Blogging is one of the most obvious and popular go-to tactics for any healthcare business considering inbound marketing. You may have already heard that businesses that blog get 67 percent more leads than those that don’t. Maybe you’ve even seen examples of other businesses and organizations in the healthcare industry finding success with blogging. The case for blogging is strong.
Yet many healthcare businesses dive into blogging and quickly realize that having a blog isn’t enough. You have to do some extra work to draw people to your blog; no one can be won over by a post they never see.
Guest blogging allows you to take advantage of the community and trust that’s already been built up by another blog. You get an introduction to its audience and— if your guest post manages to impress its readers—may convert some of them to becoming your audience and clients.
But your post has to be good. Guest blogging isn’t some quick, easy solution to get lots of new traffic and subscribers. Most blogs worth your efforts have very high standards and their readers aren’t easy to impress. When you have the expertise of actual doctors to lean on though, this might not be too difficult. Many of the blogs your audience pays attention to may well be run by non-experts—mommy bloggers or fitness enthusiasts, for example—which makes the knowledge of your medical personnel a big bonus.
By targeting the right blogs and delivering posts packed with valuable healthcare information, the work you put in can pay off in new visitors to your blog and signups to your email list.
To get the most out of guest blogging opportunities, you need to get in front of the right audience. When trying to identify good blogs, relevance should be your top priority. For every blog you consider, ask yourself: Would the regular readers of this blog find value in what we publish on our blog? If so, you may have a match.
The other main factors you should consider are:
The ideal blog would be well-respected, turning up high in relevant searches on Google, with a large readership that regularly shares and comments on posts. But the right blog for you doesn’t have to be perfect: Often, a blog that checks one or two of these boxes will be a good choice—a blog that’s relevant to you and has a small- to medium-sized readership that’s engaged (for example, quick to subscribe, comment and share) may be more worth your time than one with a massive following that’s less relevant and engaged.
So how do you go about finding these blogs?
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to get to know and understand your target audience. You won’t find blogs that are worth your time if you can’t first figure out which readers you want to reach.
Once you have a clear idea of who you want to reach, spend some time researching them. What are their everyday wants, needs and interests? How do they spend their time? What are their biggest concerns in general, and specifically about their health? This information will help you identify the best industry blogs to reach them.
You want to be organized as you begin your blog search. By collecting all the information on the publications as you go, you’ll have what you need all in one place to better analyze which ones are most worth your time. Some criteria for your spreadsheet could include how relevant their blog posts are to your target audience, how often their readers comment or share on their posts, and how much engagement they get on social media.
Now you can turn to the first place everyone uses when they’re looking for the answer to a question. Brainstorm a list of keywords, questions and issues your audience cares about and do some searches to see what comes up. If you’re getting a lot of businesses or news websites, try tacking the word “blog” onto the end of your keyword phrase.
It helps to be specific. Searching for “asthma” will get you much broader results than searching for something like “best home asthma remedies.” The long-tail keyword better reflects what your potential patients could be searching for.
You may be able to take a shortcut by searching for terms like “guest blog + your keyword.” Some websites have taken the time to put together lists of blogs that accept guest posts like this one for health blogs, or this one for parenting and family blogs. But the more focused your specialty, the harder it will be to come across lists like these. Keep in mind that the blogs you write for don’t have to be specific to your specialty. Any doctors who work with kids have plenty of expertise that can be valuable on parenting blogs, for example.
Pay attention to what links people in your target audience are sharing on social media. If you haven’t already, join relevant groups and communities on each of the social networks and follow the most active members to see what they’re talking about and what links they’re sharing.
If you’re not sure where to start on social media, go back to all the notes and research you’ve done on your audience and spend some time searching and browsing.
While LinkedIn is mostly focused on professional connections, a little sleuthing can lead you to groups like American Cancer Society Supporters, which has more than 13,000 members, and Alzheimer’s Care at Home with nearly 1,800 members. You can find a list of more than 200 healthcare Twitter Chats to consider participating in, and support groups for both caregivers and those suffering various illnesses on Facebook.
As with your Googling, though, try to think outside the box here. If your clinic treats veterans, then a veterans’ LinkedIn group may be worth checking out.
As you spend time reviewing what comes up in social media, the blogs people in your target audience read the most and consider the most authoritative will start to rise to the top.
As your list starts to grow, pay attention to what websites the blogs on your list are linking to in their blog posts. If you see the same sites coming up again and again, then you know those are blogs that people trust. They’re worth evaluating to see if they might be a good fit for guest posting as well.
All this should give you a solid start in identifying the best places to become a guest writer. Once you have developed a good list, see which actually accept guest posts (not all blogs do) and which of those are most worth your time. Then research the blog extensively, pitch an idea you’re confident their readers will appreciate, and write an amazing post.
Guest posting is not for the lazy. You must devote time to doing it well to get the results you seek. But it’s a great way to make your hospital or practice more visible to the people you most want to reach.