Given that my focus is on healthcare communications, I thought I’d participate in this project by sharing what I have learned about effective healthcare blogging. While the habits listed below are not specific to healthcare, I believe a lot of excellent healthcare bloggers practice them.
Habit #1: Effective Healthcare Bloggers Are “Helpers”
I’ve found that many of the best healthcare bloggers are doing it to help others better understand their medical condition, improve the quality of care or raise awareness of little-discussed issues. Healthcare can be a scary and confusing subject. It’s a wonderful thing that there are so many people across the blogosphere providing much-needed advice and information to the masses.
One example of a blogger that is helping people every day is Amy Tenderich of Diabetes Mine. She started her blog to help people manage diabetes more effectively. Her blog has become a major resource for people with the condition.
Another example of a great “helping” blog is Kevin, MD by Kevin Pho, MD. Each day Pho scours the lay and medical press for the latest healthcare news. His blog is a “must-read” for those trying to keep up with current events in healthcare.
Habit #2: Effective Healthcare Bloggers Understand Their Niche
Healthcare is such a diverse field that one can’t possibly focus on every aspect of the industry. I’ve found that niche healthcare blogs provide excellent insights and information about highly specialized topics. Three examples of well-regarded niche healthcare blogs are:
-Google Scholar Blog , Dean Giustini (Online Medicine Search)
-Managed Care Matters, Joe Paduda (Managed Care)
-The Healthcare IT Guy, Shahid Shah (Healthcare Information Technology)
Habit #3: Effective Healthcare Bloggers Dig Deeper
I love it when healthcare bloggers go beyond the headlines and dig deep into the issues of the day. These bloggers not only tell you what is happening, but why. They provide a valuable and much-needed service.
Matthew Holt’s blog, The Health Care Blog, is a must-read for anyone looking for the story behind the story. He has written in-depth posts on various subjects, including the failure of the Clinton healthcare plan and health savings accounts.
Habit #4: Effective Healthcare Bloggers Are Fearless
Some of the best healthcare bloggers aren’t afraid to take positions on highly-charged subjects. However, these bloggers don’t just rant. They put forth well-crafted arguments and always cite their sources.
John Mack of the Pharma Marketing Blog is a prime example of a fearless healthcare blogger. Dr. John Crippen, who writes NHS Blog Doctor, is another.
Habit #5: Effective Healthcare Bloggers Are Accurate
Credible bloggers must strive for accuracy. This is especially important when it comes to healthcare. Many consumers and healthcare providers “stumble” onto healthcare blogs when searching online for medical-related information. This puts healthcare bloggers in the position of educating others about medical conditions, treatment and other important subjects. It is important for healthcare bloggers to cite their sources using hyperlinks or reference lists.
One highly accurate and well-respected blogger is Dr. Ves Dimov, author of Clinical Cases and Images, a blog providing highly detailed and technical information on the management of various medical conditions.
Habit #6: Effective Healthcare Bloggers Know When To Hang It Up
Sometimes you have to know when it is time to quit. Some healthcare bloggers have decided to retire from the blogosphere once they found that they no longer had time to write high-quality articles.
One prominent example of such a blogger is Medpundit. Long recognized as one of the world’s foremost medical bloggers, she decided to leave the blogosphere recently after recognizing that she no longer had the time or willpower to maintain an effective blog. It is hard to see her go, but as we all know, “everything that has a beginning has an end.” Blogs are no exception.
There are many other great healthcare bloggers that I did not mention above. If you are interested in reading more posts by highly effective healthcare bloggers, please visit The Medical Blog Network, produced by my good friend Dmitriy Kruglyak.
(P.S.: To learn more about the healthcare blogosphere and why it matters, consider picking up this resource.)