The rise of the health blog – what it means for health practitioners
Have you been procrastinating on starting your health blog?
You’re not alone, but….
With Australians spending more than a $1billion on health it’s little surprise that health consumers are hungry for health information. In fact, more than 84% of consumers seek out health information online.
What this means for you as a health practitioner is that both your existing and potential clients are already seeking information to solve their health issues. If this is the case, shouldn’t you be the one that provides it? Even if you are recommended by word of mouth, your website (where your blog lives) is where people will go to further check out your credentials and philosophy, as well as access your contact number to give you a call.
A blog builds trust
A key purpose of marketing is to develop trust that fosters long-term clients, advocates, and referrals, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of your own blog to do this? They are already looking for helpful advice and useful information, so take the opportunity to build your reputation, boost your practice revenue, as you position yourself as the go-to person in your industry, or geographic location.
For most health practitioners, it’s more than that.
As a health advocate, the satisfaction of knowing that you have positively impacted on the lives of many through your health practice and beyond adds meaning and purpose to the work you do on a day to day basis.[Tweet “More than 80% of Australians search for health information online”]
Your health blog will help you to:
Spread your message to a wider audience
Blogging is one of the easiest methods to use to reach more people. You can start today and get instant results. You can share it via social media (or have someone do it for you), where others can share it to their own networks. Great social media channels include Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram.
Social marketing was around before blogs and Facebook arrived on the scene. You now have an opportunity to magnify the impact you make tenfold, and you can reduce the cost of traditional advertising at the same time!
Boost your website traffic
Your blog is an element on your website and is sometimes identified as articles, updates or latest news. Each time you get a reader, you site traffic increases. Blogs that are engaging, or meet the needs of your website visitor, keep potential clients on your website for longer. You can imagine the impact this has when a post of interest is shared beyond your site!
Attract more clients and customers to your products and services
As well as providing valuable information that your potential clients are seeking, each blog post is an opportunity to lead the reader the related product or service that will meet their needs. Rather than being pushy and sales, they meet the client where they are at that very moment. A good blog (or website page) will always deliver what they need now, and what they need next. This is mutually beneficial for both the client and for the practitioner.
Differentiate you from similar service providers
Interestingly, even though there are thousands of blogs out there, health businesses are still under-represented. In fact, bloggers represent less than 2% of the population! (Problogger 2016).
So, if you’re just getting started it’s not too late. You are still one step ahead of your competition!
Your blog is an opportunity to demonstrate your passions and beliefs, and the philosophy around how you work. This is instrumental in helping a potential client to resonate with you. You’ll need to make a decision around the tone of your blog (formal and authoritarian, friendly and approachable, research and facts based, etc). Whatever you decide, it will help your clients to choose you as opposed to another practitioner or competitive service.
So, what makes a good health blog?
Content that people want to read. The easiest place to start is by answering the most commonly asked questions by existing clients. If they are asking them, you know that others will be too.
Content that people are searching for. People will also be searching online for common queries and themes, so you want to address these right up front.
Stories that engage and inspire. Building an engaged following goes beyond answering their questions. Sharing interesting stories of yourself and others add personality to your blog and help to differentiate you from those in your industry. Don’t be afraid to share the person behind the brand. You will be rewarded for it.
Visually appealing. It’s no secret that a little eye candy attracts attention. Include images that complement your topic, or add to the story. If you are able infographics are a great way to present facts in a visual way.
Easy to share. Make sure that your blog has social media icons so that your content can be easily shared to other platforms by your readers. Social marketing at it’s best!
Mix it up. Try embedding other elements into your blog that engage your reader, such as audio, video, or slideshows, especially if your modality lends itself to demonstrating tips or techniques. Keep it interesting!
Don’t feel that you have to adopt all of these elements from the beginning. Like anything, learning a new skill or habit is a process. Begin with a couple of these and build from there. Once you are in the practice of creating wonderful content for your clients and followers, you can enhance it as you go!
Happy health blogging!
NEED HELP? Are you getting started blogging, or want to enhance your health blog? Join me on October 7 at Marcoola on the Sunshine Coast for a Healthy Blogging Masterclass created especially for health practitioners. Click on the image to read more: