Most successful health bloggers would agree that one of the primary measures of success in the healthcare blogosphere is quality readership. And when you take a closer look at the best of the best, it becomes clear they share many key attributes. Here are 6 of their most common characteristics.
#1 Successful health bloggers are conversational
They talk to their readers with familiarity, friendliness and openness. They write in the first person, they tell personal stories and they share themselves. Whether a nonspecific detail of a patient’s case, a diet regime they’re following, a stage in their own personal health journey or a new piece of research they have read about, the content that health bloggers pen is crafted in an open and free-flowing way. It’s also written in a tone that appeals to their intended audience – meaning they understand who their audience is and what their audience wants.
#2 Successful health bloggers keep the conversation going
This means the conversation isn’t just happening on their blog – it happens on their social media profiles, on their Facebook pages, on other blogs mentioning them, and on other websites. The blogger’s reach extends far beyond their blog, in other words.
Views, likes, comments and shares all help to keep a health blogger’s conversation going beyond the blog. Comments also give bloggers an opportunity to respond and extend the conversation. Comments can be viewed as a measure of success, defined by engagement – they demonstrate that readers care enough about the content to comment, like or share.
#3 They build a tribe
A tribe, also referred to as a community or a following, is integral to a health blogger’s success. Not only do health bloggers build their own communities, they connect with people on an individual level and share one another’s stories on their platforms. They find common ground and are easy to relate to.
In order to build tribes, health bloggers must become friends, not strangers, with their readers – and build trust. It’s not uncommon to find readers sharing their own personal health journeys on a health blogger’s post or Facebook page because there’s a community feeling – a sentiment that anyone reading or following the blogger is somewhat of a kindred spirit, that it’s a safe place to have a conversation about your health concern.
This feeling of safety and camaraderie is especially valuable in health and it’s one reason why there are so many health bloggers with extraordinarily large followings. People may not be comfortable discussing their personal health concerns with their doctor, but they are more than happy to ask their favourite blogger for advice because they trust their blogger and feel safe and comfortable with them.
#4 Successful health bloggers have beautiful blogs
Not only do they have amazing website designs, but successful health bloggers know how to write for the web. Their posts are easy to read, contain best-practice web writing techniques, and are formatted appropriately for the web medium.
They post photos of healthy food, have inspiring designs, and use beautiful photos and images throughout their copy. Just like in children’s books, images in blogs enhance the storytelling within the blog posts. These blogs, and their associated social media accounts, are a pleasure to read and follow because they are aesthetically appealing.
#5 They write useful and helpful content, covering an extensive range of their subject matter
They are the go-to people in their niche. They take time (years) and effort to cover a range of topics and subject matters within their area of focus.
A lot of this comes down to content and strategy. Health bloggers invest time in planning their content and studying their audience’s pain points to create content that is useful – and this includes campaign-related content like email challenges and stories communicated via email newsletter introductions as well as blog posts.
#6 Successful health bloggers build authority
Health bloggers who have spent years blogging about a particular area of focus have built credibility and authority. They have consistently created engaging health content that answers the questions their readers want to know. Over time, they become a trusted source of health information and readers return to them.
A word about health bloggers and health advice
It’s difficult for a health blogger to NOT give any form of health advice – but if you’re wondering where to draw the line, you might find some useful advice in one of my earlier posts: Should health bloggers give health advice?
There are many hugely successful health bloggers who don’t provide accurate or evidence-based health content yet have hundreds of thousands of passionate readers. The challenge for the health blogger who does wish to provide high-quality health content is to take the medical science and package it up in an appealing and – dare I say – sexy way. This doesn’t necessarily mean you in your bikini with a green smoothie touting the latest evidence into fish oil and triglycerides – but it does mean pinpointing what people love about successful health bloggers of all niches and incorporating those techniques into your own health blog.
Where to find health blogs
If you’re looking for influential health blogs to inspire your own blogging journey, take a look at this list of 60 must-read health, fitness and happiness blogs.
Over to you
What, in your opinion, make a health blogger successful? Share your comments below.