Posted in #HCSM

9 Tips to Help You Build a Better Healthcare Blog

Do you blog for your healthcare communications?

Whether you’re new to blogging, or you’ve been blogging for some time, these tips are designed to steer you in the right direction of building a better blog.

1.Perfect Your About Page

For new visitors to your blog, this will be one of the first pages they will visit, so it’s worth taking time to make it as professional as possible. Use this space to share the story of why you do what you do to advocate for disease awareness and educate and support your community.

2. Check Your Blog’s Load Speed

Does your blog load quickly? A good site will load in 2 seconds. If your blog is taking longer than that, consider that around 40% of people will leave a site if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds. You can check your blog’s loading speed with a tool like GTMetrix.com.

Insider Tip: If you like to add lots of images to your blog, be aware that large images can slow your blog down. Resizing your images can speed up the loading time. Upload your image to Picresize.com for quick and easy resizing.

3. Declutter Your Sidebar

Does your blog have a sidebar? Has it become crowded with widgets? Then it’s time to declutter Marie Kondo style. Get rid of anything that doesn’t add something valuable to the reader’s experience.

4. Showcase Popular Content

One thing that you should keep on your sidebar is a list of your most popular content. Use this space to showcase your best writing. And be sure to put hyperlinks in each of your posts that direct people to other popular posts on the same topic.

5. Make It Easy For Readers to Find Information on Your Site

Providing helpful information is great, but you also need to be sure that readers can find that information. By adding categories and tags to your posts, you make it easy for readers to find the information they need when they come to your blog. It also increases views on your other posts tagged with the same keywords.

6. Create An Email Sign-Up Form

Encourage readers to sign up to receive your latest posts. Nancy Stordahl, who blogs at NancysPoint.com, advises “anyone who wants to increase readership to her/his blog to consider sending out a monthly or weekly email with links to new posts and possibly one or two older ones. “I became very frustrated with Facebook’s algorithms because it seemed no one was seeing posts I shared. Having your own email list puts you and your readers in control.”

7. Add Social Sharing Buttons

By making it easy for visitors to your blog to share your content, you increase the likelihood that they will take this action. When more people share your content, you increase the chance of driving more visitors to your blog, and having your content seen by more people.

8. Choose Typography Carefully

Typography is made up of elements such as font type and size, kerning (white space between individual characters or letters), and tracking and spacing. It’s an important factor in making your content more readable for visitors to your site.

9. Backup Your Blog

Finally, you’ve put a lot of effort and time into your blog and you don’t want to risk losing all your great content. You never know when your blog might get hacked, and the best defense is scheduling regular backups using a plug-in like BackWPup.

You might also like to read: Need a topic for your healthcare blog? Here are 12 ideas to get you started

Posted in #HCSM

10 Smart Ways To Drive More Readers To Your Healthcare Blog

Blogs written by physicians, nurses, researchers, patients, and allied healthcare professionals add much to the richness and diversity of the online healthcare conversation.

But it’s not enough to write great content and hope that people will find it. You need to actively promote your blog to maximize opportunities for more people to find and learn from your content. In today’s post, I will share with you 10 tried and tested ways guaranteed to drive more traffic and increase engagement on your healthcare blog.

1. Tailor Your Content To Your Audience’s Needs

Firstly, every piece of content that you create should have an intended audience. What kind of healthcare information are your patients looking for? What problems can your content solve for them? Focusing more clearly on your audience will help you to create content that will draw more readers to your blog. The key here is to really know your audience and their pain-points and write content that specifically answers their particular needs.

2. Hook Your Readers With An Irresistible Headline

If content is king, then the headline is queen. Your headline is the first impression you make on a prospective reader. A good headline frames your content. No matter how amazing your content is, few people are going to click through to read it if they’re not immediately captivated by your headline.

Recommended Reading: 7 Tools To Find Inspiration For Your Headlines

3.  Use Keywords Strategically

It’s important to include keywords in your content if you want to rank higher for particular search terms and attract more readers to your blog. The Google Keyword Planner within Adwords is a useful tool to find ideas for content based on keyword search. Google also displays related search results at the bottom of the first page when you type in your Google search query. This is a super-helpful resource as it returns ideas that are relevant to your topic based on user interest and contextual words.

4. Create Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is the kind of content that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers. A Moz case study defines evergreen posts as “content having a continued and sustained success” and also shows that evergreen posts can generate traffic years after their original publication. Some common evergreen formats include Lists, and How To’s.

5. Add Visual Appeal

Study after study confirms that how you create and share content matters
with visual content leading the way. When it comes to creating visual content, don’t be tempted to reach for the nearest stock image. These days there’s no excuse for using boring stock images. In this post, I share my best recommendations for sourcing images you can use for free to enhance your social media posts.

6. Maintain A Consistent Posting Schedule

To create and maintain interest with your audience you need to post consistently to stay in front of your audience’s eyes and keep growing. One of the best ways to do this is to create recurring content. Recurring content form hooks which keep readers interested in coming back to your site. Having specific days or times that you post content means followers will get into the habit of checking your social media to see if anything new has appeared. Examples could be creating a weekly round-up post on your blog.

7. Leverage Guest Blogging

Whether you invite a guest blogger to blog on your site, or you guest blog for someone else, guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to increase your blog’s traffic. Not only do you get the opportunity to build your authority and increase your visibility, you can also leverage the social following of your guest blogger when you mention them on social media.

8.  Drive More Traffic With Social Shares

By making it easy for visitors to your site to share your content, you increase the likelihood that they will take this action. When more people share your content, you increase the chance of driving more visitors to your blog. Make sure your social sharing buttons are clearly visible. Check out this advice on the best position to place share icons on a web page.

9. Send an e-Newsletter to Subscribers

Newsletters can help keep your content top of mind with readers and drive more traffic to your website. Consider sending an email digest of your most recent blog posts, or send a targeted email each time you publish new content.

10. Repurpose Your Existing Content

Repurposing content simply means taking one asset and reusing it somewhere else. By re-purposing content you have already written, you can expand the reach of your content and attract new audiences.  Identify your most popular content through your blog analytics tool and by using Google Analytics. You should aim to repurpose any content that consistently performs well.

These are just some of the ways in which you can drive more traffic to your website. Can you add more suggestions to this list?