Not all blogs are created equal. Some will hardly ever see the light of day where as others will be wildly popular. In order to be amongst the successful blogs, one has to know what made them successful in the first place. Perhaps surprisingly, solid medical information is often not the sole ingredient to popularity (although it is important). Here are some other things successful hospital blogs do to reel in viewers.
1. Tell Success Stories
If someone is going to a hospital, it is because either they or someone they care about is sick. They will be scared and worried. They will also want to be told that everything will turn out alright. This is where success stories come in. Blogging about patients who have come in with specific problems and come out happy and healthy will give readers something to latch on to. It will give them reassurance in not only the hospital’s quality but that they too will be okay. Even readers who do not currently know an ill person will be drawn to these stories because of the simple fact that humans are social creatures capable of empathy. We like to hear heartwarming tales, and doing so can help people build an emotional attachment to a blog. Therefore, choose stories that people can relate to, and share them online without compromising patient confidentiality.
2. Be Personable
Along with wanting to hear success stories, people will want to know who is working at the hospital and who is running the blog. This can be as simple as a picture and short one paragraph blurb about the author of a particular post. The key is to give a name to the writer because this helps people connect to them. Again, since humans are social creatures, being able to foster more of a connection will likely increase the odds of them viewing the blog regularly and recommending it to others they know.
3. Offer Links
People who read your blog are going to have more interests than just your hospital. They may be interested in the medical profession in general, or they may be looking for extra information regarding a specific disease. A good hospital blog, knowing that it cannot possibly cover everything at once, will offer links to additional resources that readers can use. By offering these links, viewers will see your blog as being more helpful and will be more inclined to use it in the future.
4. Allow for Feedback
People love to be able to give their opinions on things. It makes them feel like they are important enough to have a say. In order to capitalize on this trait, allow your readers to offer feedback on the blog either by commenting on articles, rating them or both. This will allow them to feel like you genuinely care enough about your readers to hear what they have to say. Additionally, it will offer you useful feedback for improving the quality of future blogs making feedback sections a useful tool for quality control.
5. Practical and Understandable Information
Many of your readers are going to be potential patients. This means that they will not have the prerequisite knowledge to understand more complicated medical terms. Make sure you keep this in mind when writing articles. While you certainly want to present information that is useful to doctors, try to do it in a way that is understandable to most people. Additionally, try to offer practical advice that people can use at home. This could range from information on how to recognize and prevent a stroke to information on good assisted living companies. The point is that many people will want practical and understandable information that they can use, and offering it will help improve your blog.
6. Promote your Hospital Blog with Social Media
Once you have established a blog, you have to promote it. Social media websites are an excellent way to do this since they offer a way to reach large numbers of people without spending great sums of money on advertisements. Good sights to use for this include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg and Google + as well as other popular networks. Using healthcare niche websites such as RxEconsult is also useful for reaching a more targeted audience. The goal is to try to reach the largest number of potential viewers who will be interested in your material.
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