Blogging for healthcare isn't easy. Why, you may ask? The answer is simple. Every day you're faced with the challenge of creating content for a stereotypically boring industry that will be exciting, interesting, and engaging to readers. One of the pitfalls of healthcare blogging is that it's such a specific industry, which makes coming up with ideas for content hard. Really hard. Because here's the thing. There are plenty of people out there who love reading blogs about baking or gardening or beauty products or humor. There are a billion DIY-ers who eat, sleep, and breathe on blog. But healthcare? Do people really care?
The simple answer is yes, and it's important that as a healthcare marketer you firmly believe this. If you write something interesting, something useful and intriguing, something relevant, something that connects on an emotional level, then people will read it regardless of the industry. If it's relevant to their daily lives or the lives of their loved ones, they'll take the time. If it makes them smile, if it makes them cry, if it makes them think? They'll read it. You just have to think about the people in your community and determine what aspects of health they actually care about.
That being said, we know it can still be difficult to come up with ideas for content on your healthcare blog, especially if you're blogging multiple times a week. If you're struggling for inspiration, here are a few go-to ideas for healthcare blog content that will go a long way towards boosting your website's volume and engaging your audience! We've also included a few tips on what to do with that content once you've go it as well. Distribution is key.
1. Share the love.
Your blog isn't just a place for self-promotion, it's a place to celebrate the healthcare industry as a whole. Spread some love around and spotlight other local practices. Maybe there's a new chiropractor in town who could use a shout-out, maybe there's a referring physician's office that you want to show appreciation to. You should always be looking for ways to better network with your referring physician community, and there’s no better way to add value to your relationship and let them know how much you care than by giving them some free publicity! Share a blog post about them and rotate different offices each week.
2. Spotlight your staff.
If you’re looking for a way to incentivize your staff without giving them bonuses or gift cards, a little old fashioned attention can go a long way. Spotlights are an awesome way to do this, and when they're featured on the blog it's easy for employees to share this recognition with their family and friends through social media. Staff spotlights also give your blog readers an insight into your practice, and help them establish an emotional connection with your crew. Personal relationships are key, especially in healthcare.
3. Consider highlighting video interviews.
It's important to remember that great blog content doesn't have to be text. You can use videos or photos for a blog post either in conjunction with or in lieu of text. In fact, these types of posts are often more engaging! Film a few short video interviews with your staff, physicians and even willing patients. (Be sure to have them sign a waiver that says you can do this.) Post them on your blog, this is GREAT for search engine optimization.
4. Throw some image content in there.
If you have photos of staff or your office or if you have images with inspirational quotes or facts, post them on your Facebook, but ALSO post them on your blog. Then, you can link the photos from your blog to Facebook or websites like Instagram, so that when people click through they will land on your website. Not all blog posts need to be information heavy...sometimes it's nice to just have a few photos to scroll through and bring out a smile.
5. Repurpose your previous posts.
Although this won't work if you're just starting out in healthcare blogging, it's definitely something you'll want to remember for later down the line. For those of you who have been blogging for years, this is one of the best tips we can give you. Don’t forget about the blog posts you worked hard on in the past. Chances are you've got a gold-mine of content archived on your blog where no one is likely to stumble upon it, and a lot of that content is still relevant to your readers. Don't be afraid to use it! Go back a year or so, find one of your best performing posts, snazz it up a little bit and repost it. It'll save you time if you've got a crammed work week, and it's great for SEO purposes. (As a general rule, even if you're not repurposing you should always remember to link back to older articles that relate to the topic you’re covering. This is good for SEO but also it helps your readers navigate your site.)
6. After posting, send out snippets.
Got a lot of content on your blog that you know people would read if they just knew about it? This is where distribution comes in. It's one thing to write great content and post it, but it's another altogether to get people to actually know it exists and read it. Snippets are a great way to accomplish this. Do you have an email list? Send out the first part of your blog post in an email or electronic newsletter with a “Read More…” link to the full post on your blog. It could help bring some of your email leads to your blog if they haven’t read it yet!
7. Remember to take advantage of those tags.
You know that section where it says "add tags" on your blog posting site? Please don't ignore that. Tagging your blog posts is incredibly important, not just for SEO but also for archiving and organizing your posts by topic. You should use anywhere from 2-4 tags to let search engines and readers know what your post is about. For this article for instance, I will use: "blogging", "healthcare marketing", "tips for healthcare bloggers", and "healthcare blog ideas".
8. Sharing is the pathway to success.
Don’t just assume that if you post an article on your blog that tons of people will immediately be notified and that they will start reading and loving it. You are not Mashable or Buzzfeed or The New York Times, and unless you already have a super strong and loyal blog following (you're in healthcare, so we're going to go out on a limb and guess that you don't), the reality is that if you're not sharing that content on every platform possible, it's likely that no one will see it. Be sure to share links to your articles via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ so your friends and followers will know they're there! Tip: see if you can get other members of your staff to share company posts as well. The more people you have sharing, the more people you'll reach and the higher your chance for success will be!
9. Easy access is key.
This goes hand in hand with the concept of "sharing". If your readers can't find your blog, they won't be reading it! Be sure to have your blog built into your website and positioned as a link on your homepage in a spot that is easily visible to your visitors. Avoid having it as an unlinked page, since the likelihood of people finding your posts in search probably isn't great.
10. Remember that it's not about you.
If you don't take any other tips to heart, be sure to remember this one. You're not writing for you, you're writing for your patients and providers. Don't let your personal biases cloud your judgement or impact what you write about. When you're coming up with topics, keep in mind what your patients and referring physician offices would want to read about on your blog, because they are your target market, not yourself! Try to avoid covering topics that are too “medical” because people will lose interest. It’s okay to be educational, just be sure that it’s interesting, understandable, and above all relatable.
See, healthcare blogging really isn't that tricky after all! If you read that list and are feeling overwhelmed, at a loss, or incredibly intimidated, don't freak out. The best thing about healthcare blogging is that you don't have to do it yourself. Most healthcare providers don't have time to blog because they're, you know, saving lives. That's why we're here! If you're looking for help with your healthcare blogging, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We've got a lot of experience and tons of great ideas to help you kickstart your content marketing!