Blogging, like other forms of social networking, is all about effective communication. A trusted blogger can keep their readers engaged, informed, and entertained with genuine content. At the same time, a good blogger should work to build social proof. The field of healthcare blogging is no different in this aspect. To become a successful medical blogger, you must create great content and market your blog nicely. For instance, you must be able to run an active professional social media account on a platform like Facebook or Instagram and increase follower count on your handle organically to attract more readers to your blog. You must also be responsive to your readers, attentive to detail, and willing to learn and upgrade your writing constantly.
Most importantly, you must cultivate your writing style and brand voice. However, this can be done once you know what you are doing and why. Hence the most critical first step to becoming a successful medical blogger is to ask yourself the questions below.
Bloggers have many reasons for blogging:
- Some blog because they are passionate about writing.
- Some blog because they want to share specific ideas with the world.
- Some blog because they want their writing to make money.
If you have narrowed down on healthcare as your blogging area, you must know why you have chosen the said field. These are generic reasons, and they can indeed be your reasons too. But why healthcare specifically? Ask yourself:
- Am I writing to make medical information more accessible to the layperson?
- Am I writing to promote my business which is related to the healthcare industry?
- Am I writing as a hired professional of a medical practice or an allied healthcare business?
Although healthcare is a specialized field with multiple sub-disciplines, one does not necessarily need a professional degree to be a health blogger. That said, most medical blogs specializing in pharmaceutical products and allopathic procedures are run or reviewed by persons who have a medical or science background. MDs seldom run blogs on diet, exercise, and alternative medicine. You may have other qualifications, technical know-how, and experience that can make you qualified to write a healthcare blog. Companies on the lookout for hiring writers specify what qualifications they are looking for. In most cases, having a solid writing background (or successful experience in similar fields) is good enough to make you eligible to try your hand as a healthcare blogger.
Once you have figured out why you are in the medical blogosphere, you must figure out your forte type of blog posts. This broadly includes figuring your:
Are you covering several fields of the medical world, or is your writing focused on a specialized one? You could, for instance, cover something as broad as medical news or be very specific and write only about, say, pediatric dentistry.
You must also figure out how you would like to blog:
- Create your blog and be your writer. You could be the sole content creator or be a part of a team.
- Create a blog and hire writers for the same. You manage the overall blog but pay for content from others.
- Hire out your services as a freelance health blogger. You write for others. You could be writing for healthcare brands and businesses, lifestyle and fashion magazines that have healthcare sections, professionals who run healthcare blogs, and so on.
You can blog in many different ways. In addition to how you would like to blog, you must figure out how to format your content. Consider these questions:
- Are you choosing to be a traditional blogger, run a microblog or be a social media blogger?
- Are you more comfortable with link-blogging (presenting relevant links on a subject), lengthy writing, or hybrid-blogging (mixing both long-form writing and link presentation)?
You can choose to present your information in many ways. Using a particular style of presentation helps you build a brand voice as a writer. Consider:
- Are you using personal narratives and creative forms of presentation to make your information more engaging for your readers?
- Are you presenting a personal third-person essay on your chosen subject?
- Are you providing journal-like articles with References and Citations at the end?
- Are you simply providing information or mixing it up with analysis, reviews, and opinions?
No matter what you choose, keep in mind a successful blogger is willing to experiment and dabble in different styles and forms of writing. Do not be afraid of failure if you are still trying to figure out what suits your writing the best.
Once you have figured the above out, you need to create a market for your writing. Without a loyal, returning audience, you cannot build credibility and trust for yourself as a medical blogger. Trust is earned through patience, hard work, and meticulous planning. Here are the essential must-haves if you want to establish yourself as a reliable and trusted source in the healthcare blogging industry:
- Support Your Writing with Research
As a healthcare blogger, you must be careful not to provide misinformation whether you are reviewing providers of a particular type of practice, writing about alternate medicine, or covering information for the general welfare. Always back your content with verifiable research from authentic sources. Provide backlinks to your readers, or refer them to other trusted sites for further information. If you hold a medical degree as a student, nurse, or practitioner, use your blog to familiarize your readers with health problems and solutions. Use your authority as an expert to provide relevant and precise information that builds trust around your writing. Your blog can help you make a successful medical practice and vice versa as long as you are providing quality service on both.
Note that you do not need to be a qualified medical practitioner to blog about healthcare successfully without a degree that can verify your expertise in the field. Be doubly sure to provide ethical medical information and best practice solutions. If you are writing about pharmaceutical products, for instance, carefully read the guidelines and fine print of the company and always provide all necessary information to the public. Be aware of your country’s legal requirements for blogging about specialized fields.
- Present Original Work
While you must present research-based content, copying content straight out is a big no. Create your style of presentation and make your presence felt in your niche industry. Acknowledge sources for information and inspiration. Study your competitors but develop your voice. When you present your content, ensure that it has:
- A Relevant Title
An ideal title is short enough to show up entirely on a search. When it comes to medical blogs, readers usually search for particular content. A good title should let the audience know what to expect in the write-up.
- A Call-to-Action
The aim of building trust in your blog is to ensure you have a growing business. If you are writing, you will intend to get more writing assignments. You can add a simple CTA like “reach the writer @emailaddress here”. If you are a medical practice running a blog, you are looking to increase the scope and get of your business. You could add a CTA asking the reader to visit your website or practice. Incorporate a call-to-action that is suited to your micro-goals.
- Network with Others in Your Niche
Speaking of making one’s mark in a niche, the only way to get noticed by others is by letting them know that you exist. In marketing terms, network and socialize with others in your line of work. Social media platforms are a great space to find a community of bloggers. Please read and comment on their work, cross-post and collaborate on projects. Mention other healthcare bloggers in your work and find reciprocal mentions. Tap into audience pools of already established and trusted healthcare bloggers by partnering with them for content and social media campaigns. Health bloggers must be as competent in their social media marketing strategies as they are in writing content. Create an online presence by accumulating real and active followers. Promote your work while networking with others. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are all great platforms to build reliable networks for yourself.
- Get Your Work Certified
Build social proof by getting your account certified by the social media platforms you are active on – Instagram and Facebook present badges of authenticity on fulfilling specific guidelines. A verified page automatically ranks higher on searches and consequently can attract more audience traffic. You are likely to have more people following and advocating for your blog if you are attested as a trusted account by the platforms you primarily market yourself on. Build your social proof further by getting your blog reviewed and mentioned by established sources.
- Maintain a Blog Roll
Create a Blogroll of credible medical blogs that your readers can turn to for extra information. This can include personal blogs or websites of healthcare providers (or alternative medicine practitioners), medical journals, newspapers, etc. Displaying a working list of sources for your readers builds trust for your blog and the content it carries.
- Be Committed
As a blogger, you are bound to experience periods of low engagement rate with your work. You will also be at the receiving end of judgments and criticism. Not every reader is polite when they comment on your work. You must be prepared to continue to focus on your position and produce quality content as per your pre-decided schedule. Be flexible and open to learning from mistakes. Make changes but do not give up. Success in the blogging field is all about finding time to write and continuing to publish regularly. As a healthcare blogger, this aspect is no different.
- Provide Updates
Do not let an old blog post lose readership. The healthcare world is fast-paced, with tons of discoveries and discussions on the same subject coming up each day. Frequently update your write-ups to keep them up-to-date and relevant. This will keep them in circulation among active readers. This will help keep your blog high up in search results as your readers will rely on your work for the latest information.
- Allow for Reader Comments
Often a post is kept alive and in the public consciousness by debates and discussions around it. Enable public comments to keep your posts trending among readers. You can activate spam filters to keep a check on bot activity here. Be courteous and respond to comments to build audience rapport and credibility for yourself.
- Your Content has SEO Optimization
The fields of Healthcare and Medicine have their specialized vocabulary and jargon. Knowledge of the same helps in making your content SEO-friendly for quick searches. However, these words and phrases are more likely to be used by members of the medical fraternity only. To ensure your content is SEO optimized for searches run by laypersons, you must also put yourself in their shoes. For instance, if you write an article about migraines, using terms like “retina” and “photopsia” may rank your work high for medical searches. Still, it would help if you also had phrases like “headache that causes light flashes” to make the article more accessible to a non-medical reader who may be looking for information on the same.
- Your Content is Published After Editing
Even if you do not have excellent writing skills, ensure that your work is proofread and checked for errors. If required, hire professionals for checking spelling, syntax, and grammar. Be sure to ask for assistance from those aware of the medical lexicon you are working with to avoid errors creeping in after the proofreading is done!
Gaining trust in the medical blogging field can take time, but you can indeed find success if you are committed to making a name for yourself. Market yourself as a blogger, build the right networks and create formidable social proof for yourself. Never compromise on the quality of your work and the authenticity of your writing. To be acknowledged as a trustworthy blogger in your chosen industry, you must create practical, well-researched, and socially responsible write-ups that inform and educate. Cultivate an engaging writing style that makes your readers return to your blogs for more content. Some readers will come to your writings for links to other sources, and some will come to check on your evaluation and opinions on the subject. You may not be able to please all types of readers. When writing specialized content, keep in mind that your target audience is specific. While you’re consistent in your efforts and have something to add to the sea of information already out there, your blog will find the audience and credibility you are aiming for.