Think about some of your favorite bloggers. Think about some reasons why you like their particular blog. Today, there are thousands of people that blog for fun or for profit. Most people who blog for fun write about topics that they are interested in or very knowledgeable about. Those of us that blog for a profit don’t always get to write about topics that are easy for us.
A few years ago I was hired by a client to write healthcare blogs. I consider myself fairly healthy and I thought this would be awesome! I quickly found out I was wrong. Writing health blogs about wellness and being healthy and fit (not food recipes) was VERY hard. Not only did it take a long time, it was a different writing style than I was used to. It was much more “technical” than I thought. I found it took me twice as long to write the blogs and I began to dread them. Then, I did a few things that improved my ability to write health blogs effectively. Here are some of my tips that can help you become a better health blogger.
Researching the industry
First, I spent a lot of time researching about health and the healthcare industry. I read many health blogs, like Hello Healthy, to get a feel for what topics were popular to write about, and how others were writing about health. When I was given a topic I didn’t know much about (which happened a lot), like holistic health, I spent more time researching and reading than I did writing. By researching, I learned a lot about the industry and what other blogs looked like. I started making Pinterest boards to categorize and keep the topics organized so when I needed information about a topic I had a place to go to.
Finding the proper tone and style
The next thing that was difficult for me to nail down right away was the tone and style. I found that writing about health was a combination of sounding expertise/authoritative and caring/genuine. I wanted my blogs to sound like I was an expert on the topic, even though I was not. I also wanted the tone of the blog to sound as if I was a caring, helpful friend, and not overly-technical. It was a hard mix. It really took me a while to accomplish this, but I did so by using a “sandwich” method. By starting the blog sounding more relaxed, adding in the technical information in the middle, and then ending by summarizing some of the technical information in a more understandable manner. I also picked up on the tone and style better from reading more and more healthcare blogs. Most importantly, I used an honest tone. I used words like “could help”, “might improve”, instead of definite words like, “will always”. I also noted in some blogs that the content was from research and not personal experience.
Using credible sources
When writing the blogs and using links, I made sure to use credible sources. There is a lot of health information out there and some of it is just garbage. You can easily steer people in the wrong direction by misinforming them. People who didn’t think they had insomnia now do after reading a poorly researched blog. It was important to me to find credible sources like Healthline and use those sources in my blogs. When I wasn’t sure about something I either didn’t use the information or tried to find a way to ask a specialist. When it comes to healthcare blogs it’s imperative to know and relay the correct information.
These are just a few of the things I learned to do to better improve my technical writing skills. It took a lot of time and reading, but once I got the hang of it, the blog writing became easier. I would love to hear your tips for writing about health and healthcare, or other technical styles!
If you enjoyed this post by Elizabeth, check out some of her other blogs!
Elizabeth Muckensturm – Communication and Media Professor