Thank you to my Twitter friend and colleague, pediatrician extraordinaire, Dr. Mary Beth Miotto, for posting this thought-provoking Tweet about blogging:
Happy to share my blog https://t.co/Jd9I9veIL9— Robin Cogan (@RobinCogan) April 2, 2022
Yes! Keep them brief under 500 words. Use graphics, pics & visuals. Come up with snappy titles to draw people in. Keep on writing, be consistent. Blast it out on social media platforms!— Robin Cogan (@RobinCogan) April 2, 2022
Dr. Miotto’s question about blogging tips prompted me to jump in and share my recommendations on blogging in 280 characters, the length of a Tweet.
Let’s take a deeper dive into my blogging tips for those interested in starting a blog:
- Keep your blog short, I find that 500 words or less is the sweet spot in terms of length. People are not reading lengthy posts. Being brief, but impactful does take practice, but it can be done.
- Graphics are important and readers appreciate them. A study from 3M found that the brain processes visual images 60,000 times faster than texts. Read more about it in this article: Using Images Effectively in Media.
- Share your stories. Storytelling is a powerful tool because the reader can often see themselves in the stories we tell. How to Use the Art of Storytelling in Your Blogging Strategy
- Create attention-grabbing titles – draw the reader in from the beginning. Readers often decide if they will spend time on your blog based on how you introduce your topic. The Critical Importance of Titles and Leads in Our Writing
- Keep on writing, it is in the process of writing that your find your voice. You also never know who may be reading your blog posts! I promise you are not yelling into the abyss!
- Be consistent with your posts. If you commit to posting weekly, keep to your word, not necessarily for the readers, but also for yourself. Show up for yourself, that is as important as showing up for possible readers.
- Know your why, it will keep you writing. Answer the question, why is blogging important to you? What is your overarching goal, the clearer you are, the more dedicated you will be to the process
- Think through your long-term goal for your blog. Who is your audience? How will you reach them?
- Finally, how comfortable are you with social media? What platforms do you use? How will you spread the word about your blog?
Dr. Miotto’s Tweet made me reflect on my blogging journey and what drives me to continue this effort. The Relentless School Nurse blog will be celebrating its 5 year anniversary this summer! Since 2017, I have published 808 blogs and have had more than 300,000 visitors read my posts. Of course, some have been more popular than others, but no matter what, I keep writing. I have had many visitors leave comments, some wonderful, some not. I think one of the comments that fueled my passion for continuing to raise issues came from a school nurse who opposed my “political” stance.
Was really enjoying this group until politics were brought in, oh well
That one review dramatically lowered my “rating” on another social media platform, but I saw it as a breakthrough. I am not in this for how many “likes” or “stars” I can achieve. My goal is to amplify the voice of school nurses and create opportunities for school nurses to share their stories. I began the blog in an effort to garner public awareness of the scope and importance of school nursing practice. That goal continues to drive my efforts, even five years later.
If you are interested in blogging, jump in, there is plenty of room for all voices in this space. I would love to see 95,000 blogs that represent the number of school nurses in the US. Each of our perspectives is important and we certainly have stories to tell!