As a dental writer and copywriter, I see hundreds of dental websites; surprisingly, around 75% show signs of failed blogging. What I mean by this is that either they:
- Have the ‘welcome to my blog’ page and nothing else.
- Contain the obligatory 3-4 blogs that the web design company set up as part of a package deal, or
- They started blogging but ran out of steam.
Either nothing at all or a flurry of activity for the first few months and then tumbleweed thereafter.
For every proponent who talks about the benefits of dental blogging, an equal number have tried and faltered. So, why is this? Why do dental blogs fail?
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know I’m a huge advocate of blogging and how it can enhance your marketing efforts to get more patients through the door. So, let’s talk about the five fundamental reasons dental blogs fail and what to do to ensure your blogging efforts succeed.
Let’s start with reason #1.
Dental blogging isn’t a priority
Okay, I get it. As a practice owner, you have a million things to worry about, and having an up-to-date blog on your website probably isn’t high on your list of things to do right now.
It may be more of ‘when you get round to it’ rather than feeling you need to prioritise it over other marketing tasks.
Here’s the thing, though; consider how many pages are already on your website – not a great deal, right? Now think about how often you update those pages – I’m guessing hardly at all, if ever.
Blogging solves both these problems in one hit.
Every time you publish a new post, it’s another indexed page linking back to your site – another chance for you to appear in the search engine results.
Moreover, as 77% of all internet users read blogs, it puts blogging and why you need to do it into perspective.
But that’s not all:
Blogging is a great way to gain loyalty and build trust, and in the dental world, trust is everything. So, if you have a current blog on your dental website and your target audience is reading it, when the time comes to undergo a particular treatment or service, your practice is the one they call.
If you need more proof that having a dental blog should be a must rather than a maybe, how about this…
90% of people currently search online for a particular treatment or dentist, while blogging influences 12% of all online purchasing decisions.
These decisions include booking consultations for popular dental treatments like dental implants or teeth whitening. So if you don’t have an online presence through continual blogging, then you’re definitely missing a trick.
How to fix it
The key is changing your mindset from something you ‘might do or consider’ to something you ‘must do regularly’.
Try to build it into your weekly marketing strategy. If you don’t have time yourself, and most dentists don’t, how about delegating the task to a member of your team?
If that isn’t an option, you can also hire someone like me 😊
Now that we’ve covered point #1 in some detail, we need to talk about the next reason dental blogs fail, and that’s…
I created a whole post on why blogging consistency matters, so I’m not going to go into a ton of detail here, but let’s say that it’s better to post one or two blogs per month regularly than to post like crazy for the first few months then stop because you’ve run out of steam.
It’s like running a marathon – if you go all out at the start, that pace will be unsustainable in the long run.
Inevitably, practices start enthusiastically, cranking out several blogs a week or more. Then, stuff happens, and they miss a few days or weeks of posting.
Remember, blogging doesn’t return instant results. So after a while, you question whether blogging is worth the time and effort.
Once you miss a few posts, blogging activity slows and becomes inconsistent at best and grinds to a complete halt at worst.
Being unrealistic with your blogging activity is arguably the primary reason why dental blogs fail.
Here’s the main issue with inconsistent posting.
We’re all creatures of habit, and we love routine. So, if you regularly blog once a week and then do nothing for a month, your readers will wonder what happened. Remember, 77% of all internet users already read blogs, so they’re used to getting their content fix regularly.
Moreover, if you post sporadically, your audience won’t know when to look out for your blogs;
in the end, they simply won’t bother.
But there’s more…
If you cease blogging for an extended period, it can harm your existing SEO. Ultimately, you’ll start to fall out of favour with Google, and as a result, any website traffic you’ve built up will decline.
Here’s an experiment one blogger did when he stopped blogging for 251 days.
Okay, so this is a little extreme, and you probably won’t do this much damage if you stop for a few weeks. However, the main takeaway is that stopping altogether becomes the next logical step once posting is less consistent.
As a top tip
If you want to stay consistent with blogging, setting realistic goals is essential. Why? Because you’ll need to blog for several months before you see any results.
On average, you should allow around six months before your content sees any real traction
Therefore, it pays to stick to a blogging routine you can cope with. This may be once a week, twice a month, or even once a month. There are no hard and fast rules here. Simply set yourself an achievable target, then rinse and repeat.
If you’re stuck for dental blogging ideas, check out my post for 27 blogging ideas for self-blogging dentists.
Content isn’t engaging/valuable
Did you know that 175 new websites are created every minute? That’s 252,000 websites every day. With so much content being produced, good content is the minimum you should aim for.
This is where many blogs fail.
Let’s take the popular key phrase, “how do dental implants work“. A quick search reveals that most blogs discuss the step-by-step process of getting dental implants. In other words, they answer the question but do little more.
Therefore, if you were to write yet another ‘step-by-step’ post, it’s liable to be lost in a sea of other ‘so-so’ content on the same subject.
Instead, wouldn’t it be better if you also detailed information like:
- How the implant interacts with the bone
- How long osseointegration takes and
- What the patient can expect to feel during the process?
After all, this is what any reader considering implants would want to know, right?
Essentially, It’s about delivering quality content over and above any other blog on the subject.
- SEO marketing experts Moz suggest that content should be ten times better than anything already out there and have written a great post on the subject if you want to find out more.
In essence, every dental blog post or every piece of dental content written needs to:
- Engage with the reader and
- Add real value.
Here are some top tips for writing content that engages your target audience.
- Have an attention-grabbing headline – Here’s a good article on how to write effective headlines.
- Tell a story that adds value – How can you help your readers? What will they get out of your content after reading it?
- Write from an authority’s viewpoint – Provide them with something they don’t already know.
- Use images to bring your content to life – Remember, it must be easy on the eye.
- Let your goals determine the content length.
Follow these tips, and you should have unique, engaging content that adds real value.
How does this relate to dental content?
When you have an idea for a blog post, carry out a quick search to see what other blogs are currently ranking for that key phrase. Then look and ask yourself, ‘is there any way I can add more value to the reader?’ If yes, jump right in and follow the tips above.
If you feel that the bases are already covered, then creating another blog post on the same subject might not be the best option.
The next blogging faux pas goes hand in hand with the above reason, but it deserves its own section. So here it is…
Your blog doesn’t have a different/unique angle
Another reason why dental blogs fail is that they don’t stand out from the crowd.
Look at it this way, content that’s shared the most is copy that:
- Divides the crowd
- Is thought-provoking or,
- It’s designed to promote a strong emotional response.
“That’s all well and good“, I hear you say, “but I’m writing a dental blog here, not a life story or anecdote”.
This is true, but you can still make it appealing and interesting. How? By considering an opposing slant or angle. Let’s call it the anti-post!
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you want to write a post on foods that are good for your teeth, but notice there are already a ton of blogs on the subject. In that case, how about creating a post entitled, ‘10 unsuspecting foods that will ruin your teeth in six months or less?’ The polar opposite of every other blog on the subject.
Is it contentious? Yes
Is it thought-provoking? I would say so.
Are people likely to talk about it? Possibly.
By creating an anti-post, you’ve immediately made a point of difference, which, as we’ve already discovered, is essential!
Here are several examples of anti-posts and how they have been used to produce content in the dental niche.
What Not To Do After Dental Implant Surgery
4 Things Not To Do After Whitening Teeth
15 Sure-fire Ways To Damage Your Teeth
Aside from writing content that stands out or differs, you’ve written content that stands a far greater chance of being shared.
Get those two factors right, and it’s a win-win!
And, so, we come to the final reason why dental blogs fail, and that’s:
A distinct lack of promotion
You’ve written a great dental blog post but now what?
Many bloggers make the mistake of writing a great blog, uploading it onto their site, and then they wait… Ultimately, nothing happens, and that’s their blogging exploits over.
Far too much effort for zero gain, right?
Well, not quite, because what you really should be doing is promoting the heck out of it.
After all, you’ve spent a great deal of time writing it, or it has cost you money to have it written. Either way, it’s a valuable asset that deserves more than gathering dust on your website.
If you don’t want your blogging exploits to fail, here are some content promotion ideas:
Look to share your blog on social media – if your practice already has a social media presence, you need to share the post with your followers/friends. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you might also want to publish your article there.
Comment on other similar blogs – Find blogs with a similar topic to your site. Read them and add a meaningful comment. This shows you have read and understood what they are saying and is relevant to the post’s subject. Don’t forget to add your blog/URL or website link.
Mail out to your existing subscriber list – if you are already collecting emails via a subscriber list, companies like Aweber and Mailchimp have a function where any WordPress blogs will be sent out automatically to subscribers as soon as you hit publish. You’ll need to set the process up, but once it’s done, everything else is automated – Simple.
Reach out to other bloggers/influencers in the dental niche – Drop them an email telling them about your latest masterpiece and how it might interest them. Hopefully, if they like what they see, you’ll get that all-important backlink or share.
Want to know how to find dental influencers?
Here’s a post detailing 10 Dental Influencers You Should Know
The bottom line
Blogging isn’t difficult, but getting results takes a lot of time, effort and dedication. This is why most dental blogs fail.
To excel, you need to publish content regularly and often – content that stands out from the crowd, solves a problem and connects with the intended reader.
Do this, and I assure you that you’ll build a loyal audience of readers who will return for more.
Moreover, when they are looking for a new dentist or are ready to commit to dental treatment, all the hard work has been done, the trust has already been built, and you are the name they think about when they need to call or book an appointment.
What problems have you encountered with your dental blogging exploits? I’d love to hear in the comments below.