Frequently a doctor, physical therapist, athletic trainer or other health provider asks me how I come up with content. The question usually goes like this. “I think I want to start a blog, but I have no idea what I would write about.”
Since blogging takes time and effort on a consistent basis, knowing what you want to write about and why is crucial to decide up front. If you pick a subject that you think people will read, but it doesn’t really interest you, you’re likely to burn out quickly and quit.
Here are two questions you can use to pick subject matter that can benefit your readers and keep you motivated to write.
In what area are you an expert?
What illness do you see more than others in your field? What topics are you asked to speak about at meetings? What is the focus of medical research you have done? Answers to one or more of these questions can help guide your blog’s theme.
Expertise is key. You don’t have to be the world leader in a certain specialty, but you have to be skilled at communicating with readers interested in it. People can tell fairly easily that you don’t know what you’re talking about. You must have some credibility to speak on certain issues.
Don’t be worried if you don’t have the academic rank valued so highly in medical societies. Often a doctor or health care provider who treats an injury or illness frequently can explain it to people in easy to understand language. You might have far more influence online than the president of an organization or department chair who might only talk in complicated medical jargon.
Also, you can choose a fairly broad subject or a narrow one. Both options have pros and cons. For example, I chose sports medicine, health and wellness rather than youth sports injuries. A broader subject has a larger potential audience, but you might initially struggle to gain traction with more people writing about it. A niche focus might have a smaller audience, but you can possibly become better known more quickly.
About what are you passionate?
What articles do you find yourself reading online? What parts of your job do you like the most? You might be ambivalent about low back pain as a spine surgeon, but maybe you’re fascinated by healthcare administration and the politics of healthcare reform. Maybe you care deeply about access to healthcare for low-income patients.
Opening your laptop after a long day at work will be much less of a struggle if you choose a theme that excites you. You will then be far more likely to stick with blogging. Plus that passion will resonate with readers, and they will likely share your content with others.