A blog can be a great way for a healthcare professional to grow an online audience, attract new patients and provide advice, but it often takes a lot of work. While there are no hard and fast rules to follow when it comes to blogging, there are still some things that a medical expert can do to keep a good healthcare blog going. Here are just a few helpful tips.
Choose the Right Topics
Healthcare bloggers have an almost unlimited amount of topics to choose from when they sit down to write a new post, and choosing the right topics that will engage readers can be difficult. Rob Gerdon of Medicom Health Interactive suggests that bloggers brainstorm with their colleagues to curate topics that can be of later use. Another option is to keep tabs on current healthcare trends and technology and incorporate them into blog posts. Readers and patients like current events, and they will be far more likely to read a blog that covers the latest in healthcare technology.
Avoid Getting Too Technical
It’s all too easy for doctors and other healthcare professionals to get overly technical when discussing their industry, but that can go over a layperson’s head. A blog that is written for a wider audience should avoid too much technical terminology and describe things using simpler language that most people can understand.
Keep All Information Accurate
While a healthcare blog should be written with laypeople in mind, it should still contain accurate information. People trust doctors, and many will come to a doctor’s blog looking for relevant information. A blog should of course never replace a visit to a physician’s office, but it should provide accurate information about the subject of healthcare without sounding too vague or general. A good healthcare blog post should be responsibly written and well-researched; it should read almost like genuine medical advice even if it’s not intended to be.
Maintain a Friendly Tone
According to the Allied Health Institute healthcare professionals should always try to sound optimistic and refrain from fearful language. They are referring to doctors speaking to patients directly, but it should also apply to a healthcare blog. A lot of people who consult healthcare blogs and websites are fearful of health problems they could have, and a post that uses alarmist language will only raise their stress level further. A friendly and personable tone will go a long way towards putting readers’ minds at ease even if they don’t always like what they learn.
Finally, any good blog should be updated regularly. That goes for everything from personal blogs that are kept as a hobby to healthcare blogs maintained by reputable doctors. Things move fast on the Internet in general and in the blogosphere in particular; a blog that doesn’t get updated at least once every two weeks will fade into obscurity. According to Catriona Pollard on the Huffington Post, a blog that is updated frequently is more attractive to readers and encourages a return to the site. Posts on new and trending topics tend to attract more traffic to a healthcare clinic’s website. A healthcare blog should not only be updated frequently, but it should follow a set schedule as closely as possible. Readers will be far more likely to return to a blog if they know when a new post is going live.