3If you don’t have a blog yet, now is the time! Having a blog has several benefits. Blog posts:
- Add fresh content to your website. This shows readers and search engines that your site is current and old, stale and ignored.
- Enable you to engage with your readers. Not only are you getting your message out about a specific topic, viewers can add comments and you can respond back. These posts reflect your personality, show you to be a real person and one that patients can relate to. Responses show that you give validity to their thoughts and feelings.
- Provide an avenue to inform patients and prospective ones about any new techniques or changes to your practice. It also allows you to inform your patients about any news regarding the types of services that you provide.
So, How do you Set up a Blog?
Fortunately, there are several choices available ranging from ready-to-use templates to customized sites.
One of the most important questions before setting up a site is whether you want to have your own platform or a blog on a platform owned by a company. (E.G. Squarespace, Medium ,CopyBlogger, Apple.)
The advantage of using a pre-existing platform is that you have immediate access to an existing audience that is seeking content. This may seem very attractive since you are starting out with no readers and the idea of trying to build up an audience may be daunting. It may also seem easier to begin with.
The disadvantage is that the platform owners are the ones in control of what happens to your blog in the future. After entering content over a prolonged period of time, it can be wiped out with the stroke of a key by a company buy out/merger, change of policies, or a server shut-down.
While building your own site gives you the flexibility and freedom to make it exactly how you want, it also means a more upfront and ongoing time investment and potential development costs. You’re also starting with no audience, which can make it tough to get your content noticed.
I recommend starting with a site of your own and the one I recommend is a WordPress-powered blog. There is WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The difference is that the .com is free and there is a monthly nominal charge for the org. version. The other difference is that the org version affords more versatility, more customization and more services attached to it.
One of the very important benefits of WordPress is that the blog posts can be attached to your website rendering regular fresh content to your website itself. This helps boost your search engine rankings as the search bots see that your site is not old and stale.
In addition, the support team at WordPress is stellar and whenever you run into difficulties, there is a live person that can walk you through your problems.
Blogging= Content Marketing Strategy
Blog posts are a great way to start your content marketing strategy as present with the fewest obstacles. You don’t need a graphic artist or anything special. Just start and you’re ready.
You don’t need a designer or special equipment. Just start writing and you’re ready to go.
Single Grain CEO Eric Siu explains how to build a blog post in the following with Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth:
Start with an outline: Start with just a skeleton of what you want to say. This means having a few lines for your intro and why people should care about your topic, as well as outlining the main points or sub-headers you’re going to use throughout the post. Read through this. Does it make sense? Does your outline quickly answer What, Why, How and Where?
Add the meat: These are the details, the statistics, quotes, images, or case studies. If you’re making claims in your post you need to back it up. Use Google to find statistics around your topic. And when you link out to studies or references, these are great people to reach out to later on when you’re distributing your content.
One-up the competition: At this point you’ve got a good post, but not a great one. Take the next step and see what the competition is doing. What’s the #1 result for your topic and how can you make yours better? Can you go more in-depth? Add more images or resources?
Write a great headline: The last, and almost most important part of writing is your headline. You only click on things that catch your eye when you’re scrolling through social media, and your audience is the same. There are great resources on writing headlines on Copyblogger and Quicksprout.
Add an effective featured image: People love images and adding a featured image before the post has been shown to give you 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets on Twitter alone. Check out sites like Unsplash for better-than-stock photos and then use a tool like Canva to add extra elements like text or icons.
Do you feel that you’d like to have a blog but just don’t have the time to be consistent with it? No worries! Contact Barbara@TheMedicalStrategist.com or call 561-325-9664. We can discuss your needs and get you started!