9 reasons why dermatologists should blog

May 1, 2014

Patients are online, looking for information about their symptoms and illnesses or tips for living healthier lives. With so much information out there, why would a dermatologist add to the incredible amount of online noise by starting a new blog? Here are nine specific reasons why dermatologists should blog.

 

Patients are already online.

They’re looking for healthcare information about their symptoms and illnesses or tips for living healthier lives. With so much information out there, why would a dermatologist add to the incredible amount of online noise by starting a new blog?

Blogging provides dermatologists with a platform to enhance their reputations, grow their practices, and provide medical information to patients and the community at large.

Here are nine specific reasons why dermatologists should blog:

1. Patient attraction and education

Blogging is one of the best ways to attract potential patients and share information about your practice. A blog serves as word-of-mouth advertising, especially when you share relevant, helpful content on a regular basis. This encourages people to spend more time on your website, thereby increasing your practice’s visibility with potential patients and referring physicians.

On a more altruistic level, blogging also provides a public service to the community by educating people about important health issues and debunking misleading information that is rampant on the Internet.

2. Influence

Studies show that doctors are the most trusted source of guidance and advice for healthy living among Internet users. What’s more, health-related websites are in high demand with 59 percent of users preferring them to disease websites, drug websites or government websites.

Trust causes patients to focus on doctor-authored blogs when shaping their opinions or making important healthcare decisions. So if you want to be more influential in the industry, your voice needs to be heard frequently on the social web and the best way to do that is to start a dermatology blog.  

3. Get more business

Did you know that blogging is good for business? Businesses (including medical practices) that blog have 55 percent more visitors than those that don’t according to research by Hubspot.

Don’t forget that patients start their journey to wellness online. They’re searching for answers to questions they have about a particular condition or symptom. If you blog frequently using language and terminology they understand, you stand a high chance of attracting those digital searchers and converting them to actual patients. Remember, a blog is very much like having a big, bright sign outside your business location.

 

 

4. Set yourself apart

Most physicians - not just dermatologists - simply don’t blog. They don’t have the time, considering how many patients they’re required to see in a day. Even among those with more flexible schedules, blogging is simply not a high priority. This is a mistake since traditional marketing is becoming too expensive, while content marketing - of which blogging is a part - is a more cost-effective way to market your practice.

If you or your staff members don’t have time to blog, why not hire a writer to blog on your behalf and help increase the visibility of your dermatology business? Blogging will help you stand out from your competitors’ static websites, thereby driving more traffic and patients to your practice.

5. SEO value

Blog pages are naturally search-engine friendly because they contain rich keywords, links and frequently updated content that search engines love. In turn, search engines reward fresh content with increased traffic. This means that your site can be ‘crawled’ or indexed more frequently, thus allowing your content to be found faster by new visitors.

Also when your blog posts include product or service information, you can link to other pages within your website that contain more information about your skincare solutions, hence facilitating the conversion of visitors to clients.

6. Thought leadership

A huge benefit of blogging is that you can share your wisdom on a subject where you have expertise. Through your blog you can offer quality content every week on compelling issues that resonate with your patients, e.g. “How to do a home facial,” or “How to figure out your skin type” or “A guide to getting rid of acne immediately and permanently.”

So blogging not only provides a way for you to get things out in the open forum for discussion, it is also an extension of your valuable experience as a medical professional who heals and cares for sick people. This in itself is a golden opportunity.

 

 

7. Get patient insights

When you first start a dermatology blog you’re forced to research your target audience. It’s no longer sufficient to have minimal information about potential patients such as age and gender. You should know their frustrations, lifestyles, interests, goals, and so on.

By researching your patients, you become better equipped to understand their challenges and thereby develop unique content that resonates and meets their needs. Blogging also creates a two-way conversation channel that encourages comments, feedback and interaction, giving you clear insights on what your patients want.

8. Social footprint

Because of the social nature of blogging, blogs link very easily with other blogs much more than static websites do. When you post highly sharable content such as video, audio, breaking news or trending topics, blogs attract in-bound links, which enhances your credibility and authority in the dermatology industry.

Of course blogging can be tough for busy doctors who have a practice to run. But consider this: The “social content revolution” is here to stay. Website platforms are now being built as content management systems (with the assumption that they will support and manage new, versatile, and user-friendly data). Consumers will eventually come to expect medical websites to provide not just product and service information, but also social content that sparks discussion about issues that are important to them.

9. Community

When readers have a personal attachment to your content, then they will return again and again.

A dermatology blog that creates and sustains its own community (via social sharing, comments, RSS feeds, etc.) is one that engages readers and creates a positive impression about your practice. At the same time, that sense of community creates more loyal readers and leads to the growth of your community. What ties the community together are your thought-leadership and the ideas that you generate through your blog.

Quick wrap-up

Blogging takes commitment. Most physicians who have reported success with their blogs tend to post articles at least once or twice a week. While this might appear daunting, it’s important to keep in mind that the social Web has changed the way patients and doctors interact. It is critically important these days that dermatologists begin to engage with potential patients long before they step into your practice. Blogging provides that opportunity.