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!


3 Secrets to Writing Great Copy

3 Secrets to Great CopyWriting,
Great SEO copywriting for the web means writing articles that appeal to both your readers and the search engines. Your goal is to write content that interests your readers and is search engine optimized! Good SEO practices will allow your pages to rank higher.

Copywriting, or posting for your blog, is different than writing an English essay or a research paper. These 3 “rules” should help you achieve your goals of attracting both readers and high rankings.

Choose One Topic Per Post

One of the difficulties I had when getting started was trying to whittle down my message. I tried to stuff way too much information into the same article. In short, I was trying to say so much that it either diluted my real message or completely lost my reader.

Two reasons to limit yourself to one topic. First, it focuses your task of copywriting. By staying with one message, it is easier to construct meaningful titles, headlines and sub-titles that are necessary to grab your readers attention and, just as importantly, achieve great SEO.

Second, most people searching the Internet have a very specific question. Thus, they are searching for a specific answer. By limiting yourself to one topic, you are more likely to grab the attention of your readers as you’ll be providing a more direct answer.

“O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?”

You will not be reviewed by your colleagues. You are writing to your potential patients. Close your eyes and imagine one single person, patient or client to whom you are writing. Write in a style and use words that will appeal to that imaginary person, not your colleagues.

In a way, this is like writing a love letter, you want to reach out and appeal to your reader. Your writing has to strike home and make a connection with your audience. Don’t write to “show off.” Your readers will “bounce” away.

Effective writing requires that you communicate at the same level as your reader. Unlike most of your technical writing, you must write “down” to your reader. Writing “above” the reader will bore them.

One simple tactic I’ve used is to write down the hundreds of well rehearsed answers (lectures) I have given to patient questions. Over time, we all have our “pat” answers to commonly asked questions. As you know,these answers are well rehearsed because we have given them thousands of times. This is a great source of content…and you’ve already created it! Just write it down.

Size Matters

This is easy. You want your article to be about 300 – 600 words in length. Too short and you won’t index well. Too long and you’ll bore your readers and your “bounce” rate increases. Remember that your posts must grab the attention of the search engines and your potential clients!

In the next article, we’ll cover proper formatting to capture the attention of your readers!

Social Media Marketing: Make the Time

Social Media for Medicine: Take the time, Medical Marketing Enterprises

Is the Day Ever Long Enough?

A fantasy of mine is to have a personal assistant who will take care of all the things that need to happen in my life, but don’t necessarily need my personal attention. He or she will waltz in each day and know just what I need to accomplish and will tackle it all with ease. Like I said; fantasy. In the medical practice industry, there are office staffs, teams and business partners who successfully do the tackling on a daily basis, yet the struggle to manage one’s own schedule effectively continues.

I Can’t Find the Time

For years, I thought I needed to “find” time. I have recently come to believe that the idea that we can “find” time is a cop-out, we have to make the effort. There is no easy way to do it, we have to commit and it takes focus and attention. When we decide to make a commitment and what it means for the outcomes we’re seeking, establishing a routine can be a pretty important consideration. It can also be anything but “routine” to get started…

I struggle with this myself. I’ve noticed recently that my priorities have shifted in a few areas of my life and I am devoting more time to the things I want to accomplish, rather than the things that seem to get in the way. (Insert applause here.) The biggest challenge has been maintaining some semblance of my daily routines, personal and work- related, while finding enough hours to make sure that these new priorities have a place a place, too. Sound familiar? I don’t quite have a routine yet, it’s going to take…. wait for it…. time.

Investment is not Just Money

We tend to forget that investment is not always monetary. Any investment that your medical practice makes in an effort to expand and provide a return will also be time. In this context, time often includes education, research, planning and implementation. The process is cyclical and as the effort progresses, the amount of effort invested tends to decrease as efficiency increases. Once you establish a process and a web presence/following, the ratio of time to return changes in your favor.

Time is of the Essence

We’ve all read statistics about the year over year increases in people joining social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others. And who knows, in a few more years they could all be passé as we shift to ever more progressive methods of interaction and communication. My point is this… if you believe that social media can be a marketing tool to help you grow your medical practice, there is no time to waste. The medical practice industry is one last industries to embrace the web as a means to improve the return on marketing investment.

Making the Best Use

At the risk of being cliché, I’ll wrap this up with a quote from Ben Franklin who officially coined the phrase “Time is Money” long before the rise of industry and technology which we rely upon so heavily today. “In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; i.e. Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both.”

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