Is it really just a question of semantics, or are there major differences between health blogging and health writing?
In my humble opinion, health writers and health bloggers ARE quite different.
Both “professions” involve writing about health, but there are intrinsic differences in the way the content is shaped and delivered.
5 major differences between health blogging and writing
Blogging is a different type of writing to feature article writing and news writing/journalism.
It’s like a cross between a traditional opinion piece and a feature article.
Bloggers usually create personal content that draws on their own life experiences.
Whereas writers tend to report, research and interview others to create a story, and they leave themselves out of the equation.
Because health blogging is online only, a lot of importance needs to be placed on layout, formatting and linking in health blog posts.
Those things aren’t necessarily as important in news and features (although, if you’re writing online news and features they are).
Health writers produce stories and collate quotes from health experts, while health bloggers ARE the experts.
Most if not all of the time in health blogs, the opinions and expert advice comes from the blogger – and this is integral to their success.
But they tell great stories, and this is probably more important in the health blogging arena.
4. Personal details
Health bloggers often build their online presence by getting personal.
They inspire people through their own actions and experiences.
They share a lot of intimate details and stories in order to get their readers to relate to them.
The most successful health bloggers are almost always those who are comfortable sharing their most private experiences.
Health bloggers don’t necessarily have a background in writing.
Their background is usually in their area of expertise: consider some of the finalists and winners in the Bupa Health Influencer Blog Awards 2013: Bushwalking Blog, Fit Mother Hubbard, The Wellness Project.
While these health bloggers are obviously excellent writers, perfect writing is not their main objective.
Their goal is to share personal health stories and inspire others through their own actions.
What does this mean for you?
If you’re trying to decide whether you want to be a health writer or a health blogger, check out some popular health blog lists.
Do you have what it takes to build your own unique health blog and put yourself out there, just like some of the most successful health bloggers?
Or do you prefer to write content that isn’t all about you?
Is health blogging a saturated market?
As I mentioned in my previous post on health writing niches, there has been an explosion of health blogs in the blogosphere lately.
It’s hard to imagine how such a saturated market can be sustainable. But with society’s obsession with health and the digital space, what we’re seeing now is probably just the tip of the iceberg.