How to write an article for your health blog – Part 1 (Quantity)
Originally published Sept 2017. Updated with even more awesomeness January 2019.
If you have a health & wellness website, one of the main ways to get found online and build your KLT (know, like, & trust) factor with your audience is with your blog.
It’s my favourite marketing tool! (Obviously…)
So, how do you do it?
Today, I’m sharing my process and some awesome shortcuts you can use on how to write an article for your health blog.
This is part 1 and includes the first steps to take if your struggle is quantity of health content – how to actually put together a blog post.
Part 2 is all about health content quality, for those few epic cornerstone “pillar” articles you will need.
- Want to post more often than you do;
- Don’t know what topics to write about;
- Have writer’s block & don’t know how to start;
- Don’t know exactly how, or don’t love creating your own articles;
- Scramble at the last minute to get something out there;
Then this post is for you.
Before I share tips and strategies to help you move past these, I want to tell you that these are super-common struggles of practitioners. Unless you’re a writer at heart, outsource this responsibility, or make writing health articles a priority in your business, you’re in very good company! (I can be good company too. Promise!)
To take a mini-quiz to see where you can start ramping up your health blog, click here.
Step 1 – Know the objective of your blog
The most common reasons to have a health blog are to:
- Build your audience;
- Demonstrate your expertise and build your KLT (know, like, trust) factor;
- Promote your offerings.
Getting clear on your vision, mission, and niche will give you a direction for your blog that guides everything you publish. You need to know who you’re trying to attract and how you’re going to impress them.Health blog objectives: 1-Build audience; 2-KLT; 3-Promote #blog Click To Tweet
Step 2 – Decide how much time you have
Your approach to writing articles for your health blog will differ based on how much time you have to do it. There are lots of places to get blog posts without writing each one from scratch every week.
If you have 2-8+ hours per week, you can create some pretty freaking awesome content on your own.
If you have less than 60 minutes per week, you still have options. I put together a page with a few resources for those times when you just don’t have time to create something for your blog, vlog, or podcast. #BeenThere
If you needed something, like, yesterday
If you needed something yesterday, and choosing a topic isn’t a huge priority, then download this free supplement tip sheet and publish it on your blog, like, now:
"Before you buy another supplement read this!”
Free supplement resource from you to your clients (8 expert tips). Edit and brand it as you like.
You can upload it to your site as is. Feel free to customize it however you want to (I reference some Canadian laws in it, so you can remove those if you’re not in Canada). You can even publish some of it on your blog while saving the rest to be a free download to build your email list.
NOTE: Personally, since I’m a professional writer, I consistently blog every week. I research and write health articles for a living. I focus on long-form posts and spend a lot of time on each post. For example, this post has taken me almost 6 hours. And my 2,000+ word scientifically-researched “done for you” health articles for sale here, take me 12+ hours each. (Yep, I actually squint at my screen for hours to *read and decipher* that language I like to call “science-ese!”) This is by NO means an expectation or industry standard, it’s just to show you that I choose to dedicate many hours per week researching and writing, but you don’t have to.
Step 3 – Choose a topic and angle for your article
Choosing a topic is often a sticking point. If you need to publish a blog post and you don’t have much time, then skip down to the next subhead “If you have a few minutes.”
If you have at least 10 minutes to make a bit more of a strategic decision on your topic, then head to this post that outlines what should be your top 5 priorities when choosing a topic for your next blog post.
If you have a few minutes
If you have a few minutes to choose a topic, but not enough to create an article from scratch, then have a look at the “done for you” health articles I sell here.
(Shameless promotion, because these articles are freaking awesome!)
These “done for you” articles are grouped into 5 categories:
- Health Goals
- Foods & Diet
- Nutrients & Supplements
- Personal Fitness
- Sleep & Stress
- Beauty: Skin, hair, & nails
After you buy them, read them over and customize them to suit your brand, tone, style and angle. Add a story, client example, recipe or even some swear words if you like (I promise I don’t add any f*bombs in these — they’re definitely rated PG). Then go ahead and publish them your blog as though you wrote it yourself.
If you have an hour
If you have an hour you can use one of these 60 health and wellness blog topic ideas. These aren’t headlines, but actual ideas that you can use to generate multiple headlines from. You can pick one and create something short and sweet (or long if you have the time). You can even record an audio or video instead of writing out a blog post.
You should totally check out the timeline I included to get it done in 60 minutes.
Struggling to find health topics to blog about?
Download this epic list for the next time you need a post fast.
Step 4 – Do your research
If you haven’t bought a researched done-for-you article and you’re writing one yourself, I highly recommend doing research to add credibility and trust, AND stand out in the massive wellness market of people selling random unproven (sometimes illegal) shiz with BS albeit rather “sciency” sounding health claims. The vast majority of health and wellness bloggers are putting out crappy, short, un-researched health content on the internet, so a bit of good quality research goes a loooong way!
Not only that, but doing your research allows you to take a bold stand on hot health & wellness topics. It gives you the confidence to jump into controversial conversations because you have backup citations.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a total research nerd (even if I didn’t wear glasses ?) and I love learning about health topics. If I haven’t yet convinced you, here are 3 solid reasons why you should do your research, especially for health blogs.
But please, please DON’T TRY TO FIND RESEARCH TO PROVE YOUR POSITION! It really works the other way around – DO RESEARCH TO FORM (OR UPDATE) YOUR POSITION.
NOTE: I have no shame in admitting that I was totally convinced of a “fact” based on decades-old preliminary research and I promptly updated my position with the newer and better information. Read here about the time that one study completely changed my mind about gut microbes.
I also understand that not everyone loves digging into data and translating “science-ese” into English as much as I do. (It’s an ~acquired~ taste.) This is why I created the post “How to research health topics EFFICIENTLY.” You don’t need to spend hours and hours finding information (unless you want to…like I do).Stand out in the massive wellness market by *actually* doing some QUALITY research before publishing your blog. #HealthResearch Click To Tweet
Step 5 – Outline your article
The purpose of creating an outline for your health article is to save time and have a clear focus.
The skeptic in me loves to just let the research lead the way.
I found that it actually works. If I just start writing as I’m going through my references one at a time, my posts take me hours longer than when I’ve done a preliminary review of the references and outline my article.
By starting with research, the outline of your health article becomes pretty simple – pull out the points you want to share with your audience and make each one of those a subheading. I do this by quickly skimming through the study abstracts.
I often do this right in WordPress (frequently saving it as a draft). Feel free to use MS Word, a Google Doc, or even a paper & pen. However you like to create your outlines is great.
The outline can evolve as you’re writing, but having it as a backbone is helpful when you don’t have a ton of time.
Step 6 – Draft the damn article already
Once you have an outline, definitely start drafting your post online, not on paper.
This is when I start reading the research I’ve collected (not just glossing over the abstracts like I did for the outline). As I go through each study (often reading out loud as I’m squinting at my screen and repeating run-on sentences over and over until the people around me feel like they’re trapped in an echo chamber with multi-syllabic words that kinda maybe seem like they *might* be English – or Latin – and I really start to understand the scientific concepts) I pull out excerpts and points that relate to each subheading in my outline.
Of course, if you chose to reference credible websites that have already done this work and are written in English, you can save yourself hours. 🙂
The objective at this stage is to create a rough draft of your article. Not to edit. Just to put concepts down on the screen. Save the critique of your spelling and grammar, and try to get some text down under each subheading and add more subheadings if you come across something you missed when skimming through your references.
Don’t worry too much about your introduction and conclusion – focus on the body of the article first.
This step is finished once you have a draft of the whole health article.
PRO TIP: Sometimes my draft starts taking a long time or is very long. This is when I decide to break a post up into two posts (e.g. part 1 & part 2 is next week).Step-by-step how to write an article for your health blog #health #blog Click To Tweet
Step 7 – Edit that article
After you have the first draft, now you can finally read through it with a critical eye. Look out for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Check if the information has a logical and smooth flow. And “nit-pick” it to see if you used consistent terminology throughout (e.g. “done for you” vs done-for-you, etc.).
Now is the time to create (or review) the introduction and conclusion.
Then brainstorm headline/title ideas. How can you capture the essence of the article in an interesting sentence?
Headlines are super-important!
They’re your first shot at getting readers. The headline can make or break the traffic on your article. If you need some help, I compiled links to a few resources to help you with your health article headlines here.
PRO TIP: If you’re SEO-optimizing your post because you did keyword research (which I cover in part 2 of this post), then you want to make sure that your keyword is in your headline and introduction.
Step 8 – Make it look easy to read (and maybe a bit pretty)
Now look to see if each subheading has about the same amount of text. Is your header formatted to be H1 and sub-headings H2? Is the post a good length?
Do you have at least one good image for the post? If you want tips on finding and using images for your health blog, here’s some image advice.
PRO TIP: If you started typing into a blog post template or cloned your previous post (i.e. you didn’t start with a blank post), make sure you don’t forget to:
- Create your new image and set it as “featured”;
- Edit your keyword, meta description, and tags;
- Create your “Clicks to tweet”;
- Have your social media headlines/images set (if you use a plugin for that).
NOTE: I *may* have forgotten a few of these points before, and published with the previous week’s image and/or social media headlines. #Oops
At this point, I’d also check the SEO score, but I’ll talk about that in part 2.
Step 9 – Publish your article
If possible, save the final check for the next morning. You will be able to easily find missed details with a fresh mind.
Now, hit that “Publish” button so it’s live on the internet.
(Don’t worry – you can always go back and fix things! If hitting “Publish” is holding you back, check out this awesome expert advice on building blogging confidence.)
…But it doesn’t end there!Eight things to do before you publish an article on your health blog #health #blog Click To Tweet
Step 10 – Promote that puppy
Don’t forget that your brilliant new post is not going to go far if you don’t promote it!
Let that sink in.
If you don’t promote it, they will NOT come!
- Link to it across social media.
- If it’s evergreen content, schedule it to be shared again (and again) in the future.
- Add the intro and link to the post in your email newsletter.
- Post the link in FB groups on “promo” days.
- Create a full promotion strategy for your awesome new post!
Get the word out that you have valuable expertise that the world needs to know about.
This is the first part in a blog series based on my How to ramp up my health blog quiz. It’s about getting over the first hurdle – QUANTITY.
Having regular and consistent content for your blog is the best way to build your audience, demonstrate your expertise, and promote your offerings.
This article covered:
- When you have no time: Download my free supplement guide (use as is or customize);
- When you have less than an hour: Purchase a done-for-you health article (use as is or customize);
- When you have an hour or so: Create something quickly from scratch;
- When you have time to rock out something great: Do research, outlining, writing, editing, formatting, and publishing.
It’s up to you. Consider the amount of time you want to dedicate to it, what your audience wants, and the way you are using your blog to build your KLT factor (know, like, trust).
These strategies for improving the quantity of your blog posts are going to be OK for most of them. However, you will need at least a few epic (longer-form, more thoroughly researched, SEO-optimized) cornerstone articles (quality). This is what I talk about in part 2.Do you have enough articles on your health blog? If not, here's how to get more! #health #blog Click To Tweet
Signing off and toasting: To having regular consistent articles for your health blog.
Over to you
What do you think? Do you struggle with time to create health articles? Do you consistently publish enough of them? Did I miss any other great tips and strategies that help you? Have you used any of these strategies? Are you going to try them?
I’d love to know (in the comments below)!
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.