Blogging 101: 10 Tips For Starting A Blog For Your Patients

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Effective healthcare marketing can be the thing that sets you and your office apart from any competitors. Of course, in 2016 most healthcare practices utilize many marketing techniques, especially social media pages. However, one marketing technique that can give you the boost you’re looking for is creating a blog for your patients.

Blogging can be difficult and time-consuming when you don’t make sure that you are writing effective blogs, so it’s important to know what you’re doing. To help, here are 10 tips that for starting a blog:

1.    Consider your audience.

Before you write about certain topics, make sure you know who you’re writing for. Your patients will be more interested in certain topics over other ones, and it’s important to focus on topics that will interest and educate your patients. For instance, an orthodontist might want to write a blog about the top 10 foods children with braces should avoid to ensure that curious and careful parents can find that information easily.

2.    Create a content calendar.

Once you know who you’re writing the blogs for you should sit down and come up with a list of topics you wish to write about. By creating a content calendar, you can create a long, comprehensive list of topics that cover all the areas you will want to write about in the future.

3.    Try to write at least once every week.

When blogging, it’s very important to keep posting fresh content for your readers. Posting new content will also increase your SEO, which will help your page get more views. Unless you’re hiring a marketing team to write your blogs (in that case, aim for a couple times per week), then one blog every week will be very manageable as the blogs should take no more than 1-2 hours to write.

4.    Keep the writing casual and simple.

Remember, you’re not writing for other doctors and health professionals. Your main readers will be patients and curious individuals outside of the profession, so make sure that they can read what you’re writing. Try to minimize the usage of huge words and highly technical talk – save that for the office.

5.    Use sub-headers and guideposts.

Again, this will make your blog more readable. It’s easier to digest the information when it’s broken into parts, sections, and lists. Also, make sure you guide your readers with obvious guideposts and sub-headers. That way, readers can skip to sections they are interested in.

6.    Break the blog posts into small, easy-to-read paragraphs.

Your readers are not college professors, and you’re not writing essays. So, make your information straight to the point and focus on writing small paragraphs. You don’t want readers to go back to Google and click on a different website because your post is too intimidating to read. The internet works best when it’s quick and easy.

7.    Include image content for each blog post.

Image content can help catch people’s eyes and keep their interest. In addition to small paragraphs, sections, and casual writing, image content can help make your information seem less intimidating and more for the average patient. Even Wikipedia uses images on their pages. You can use both header images to catch people’s attention and images within the blog itself to keep their attention.

8.    Make sure to include hyperlinks.

There are two ways to hyperlink in your blog – outbound linking and inbound linking (or external and internal). The general rule of thumb is two outbound links and an inbound links. Outbound links are hyperlinks that direct the readers to another webpage for additional information. These can help educate them and increase your SEO. Inbound links are hyperlinks that lead to other parts of your own webpage, which helps keep patients on your website.

9.    Optimize your keywords.

While there are plenty of ways to increase your SEO, optimizing your keywords can be one of the most effective ways to do so. So, when writing a blog on a certain topic, choose 1-3 keywords to focus on, but make sure that you don’t use a keyword over 10 times in a single post.

10. Spread the word about your blog!

Make sure people know that you’re writing blogs so you aren’t writing for nothing. You can spread the word by posting links on your healthcare social media pages like Facebook, LinkedIn, and twitter. In addition to social media posts, you can add the link to your blog on any flyers or brochures you have. Also, don’t forget to have an obvious and easily accessible tab or link on your main website to your blog.

At the end of the day, just make sure you’re putting out easy-to-read and interesting content in a way that follows the rules of the internet. Starting a blog doesn’t have to be difficult, but there are definitely certain rules that you shouldn’t disregard. Medical marketing can help your office a ton, and writing blogs is certainly a part of good marketing. So, start your blog with these 10 tips and provide your patients with any information they’re looking for. 

By Russell McBurnie