Now more than ever, an increasing number of healthcare professionals are beginning to discuss health-related issues online. There are those who choose to share their beliefs on social media networks, such as Facebook or Twitter, and those who join professional forums to discuss topics related to their specialties. However, healthcare professionals who wish to share their views and opinions in a longer format turn to writing blogs.
Before you can establish your blog and begin writing posts, it is imperative you decide how often you are going to write. Generally speaking, the more frequent you are with your blog posts, the greater traffic you will generate to your website. Yet, you may be wondering as to whether there is a minimum frequency to posting articles or videos. A few social media experts have stated the optimal frequency for driving traffic is at least once a week. Otherwise, readers might not consider you a reliable source, and they will look elsewhere for the information they seek. In any case, it should be a number you can stick with for at least six months.
Too often, doctors will get really excited about writing blogs and will post every day for a week. However, it takes a lot of time and energy to write a great blog post. So, when they post a blog and no one reads it, they get burned out within a few weeks. Blogs are most effective when every entry has a relevant subject and is a minimum of 300-400 words. By posting every so often, you can raise awareness of your professional skills and services, thus increasing your professional credibility. Once your blog begins to grow in readership, you can probably get away with posting two to three times a month. If and when you decide to start a blog, there are a few questions you might consider asking yourself first.
What is your target?
It is important to consider your target goals. If you wish to become a sought-after and reliable source for breaking medical news, you might want to consider writing shorter posts more often. However, if you are striving to become a leader in your field, one that other healthcare professionals and patients look up to, you should consider writing longer articles, and probably less often. First, put together all the valuable information that is relevant to your cause and that you wish to share with others—the possibilities are endless, but commitment is key.
- What is sustainable?
Look over your work schedule and try to determine what works best for you. It is far better for you to write one post a week as opposed to a bunch of posts for a few weeks and then giving up. Once the creativity and originality of maintaining a blog wears off and the long hours spent at the hospital begin to add up, it can become very easy to burn out.
In today’s world, doctors and other healthcare professionals are blogging to deliver credible information to the healthcare industry. Doctors’ blogs are often among the top twenty most visited pages on their websites, and frequently in the top ten. Google tells us so in two ways: how it ranks blogs in its search engine, and by the number of visits it records to blog pages on clients’ websites. The truth of the matter is occasional blogging can bring in more new patients to a medical practice and generate satisfaction by serving as a public educator. Below are a few useful tips that might help you maintain your blog:
- Start with a plan: Identify what you want to write about and when you will have time to write it. The plan you create should be as detailed as possible.
- Pick a catchy title: Keep your blog title short and sweet. When most readers search for information, the first thing they see in their Google results will be the title of your blog.
- Pay close attention to your readers: Monitor your blog update “unsubscribe numbers.” If you begin to see a pattern of increase in “unsubscribes,” your audience might not be so interested in reading the information you are sharing.
- Optimize your content
- Engage your readers: Promote your stories on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Get individuals to read your posts, give you feedback, and comment on what you have to say. The more discussion you can get going, the better.
These things aside, always remember there is no reason why you can’t change the scheduling of your blog to fit your current personal or business needs. In the beginning, simply follow a pattern: if you post once a week, continue to do so for the next six months. This might give you a general idea of frequency, and you can further adjust your schedule as your blog grows. Despite all the demands associated with your medical practice, try to maintain a regular posting schedule. Perhaps have five to ten posts already written and put aside for use when your schedule is booked solid.
Remember, your blog is an opportunity for you to share your knowledge and help your medical practice grow. Identify your target goals and create a writing schedule you can keep up with for a longer period of time. Successful blogs are successful for a reason and, every so often, a little spontaneity might just be what the doctor ordered.