15 Tips to Create An Amazing Blog For Your Patients


I am sure that if your patients are anything like mine,  you are asked tons of questions on a daily basis. And while being your patient’s health guru is great, it can also be frustrating, especially given the short amount of time we spend  with our patients during their visits in our offices.   In a response to this challenge,  I decided to start writing a blog specifically for my patients. Overtime, my blog has become a great tool when communicating with and answering my patients health questions. Not to mention, my blog has become a crucial part of my online marketing strategy.

What is a blog?

A blog is a type of Content Management System (CMS) that makes it easy to publish short articles. Blogs are made of posts and can range in length from 200 words to several pages. In order for it to be effective, always try to stick with one general topic, in our case, health and wellness.

Why Blog?

  • Blogging creates a way for you to comment on life, trends and issues that impact your field
  • Blogging is a way to let your personality shine through and create a more personal connection with your followers
  • Blogs are easy to update, you can add new content often without paying your Webmaster’s high fees for changes
  • Your blog can extend the information you share through articles, books, and speeches, and invite  comments and dialogue
  • Good blog posts increase the Google search results for your name and your clinic
  • Guest blogging on the sites of colleagues or others in the health or health related  fields, introduces you to their followers and is great visibility
  • When you use your blog’s RSS feature, you can easily update multiple Websites and social media sites with a single blog post (leverage!)

Creating a Blog

Creating a blog is very simple. Register on wordpress.com if you would like to take advantage of their free, hosted account, or at www.wordpress.org to host it on your own website. Both are easy to use and very effective, however the self-hosted version gives you more flexibility and options.
A blog may look intimidating at first but it is really easy to do and quite fun! Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your own blog:

  1. Presentation is everything! Make sure that you keep all of your branding consistent. Have a header branded with your logo and insert it at the top of your blog. This way people will recognize your blog right away.
  2. I suggest creating a theme for your blog. Decide what your main focus will be, what kind of articles you will write, or what kind of information you will share.
  3. Try to blog as often as you can. I recommend blogging a minimum of twice a month – weekly would be even better.
  4. Make sure your blog is media friendly! Remember, we are a very visually stimulated society. So, use pictures, video and audio links to get your message across.
  5. Link to your website from your blog whenever it is appropriate.
  6. Blog posts are archived and displayed in reverse chronological order to make them easy to find. A search box is often standard on blogs and also adds to the ease of use when a patient is trying to find information on specific conditions or treatments.
  7. Ensure that your blog has an RSS feed (like Feedburner) so that people can subscribe to your blog and be notified when you publish something new (this process is called syndication).
  8. Do not forget to tag and categorize your blog (title tags, meta tag and meta keywords) each time you submit an entry. This will allow the search engines to find you more often (increasing your site rank if you are hosting the blog on your own website).
  9. Not sure what to blog about? Create top 10 lists, How-To’s, or simply talk about controversial or news worthy topics (Stay away from politics and religion. These never fail to offend someone, no matter how careful you are). Use interviews to encourage engagement and provide credibility. Write reviews of relevant products or services to show your audience that you care enough to provide them with your opinion and help them outside the office.
  10. Make sure you write powerful headlines. These are the bait that will bring the reader in.
  11. Check and reply to comments at least once a week (daily is best). Engage your blog audience by asking or answering questions, responding to comments, and creating polls.
  12. Find other blogs related to your theme and post comments there. Be sure and provide a link with your comment back to your blog to encourage discussion there as well.
  13. Build relationships with people or businesses that are in your target market. Give complementary Blog mentions about businesses in your community, talk about business owners you know or have done business with, and provide readers with a link to their website. Sending them a copy of this will build relationships and increase positive community exposure for you and your business.
  14. Be sure and register for the RSS feeds of other blogs. This will help you to stay current on your favorite blogs and may provide you with topics to discuss on your own blog.
  15. Technorati (www.technorati.com) covers popular trends and is a useful blog search engine to find what is popular. Make sure you register your blog with them so that you are in their directory. Other blog catalogues are available like blogcatalog.com and blogged.com. It’s always a good thing to have your blog listed in as many places as possible. This will increase your exposure and search engine rankings.
  16. Make sure that your blog is connected to your Facebook and Twitter platforms so every time you blog it is automatically posted on each of them. An easy way to do this is with the Facebook App, Networked Blogs. Your YouTube Channel should also be connected to your blog so that every time you upload a video it goes on your blog (more on that later). Ok- that was 16 tips:)

Bottom line – just get blogging! You have a message to share and people to help! Have fun!

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Copyright © Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp 2011. All rights reserved

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