Blogging generates interest in your healthcare practice, and by increasing the number of indexed pages on your website, improves your search results performance. Want to blog like the best in the business? Learn how to find inspiration for your posts, outsource your writing, and turn your staff into blog-improving assets. Read on for five tips from a writing professional.
5 Healthcare Blogging Tips From A Pro
1. Get Inspired and Write Like It, Too
Selecting a topic remains one of the biggest challenges healthcare professionals face when they sit down to blog. Instead of trying to think up some brilliant topic while staring at a blinking cursor, look to your patients for inspiration. The questions and concerns your patients bring to you every day (e.g., Zika virus, Vitamin D, weight loss) make great blog topics. These topics are timely, important, and asked frequently. If you write about topics that meet that criteria, then you’ll help both existing patients and unique website visitors alike.
Once decided on a topic, outline your blog post to make the writing process less daunting. When you begin writing, use as engaging and active a voice as possible. Avoid passive language (e.g, “is”, “was”) if possible. Select verbs and phrases loaded with meaning, and refer clearly and specifically to relevant examples and sources to make your point. Maintain a personable, warm voice. Make sure to include at least one interesting image or graph in your blog to give your readers’ tired eyes a break from all that text. Finally, before you publish your post, give it a read-through to make sure your hyperlinks function and that your work is free of spelling and grammatical errors.
(Related: Blogging 101 for Healthcare Providers)
2. Give Yourself a Break: Repurpose Content
Continue to not only brainstorm engaging blog post ideas, but also put your existing content to good use. Not sure how repurposing content works? Consider these ideas:
- If you’ve already written a great article full of stats, consider reimagining that post by condensing it into an eye-catching infographic.
- Create an eBook by meshing a handful of blog posts all in the same topic family. Offer that eBook as a free download to all your patients and website visitors.
- Convert a how-to guide into a Q&A. You’ll find that you’ve already done three-quarters of the work.
If you continue to post new and unique content, then there’s no problem sharing old information in a fresh, attention-grabbing way.
3. If Necessary, Outsource: Hire a Freelance Writer
Some healthcare practitioners can’t find the time to blog, or feel they truly lack the skills to write frequently and engagingly, and that’s okay. But don’t stop blogging altogether. Consider hiring a freelance writer to complete these projects on your behalf. How do you find a freelancer?
- Check websites such as upwork.com or freelancer.com.
- Contact your local newspaper for recommendations.
- Get in touch with your local university or community college.
- Ask for references from others in your professional network.
- And if you’re a PatientPop customer, did you know we have a Blogging package with a group of professional writers well-versed in healthcare and SEO? Learn more by contacting your Customer Success Manager.
Once you have a candidate in mind, ensure they are a perfect fit with these three steps:
- Request a sample of their work. Hopefully, they show you a sample that’s somewhat like the work you will ask them to produce. If the piece covers another subject, at least ensure the work is well-written, charming, and fun to read.
- Make sure they demonstrate some curiosity about you, your practice, and your field of expertise. That interest often indicates a thorough, motivated freelancer.
- Ask for references, and use them to ensure that the freelancer is timely and agreeable.
Finally, you’ll need to settle on a rate for your freelancer’s work. Most freelancers charge by the project, but some do charge by the word or the hour. Good writing rarely comes at bargain prices. Prepare to pay a fantastic freelancer up to $50 per full page of great, well-researched writing. Rates vary from city to city, but more technical writing always costs more. If you find that perfect freelancer who just understands how to put your ideas into words, then consider setting up a long-term commitment with them. In exchange for stability and the guarantee of future work, they may negotiate their rate.
4. Or Just Get a Little Help: Hire a Copy Editor
Some healthcare practitioners happily compose their own blog posts, but feel they need a little bit of assistance putting the finishing touches on their work. A copy editor helps correct spelling and grammatical errors, reorganizes your writing for optimal flow, and ensures consistent style and usage. Find a copy editor who also fact checks, verifies sources, and knows their way around medical writing. Of course, check references for a copy editor, too. Expect to pay up to $50 an hour for a great copy editor’s assistance – a normal blog post takes around this much time to review.
5. Look Around: Is Your Dream Blogger Already on Staff?
While hiring vendors to manage your awesome healthcare blog makes sense, don’t forget to ask around your office first. Perhaps someone who loves to write already works for you. This arrangement could save time and money. After all, you already know your employees are timely and familiar with the healthcare industry.
Even if you fail to find a Hemingway on-staff, here are a few ways every medical practice can turn blogging into teamwork:
- Request your front desk staff help manage your blogging schedule.
- Spend a few minutes of your weekly staff meeting brainstorming ideas for blog posts. Your nurses and front desk staff can draw upon different experiences and interactions, making their input ultra-valuable.
- Ask that Twitter-savvy employee to help turn your blog post titles into clickbait. You know, that one millennial who’s always on their smartphone – ask them!
Now, Go Ahead and Get Blogging!
Blogging improves SEO performance, generates new leads, and markets both you and your practice. Whether you choose to hire a freelancer, turn your work over to a talented employee, or write every article yourself, the key component of a great blog remains the same: publish engaging, unique content.