Your healthcare organization is blogging. Great. Maybe you’re the person writing those blogs. Good. Or, maybe you’ve hired an agency to do it for you. Even better. How do you know your blogs are what patients want to read? In this blog about healthcare blogging, I’ll share some of my secrets for engaging patients, finding topics and making blog writing a little easier.
Secret #1—Blog with purpose.
What is the purpose of your organization’s blog? Is it to tell your story? To differentiate your organization? To promote a service line? Write it down and go back to it when you are looking for inspiration.
Secret #2—What’s in it for the patient?
Once you’ve decided why you’re blogging think about why your patients should read your blogs. What’s in it for them? What is the takeaway? Find out what they struggle with, and what would make the biggest difference in their lives. Be generous with your knowledge. Tell them how they can overcome their healthcare hurdles. Make sure you are giving them something valuable in each blog.
Secret #3—Your blogging “voice.”
The voice of your blog should follow the voice of your organization whether it’s the caring expert or the compassionate provider. Blogs are a less formal way of sharing information, so remember to make your blogs conversational and easy to read and digest. You want to humanize your organization. This is not the right venue to use technical jargon or healthcare acronyms; they only create barriers between you and your readers.
Secret #4—Generating ideas
Aim to write at least one blog per week. Brainstorm ideas a minimum of one month at a time and create an editorial calendar. Healthcare is full of blog topic potential:
- share patient testimonials
- educate patients about living healthy and preventing chronic diseases
- publish question and answer sessions with your providers—oncologist, primary care physicians, obstetricians, gynecologists, pediatricians, orthopedic surgeons, cardiologist.
- introduce new providers
- share provider stories
- explain new procedures and treatments
- share your organization’s views about the latest medical topics/research in the news
Okay there are really no good secrets, “hacks” or shortcuts when it comes to actually writing. Here’s a process that works for me:
- take notes on your research
- let it sit overnight
- generate an interesting headline
- have an outline in mind
- write for one person—it may be a patient with diabetes, a new mom, someone anticipating surgery
- set a few hours aside for a first draft—remember this is for one person
- let it sit overnight
- write the final draft
Writing healthcare blogs patients want to read can differentiate you from other healthcare organizations in your community. It is an important tool for telling your story, attracting more patients, creating relevant content on your website and improving your search engine visibility. It builds loyalty and positions you as knowledgeable, transparent and trustworthy. It’s something every healthcare organization should be doing regularly. If you need help, give us a call. We know healthcare and we’ve been blogging about it for years.