Blogs can be effective marketing tools for all kinds of businesses. Yet when I speak with O&P firms about blogging, many practitioners and managers look at me with surprise and ask, “Why?” I tell them there are a lot of “becauses,” especially for this industry.
Blogs are records of your personal opinion. They can come from the heart as well as the intellect. They reflect your experiences, insights, and observations, and tell stories.
A blog is a great way for O&P practitioners to explain what they do to the general public and as well as an informal means of sharing information with other healthcare professionals. When searching for something to blog about, consider writing about difficult cases and describe how you evaluated and solved a problem. Discuss what you learned through a continuing education class or share your thoughts on a scholarly article. Invite others to join you at an event you are hosting or attending.
Even though writing a blog is certainly less formal than writing for a peer-reviewed journal, remember that everything is a reflection on your professionalism. Follow rules of grammar and punctuation and check your spelling. Blogs also are promoting your business and your expertise, so try to get a post up at least once a month to keep your readers interested and engaged. Post a link to your blog on your e-mail signature, company website, your page on Facebook, and on Twitter. Consider including your blog’s URL on your printed materials, including your business cards.
To assist you in getting started, here are a few helpful online blogging resources:
- WordPress: One of the most popular free, open-source, versatile blogging platforms.
- Joomla: Free and open-source content management system (CMS) for publishing content on the web. Includes an extensive amount of free plug-ins (and several plug-ins that are pricey).
- Feedburner: Provides custom RSS feeds and management tools for bloggers.
- Netvibes.com: Personalized dashboard publishing platform for the web and is great for managing the RSS feeds that you read.
- Editorial Calendar: WordPress plug-in that makes it easy to schedule your posts and manage them with a drag and drop interface.
- WPTouch: Transforms your WordPress blog into an application-style theme when viewed from a mobile device, ensuring a fast, user-friendly display.
Let me know about your experience blogging. I’d love to hear from you!