Anyone can start a blog. It is a very important tool for any organization, especially in today’s digitalized world. Even as a healthcare practice, it would be beneficial to start a blog if you haven’t already.
Why is it beneficial?
Establish Your Practice
A blog is a great way to establish your organization as an authority figure in the healthcare field and in the location where you operate. It can also, if you post on a regular basis, help your practice stay relevant within the field and your community. For example, you can post about a new breakthrough in the medical field. By providing the most up to date information (while being careful not to give medical advice in blog posts), you are showing to your readers that you and your practice do actively keep up-to-date on information that they care about.
Communicate & Engage with Patients
In addition, a blog is a good way of reaching out to and engaging with patients. It is a great means to communicate any new information regarding the practice. For example, if your practice is going to switch from in person patient registration to an electronic method, then you can update a blog post about these new procedures. Or, if your practice is introducing telehealth, you can post on the blog about that. You can also go further and use social media or email newsletters to update patients and direct them to this blog post for further details. But, having that blog post on the website will provide a lot of information for patients to read and understand what is happening at the healthcare practice.
Engage The Community
Furthermore, especially to readers who are not yet patients of your practice, having a blog can let them get to know the people that make up your clinic/hospital/etc. For example, you can write posts spotlighting different members of your practice in each. This helps create a welcoming community for potential patients and getting to know who may be helping them could build people’s trust in your practice. This could even help current patients get to know more about those who they meet during a visit. Overall, a blog is also a good way to engage patients and create a community within the practice.
Now that you’ve heard some benefits of running a blog for your healthcare practice, how do you get started?
What Are Your Blogging Goals?
Before you even consider setting up a website, think about your goals for this blog. Is it to drive traffic to a pre-existing website? Is it to communicate with members in your community? As well, what is your budget for this? How much time do you want to spend? These are all things to consider because they could affect how you build your blog. For example, if your goal is to engage the community, perhaps then when you are setting up the website, make sure that the website builder you are using allows you to add a section for comments from readers or a messaging feature. If you want to set up a blog to drive traffic to your pre-existing website, then the steps you take to start a blog differs from someone who does not yet have a website.
Firstly, you need a computer and internet access. With these two things, you are already halfway to starting a blog. Next, if your practice already has a website, then it is just a matter of accessing the website builder and adding a page for blog content. If your practice does not have a website yet, you need to create a website and start your blog on there.
What If My Practice doesn’t Have A Website?
There are a few options for how you can do this. First, you will need a unique domain name. You can, for example, name it after your healthcare practice. Or, if that is already taken, another version of your practice’s name. Choose something that is not too complicated, easy to spell and to remember.
You can use a free content management system like WordPress. For systems such as WordPress you will need to also choose a way to host your website (there are many options out there, you can choose one that best fits your budget). There are also other website building options that allow you to build a website and host within the same company for a subscription fee. You want to choose a cost efficient way that best suits your practice’s needs.
Who Will Run The Blog?
You also need to decide who is going to manage the blog. Is this going to be done by existing staff, or do you want to contract this task out. Maybe there is already a person managing your website and they will be responsible for updating the blog. The person writing also needs to decide when to update the blog. Will it be weekly, monthly, or will you update more frequently if there is news?
What Do We Blog About?
Once the set up has been decided and tasks are assigned, now it is time to let the creativity flow. What type of content do you want to write about? We gave some suggestions above, but there is a ton more that your practice can post about to engage your readers. You can have a post answering questions frequently asked by patients about your practice. Or you can post about new achievements of your physicians, nurses, and staff. Whatever you decide to post about, just make sure you remember who you are writing for and target your writing to the right audience. Happy blogging!