set up a blog or write blogs. Blog writing is really time-consuming and doctors would rather spend time providing care to their patients rather than think of topics to write about. As much as doctors want to deliver a superior online patient experience, they’d rather not dedicate time to blogging.
Importance of Medical Content Marketing
I’m pretty sure you desire to show up on the first page when patients are searching for a new doctor, right? Of course, you do. In order for that to happen, you’re going to need a page that is dedicated to your topic which can lead patients to your website. Content marketing involves creating a strategy of writing accurate information (that relates to your specialty) to help your SEO efforts. This can attract new patients to your website.
Traditional marketing strategies such as TV, radio & print ads are so old school. Strategies like these won’t work in this type of market anymore. They may have worked 20 years ago but as technology rose, search engines, social media, and the worldwide web began to dominate the marketing world.
An awesome thing about content marketing is, you don’t need to push yourself to your patients. By providing relevant and interesting blogs, your patients will definitely be the ones pulling you in. With numerous blogs about a certain topic, you can stand out by posting a blog that makes your patients feel like you’re talking to them instead of just showering them with facts that they can read anywhere else.
What Does It Take To Have The Perfect Medical Practice Blog
It doesn’t require much to create a blog. But in case you are wondering, I will list down a few key components that a blog should have:
An eye-catching and interesting headline.
If your blog posts have an eye-catching headline, people would click. So, instead of saying “All About Back Pains”, try saying “Back Pains Can Be Linked To Mental Health Problems”. Did you see what I did there? Who would have thought back pains can be associated with mental health issues? That alone could make your readers want to click on the blog.
Provide at least 500 words.
If you could write as many as 1000 words, why not, right? Longer blog posts help with your SEO. And, the more relevant words you use with the correct keywords, the better the blog.
Know your target audience.
Please refrain from medical jargon. Not all of your patients understand the medical terms you use on a regular basis. They might find this annoying and will not bother reading your blog if they don’t understand it. Keep the content of your blog as simple as you can.
Use striking images.
Aside from an eye-catching headline, what better way to attract patients than to provide striking images? Psychologically, we are more drawn to read something if it catches our eye. People are more into visual aspects. Use striking images. Make the readers want to click on your blog with awesome photos. If possible, add a call to action. A call to action button could be your contact info or how to schedule an appointment with you. If you provide your patients with a convenient way to connect with you through your blog, they will be more likely to visit your website.
See, blog posts are significant to any medical practice, especially if you’re new. It can drive your potential patients toward your website which increases organic traffic.
What Should You Write About
Now that you have a grasp of what your content should have, it’s now time to brainstorm on what your content should be. The content of your blog should be relevant to your practice. Blogs can act as your stepping stones for earning a patients’ trust. Here are a few content ideas that you can use to make your blog stand out:
There is always something new in the medical industry. Writing a medical blog is a great way to share and relay information about the latest medical discoveries and anything related to a person’s general health. With so much fake news circulating on social media nowadays, one of the most reliable sources that the patients can really trust is when it comes from a physician. Remember to include your views and opinions and not just only share the facts.
Frequently asked questions.
When it comes to our health, people have so many questions. When you write blogs pertaining to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), your posts will be more relatable to your patients. One of the best ways to find out what most people want to know is through surveys and personal discussions. Social media platforms can also be a great place for discovering information.
Discuss an event.
If there are certain events coming up (such as a major conference or seminar), you can write a post about it. Aside from reading about it online, patients would also love to ask questions that might have been bothering them. In this type of blog, you can write down what the patients can expect, provide highlights and share other pertinent information. If your readers missed the event, you can include key takeaways from the event.
The healthcare industry keeps on evolving. We all know that. You can use your blog as a platform where you can write down and thoroughly discuss upcoming trends or seasonal health problems that you think are valuable to both you and your patients. You can even include news alerts. This can ensure that your patients stay updated on emerging trends.
How You Should Strategize Your Healthcare Blogs for Patients
The blog section of every physician’s website is a highly visited page. However, most bloggers assume that they need to write a blog weekly or even daily. To be quite honest, even the occasional blog can still attract patients to your practice and at the same time, it can enhance your credibility. Here is how you can yield maximum return with minimal effort.
- Primary-care physicians: Primary-care physicians are usually very busy doctors. They mostly handle anything related to general health questions. They can post blogs at least once a week. If you’re a primary-care physician, you can post blogs about general health issues and the most common questions you hear in the exam rooms.
- Specialists: If you’re a specialist, you can post at least twice a month. This frequency is just enough to convey regular activity on your website. You can focus on writing anything that is relevant to your specialty.
I hope you find the information we’ve given helpful. It may seem difficult to start writing because you still don’t know what to expect but if you keep writing content that you are passionate about, blogging will be easier as time goes by.
I know you don’t have the luxury of time to keep on writing blogs. It takes so much time and effort to write a blog that is perfect. This is where Website4MD steps in. We offer different digital marketing services, and our blogging service is one of them. We have a team of dedicated content writers who are knowledgeable about healthcare blogging and medical marketing strategies, and we can handle all of your blog posts for the month. To learn more, set up an appointment today!