Don’t you love it when you do a little work for one purpose and then find that work is useful for another purpose? Yeah, me too.
That’s why I want to tell you about one of my very favorite ways to make this happen – a medical blog series. This benefits your readers, your search engine rankings, and you.
In the simplest terms, you write a series covering different aspects of the topic of your choice. You address a complex topic in small pieces over the course of weeks or months.
In the end you have a complete series for your readers and, as a bonus, content you can repurpose. You can compile the content into a single PDF and let it serve as a downloadable primer on the subject. Or you can take your blog posts and turn them into a podcast series. Or infographics. Or any number of other things.
Why is this a good thing? Well, first, it breaks the work down into bite size chunks for you. You don’t have to write a 15-page treatment of skin cancer; you just have to write the first piece of it. You’ll get to the second piece next week.
Second, it demonstrates an extraordinary level of depth on the topic to search engines. That’s not the primary purpose of the medical blog series, but it’s a nice benefit.
Third, it creates mutiple sources of useful info for your readers. Some people don’t want to wade through a book on vaccines, they just want to find out about the risks of vaccines. A blog series makes it easy to track down that specific info. On the other hand, some people want all the info in one place – that’s where a downloadable primer comes in. A podcast works for people who listen on the treadmill or during a commute.
If it sounds simple, that’s because it is. Some folks don’t even plan a series, they just realize in retrospect that they’ve written a lot about topic A, so they gather all the info into an eBook. Done.
But if you want to get the most out of this process, there are some steps you can take to get the most benefit you and for your audience.
STEP 1: HATCH A PLAN
Let’s say you want to educate your readers on childhood vaccines. The first step is to make a list of all the topics you want to cover about vaccines – types, effectiveness, safety, myths, etc. Next, break those topics down into blog-size bites. Then spend a little time organizing those topics into a logical outline for a final product.
After you have your outline, make an editorial calendar for your series – plan each blog post in the series. Put it on the calendar and meet your deadlines!
Remember, you don’t have to eliminate blogging about other topics until you finish your series. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to intersperse unrelated topics among your series posts. This will help keep the interest of the person who just doesn’t want to hear another word about vaccines. So if you blog every week, alternate weeks between posts for your series and unrelated, stand-alone posts.
STEP 2: WRITE
Now that you’ve got a plan in place, it’s time to make it happen. Start writing and publishing those posts according to your predetermined schedule.
Remember that even though this is a series, you want each post to stand alone if it needs to. Don’t let the information in one post rely on the reader having read the previous posts in the series. They may land on a particular post from a Google search and you want them to be rewarded with good info. Don’t make them dig for it.
Be sure to use the best practices for writing for internet audiences in every post. This means you should wisely use the following techniques:
- great headlines
- interesting introductions
- short paragraphs
- eye-catching images
- and other valuable practices.
Don’t forget to interlink your posts. At the end of each post, a reader should be able to navigate to the previous post and the next post. This means you have to go back to the last post and add the “next post” link after the next post is published. Of all the non-writing tasks involved, this is the most important. Don’t lose your reader because you didn’t take the simple step of guiding her to more relevant information.
Another great tip is to create a table of contents page for your series. Add a brief introduction followed by the title of each post. As you create each post, link to it from the table of contents page. Your readers will be able find all the pertinent posts and get excited about coming topics. If you’re going for bonus points, link to this page at the end of each of the posts.
STEP 3: RECYCLE!
After you’ve finished your series you have the exciting task of taking this great series and repurposing it into other forms of valuable content.
Why not record the blog posts and put them on iTunes as a series? You may reach an entirely different audience than the one that reads your website.
Definitely group your posts together and make a downloadable PDF, or eBook, on the subject. You can do this bare bones or spend ten bucks for a template to level up. You don’t have to stop with posting it for download on your website either. Send it to your patient list so they don’t miss out on your great information. Tell them you don’t mind if they share it.
Other options can be a bit more involved, but beneficial to offer. You can make a series of infographics with your material. Or create a slideshow and post it on SlideShare.
The bottom line is that you’ve got some great content in your newly created series. Now make it work for you.