Should a medical doctor be in charge of writing the content for your clinic or practice? It’s an important question to consider, and it’s something that people have strong feelings about on both sides of the aisle.
Your medical blog represents your practice; you need accurate health information, and you want the voice to be authentic. This is something that a medical doctor provides, but professional health bloggers can offer this as well.
The real hurdle that keeps a doctor from writing your blog is time. Even if you have a doctor on staff who is a great writer, she won’t have the time to provide the amount of content that you need for an effective SEO strategy.
Does your practice even need a medical blog?
To answer the question of whether or not your doctors should write your medical blog, you have to understand why you need a blog for your medical practice in the first place.
- A blog increases your practice’s exposure. People look for medical information online, and a robust blog can put your practice at the head of the queue for health-related search queries.
- Medical blogs help attract new patients. A well-written blog establishes your practice as an authority in medicine and as a reliable source for health information in your community.
- Control your online presence. There are a lot of online reviews for doctors, clinics, and medical practices. People who have a bad experience tend to be more vocal than those who had a good experience — even if their bad experience was due to a flat tire in the parking lot rather than your services. A useful blog is a better representation of your practice than a star or a number rating.
- Blogging is an essential part of SEO. All the benefits of a medical blog can help your practice grow.
Your medical practice’s blog should publish content on a regular basis — at least three times a week. A single blog post can take several hours to create — even for professional blog writers — and it can take even longer if you’re not used to writing.
Do your doctors really have lots of free time to spend writing?
Is it better for a doctor to write the blog, or should you hire a professional blog writer?
Doctors have a far better understanding of medicine than web content specialists. If you have a strange pain in your chest, you want to visit a doctor rather than a blog writer.
However, possessing specialized knowledge and communicating that knowledge through written word are two different beasts. The doctors that we write for are great at communicating health information with patients. However, communicating health information in a blog post is a different skill.
Let’s say that a doctor writes about rashes, explaining the symptoms and causes using highly specialized medical jargon. This could scare away the reader, and send them to an easier to read article, instead of leading them to set up an appointment. It’s also possible that patients won’t even find this blog post because the doctor uses the “dermatitis” instead of the better know (and more frequently searched) term “skin rash”.
Web content specialists communicate specialized information in a way that’s easy for readers to understand. When your readers get clear answers to their questions, they are more inclined to call the doctor’s office.
There’s also the matter of time.
You know how medical doctors have copious amounts of free time? How they sit around twiddling their thumbs, wishing that they had some way to occupy their days? Hoping for some opportunity to fill up all of that spare time between caring for patients?
Thank goodness there’s always the need for medical blog posts at the practice’s website!
In reality, the medical professionals on your staff aren’t flush with disposable time. They’re busy saving lives and improving health outcomes for patients. Even if there’s a doctor on staff that enjoys publishing articles, sporadic posts aren’t enough for SEO.
Does your doctor need to write your blog?
Maybe you have a handful of doctors who love writing, they write well, and they want to contribute to the practice’s blog. This is common, actually. The trouble with this is approach is that you get two, three, or seven posts from a doctor, and then the blogging stops.
Did they forget? Did they stop caring? No. They just had to focus on caring for patients rather than writing blog posts.
Will the blog’s voice sound more like a specific doctor if that doctor writes it? Of course, but that’s not necessarily what you’re going for.
If you view your blog as a medium for doctors to express themselves, they should write the blog. If you want to grow your practice, bolster SEO, establish yourself as an authority on health in your community, and improve your image online, you should hire professional content writers for your medical blog.
Writing the practice’s medical blog is probably not the best use of your physicians’ time; it’s more cost-effective to outsource to professional writers.
You can even hire a web content firm that specializes in health and wellness; a firm that understands HIPAA compliance, such as Haden Interactive, can represent your practice positively and professionally.