should doctors blog?
How your quality blog can dissolve medical disinformation
Consumers and patients get targeted ads in their regular news feeds, disguised as headline news. The content these headlines drive traffic to is often unregulated, international advertorial material that will offer completely different solutions to medical problems compared to your online profile. In this article, we explore why blogging is your defence against this new reality.
How your quality blog can dissolve medical disinformation
December 10, 2021
The battle against medical disinformation
reaching patients with blogs
In the big battle for attention, online information from other players is often interfering with your own presence. Take the typical ‘native advertising’ campaigns for example. They appear in your online newspaper, or in the feeds of broadcast outlets, with small headers that flag them as advertorials. The layout is homogenous with the ‘real’ news and the audience is allowed to stay in doubt about what it is that they actually represent.
We clicked on one of those breaking news stories offered by a major American news network and found that doctors in several countries were baffled by a revolution in weight loss treatment with simple patches on the patient’s feet.
That is where, as a specialist, you have a chance to blog and help the patient distinguish science from cloaked advertising. You would be on a unique mission there, blogging against disinformation so to speak.
How to fight medical disinformation?
should doctors blog or not?
So should doctors blog to counterbalance the daily truckload of automated posts and ads that are begging for the patient’s attention? Is it perhaps the best thing qualified doctors can do to balance out the highly sophisticated mechanics of ads, disguised as scientific news?
Blogging as a doctor is about sharing reliable, accurate medical information to help the patient understand things. It’s providing your local community with quality content that covers your specialty area: bariatric surgery in the case of our foot patches for weight loss.
But also as an orthopaedic surgeon, obstetrician or gastroenterologist, you can look at blogging as a contribution to society, in an era where millions seem carried away by content served by uncontrolled bots and algorithms.
How does your blog even stand a chance against these smart business models? It won’t eradicate the impact of that type of content of course. And yet, our patient search behaviour data, collected across disciplines since 2016, shows that in any dense market, thousands of people spend thousands of accumulated hours on local websites operated by specialist doctors. Remember that most of us use Google at different stages of the search journey. At the start when we don’t even know how to ask the right question, a little later when we have read up a little and now know what additional questions to ask, and near the end of our Google journey when we’re comparing offers, features, people and budgets.
That is where a blog strategy becomes part of a content marketing strategy. The purpose is to make your content visible for patients who do a specific type of common search in your local catchment area.
This is not just about getting more patients!
reasons why doctors should blog
If you are interested in exploring how content marketing – often partially supported by a blog strategy – helps you attract new patients and develop a successful health practice, check out some of our other featured articles in the Grow magazine:
It doesn’t happen often that a choice brings a double opportunity. One to consistently grow your online visibility, and at the same time a chance to share your wisdom so cloaked advertorials don’t shape the mind of a whole generation of consumers. In a world where not a single doctor would go online and spend some of their time educating us, we would be at the mercy of dozens of daily stories of doctors being baffled by the latest patch for obesity, fibroids or ACL injury, in Sweden, Australia and Luxembourg alike.
How to start publishing blogs as a doctor?
how to start a doctor’s blog
Let’s not forget an important aspect of all this. How? How can you start a blog that doesn’t end after four episodes? The three steps to a successful dedicated blog as a doctor are:
- Strategy: Plan ahead, select topics that are in line with the visibility you want to achieve for specific treatments or conditions, and map your timeline with the topics you plan to cover. Support this with good research habits, saving and bookmarking relevant information you come across so you can tap into your resources when you sit down to write the next piece for your medical blog.
- Keyword-driven: Attach each blog to a keyword, a treatment or a condition, a surgery type or an aspect of it (such as recovery after ACL reconstruction) and fully dedicate your paragraphs to the most commonly asked questions by patients on Google.
- Measure: Don’t fly blind. Measure the impact of each blog on your specific visibility for this treatment in your catchment area, and measure the impact on your overall visibility for the commodity search (for example gynaecologist Vancouver) so you can keep adjusting your topics plan and your blog timeline.
What else can a blog do for your practice?
healthcare blogging tips
A blog, transferred onto a platform such as LinkedIn, can put you in touch with hundreds of other doctors in your area. When your practice keeps popping up with educational content, other physicians and family doctors won’t need to think twice when they wonder who would be a reliable specialist to refer to for a high-risk pregnancy, an anterior hip replacement or a tummy tuck.
Frame your blog campaign well in the overall content marketing strategy for your practice or your personal profile, and you will start seeing the compounding effect of this work after only a few months.
Premium blog assistance now available
blog strategy for doctors
As tempting as it may be to download a free blog template and to set this up before dinner today…wait until you have booked your complementary 1:1. We can discuss the architecture of a great blog setup, look at some case study material and help you explore other options where you make use of the Digital Practice expertise so your blog propels you forward without losing time or money.