Are you a genius with a stethoscope but suffer from aphasia when it comes to writing a medical blog? You are not alone. Most medical professionals spend their time practicing medicine, not writing about it. Besides, medical marketing is not as easy as it looks – there is a fine line between seeming catatonic and sounding as if you are peddling Dr. Wilson’s Memory Elixir at the traveling medicine show. Fortunately, you can learn how to write a great medical blog that is both informative and engaging.
You know you need a medical blog for your practice’s website – all the doctors are doing it. Content marketing is one of the most important things you can do for your business, even if that business is providing healthcare. Almost every industry has embraced content marketing to boost brand image, manage reputation, educate consumers, and increase sales. Now an increasing number of doctors, dentists, surgeons and other practitioners utilize medical content marketing to reach out to new patients and develop stronger relationships with existing patients, and you can too.
Develop a List of Keywords
As you may know, internet users type keywords into Google and other search engines to find websites that interest them. You can integrate keywords into your blog to make your website appear in search engine results.
Develop a list of go-to keywords for your practice. Do not get bogged down in keyword analytics unless you already have an SEO guy with nothing better to do. The most important keywords are:
- The name of your practice
- Your name
- City and state
- Your area of practice
- Your services
Grab a handful more keywords from WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool.
Use a couple of relevant keywords two to three times in each blog and always in a natural way. It is better to leave out keywords than to stuff them in.
Pick a Topic
Choose a relevant topic that you feel passionately about. Share your feelings or expertise about the Mayo Clinic breakthrough where a massive dose of the measles vaccine caused remission of a woman’s cancer, for example, or discuss the benefits of hand washing during cold and flu season.
When you have trouble coming up with an interesting topic, start by reviewing your keyword list. Consider writing a topic around a keyword that you have not yet covered in your blog. Search the medical news websites including Science Daily and Medical News Today. Borrow ideas from your favorite trade magazine or discussions with peer and patients.
Watch Your Language
Match the words you use to your intended audience. Use medical jargon when writing for medical professionals and everyday words when blogging for patients. QID is fine when discussing medication schedules with physicians, for example, but say “four times a day” in all other blogs.
Choosing a narrative mode is as important as picking a topic – maybe even more so. Think of your narrative mode as your bedside manner.
Here is a quick review of narrative mode, straight from your high school English class:
- First person singular: “I can treat your illness,” “We specialize in minimally invasive techniques,” and “My experience and training in orthopedic surgery”
- Second person: “You might experience a headache” and “Take your child to the hospital”
- Third person: “He complained of abdominal pain,” “Female patients lose more weight,” and “the doctor performed CPR and saved the patient’s life.”
First and second person narratives should be your first course in blog treatment as they allow you to connect to your readers on a personal level. They have a warm, personable tone that convey compassion and empathy but may sound overly friendly in some circumstances.
Third person narrative sounds professional but has a distinct flat affect that could cause drowsiness in some patients. Reserve your third person narratives for physicians and other medical professionals who have developed tolerance to such publications.
Perhaps the best way to create a great medical blog is to contract the help of professional medical writing services. Medical ghost writers usually have some degree of clinical experience and they already know about keywords, SEOs and narratives.
Creating a great medical blog is easier than you think. With a little practice, writing a blog will come as naturally as writing out a prescription. You don’t even need a stethoscope.
Lynn H is a medical writer and content marketing specialist. She works with B2B and B2C organizations to promote brand awareness and increase sales.