4 tips for getting your blog to stand out among the clutter

August 13, 2014

Are you wondering how to make your dermatology blog stand out? Do you worry that blogging too much might overwhelm your patients, and add to the content clutter “out there”?

Are you wondering how to make your dermatology blog stand out? Do you worry that blogging too much might overwhelm your patients, and add to the content clutter “out there”?

One of the downsides of blogging too much is that you can lose focus, and start to produce information carelessly. Building your “dermatology library” won’t help your marketing efforts at all. In fact, it may have the opposite effect of diluting your core message and distracting your patients and prospects.

As a busy doctor, you’ll be relieved to know that quantity is not always as important as quality. That is not to say that you can get away with publishing a blog post here and there, or “if we have time.” No such thing. In fact, consistency is one of the pillars of successful blogging.

The answer for you might be to post more thoughtful articles, less frequently. If you can aim for imaginative, educational, and perhaps even a little provocative content (Dr. Kevin Pho does this!), then you’ll stand out like a lighthouse for the lost.

Here are four tips to make your dermatology blog stand out and break through the clutter:

1. Keep it short and compelling

How long should an article be - 500 words or 1,000? C.C. Chapman, co-author of “Content Rules,” is a big proponent of the “miniskirt approach” - enough content to cover the essentials, but still keep it interesting.

In 1997, the Nielsen Research Group published a report on how people read online content. It turns out, they don’t! Instead they scan a page, picking out individual words and sentences. That means your blog articles must be relevant and concise. So in addition to keeping it short and compelling, try to:

  • Highlight keywords;

  • Use meaningful subheadings (not “clever” ones);

  • Use bulleted lists;

  • Have one idea per paragraph.

Next: Stay focused

 

 

 

2. Keep it super focused

With a niche business like dermatology, you can address the specific concerns of your patients directly on your blog.

Build your foundation by developing a signature story, identifying your target audience, and focusing on one to three content formats.

Then each week on your blog, you can drill deeply into one specific issue or problem you have encountered from your patients e.g. “Embarrassed by Psoriasis? Here’s What You Can do About It”, or “Inexpensive Treatment Options for Facial Wrinkles”, or “How to Know If a Mole is Cancerous.”

You might even want to generate a weekly newsletter to reach specific audience segments in your community. By writing content that answers these highly specific concerns, you provide a lot of value to your patients and readers, and set yourself apart from the competition - (how many other dermatologists do you know that send out a weekly newsletter?).

The idea is to supply your audience with content that offers substance, and that can’t be found anywhere else!

 

3. Keep it consistent

If you’re going to blog, you might as well do so on a consistent basis, whether that’s once a day, once a week (recommended) or even once a month. Again, consistency is more important than overall volume of blog posts.

Remember, patients choose your blog because they believe you can satisfy their hunger for new information. If you don’t give them what they want, then they will turn to someone else who can. Consistency also ensures that patients do not become bored with the same old stuff.

Here are some tips for maintaining consistency on your blog:

  • Create a publishing calendar to keep you focused, on track and on topic;

  • Be interesting - Blogging is not a sales pitch, but rather a platform to share stories, give away tips, solve problems, and help people. At the same time, trying to “fit in” with other industry blogs will kill your thought leadership and your online community;

  • Stack up - Being a busy doctor, you already know this: There are times when you simply don’t have the time, or mental energy to write a blog post. So when you do have time and some creative juice, (perhaps on a lazy Saturday afternoon) why not write as many blog posts as you can, save them on your computer, and publish them on your blog over the next few weeks?

Next: Measure the blog's performance

 

 

 

4. Measure it

Unlike blogging, measuring your blog’s performance isn’t something you have to do personally. You can have your office manager take care of it, but it is absolutely essential that you measure.

A quick word of caution - blogging success takes time. Just because you blog every week for three months, doesn’t mean you’ll see new patients walking through the door. Give it some time to make a difference - there is no start and stop date.

That being said, it’s OK to measure site traffic, page views, social shares and so forth. But you also need to look beyond initial response metrics. Ask new patients how they heard about your practice, and then figure out how many found out because of your blog. Over time, you can even measure incremental success of your blog, which shows that your efforts are paying off - literally!

How to stand out

Creating a dermatology blog that stands out from the industry can be a challenge. The trick is to develop a distinct point of view and show your prospects how you’re different in the areas that matter.

That means you have to be compelling, consistent and super focused on what their informational needs are. And the bottom line is this: Blogging is not about selling, it’s about helping, and giving value to your audience!