Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: You Should Be Blogging to Celebrate National Blog Posting Month

You Should Be Blogging to Celebrate National Blog Posting Month

Managing Editor

November is National Blog Posting Month. Seriously. Often abbreviated as NaBloPoMo, the month-long exercise launched in November 2006 as a way to celebrate the discipline of blog writing. So we wanted to take this opportunity to talk about why blogs are an increasingly important communications tool.

 

Before we talk about the benefits of blogs, let's talk about some common concerns about blogs that may be deterring you from jumping on the blog bandwagon:

 

Blogs are frivolous or less valuable/important than traditional writing. This is patently untrue. Blogs allow for more out-of-the-box thinking and creativity and give us an outlet to present information in new ways. This is a good thing, and it doesn't mean that blogs are less informative.

 

Anyone can be a blogger, which means unqualified people can spread misinformation. Because blogging is so ubiquitous, it is true that "anyone" can be a blogger. But although someone lacks the credentials of a trained journalist, they may be far more qualified to speak about a given issue. For example, a patient who blogs about their illness is a far more qualified source than a third-party journalist. 

 

"Mainstream" media is more legitimate. This is an error on the part of many PR companies, according to David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

 

Why You Should be Reading Blogs

 

Blogs are accessible. If you have access to the Internet-either through a computer or a handheld device-you have access to blogs. And they are everywhere. Google something, anything. And then click on the "More" button. From that dropdown, select blogs. Your world just opened up to something amazing.

 

Blog posts are scannable. Or at least they should be. Subheads, images, bulleted lists, bolded text-these all make it so much easier to read than blocks and blocks of text.

 

Blogs posts are digestible. Written to be quick reads with links to more in-depth information, blog posts provide something you can read on a short break without requiring too great of a time commitment.

 

Why You Should be Writing Blogs

 

As health communicators, we face the same challenges that every other communicator or marketer faces. Our audience is constantly bombarded with messages-so much so that they tune most of them out. How do you get heard through the noise? A blog is one of the easiest and quickest ways to shape conversations with your audience.

 

With a blog, there's no waiting for press coverage of your organization: YOU are the content producer. YOU decide what to say and when to say it. It's a powerful communications tool. According to David Meerman Scott, "The readers of blogs view the information shared by smart bloggers as one of the few forms of real, authentic communication." But you have to maintain that authenticity. Here are some tips:

 

  • Encourage people to contact you and then make it easy for them to do so.
  • Don't constantly write about your company or your product. Your audience can smell a marketing ploy from a mile away-and they don't like it.
  • Involve other bloggers in your community and be a regular commenter on other blogs. One of the best things about blogs is that they are interactive-but only if you interact!
  • Share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other relevant social media sites. Be proud of what your write!

 

Blog writing can be intimidating, but you shouldn't let that hold you back. So as you sit back and read your favorite blogs during National Blog Posting Month, ask yourself: could I (should I) be blogging?

 

Here are a few of our favorite blogs:

 

iAmWell: http://blog.americanwell.com/iamwell

The Happiness Project: Http://www.gretchenrubin.com

100 Days of Real Food: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/

Seth Godin: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

Not Running a Hospital: http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/

David Meerman Scott: http://www.webinknow.com/

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About


The Healthy(ist) blog is a platform to share, learn about, and debate topics related to public and social health, scientific research, health communications, and behavior change.
We invite and encourage anyone interested in current public health and health communication trends and issues to join MMG's contributing bloggers in adding their voice to the ongoing discussion about how we can advance health, together.

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