So, you’re thinking about using a blog to promote your health organization (or you clicked on the wrong link. There’s still time to go back.). The first step is admitting that social media is beneficial, if used properly of course. Blogging is a great way to get your ideas, thoughts and news across to large audiences. It’s like a microphone that can reach anyone in the world!
The word “blog” is a cross between “web” and “log,” which offers you no useful information other than the fact that I never knew that, and I think it’s cool. Even cooler, though, is that your blog is an expression of you, or your organization’s character. You can be as funny, serious, breezy or whatever other personality you want your blog to have while getting across valuable information to your audience.
As with everything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to blog. You want people to read what you have to say, right? Otherwise, you’re just talking to yourself, like that diary you kept in middle school that you don’t like to talk about (or the one you stole out of your sister’s bedroom).
Here are some helpful tips:
Define your goals.
Please do not just start blogging about anything and everything like you would on one of your personal social media accounts. Remember you are blogging on behalf of your health organization, so I imagine your most important goal should be something along the lines of passing on important health information. Your blog has a greater chance of success if you know what you’re trying to accomplish. What are you hoping your blog will do over the course of six months? A year?
One of your goals will likely include people knowing more about your organization. That’s perfectly fine! Include a link or talk about the organization, just don’t do it too much or in an obvious way. You don’t want to be a used car salesman.
No one is more you than you. People will know if you’re faking it because something will feel like it’s missing or it just won’t read well. Plus, if you’re always being yourself, your blog will be consistent, which will allow you to gain loyal followers.
Also, people read blogs because they like to get the facts with some flair. This is the one place where your opinion is always welcome. If people want the dry facts, they’ll read a newspaper. You’re a blogger, not a reporter.
Talk about what you know.
If I tried to blog about biomedical engineering, it would be an absolute disaster. It would be filled with dry facts that I pulled out of textbooks and jokes that I don’t even understand. If your area of expertise is fitness, then you fill that blog of yours with fitness related material and don’t stray. You’ll always be focused and have plenty to talk about. Don’t be like Joe down there trying to blog about how argyle sweater vests are no longer in style.
So now you know what to say, but you still need to actually put it onto your blog. Don’t forget about the importance of layout. Visuals matter. Have you ever walked into a house that was so cluttered with home decor (or maybe actual clutter), that it was just unappealing? People will have the same feeling about your blog if it’s filled with nonsense. Here’s another bullet point list of tips.
- Carefully format every post.
- Constrain your column width. Narrow columns are more visually appealing and are much more easily read.
- Use headers, sub headers and lists.
- Grammar doesn’t go out the window! Use correct punctuation, capitalization and so on.
- Fonts matter. Use something that can be read without squinting.
- White space is good. It gives the reader’s eyes time to rest.
- If you’re using a colored background, make sure it goes well with your font color.
- Images are great, but too many distracts from what you’re trying to say.
Girls Gone Strong is a great example for layout. The home page has its recent blogs available so that readers can scroll through to find what post would interest them. The post then has a clean format, nice and narrow with white space. It also includes visuals that help to tell a personal story.
I send you on your way to start your successful health blog. Be sure to check out other health blogs to get an idea of what you think works and what doesn’t.
Best of luck,
Read something you agree or harshly disagree with? Let me know! The cool thing about opinions is that they aren’t facts and can change at any time, including mine. I’d love to hear your thoughts.