I was tempted to post an audio file that automatically plays Barbara Streisand when you open this blog post. But I held myself back. You’re quite welcome.
Today I don’t want to talk about a song, but about a type of article that is an important piece of your content marketing. This content is evergreen which, in the publishing world, means it stays relevant over time.
What Makes a Topic Evergreen?
So let’s say you had a bunch of panicked phone calls when we had ebola here in the U.S. last fall. A smart medical practitioner would address those fears in a blog post and share it with his patients. But that remained interesting for about five minutes, then it became clear that ebola wasn’t actually all that much of threat here. That’s not evergreen content, and nobody is really looking to read a post like that today.
Even so, non-evergreen topics are important for your medical blog. If you were practicing at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, posting about ebola was pretty much mandatory, even though it’s utility was temporary. It would have given you authority with your patients on the topic, it would have saved you time by proactively answering many of your patients’ questions, and it may have gained some new patients for you if you took advantage of the popularity and set up your search engine optimization to gain the right kind of traffic.
So I’m not saying to ignore topics that you know will dry up tomorrow. These topics are still important and provide great value for your patients.
But, evergreen medical content is important, too. It will pay dividends over the long run through repeat visitors to your website.
Let’s say you were frequently asked about the lower than usual efficacy of last year’s flu vaccine. So you decided to write a blog post about that, explaining how the flu vaccine is developed and why efficacy varies from year to year. That answered some very important questions during flu season last year. But it will continue to be an important topic every year because people have to make the choice to get a flu shot every year. This is evergreen content. It’s not as evergreen as some topics, because there is a seasonality to it – a horticulturist would call it more perennial than evergreen, but you know what I mean. A well-written article on the topic will continue to gain traffic year after year.
Approach to Evergreen Medical Content
Put a little more time into these topics. Give very clear detailed explanations of the important points. Do more research and add more references for those who want to dig deeper. These articles will probably be longer than a typical blog post, and that’s great because Google rewards long form content. So do readers, even though attention span research might make you think otherwise. Target a range of one to two thousand words for best results.
Spend time getting the SEO just right. After you’ve written the article for a human, do the keyword research and see where you can tweak to make it clear to search engines who they want to show your article to.
Think of these articles as the foundational content of your website. If you are an internist, you may want to write articles about what to do if you are newly diagnosed with common diseases such as hypertension or diabetes. If you are a plastic surgeon, you probably want to write about the main procedures you perform and what a patients can expect as they recover. If you are an OB, then write about prenatal testing and the benefits and risks involved, or what to expect during a vaginal delivery or a c-section.
Once you have written this evergreen medical content, create a new tab on your main menu and collect these articles there as sort of a “greatest hits” or “important resources.”
Don’t Have Time to Write an In-Depth, Evergreen Article?
Doing the research and writing a 2,000 word article on the management of hypertension is time-consuming. So break it down into parts. Create your overall outline, and then make each heading its own blog post. Link the posts together as you add them to your blog. When you have written all the components you can then combine them into an incredibly useful guide that your patients can download in pdf form.
1. Brainstorm the five most important evergreen topics for your medical practice.
2. Make a plan to get content written on these topics. Will you write big articles? Or will your break them down into smaller pieces and then gather them together once they are all complete?
3. Start writing!
Help us achieve our mission to fill the web with useful, evidence-based content. Get your free medical blog recipes and start blogging the easy way.
Photo Credit: © mediagram / Dollar Photo Club