Make your healthcare blog a more valuable tool

These seven tips will draw more readers to your blog and keep them coming back for more.

Blogging is exploding across all industries, with more than 2 million blog posts published daily . Blogging is especially common in retail, but it can play a significant role in healthcare as well. When used correctly, it brings more organic and local search to your organization, connecting patients with quality care.

It can also expand your online presence, increase your outreach and add value to the experience of both current and future patients. If your healthcare blog isn’t centered on the right goals, though, it won’t achieve the effect you desire. A good blog is a great marketing tool for bringing new clients to your establishment.

Use these insights to help your healthcare blog stand out:

1. Give actionable tips

Patients should visit your clinic for prescriptions and diagnoses, but you can generate trust ahead of time with insightful blog posts. Healthcare blogs are great for pointing out common medical maladies and the remedies for them.

These pages can give patients insight into whether or not your clinic can help them. For example, if you’re an orthopedic surgeon, writing an article about carpal tunnel syndrome can help patients identify symptoms and decide whether they need professional help.

Healthcare blogs can also discuss common medical maladies that often take time to get over, like a sore throat or the common cold. You can suggest home remedies for relieving pain until the body heals itself. Here’s a great example of a healthcare blog that identifies medical issue and gives advice.

2. Include video and images

Blog posts that contain images and videos get 94 percent more views . A post without visual stimulation can be boring and actually create mental fatigue. Video and images break up the content and offer relief while adding more interest.

Use medical videos or graphs of relevant data to supplement your blog text. This not only catches your audience’s attention but can also explain technical information that otherwise might not be understood.

3. Invite comments or reviews

Comment sections give readers a voice. After writing a blog post, invite your audience to comment or leave a review. Respond to every comment, even if it’s negative. You can often turn a bad review into a positive one with your follow-up. Use your viewers’ comments to understand their attitude on different health topics. It may even help you develop future content.

Answer your readers’ questions to increase readership and generate conversations. Many of these new readers could be current or potential patients. By answering these questions, you’ll offer valuable experiences for your patients and develop a solid following.

4. Recycle and reuse

Consistently creating new blog content can be exhausting. Don’t be afraid to reuse or recycle old content. About 29 percent of leading marketing professionals reuse and repurpose blog content. What’s more, nearly 60 percent of marketers reuse blog content between two and five times.

It’s common for a topic covered in the past to still be trending, and many of your previous readers may still have questions about it. If you give your recycled post a unique spin, you can deepen their understanding and avoid annoying your readers with duplicate content.

5. Feature someone

Customers love a peek behind the scenes. Each week, feature a different healthcare professional. You might run a spotlight on your head nurse one week and your primary care physician the next.

You could also host a guest blogger. As in many other industries, blogging is all about networking. Including another blogger on your site can give your audience a new and interesting post to read while creating camaraderie within the blogging industry.

6. Share current trends

Choose blog topics that are current and interesting for your audience. The ever-changing state of health care is exciting, especially for patients who don’t have an insider’s perspective on a developing trend .

Use news alerts to learn about new trends in the industry so that you can keep your readers up to date. Subscribe to Google Trends, which will ping you when a new trending topic arises that might be of interest to your audience.

7. Be responsible

Remember, people will follow the advice posted on your blog. Published information must be accurate and free of generalizations, specific medications, special therapies or theories that haven’t been proven with evidence-based practices.

Another aspect of responsible health care blogging is patient confidentiality. Become familiar with HIPAA requirements for blogging to provide the appropriate level of privacy for your patients. This goes beyond simply excluding patient names or other personal data. It’s best to use case studies from other health care organizations rather than pulling from cases you’ve seen personally.

These tips can help you create a relevant and interesting health care blog that will not only serve your clientele, but also create a loyal fan base. If that’s the end result, you’ll have a broader reach and develop a stronger understanding of your patients.

Anna Johansson is a freelance writer, researcher and business consultant. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn .


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