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Dos and Don’ts For Starting a Physician Blog

Dos and Don’ts For Starting a Physician Blog

Health information is one of the most popular topics people search for online. This is true on a global, as well as a local, scale. Starting a physician blog can provide your practice with promotional and marketing benefits that you may have a difficult time finding elsewhere. However, before implementing a blogging presence, there are certain things you should know right from the start.

Writing a physician blog can be an effective way to drive traffic to your website, establish yourself as an authority or expert in a particular area, and stay on the radar with your patients. Yet there are certain dos and donts that you should follow in order to make your blog more successful and effective.

The Dos:

  • Dedicate a person. Ideally, you should have one person who is in charge of all your social media efforts. That way, everything has the same voice, is consistent, and will remain professional across the board.
     
  • Outsource if needed. While you can hire someone to handle your social media efforts, or to handle just your blog, you don’t have to take on that expense. Our company administers blogs for a number of practices to help fine tune their messages.
     
  • Use SEO. Using search engine optimization tactics, or including the appropriate key words, will help people find your article and site. Be sure to keep SEO in mind when writing posts, so that you can get the most out of your efforts.
     
  • Make it interesting! I cannot stress this highly enough. Give people content that will be of interest or benefit to them. This can include health-related tips, reminders, suggestions, etc. If they are interested in it, they will keep reading and may even share it with others.
     
  • Localize it. Unless you are aiming to become a nationally recognized physician, you should localize your posts to draw in those in your area. Be sure to include local city keywords in your writing. You may also want to post about local events in which your practice is involved.

The Donts:

  • Outright sell. Avoid making your blog posts outright sales pitches. This will only turn the reader off. Giving them content they can use or will find interesting is the best way to keep them reading.
     
  • Give medical advice. The Federation of State Medical Boards published guidelines on social media usage for physicians a few years ago, particularly when it comes to maintaining the “integrity of the physician-patient relationship.” It is important to follow the same privacy policy as you would do in any other electronic media.
     
  • Neglect it. Starting a blog but then neglecting it may be annoying to some. It may also be a sign to others that you don’t follow through, or they may come to other negative conclusions as a result. If you are going to start a blog, keep it going, even if you are posting on a bi-weekly basis.
     
  • Write poorly. Blog posts that have been written poorly, including having grammar mistakes and factual errors, may reflect badly on your practice. This is another reason why you may want to outsource the writing aspect.
     
  • Be negative or provide political opinions. Recently, blogs have been used as sounding boards by physicians on their politics. You should have discussions with your staff if you go along this path, as you not only represent yourself, but you are also representing the entire practice. Avoid also in making negative statements about your competition, your staff, or your patients. That will reflect poorly on your business. Instead, remain professional, which will demonstrate why people should choose you as their doctor. 

Blogs can be a powerful and effective tool. They can help you grow your business, keep in touch with your patients, bring in new ones, and establish you as an expert. But it is important that your blog be done right, so that you don’t offend, annoy, or send people in the other direction.

 
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