Thinking of Blogging on Your Practice's Website?
With it getting tougher and tougher for small medical practices to survive, many practices are tightening their belts financially. And, for many practices, the marketing budget may be one of the first items to get cut. As a result, many offices are trying to do their own marketing. A great marketing tool can be your own blog.
If you’d like to try your hand at blogging, we suggest the following:
1. Choose your topics carefully. (More on this below.)
2. Set yourself a doable blogging schedule. (For many, once a week or once a month is manageable.) Whatever it is, keep it consistent. It looks unprofessional if a blog seems like it has been “abandoned.”
3. Do NOT blog about actual patients –even if you try to conceal their identity. Many physicians are chagrined to learn that patients have been able to identify themselves or that they simply forgot to remove or change a name, or cover the eyes of a photo of a patient. And, in addition to it being embarrassing for physicians to mishandle private patient information, it is also a violation of HIPAA. Violating HIPAA can result in very serious consequences, including significant fines. Do not take this lightly.
4. Always proofread your posts. Again, not doing so, makes you look unprofessional.
Suggestions for Blog Topics:
-Profile yourself and each of your staff members separately. Make sure each staff member gets to review their profile for accuracy and consent before you post it. Keep the profiles consistent. A profile that is professional but with a little bit of personal information (like interests or hobbies) makes it more readable and interesting.
-Write about your treatment philosophy.
-Blog about the types of patients you most successfully treat and/or like to treat. If you enjoy working with older patients, say it. If you like working with medically complex patients, say it.
-Write about common conditions you treat.
-Write about services your practice provides that your patients may not know about.
-Blog about why you went into medicine and chose the specialty you did.
-Write about your practice’s policies. And, update the blog when you make any changes to your practice’s policies.
-Make a calendar and post around events and/or health issues that you see at certain times of the year.
-Write about CME activities and conferences you have recently attended. Let your patients know that you stay current and up-to-date.
Now, get writing! Have fun –blog posts don’t have to be long. They just have to be worthwhile.