These 5 simple types of posts have proven to help increase traffic and build a loyal audience that will take your blog to the next level.
In blogging, as in life, it’s not always what you say, but how you say it. There are many talented and creative people out there that are unable to establish a successful blog to complement their ideas. Simply coming up with healthcare blog topics is easy, but creating the type of sharable content that readers love can be a bit more challenging. That doesn’t necessarily mean it requires more time or effort, however – just a better understanding of your audience. Thankfully, for healthcare blogs, several types of posts tend to be universally popular across all demographics. Being able to identify the most useful medical blog ideas and apply similar methods to your writing is what separates average blogs from great blogs.
Understand that I’m not suggesting you alter your writing style to mimic other writers. It’s important to create and maintain a voice that is unique to you. Don’t overdo it by trying to be something you’re not. Healthcare blogging is not about being the smartest or funniest person on the internet – it’s about creating content your readers will find useful and enjoyable. For example, Dr. Bryan Vartabedian of 33charts.com is one of my favorite healthcare bloggers out there, but if I tried to write the same way that Dr. Vartabedian does, the result would be a disaster.
When creating your own unique voice, it can still be valuable to research other bloggers within the healthcare industry. In particular, you should focus on the types of posts that tend to have success among their readers. From there, you can infuse your own distinct message and voice into replications of these formats in order to create highly entertaining, sharable content that will boost traffic to your blog.
Here are 5 types of medical and healthcare blog posts your readers will love:
For the past few years in the blogosphere, no type of content has been hotter than lists. Their popularity is easy to understand – we’re naturally wired to love lists. There are even lists that describe why our brains love lists. Buzzfeed, now one of the most visited websites in the United States, built its entire empire strictly by creating a website dedicated to creating different types of lists. They’re everywhere and for a good reason.
The influence lists have on the healthcare blogging world is no different. In particular, people love lists that rank items in a certain topic from best to worst, but all forms of lists have proven to be incredibly popular with readers. There are no set guidelines on how to construct your list. In general, most lists should be concise and easy to read. However, longer descriptive lists certainly have their place too. Regardless, whatever subject you are considering writing about, find a way to streamline the content into a numbered list, then sit back and watch the shares add up.
Another vastly popular format for medical blog posts is how-to guides (or tutorials). When you strip them down to their simplest form, the premise of any how-to guide is pretty straightforward: identify a problem, then introduce a step-by-step solution to solving the problem. Plain and simple.
These posts can be very powerful for a number of reasons, including the fact that how-to guides are naturally prone to more organic visits derived from search engine results. For instance, if you write a post informing readers how to perform a self-exam for breast cancer, you may not initially receive the number of shares a “top 10” list would get out of the gate. But, this article would likely have a larger impact over an extended period of time, elongated by the sheer number of “how to perform a self-exam for breast cancer” searches that occur on a daily basis. And, even more importantly, a medical blog idea such as this one could potentially save lives.
One aspect that should always be considered when constructing a how-to post is the validity of the content you are posting. While this can always be important, it is often intensified in how-to guides as compared to other formats because you are providing instructions to readers based on some level of expertise. These posts are an excellent way to establish credibility with your audience if you are providing factually accurate information – but it can be equally detrimental when the information is flawed.
An infographic is essentially taking all the information in your original healthcare blog post and presenting it as a visual illustration. While they do require a bit more creativity from a design standpoint, they can pay off tremendously in the long run, as they tend to get shared much more often than most written forms of content. And while some may argue that infographics are a thing of the past, statistics show otherwise.
It’s important to not depend on your content going viral based solely on the fact that it is an infographic. Yes, it will help, but only when you put in the time and effort to make it educationally and visually appealing. It may be beneficial to utilize a graphic designer if you have access to one, or the funds available to hire one. However, there are several infographic generators that are easy to use should you choose that route instead.
Interviews are a wonderful tool to help your blog gain exposure and establish your reputation. For medical blog posts, people are going to want to hear directly from the experts. People love the engaging nature of interviews. They appreciate being able to absorb the knowledge of someone willing to open up and share their thoughts and experiences. Obviously, not everyone is open to giving an interview. But there are still plenty of individuals in the healthcare industry who are more than willing – all you have to do is ask.
The large majority of work involved in an interview post for your blog occurs before actually constructing the blog post. Finding a willing suitor and conducting the interview can be a lengthy process logistically, so an interview might not be your best choice if you are facing an impending deadline for a blog post. Once the interview process is completed, however, posting it is a relatively pain-free process. All that is left to do is decide whether or not you want to transcribe the content of the interview as text, audio, or video, and then post it to your blog accordingly.
Posting a highly opinionated piece can be relatively high-risk, high-reward when compared to other types of medical content. These rants, for lack of a better word, can be highly sharable pieces of content when done the right way.
In short, if you are passionate about something, let it be known. In the healthcare industry, there are many things that are considered “settled science”, but there are also plenty of blog topics that are still up for debate. Opinionated posts tend to be much less restrained and more expressive than typical blog posts. Make your beliefs known and stand your ground - providing evidence supporting your stance can help you even more. There will be people who agree with you, and people who disagree with you – and both groups are going to be likely to share your article due to its unique and powerful essence.
Ultimately, there is no universally best way to come up with a healthcare blog idea. A long-running blog will likely include multiple varieties of blogs. As long as you can be authentic, include reliable sources, and know-how to appeal to your audience, you can become a successful healthcare blogger.
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