If you’re a nurse, then you know you’re part of an outspoken, opinionated community. Perhaps that’s why so many nurses also become bloggers. When you type a Google search query for “top nurse bloggers,” you’ll get an extensive list of nurses who post regularly about their experiences. You could add your own voice to the mix if you start your own blog.
Blogging establishes you as an authority in your specialty. It gives you the chance to connect with other nurses and to engage other healthcare professionals. Through blogging, you can meet people all over the world, build your professional network and develop your personal brand. Ask yourself some of these questions before you start your own blog in the nursing field:
1. What Blogging Platform Is Best?
You’ll need to decide where to publish your blog posts. Currently, Google’s Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr and Squarespace have many devoted users, but you can also choose up-and-coming venues like Medium, Silvrback, Roon, Ghost and Svbtle. It’s easiest to choose a platform that doubles as a blog host. All of those files have to live somewhere, and it’s simpler when one company manages it all.
2. Should You Use Your Name or a Pseudonym?
One of the best nursing blogs, “The Gypsy Nurse,” is run by a veteran travel nurse only identified as “Candy.” However, Candy never provides her complete name and doesn’t plan to provide it for the foreseeable future. You can reveal your identity from the outset, or you can build your audience before you tell them who you are. It all depends on your career strategy, your motives for writing and the contents of your blog.
3. What Should You Write About?
The topics you can write about on your nursing blog are only limited by your imagination. You may be juggling earning an MSN (visit this site for an online program), your job and your family, which means you could blog about finding work-life balance or surviving graduate school. You might work in a particular specialty, such as oncology, and decide to blog about issues that are unique to that niche. Your work can include anything from serious, science-oriented entries to hard-hitting social commentary to funny stories about yourself and your colleagues. Try writing a few entries to see if a theme naturally emerges.
4. How Often Should You Write a Blog Post?
Writing regular posts is the best way to develop a following for your blog. You can post daily if you use a short-form platform like Tumblr, or you can write lengthier weekly posts if you’re using a platform like WordPress. Just commit to a regular interval so that your blog stays up-to-date.
5. What Mistakes Should You Avoid?
Some of these may seem obvious, but because they could get you in a lot of trouble, you should think them through:
- Sharing patient information. Change patients’ names and identifying details if you don’t have permission to include them in your blog. Also, if a patient contacts you over social media or through the comments section of your blog, follow HIPAA rules when responding.
- Naming your place of work. If you’re looking for that promotion to nurse supervisor, it’s best not to name your workplace on your blog. You also want to avoid bad publicity for your employers, even if you think they might deserve it.
- Criticizing other professionals by name. If you work with a doctor that you dislike, avoid criticizing that doctor by name on your blog. Switch up identifying details so that you don’t cause professional friction for yourself at work.
6. How Do You Connect With Your Readers?
Most blogging platforms integrate with social networks, so promoting your blog is easy. You can promote it on your primary accounts or create a unique account just for your posts. For example, you could create a Twitter account named after the title of your blog, use the account to promote your posts and interact with other nurses who tweet. When readers or followers leave a comment, answer it promptly.
Blogging is community-oriented, so take time to read others’ blogs and comment on them. After a while, your blog should acquire a tight-knit group of followers. If you’re lucky, it just might start appearing on those “top nursing blog” Google queries.