The Writer's Guide to Blogging

We talk a lot on the LifeLearn veterinary marketing blog about how to do your own blogging. It might be intimidating to start your blog, and it might feel like a huge time sink—especially if you don’t consider yourself a creative writer.
However, a good blog doesn’t have to take all day, and it’s great for communicating openly with pet owners. After all, posting on your own blog is a great avenue for client education—with a little added flair.
So how can you get started, without turning it into a big to-do? Here are a few tips to help you optimize the time you spend writing!

Think About Your Reader

Remember that with your blog, you aren’t writing your master’s thesis. You’re talking to pet owners, and that will play a huge role both in the topics you choose and how you address them.
Try to avoid picking massively in-depth topics that might go over their heads, and do your best to avoid complex medical terms. If there’s a layman’s way of saying it, use that instead. This can also be a great way to boost your on-page SEO; by picking out pet owner–friendly terms to include, you’re including the keywords that they’re most likely to search for.
Tip: Need help picking out appropriate topics? Try our list of blog topics for every month of the year!

Read Other Writing

Chances are, you keep up with news in the veterinary industry. Keep an eye on these industry experts, and learn from their writing styles. What are they talking about? How are they talking about it? How are people interacting with it?
Reading lots of other content can help you figure out what may or may not work with your audience, and can help you get your head into the “write” space so you don’t spin your wheels trying to get started.

Keep a Notebook for Ideas

“I never had to choose a subject—my subject rather chose me.” – Ernest Hemingway

You never know when the right idea will strike for your next blog post. Many writers swear by the practice of keeping a notebook around (or even keeping one in each room) where they can jot down inspiration as it happens.
If you’re technologically inclined, there are also several digital alternatives to physical notebooks. Software like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote are good places to keep ideas. These programs let you write organized and searchable notes, copy and paste content and images, and even save web articles for reference. Some smartphones also come with notebook apps that you can carry with you wherever you go.
This way, you can keep your ideas and build on them—and not have to worry about them disappearing from your mind when you need them.

Keep it Simple

You’ve made sure the topic is appropriate, and now it’s important to make sure your writing style is, too.
If you can, try to keep an eye on your word count. For example, try to keep sentences below 20 words, and try not to have more than 2 or 3 sentences in a paragraph. This guideline helps you build pet owner–friendly content, and your readers can digest information quickly and easily.

Try Writing in Bursts

Every writer gets stuck sometimes. If you find this happens, writing bursts can come in handy. They’re neat little exercises that consist of a short phrase designed to kickstart your imagination and get your creative juices flowing.
For example, one exercise may give you the word “morning” to get started. You would write down the first thing you thought of, or perhaps talk about what you’d done that morning. It doesn’t have to be related to your blog post; it just has to get you thinking, and can save a lot of time wasted on head-scratching and writer’s block.

Mix it up

If you had to eat the same meal for dinner every night, would it be exciting and compelling each time?
Online writing works much the same way. If you have a strict formula and adhere to that with every post you write, eventually readers will lose interest. Don’t be afraid to mix up your style every now and again to keep it interesting.
Tip: Need an idea for how to mix up your style? Check out our list of SEO-friendly content styles for inspiration.

Use Extended Metaphors

Extended metaphors are a creative writing technique used to draw out a metaphor or comparison throughout a piece. They’re a great way to create continuity in a blog post because they help you build a narrative, and they help draw a story to its conclusion in a natural way.
For example, let’s say you’re writing a post about how to keep pets safe in the heat of summer. You could open by describing how the heat is on to protect our furry friends, and end by saying that’s how pet owners can take the heat off of their pets. It’s a bit cheesy, but it gives your post catharsis.

Don’t Agonize Over Getting it Right

“I rewrote the ending to ‘Farewell to Arms,’ the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.” – Ernest Hemingway

This is a drastic point, but remember: If you put too much pressure on yourself to get your post perfect right off the bat, you’ll end up censoring every potentially good idea you come up with.
Be open to the idea that your blog post won’t be perfect right away, and that you can change things at any time. Which leads us to…

Edit Your Posts

No writer does it right the first time, every time. Your posts will need to be edited, whether that means you ask someone else on your team to go over it, or you set it aside and look at it with fresh eyes the next day.
This makes a huge difference in the material you put up, and gives you the chance to make sure that it’s exactly what you want to say. Plus, you might think of additional points to add!
Tip: The good news about web content is that even if you do miss something in a blog post, it’s easy to go back and fix it.
And finally…

Be Confident

“The shortest answer is doing the thing.” – Ernest Hemingway

If you’re just getting started with blogging, it’s easy to feel like you don’t really know what you’re doing. The best way to be a compelling blogger, however, is to be confident in what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.
Practice writing, ask for feedback, take a free online course—do whatever you need to do to feel confident in your writing, and you’ll find it becomes much easier.Your veterinary blog is a useful tool when it comes to educating and communicating with pet owners. Make the most of the time you spend on your blog using these tips, and watch it take off!
 

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