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6 Keys to Creating a Better Blog Post

April 25, 2012 in Content Marketing

ariel photo of a desk with a laptop and notepad

In the past, we’ve talked about effective blogging tactics and how to create, optimize and distribute content.  But this week we thought we’d share a successfully executed post and the elements that went into the construction of the post to make it successful.

In a post featured recently on the blog of Houston plastic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Patronella, the author explored the topic of patient satisfaction following tummy tuck and liposuction.  The post was well-written and featured a series of elements that can make a run-of-the-mill blog post even better.

It’s Current

The post itself piggybacks off of a recently published study featured in the April 2012 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  Having a current spin not only makes your blog look current and relevant, but it can also help the post show up for searches related to the current topic, event, or news story.

It’s Backed By Facts

Nothing says authority like hard data. Again, piggybacking off of the recent study, the post features a number of statistics from the report to support not only the topic but the writer’s opinion.  Quoting data or statistics from a trusted source can help reflect the expertise and identify the author as an authority.

It Gets Personal

Rather than spouting off opinion or regurgitating facts already published in the study, the post uses personal examples from one of the doctors to bring the post to life.  This tie-in not only gives a personal feel to the story, but it reflects real life experiences of one of the doctors’ patients.  Real life examples are a great means of making your content unique, and ultimately helping your readers connect with your topic.

It Uses Images

One of the biggest mistakes I see most doctors make when posting to their blog is the lack of imagery. Here are some core reasons to include imagery in your posts:

  1. Users tend to skim content, so an image can help the piece stand out.
  2. Facebook “shares” will include a photo with the share if it’s available, which can increase social click-throughs.
  3. It breaks up large blocks of content, ultimately enhancing the readability of the content.

Remember though, images should be relevant and support the textual content. If you don’t have an image of your own to use you can always use Flickr photos that support the topic.  Just make sure to follow the rules of creative commons. If you’re not familiar with Creative Commons, here is a nice guide on how to easily and legally use Flickr photos.

It Links Out

When it comes to search engine optimization, it’s easy to want to be greedy with your link juice, but at the end of the day linking to nothing but your own content isn’t really helping the natural link graph of the web. Linking out to other sources can not only help make your site more visible to other websites in your niche, but it can oftentimes help build relationships with other websites or bloggers.  These types of relationships can often lead to links to your website, social shares, or other mentions of your work online.  It also helps users who may want more information on the supporting content of your piece, making your content even more resourceful and authoritative.

It Speaks To Its Target Audience

Another mistake I often see on doctor blogs is the technical writing that you may see in a medical journal or publication.  In most cases, your blog audience should be your patients or potential patients, so writing in a way that is tailored to a patient’s knowledge or reading level is key.

Patients aren’t always going to know what “severe grade 3 ptosis” is or what the “nipple areolar complex” is, so try your hardest to write in a way that will make sense to someone without your level of expertise.  It’s fine if you want your content to appeal to other members of the medical community, but it still needs to make sense to an everyday reader.

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