Up until relatively recently — say, maybe a handful of years ago — it was acceptable for some to bypass digital marketing. After all, having decades of experience under your belt and an established client base is good enough in some circles. That is, until COVID came along and threw everything that was once certain up in the air. Some businesses lost clients. Others closed. The lucky ones found out ways to reinvent themselves or to use innovation to fit this new reality. No matter how you look at it, doing business online is here to stay.
Why do you need a blog?
Ok. So you should focus more on digital marketing. But why does that need to include a blog? At the end of the day, email marketing, social media posts, and having a good website can yield results on their own, right? This is true. However, there are additional benefits from posting compelling, relevant blogs on a regular basis. These include:
It Gives You a Competitive Advantage
How many businesses offer the same thing you do? Maybe you have more expertise or better prices. Or hey, maybe your product or service really is unique. Having a blog allows you to start a conversation. Let people know how much you know about your industry — and do so in a way that helps them. Offering telehealth services? Write about its benefits. Give your target audience a reason to trust it. Have a new machine that will help you provide a faster diagnosis? Tell people everything that’s so exciting about it. Blogging helps you establish yourself as an expert in your field and share that knowledge with a wider audience — especially when readers share your blogs on their own social media pages.
It Provides a New Channel of Communication
If you scroll through any business blog, you’ll see there’s a comment section at the bottom. Having a blog allows your online communications to be a two-way conversation — as all conversations should be. This helps build trust in your business and establish relationships with regular readers. And, if you post your blog on your social media platforms — and use relevant hashtags — you’ll get even more people interested in what you have to say. As an added bonus, you’ll get insights into your target audience through their feedback and Google Analytics.
It Will Improve Your SEO Ranking
Being on the first search results page on Google is prime real estate. And while there isn’t an exact formula to land you at the top, posting regular blogs — and using relevant keywords — will make your business rank higher. By being strategic about your posts and using common phrases entered into search engines by your target audience, your blog will be among the first few search results. In turn, you’ll get more traffic to your website.
How to Write a Blog Post in 5 Steps
So now that you know why you should have a business blog, let’s go into the details of how to write one. The good news is that you can be as creative as you want to be. At the end of the day, nobody wants to read a dry, monotonous page of information. However, there are certain practices that will make your blog more successful than others. These include:
1. Hook Them With Your Opening Line
We live in the age of instant gratification. Grab someone’s attention from the beginning, or watch them click on the next Google search result for something more interesting. In fact, the average reader will spend about 15 seconds on a blog post. Granted, if you’re offering helpful information, they will stay longer — and may even share the blog with their friends. But the bottom line is that you have a short amount of time to grab their attention, and the best way to do so is with the opening line.
2. Be Conversational
Unless you’re writing for a medical journal — or your target audience is researchers or physicians — you want to use a conversational tone. This will make you seem genuine and approachable. Write in the same way you would speak to your clients or patients. Depending on your type of practice, getting a few laughs from posting something humorous may get someone to schedule an appointment.
Use simple, easy-to-understand language. Tell a story (e.g. I started my geriatric practice after I saw how my grandmother was treated poorly in the healthcare industry). Use contractions — you’d do this when speaking to your friends, so do it with your readers too. You’ll sound more relatable.
3. Make It Scannable
When was the last time you enjoyed reading a large block of text? It’s burdensome and boring. People are busy. They came to your website looking for answers. Respect their time by giving it to them in the easiest way possible.
Most people read online content by scanning the page. They jump around, looking for specific words or phrases that will answer their questions. Use headings and subheadings. Whenever there’s a list of items, symptoms, risk factors, etc., include them as bullet points. Use short sentences and short paragraphs. And please, get to the point.
4. Use Images
Thanks to a constant stream of app notifications and on-demand services, most people have the attention span of a gnat. To keep them from jumping from website to website looking for answers, include images on your blog.
Readers spend more time on pages with visual content — and information is retained in the brain for longer. Pictures and videos make your blog more interesting. They break up the text, give your target audience a glimpse into your practice, and help readers process the information better.
5. Include a Call to Action
The whole point of having a business blog is to have more visitors to your website — therefore increasing your number of leads. While your blog should always provide information that’s useful to the reader, include a final paragraph letting your audience know how you can further help them and how they can contact you. If you’re including a phone number, make it click-to-call. If you have an online form, make sure it’s easy to fill out. Remember, it’s all about the user experience. The easier you make it for them, the more likely it is that they’ll contact you.