No one likes change….but we all like progress. In most cases, change is for the better. Take for example blogging. Over the years blogging has grown up and matured into what we now know to be a powerful and well-respected dental marketing tool. As a result more and more practices are blogging than ever before.
Nowadays, pretty much every one reads blogs and as such, blogging has fast become a fundamental part of online culture. Of course this hasn’t always been the case, and it’s only during the last 5-10 years that blogging has really changed and grown.
To put this into perspective, right now there are 332.8 million blog accounts on tumblr alone.
In addition WordPress tells us that over 409 million people are viewing more than 24 billion pages each month…so clearly this is a topic worth knowing more about.
With this in mind, just how and where did blogging start?
Let’s rewind back to 1994, the year of the very first blog. Chicago born Justin Hall, created links.net (which is still live today) while he was at college. It was there he would share his thoughts and favourite links with the world. Due to this, New York Times Magazine once referred to him as the ‘father of personal blogging’.
However back then the term ‘blog’ didn’t exist. It wasn’t until 3 years later in 1997 when more and more people began using such websites to share their personal thoughts that the term ‘weblog’ was penned. This was shortened a little later in 1999 to what we now know to be a ‘blog.’
In between this, a blogging platform called ‘Open Diary’ was launched toward the end of 1998. Shortly after, the ability for readers to post their comments on other peoples’ diary entries was added. This was the forerunner for the interactive nature of blogs that we still see today.
Just like most new innovations on the internet, many quickly saw that blogging had great potential, but the question is…. how did it go from diary entry to full blown marketing tool?
The answer lies with hosted blogging platforms….
During 1999 blog usage spread and this coincided with the arrival of the worlds first hosted blog tools including Live Journal and Blogger where many blogs existed in one place. Suddenly a blog could easily be read by a wider audience. Companies soon realised that by connecting with a wider audience it gave them the ability to grow brand awareness and promote their products with little-to-no advertising cost.
Over the years blogging has grown into the giant that it is today where more than 400 million people now actively read blogs. In fact, blogging is now so popular that people have even created businesses from just blogging alone, such as food, fashion and tech blogs. Because of this, blogging has fast become an essential part of any marketing and content strategy. As you can imagine, the potential for marketing your dental practice through the use of blogging is enormous.
“That’s all well and good”, I hear you say, “but how does it work for dentists?”
Well, the very nature of blogging makes it ideal for marketing your dental practice because it provides regular and new content that draws patients back to your site while at the same time offering interaction. Knowing how blogging began helps us to see how blogs help bring out the human side of your business because they are designed to be less-corporate and relaxed.
- Improving your search engine ranking. Google loves to find and rank new content so blogging can be used specifically to improve your SEO.
- Showing off your expertise. Use your blog to prove your high level of patient care, commitment and experience.
- Connecting with patients. Alongside using Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms, a blog allows you to communicate with patients and build their trust.
- New traffic to your website. By offering dental tips, tricks and guides frequently, such regular content will guarantee the return of visitors to your website.
Another point to remember is that although blogging is a very powerful marketing tool, it’s inexpensive to start and run. All it requires is a little of your time and creativity. In fact, starting a dental blog to promote your practice can be set up within minutes.
While blogs are no longer just the diaries of personal lives, dental blogs that talk about ‘fly on the wall stuff’ like ‘a day in the life of a busy London dentist’or blogs that educate are very popular. Conversely it’s fair to say that blogs who’s sole aim is promotion probably aren’t, so I guess you could say that it’s come full circle.
After looking briefly at the history of blogging all the way to present day, it’s exciting to wonder what the future for blogs will be and how it will continue to change….
For now at least, it’s safe to say that a blog should be placed at the top of your dental marketing plan. If done properly, it will generate leads for your practice. That said it, it does take time and effort with consistency being the key to success. You will need to do your research, devise a plan and be sure to stick to it. If you need any assistance with writing your dental blog content, don’t forget we’re here to help. Give us a call to chat about your content or marketing needs on 044 (0) 844 307 9127 or visit our website at www.dentalwriters.com.