There’s a blog for everyone! Whether you cannot get enough awkward family pictures, epidemiologist input, cat humor, vegetarian cooking recipes, menopause tips, or love to geek out on pie charts – there’s a blogger out there creating content for you.
What this means – aside from endless entertainment possibilities – is that no matter how obscure your niche may be, opportunity abounds for you to start blogging, too.
Blogging allows you to showcase your knowledge and experiences in a particular field or topic. Even better – you get to choose what you write about.
By sharing ideas, opinions, and stories, you have an opportunity to engage with readers who want to hear from you. It also positions you as an online expert, bolstering your status with current or future patients. And it makes you findable with internet search engines for anyone seeking your flavor of advice or input.
A legitimate profession!
Blogging was popularized in the early 2000s with the advent of user-friendly software that allowed writers to easily share their words across the internet. By 2003, bloggers began to monetize their blogs with the introduction of Google Adsense and other online advertisement agencies. According to millenialboss.com, some bloggers make six figures monthly via their blogs.
And they do not even need to be experts in any peer-reviewed, agreed-upon way.
Some bloggers write informative and thought-provoking material, while others use blogs to make fun of their pets, employers, friends, and family members. Some of the most popular invoke humor – and not always appropriately. In fact, blogging is most unlike other forms of expression in one fundamental way: having an opinion is critical to your success.
Some tips on blogging:
1. Consider your platform. Some will create a formal website, while others will add their blog post to their social media accounts. If you want to be taken seriously, consider investing a small amount of money in purchasing a website domain and software to set up your blog (i.e., WordPress, Wix, etc.).
2. Set the tone. Your voice matters. Sarcasm wins the day, sometimes. Humility might suit your goals better. Compassion may be your superpower. Writing each entry in a consistent voice gives your reader confidence that they know you in some way. It’s a relationship you want to cultivate; if you hope to keep a blog going, readership is critical.
3. Be opinionated. Blogging can be biased. It can be passionate. Blogging is your personal opinion. But – as in real life – your credibility relies on making sure your facts are straight (and maybe even cited). Do your research!
4. Be different. Creative and obscure topics and posts will attract readers. They might even set you apart from others and keep readers coming back for more.
5. Develop your style. Great bloggers often have a unique writing style that makes their work stand out from others in the same field.
6. Connect with your audience. People follow blogs when they connect with the purpose or voice of the blog. This is much like establishing a doctor-patient connection. Readers will choose to follow you if they understand and trust your goals.
7. Configure your blog layout. Respect your audience’s time by making each entry brief and easy to read. Use simple language and short paragraphs. Consider using bullet points or subsections to make your blog easier to read.
8. Proofread your material. You can be a crappy writer yet still have a successful blog, as long as you can convey your message clearly in a way that captivates readers. Good grammar and spelling are essential for any post; editing your work demonstrates professionalism and respect for your readers.
9. Stay up to date. React to current events and trends with your thoughts and opinions. This will keep your blog relevant.
10. Share widely. To attract an audience, share your writings on social media. Ensure that your social media post connects back to your blog website.
11. Create followers. Beyond connecting with your audience on social media, make sure that your blog website has a way for readers to subscribe to your website to receive future blog posts from you.
12. Don’t stop writing. Write at least one blog per week. Consider more like three to four per week if you want to optimize internet search engines.
Blogging and writing online articles require no certification or experience, but what you bring to it in medical training and experience will give you automatic credibility.
If you bring a unique perspective to the fore, there may be an opportunity to monetize blogging through online advertisers. But even if not, it’s worth the effort to establish your online presence.
And, of course, psychologically speaking, blogging can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment and be a great source of personal satisfaction while allowing you to share your own voice and perspective with the world.
Aaron Morgenstein is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and founder, FlexMedStaff.com, a fully transparent and free marketplace for physicians to find new clinical and non-clinical opportunities to improve work-life balance. Contact Aaron here.
Claire Unis is a pediatrician and author of Balance, Pedal, Breathe: A Journey Through Medical School.