What motivates you to blog about health care?
On March 12, 21014, this week’s #hcsmca moderator Anne Dang explores blogging for health.
By Anne Dang (@AnneCCPA)
“Writing is meant to move the heart, the mind, the soul – not the page-view meter.” – Maria Popova
Content is king
I started my blog as a way of disseminating information, experiences and “lessons learned” during my years training to become a Physician Assistant (PA). Instead of answering X number of emails about the same topic about PAs, orthopaedics, or anything else in my areas of interest, I could address them in blog posts and reach a wider audience by leveraging my social media networks.
Whether as part of a social media/content marketing strategy of an organization, or an outlet for individuals to share their opinions, many people recognize there are audiences looking for content that delivers value, and makes their practice, business, or lives better. I personally subscribe to podcasts and blogs that talk about social media marketing, health & fitness, as well as productivity and personal development. I find myself recommending their content to others without any real benefit to myself. Seeing this process with myself and others, I realized good quality content that delivers on value gains popularity more through word-of-mouth than through investing large sums of money into marketing campaigns for content that does not provide value to its readers.
Blog to establish authority in your field
As a healthcare professional, I can establish my reputation in my field by writing about an area of expertise or specific topic of interest. With careful research, blogging can help bring attention to quality academic papers. But you have to be careful that you aren’t merely contributing to the noise, as Inger Mewburn and Pat Thomson point out in this blog post.
Blog about what you know
Social media has given voice to the patient experience. Patients, people living with chronic disease, parents, caregivers as well as health care professionals that look after them write about living life, managing illness – in short they blog about what they know and experience. They may also give voice to triumphs and frustrations with the health care delivery system, and are sometimes picked up by local media outlets bringing awareness to overlooked and underfunded issues.
Generating content is challenging
I set a goal for myself to blog every Tuesday. For various reasons (my job, volunteering, and extra-curricular activities), this has been challenging. Building an audience and expanding influence involves generating quality content on a regular basis. When I first started off, I often found myself staring at a blank screen, hoping for inspiration to hit. But with practice, it is getting easier.
It’s worth examining your motivations for writing. I love writing, expressing my thoughts, and sharing information for the betterment of patient care and health care professionals.
Join me this Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 1pm ET to look at our blogging practices together, answering:
- T1: Why do you blog?
- T2a: What challenges (or potential challenges) do you face with generating content on your blog?
- T2b: How have you addressed those challenges?
T3: How do you encourage engagement once the blog post has been published?