5 Tips on Starting a Blog for Nurses – Have you ever wanted to share your knowledge with others but didn’t know where to start? As a nurse, you have a vast knowledge of the healthcare system. In addition to everything you learned in nursing school, your personal experiences on the job have taught you a lot. So, chances are, your brain is probably filled with information and ideas you would love to share with others. Starting a nursing blog is a great way to do just that!
If you are interested in blogging but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you are hoping to share personal experiences to help other nurses or you’d like to create a valuable resource for patients, blogging is an excellent way to meet your goal. It may seem a bit overwhelming, but with the following tips on starting a blog for nurses, you’ll be on your way to penning a valuable online resource and adding a “professional blogger” to your resume.
Choose a Topic
Nursing is a broad subject, and there’s no way a single blogger could write about every single aspect of it. Plenty of people try, but they usually fail to build a solid audience because they don’t have a niche. As a nurse, you have blog-worthy experiences every time you put on your scrub shoes and head into work. It’s just stuff of deciding which of those experiences you want to build a blog around.
You could write about the more serious side of nursing and feature topics relating to policy, patient care, etc. Or you could keep things light and build a blog based on entertaining experiences you and your coworkers have had while on the job. You could also create a resource for newer nurses to help them figure out things like which scrub tops for women are best or what to look for when shopping for nursing shoes.
The options are pretty much limitless. Think about what interests you most as a nurse and what you would enjoy writing about. While it’s important to choose a topic that addresses a need among readers, it needs to be one that you enjoy, or you won’t stick to it.
Do Your Homework
Before starting a blog, do some research to learn more about what makes a successful blog and a “good” blog post. If you want your venture into blogging to take off, you’ll need to create posts that are interesting and easy to read. You’ll also need to be mindful of factors like word counts, formatting, images and various types of posts.
If you write long-winded articles with no sub-headings to break them up, you’ll lose your readers long before they make it to the end of your post! Likewise, posts that are too short or poorly organized will provide little value to your audience. They won’t score any points with search engines like Google, either.
If you plan on sharing stories involving patients, read up on HIPAA compliance as it relates to online content. HIPAA violations are a big deal, so you shouldn’t share a single thing online until you are familiar with the guidelines for compliance.
Make Your Blog Easy to Find
A Google search for “nursing blog” turns up almost three billion results. If you want people to find and read your new blog, you’ll need to take some steps to make it easy to find.
First, choose a short, memorable name and URL. This can be tricky since there are already so many sites, but doing so is well worth the effort. Ideally, your blog should have a catchy title that’s easy to spell and remember. Once you’ve chosen a name, create social media profiles using the exact same name.
You don’t need to be an SEO (search engine optimization) guru to run a successful blog, but you should at least familiarize yourself with the basics. Optimizing your blog increases its odds of being displayed on search engine results pages when people are looking for content like yours. Basically, SEO lets Google and other search engines know that your website is a relevant resource for answering certain queries. Using on-page SEO tactics can boost your rankings and make it easier for your target audience to find your blog.
Decide on a Writing Style
If you haven’t done much writing since graduating from nursing school, you might need to brush up on your English and grammar skills. You’ll also need to decide on a writing style for your blog. For the sake of consistency, it’s usually best to stick with one style rather than switching back and forth. Depending on your chosen topic and the goal for your blog, you may employ expository writing, narrative writing, descriptive writing or persuasive writing.
Choosing a style that works for your blog allows you to connect with your audience consistently. Being mindful of your writing style is also helpful when it comes to ensuring that you are sending the message you want to send with your content.
It takes time to build a following as a blogger. For the first several weeks or months, you may feel like no one is even reading your blog. Don’t give up hope. Post on a consistent schedule and share your posts via your social media channels. It takes time but, eventually, you’ll start seeing more and more people reading and interacting with your content. Be sure to respond to comments and engage with your audience. Use their feedback to drive future posts.
Starting a nursing blog takes patience and perseverance. It also requires a bit of common sense and a willingness to uphold the integrity of the professional. Avoid blogging when you are upset, and always be careful to avoid sharing personal information about patients, coworkers, hospital administrators, etc. Be smart and have fun, and you will likely find that blogging is an excellent way to share your knowledge and express yourself.