Blogging for your practice can economically and effectively educate pet owners, increase website traffic, and gain new clients—but it’s not as simple as churning out some exam room education every few weeks. Many practices set out blogging with good intentions, but fall short after a few months because of lack of interest, visible impact, and motivation.
Here are seven best practices for blog writing, to help you stay on track and grow your blog’s readership and value.
#1: Keep content fresh and relevant
Dated content sends the wrong message, and suggests that your practice is dated, unreliable, or out of touch. Inconsistent posting can also delay or inhibit your blog’s growth and visibility, resulting in a lower score in search engine rankings. Plan to publish a new post monthly at a minimum, and promote its release on your social media channels, to attract your existing clientele.
Feeling uninspired? We recommend mapping out your posts with a content calendar, so you know exactly what you’re writing about each month. This saves time, and helps align your post topics with specific holidays and campaigns such as dental health month, but still allows flexibility for unpredictable subjects (e.g., curbside care, COVID-19 protocols).
#2: Write with your reader in mind
If you’ve ever read a blog post that is stilted, repetitive, and unnatural, the blog was probably written for search engine optimization (SEO). Indeed, a quick search on “how to write a blog” can quickly lead you down a rabbit hole of keyword research, optimization, and analytics. While key words are important for helping readers find your page, delivering informative, relevant, and readable content to keep them there—and keep them coming back every time you post—should be your focus.
The best blog writing has an easy-to-read, conversational tone. While medical terms may be necessary for veterinary topics, try to limit large words and scientific talk, which can stiffen your writing, and drive away readers.
#3: Big topic? Break it up
Do you have a lot to say about grain-free diets? Are you passionate about parasite prevention? Consider dividing large subjects into several easy-to-digest posts in a miniseries format. This prevents your reader from becoming overwhelmed, and keeps them tuned in each month. Use bullet points and subheads to make your writing easy for busy readers to scan.
#4: Use practice-specific photos—not stock images
Use high quality images of your practice staff in action. Stock images are convenient, but they can feel generic and detached. When pictures of a recognizable environment and familiar faces surround your copy, your blog becomes powerful, and reinforces your practice’s unique brand and mission. Clear, informative copy paired with consistent imagery builds an association in the reader’s mind—your practice becomes their go-to resource for knowledge and expertise.
#5: Use internal and external links to improve searchability and help readers find factual information
Internal links direct readers to your other website areas (e.g., services and related posts), while external links direct them away from your site to other reputable reading resources. Internal links are obviously ideal, as they encourage readers to spend more time on your website, explore your offerings, and schedule an appointment. But, judiciously applied external links show your commitment to educating clients—and that you are not merely promoting your practice.
Carefully review external links to ensure appropriate content, and stick with familiar industry resources when possible.
#6: Share on social media
Does a blog post published without any promotion have anything to say? Don’t post in a vacuum—advertise your latest content across all your social media channels, and in your e-newsletter. Post your blog link with an eye-catching relevant image or video clip and an intriguing tagline, to encourage readers to follow the link and keep reading. Your social media copy should tempt your readers’ curiosity or address a relevant pain point (e.g., whether your new puppy is chewing off your arm) to make them click.
#7: Talk about your blog daily
Take your blog from hidden treasure to popular resource by talking it up in daily conversation. Show clients where to find your blog—or text them a link to the relevant topic. Consistently steer clients to your website and blogs for general care tips and further reading, which will train them to check your website for guidance before consulting Dr. Google.
Putting pen to paper
Blogging requires consistent effort and a long-game approach to build your content library and readership. But, with persistence, you can create a customized client education resource and a powerful marketing tool.
If you’d like to harness the power of a practice blog but you’re at a loss for words, we can help. Rumpus Writing and Editing is an industry leader in business-to-consumer and business-to-business writing for the veterinary industry. We will elevate your practice above the rest by showcasing your commitment to patient and client care through customized online content.