Dr Edwin Kruys
“Setting up and running your successful blog site.”
Dr Kruys is a GP in Queensland, with a passion for social media and has experimented with enterprise social networks and practice Facebook pages. His blog, doctorsbag.net, is extremely popular and covers topics about social media and healthcare.
Blogging can be seen as an act of generosity by others as it is a sharing of valuable content, but also be a tremendous positive experience for yourself too. It helps you to practise expressing your own ideas, articulating your experiences and compiling your own information.
Blogging in the medical space is far reaching, offering peer-to-peer communications, knowledge exchange, professional development, feedback, communications, media releases, opinions and so on. The two central motivations for blogging should be sharing information and influencing your audience.
When blogging, spend time verifying facts and always include references to the original sources of information. It’s good practise and is an ethical approach which builds trust with your audience. In addition, within the medical field, adding disclosures is also recommended, so that your audience is fully aware of your financial motivations and other such incentives that you've been offered which directly relate to your blog post.
Be careful to watch your tone and implications when you write within the medical field. Many healthcare professionals have gotten into trouble for making negative or inappropriate comments about their patients or other staff; barriers and professional etiquette should be maintained at all times.
Remember that blogs are always looked at by a wide variety of audience members, including younger Doctors, because they look to more prominent and well established Doctors as a learning opportunity.
When setting up a blog:
(1) Identify your target audience.
(2) Decide which platforms you wish to engage in.
(3) Decide which content you wish to publish.
Typical blogging mistakes:
(1) Nothing appealing in it for the reader
(2) Too many words/ too complex
(3) Low frequency of posts
(4) Too plain (not enough pictures or headings)
Readers love content that adds value, is free, is engaging, offers hints and tips, is well researched, uses simple language and tells a story.
To market your posts, relevant and intriguing key words and attractive hash tags are a great driver of readers to your content. In addition, catchy titles and a snappy first paragraph are absolutely vital to attracting and keeping readers.
End the blog post with a discussion question, so that is goes beyond your post and offers the opportunity for discussion.
But most importantly of all, never give up!