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Blogging 101 for Healthcare Providers

Blogging is a hugely effective way to build your practice’s online reputation, enhance your website’s search results performance, and generate new leads.

Blogging is a hugely effective way to build your practice’s online reputation, enhance your website’s search results performance, and generate new leads who come for your content…and stay to book an appointment.

In this article, we’ll cover all the blogging basics. We’ll share how to turn your ideas into thorough, engaging blog posts, how often to post, and what article formats are best.

Pick An Interesting, Targeted Topic

For some, selecting a topic comes easily. For others, this part of blogging presents a real challenge. Don’t fret! Think like your target audience thinks. Ask yourself questions like these:

  • What would my patients want to read?
  • What medical trends would be interesting to people outside of the medical community?
  • What questions do my patients frequently ask me when they come into my office?
  • What are some hot topics in the news right now that are ripe for discussion?
  • What are some popular products on the market that I could review on behalf of my patients and potential patients?

Questions like these really open our minds for exploring ideas, and that makes for great, thought-provoking writing. Choose subjects that truly interest you, and creating engaging blog posts will come easier.

Pick a Blog Post Format That Makes Sense

Once you’ve settled on an interesting topic, you’ll need to select the appropriate format for your new blog post. Check out this list of some of the most effective blog post types for healthcare marketing – we added a sample post idea for each format, too.

  • Listicles (10 Reasons You Need to See Your Gynecologist, Stat)
  • Q&As (FAQ: Treadmill Stress Tests)
  • How-To Guides (How to Choose the Perfect SPF for Your Skin)
  • Infographics (Infographic: How Drinking Affects Your Brain & Body)
  • Articles (A Doctor’s Opinion: Zika Virus Prevention Starts With You)

Try to incorporate all the above formats into your practice’s blog over time. Mix it up! Diverse blog post types not only keep readers engaged, but also make for easier writing. A great blog offers a variety of reading options for patients and site visitors – so there’s always something for everyone.

Outline and Research Your Topic

Tempted to pump out 1000 words with no plan? We don’t recommend it. Even the best copywriters utilize outlines to properly plan and research their work. Outlines save time because they allow writers to think their ideas through and find the sources to back up their claims, if necessary.

Create a simple, effective outline by selecting a point or idea for each paragraph or section of your article. Then, beneath each section’s main idea, add in a few stats, quotes, or points you’d like to make. Include the URLs to any sources you’ll include for easy linking later. Finally, reorganize your outline in a way that tells a story and supports your overarching theme or opinion.

Turn Your Ideas into Words

At last, time to write. A well-executed outline renders this process relatively painless – lucky you! Use the first few sentences of your post to get readers up to speed on your topic of choice. Introduce some stats and position yourself as an expert. The last sentence of your introductory paragraph indicates the main point of your blog post. If writing this thesis eludes you, don’t worry. Just, literally, tell readers exactly why they should read on. Example: “Read on to discover ten reasons you need to contact your gynecologist right away”.

Now, for the body of your blog post. Look to your outline, and utilizing an active voice, incorporate that planned information into each paragraph. What’s active voice? An example:

Passive voice: Make sure links to your sources are in the article.

Active voice: Embed links to your sources into the article.

Notice the persuasive call to action built right into that active voice. Finding the right verb makes all the difference here. A handy online thesaurus really helps.

If you’ve chosen a listicle, Q&A, how-to guide, or infographic, then you won’t need to make formal transitions from one idea to the next. Articles will require transitions, so we recommend catchy sub-headers to break up text and aid in the shift from one concept to the next.

Include a tidy conclusion at the end of your article. Wrap up with a summary of ideas discussed that truly proves your point.

Lastly, let your personality shine through! Your warmth and true colors craft more engaging content. Save overly-technical, cold writing for the medical journals. Enjoy yourself and you may even grow to love blogging.

Add Eye-Catching, Thought-Provoking Images and Graphics

Time to break up all that text. Remember that most people spend all day in front of their computers, reading. Give their tired eyes a break with beautiful images and graphs. Even a strong block quote creates an enjoyable, diverse reading experience. Subscribe to a stock image service, or find a service that lets you download images at no cost. You needn’t spend all day worrying about which images to select. Try to pick one or two that make sense, and move along.

Sleep on It, Then Edit

Step away from your completed article, but don’t click “publish” just yet. Leave your post alone for a little – we recommend overnight – and then give it a final eye. While waiting is no fun, trust us: You’ll find typos and errors more easily and more quickly if you step away for a little while.

Publish! And Then, Share

Happy with your typo-free, fun-to-read blog post? Great! Go ahead and publish it. Ensure to share the post across all your social media accounts.

As you continue to craft engaging blog posts, remember to connect your work. Create backlinks from one related blog post to the next. This allows you to build atop already completed work, and helps improve your search results performance, too. Congrats, you’re well on your way to becoming a thought leader.

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