Starting a Health Care Blog? Read this First.
So your organization is starting a blog about your area of health care. Of course, I think blogs can be a great addition to traditional standards of care. Blogs are an excellent way to deliver health information quickly to a broad audience. Once a blog is up and running, it’s easy to add new content and publicize it with social media such as Facebook and Twitter feeds. If your blog is integrated into a website, like our AfterDeployment.org blog , it will help keep your site fresh in search engine results between large releases.
Before writing your first post and announcing your blog to the world, consider these important steps:
- Determine how much labor you will need to invest to produce a quality blog. In addition to writing, you’ll want a separate pair of eyes to edit. You’ll also need to account for the time it takes to format the posts, add images, publicize, and respond to user comments.
- Make sure you have enough ideas for content. Can you sit down right now and list a dozen potential ideas for posts? A good rule of thumb is to write twelve weeks’ worth of content before publishing your first post just in case.
- If you’re part of the Department of Defense, have a quick chat with your public affairs officer just to make sure everything you’re planning is kosher.
- Finally, remember that whatever you post will be online permanently. Even if you decide to remove your blog or website in the future, once information is published on the Internet it can be shared and reposted without your knowledge. Although this is a great advantage to blogging, it’s also a good reason to check your blog posts for perishable information. In other words, are your posts going to be outdated quickly? Will they be harmful to patients a couple of years down the road if treatment or medications change? If so, be sure to add links to quality resources that are unlikely to change.
Please let us know about your blog! We’d love to read about your work. If you’re not quite ready to leap into the blogosphere (yes, it’s a word), you can dip your toe in the water by guest blogging for us.