Writing a blog post shouldn’t just be an exercise in creativity. If you are a veterinarian doctor, it should be treated as part of your overall marketing strategy. Recognized marketing professionals, such as the Digital Marketing Institute, consider blogging an important component in a long-term effort to attract new clients.
Before getting into the nuts and bolts of writing blogs, let’s explore how they help attract new clients.
How Can Veterinary Blogs Draw New Customers?
Blog articles can be like doggie treats for hungry terriers. They capture the attention of people looking for insight and help transform them into potential clients newly aware of your clinic and its services.
Although this may seem counterintuitive, your blog shouldn't promote your clinic directly. Instead, it should address topics that are of interest to both your clients and prospective clients.
How does posting generalized blogs build your client base? The public relations firm, Ruder Finn, determined the top two reasons people go online are to be educated and entertained. With this in mind, you can see how a generalized topic such as “Human Foods that are Harmful to Pets” would be educational, and “Unusual Ways to Teach Your Old Dog New Tricks” would be fun to read.
By posting blogs such as these, you are meeting the needs of online readers – without selling them anything. Blogs should provide value and create awareness. Once people know about you and see your organization as delivering value, it becomes easier to sell them on your services when they need a new vet.
How to Speed Up the Blog Writing Process
Although writing sounds like it’s creative and fun – which it can be—the prospect of filling a blank page may not get your tail wagging.
Don’t fret if you’re not a natural writer. Here are seven paw-fect ways to accelerate the writing process. (Be warned: the first four steps involve a little pre-planning before the writing begins.)
1. Identify Your Audience and Their Interests
Think of your best clients before you begin writing your veterinary blog, and ask, “What would Mrs. Smith be interested in learning from a veterinarian doctor?” How about Ms. Jones or Mr. Johnson? Why would they be online?
Consider sending out a survey to your clients asking them to identify the type of topics they might find interesting.
Once they identify areas of interest, create an editorial calendar pinpointing what you’ll write about and when you will post each article to your website. By doing this, it helps you avoid spending unnecessary time fretting over a subject for your next veterinary blog. And it informs readers to expect regular updates.
2. Create a Blog Outline
Don’t overlook the value of creating an outline. After picking the topic, it helps keep novice writers organized, especially those that might be better suited to treat troubled canines. An outline does not have to be a monumental undertaking. Simply decide on the type of blog you wish to create (a list; an article; a how-to), then identify the main point or points you wish to make. Ideally, each point with be supported by some data, findings or even a personal experience, but keep your blog focused only of a few main points. Once you’ve identified your key points, jot them down in order, followed by your conclusion. Viola! You now have an outline.
3. Find Valid Sources for Your Blog
If you’ve selected a veterinary blog post called, “The Best Foods to Help Dogs with Skin Allergies,” consult your peer-reviewed journal sources or articles to use them as resources before you begin writing. This saves time and it also ensures your passing along valuable, respected information to your readers.
4. Pick Your Blog Keywords Next
This is another instance where knowing your audience is important. What phrase will Mrs. Smith type into a search engine if she’s searching for food that will improve her pup’s skin allergy? Will it be: “dog foods for skin allergies” or “hypoallergenic dog food”?
If you’re not sure, begin typing “dog food allergies …” into your search engine. Typically, the search engine will anticipate what you are seeking and will “prefill” popular search terms. The prefilled phrases tell you what others are searching for. Now you know what people are interested in and this insight can help you finalize the blog topic (or topics). Once you select your keywords, select similarly-searched terms to use in headlines, sub-headlines and throughout your veterinary blog post.
5. Write Your Veterinary Blog
Now, go back to who you are writing for and think about how you would phrase the information if Ms. Jones or Mr. Johnson were sitting in your office. Keep them top of mind and write to them in the same conversational manner you would use if you were speaking to them.
6. Edit the Post
No matter how good your writing skills or how prepared you are before writing, always take the time to look over your post. Trust us: professional writers do. (Often two or three times.) This can save you time and embarrassment from misspellings, grammatical errors and convoluted phrases that usually sound terrible the second time around. Finally, don’t forget: every writer has an editor. Ask someone in your office to read your blog all the way through before posting it. You will be amazed what an author might miss.
7. Promote Your Blog With Social Media
Writing the social media posts at the same time you pen your blog helps effectively promote the blog post while it’s fresh in your mind. This step will save you the time it takes to re-read the post and create social media posts later.
If social media is still new to you, read "Using Social Media to Attract New Clients to Your Vet Clinic" as a reminder how easy it is to create engaging social promotions.
Keep Your Veterinary Blog Fresh
Writing may not be as easy for you as it is to treat your clients’ furry pets, but there are steps that you can take to make the process speedier – researching topics ahead of time, committing to an editorial calendar and getting in the habit of blogging on a regular basis. It’s a great way to provide your client with useful insight while promoting your labor-of-love animal clinic. The trick is to commit to your blog and keep posting regularly. Before you know it, you will have regular readers pining for your puppy insights.
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