How to Blog Effectively

Learn to Blog From Comedians.  Randall Wong, M.D., Medical Marketing Enterprises, LLCI learned how to blog from comedians.  Comedians taught me the basic steps to writing articles for my blog.  It was easy.

Listening to  the comedy channel on XM radio gave me confidence and taught me a framework for learning to copy-write (i.e. writing blogposts).  While they technically didn’t invent blogging, I found the process to be the same.

Joke vs. Post

Comedians write jokes, we create posts, or articles.  Both start with a concept which must be refined for a specific audience.  The comic will rehearse to maximize the impact of the punch line while the copywriter will rewrite and edit her article hoping to convey her message in a clear, concise manner.

I usually write the rough copy as fast as I think of my points, not taking time to spell check or even write in complete sentences.  I’ll rewrite to expand some ideas and cut out the repetitive, meaningless words.  Subheadings come last.  When I get stuck, I’ll work on something else.  There is a process, and just like a great joke, a great article shouldn’t be rushed.

When ready, the comedian incorporates the joke in a new routine.  So, too, the blogger “publishes” her article.

Speak to One Audience

No joke is funny to everyone., just as your post will not resonate with all of your readers.  Just as you may laugh at a joke, the person sitting next to you may not.  With the next joke, however, the reverse may happen…she laughs and you don’t.

Jokes create laughter, blog posts answer questions or solve problems (e.g. “How do I….?).

Your articles should answer one question or solve one problem at a time.  Doing so, will allow you to be most relevant to those with that same exact problem.  It’s too hard to write an answer for several problems at the same time.  You’ll lose relevance.

Some articles will work, some won’t.  You can not appeal to everyone.

As the comedian can not tell more than one joke at a time, your articles should be focused on one answer at a time.  One post should contain one message.

Becoming a Fan

Every comedian has hundreds of jokes in her arsenal, just as a blogger has many posts (articles).

Building a following for your blog is the same as listening to a comedian run through her routine.  You’ll like some of the jokes and your neighbor likes others, but you both become a fan as, overall, the jokes are funny and appreciated by both of you.

With time, your articles will reflect your attitudes, views and your style.  People who like your style become your fans and will begin to follow you.

Feedback

Feedback is important, too.  A comic gets immediate feedback from laughter.  We get feedback from analytics and the comments left on our website.

Just as a comedian drops bad jokes from her routine.  Use analytics to determine what type of articles work and don’t work for your audience.  Write additional or related articles to those that work.  Drop what doesn’t work.

 

To Your Growth And Success!

Randy

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization

www.MedicalMarketingEnterprises.com

 

 

Starting to Understand SEO, Include a Title with Every Article

There are two versions of every article I write.  One version is written in English for you, my readers.  A second version is generated (automatically) for the computers and is written in a computer language called HTML.

Search engine optimization is the process of fine-tuning the HTML version so the search engines may easily index and rank your webpage.  “Optimizing” this process gets your pages ranked as high as possible.  The result is high rankings for your webpage.

Where is the HTML?

Every page you read on the Internet has an HTML version.  Right click on a page and choose “view page source.”  This is the computer coded version of the article you are reading.  These are the instructions for your computer and web-browser to generate all the visible and audible parts of your webpage.

Within the HTML lies the information needed to index your webpage with the search engines.  The process of completing or “optimizing” this information is called SEO (search engine optimization).

You Don’t Know HTML?

Almost all website programs (aka HTML generators), blogging software (aka content management systems) and word processors automatically generate an HTML version of your webpage, blog post or simple text document.  You don’t need to do it.

Most successful bloggers do not know HTML.  You don’t either.

Fortunatley, converting your text to HTML is standare.  In fact, there’s no variation between systems and is very uniform regardless of the system you are using.

Header (Title), Subheader, Keywords, Meta Tags and Anchor Text

Completing all the necessary elements for the SEO; however, varies greatly.  The method to complete the basic SEO elements such as;

  • the header (telling the bots what your article is about),
  • sub-headers (phrases that augment the header),
  • keywords (main subject of the article, should be one or two words only),
  • meta tags (additional descriptors) and
  • anchor text (a hyperlink using descriptive words),

all differ from system to sytem.  Most systems require you to manually complete these items (there are special boxes to fill in for every article…usually) to allow insertion into the HTML.

In many cases, the authors ignore the SEO and the search engine is left to it’s own devices to figure out the most important elements of your work to index and rank.

What Can You Do?

1.  Don’t ignore the SEO.  It’s the key to content marketing and the only way to get your webpage ranked highly.

2.  Install SEO Plugins on your WordPress site.  These plugins will help you easily complete the necessary SEO fields to get you started to optimize your own articles.  Highly reputable plugins include;

3.  Make sure each of your articles has a correct title, keywords and meta tags.  While the use of keywords and meta tags is no longer used by Google, it is a helpful exercise to start using these descriptors to index your article on your own.  Other search engines may still index your site using these criteria.

To Your Growth And Success!

Randy

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization

www.MedicalMarketingEnterprises.com

 

Health Posts: What to Write About

 How does a doctor avoid writer's block.  Several tips on subject matter for a medical blogger.

The art of writing for a website is copywriting.  Writing relevant content on a regular basis adds value to your site and is an integral piece of  creating great SEO (search engine optimization).

But what do you write about?

There is an endless supply of topics for a health professional.  When I started, I was afraid my list of suitable ideas would be extinguished in a few short weeks.  But I have several ways I prevent “writer’s block;”

1.  Your Explanations:

As a physician, you have an arsenal of explanation to the most frequently asked questions in your office.  Use these answers or explanations as sources for your writing.  The best part about using your answers is that you have already perfected them by rehearsing them over and over again, so all you need to do is write them down!

The answers to these questions would make great blog posts for your medical website;

  • What antibiotic is best for the common cold?
  • Am I hurting my eyes if I sit too close to the TV or don’t have enough light?

There is a second advantage to using your lectures as topics;  you can send your patients to your website for them to re-read what you just went over in the office…a great teaching tool and time saver!

2.  Electronic Journals and Magazines

I personally subscribe to about 6 Ophthalmology “journals” and blogs.  I have all the emails from each sent to my email address and some RSS feeds are sent to a news aggregator to save time and improve efficiency.   I use “Google Reader.”   Do a search for journals and electronic magazines in your specialty.

In this way,  it is a very easy to keep on top of current events in your field.  I’ll select those articles that are appropriate for my patient and education.  Remember don’t “copy,” but rewrite.  “Duplicate Content” is a huge no-no!

3.  Transparency – Articles about yourself.

One thing that docs and their medical practices need to do is to show some transparency, both as a small business and personal.  The experts recommend that one article in every 10-12 should have some element of transparency, showing that you are human.  It will help define you to your readers.

In the past, I’ve written about;

Medical providers have a greater advantage over the typical copywriter because the wider range of topics that we can use.  Take advantage of the work you’ve honed in your practice, continue reading your journals and blend in a little bit about yourself!