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There have been some great blogs posted in BMA Communities in recent months. Some focus on employment issues like working hours and pensions while others are much more personal like a student who blogged about her experiences battling mental illness while at medical school. Many of the blogs have been read by thousands of BMA members so it is a great way to connect with other doctors and medical students and get your voice heard.BMA Communities is always on the lookout for new bloggers so if you are feeling inspired why not post a blog of your own. Here are our top 10 tips on blogging. We’d love to hear what you think of them.
1. Adopt a conversational chatty style. Read it aloud when you've finished. Is that how you talk? 2. Be provocative 3. Put some work into your intro – is it intriguing/engaging/different?4. Always use specific examples, perhaps based on personal experience5. Link to recent research or media coverage of the topic if appropriate6. The best topics are small and specific rather than huge and wide-ranging7. Avoid jargon and acronyms. NHS and GP are ok but avoid others 8. You should encourage the reader to comment 9. Use short paragraphs – in blogging, the style is less formal and paragraphs may be as short as a single sentence or even a single word. You should keep sentences short for the same reason you keep paragraphs short: they’re easier to read and understand. Each sentence should have one simple thought. More than that creates complexity and invites confusion. 10. Use simple words. Since your purpose is to communicate and not impress, simple words work better than big ones. Write “get” instead of “procure.” Write “use” rather than “utilize.” Use the longer words only if your meaning is so precise there is no simpler word to use.
Here are some of the places on BMA communities that have blogs. If you are not sure where your blog might fit email us at - [email protected] • Free for All blog – This blog takes anonymous posts allowing people to be candid about sharing personal experiences• Policy Debate – A great place for doctors to discuss how the NHS is being run or express their views on the issues that affect their patients• My Working Life – This blog provides a space to talk about everything from pay, and working hours to seven day services and rewarding excellence• The Practice – A place for GPs to blog about the challenges facing general practice• Student life – A blog for medical students to share their experiences of studying medicine
Thank you for these tips. I agree - blogging is a great way for doctors to share ideas and connect with others.
If you're a doctor interested in creating content for blogs, your practice website or your patient newsletter, but don't know where to start, you may find the book "Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business" by Handley & Chapman useful.
I only just received my copy and couldn't put it down - it contains some great thoughts on how we can better connect with people (including patients) by writing content that grabs and engages people.
Knut Schroeder, GP
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