Five Tips for Ghostwriting Your Doctor’s Blog

by Sara Foster | May 18, 2017

Let’s say you’ve got a doctor who is game to try blogging. He or she has expressed interest. They’ve got a gregarious and friendly tone when they email you. They want to do it. Only problem? They don’t have enough time to sit down and write.

The solution? You do.

Here’s how to start ghostwriting blogs for your doctors:

Establish a process

Some doctors like to write but don’t have a lot of time for it. Others may have time but aren’t comfortable with writing. Talk with your doctor about topics he or she is interested in blogging about, then determine the best way to go about it. Here are some options:

  • Edit what the doctor writes. Your doctor may be willing and able to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – and write his or her own articles. You simply need to edit them prior to posting.
  • Fill in the doctor’s outline. Perhaps your doctor has a broad idea about a blog topic but doesn’t have the time or inclination to fill in the details, so he provides an outline and you flesh it out into an article. If you need to do some research, it’s best to ask the doctor for recommended/preferred sources for more information.
  • Write the article based on a doctor interview. If your doctor is willing, have a talk with him or her about the chosen topic, then write the article from there.
  • Develop the outline and article yourself, then have the doctor review it. This is probably the most time-consuming option from your standpoint, but it may be the only way to get a busy doctor’s participation.

Whichever process you go with, be sure to set firm turn-around times for your doctor’s review and feedback so that you can keep to your production schedule.

Share examples

Tell your doctor their blog shouldn’t read like an article in The New England Journal of Medicine. The point of the doctor’s blog is to talk directly to patients. It should sound like Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson’s blog. The tone should be informative and warm, not clinical and jargon-y. It’s important that doctors know your vision for their blog before they sign up for it.

Listen to your doctor’s voice

Ask questions that lead to passionate, colorful answers. Not, “Why did you study medicine?” but, “Why are you so passionate to see patients each day?” Also, know that you’ve probably only got 10 minutes to ask these questions. See what research you can do beforehand on the topic and skip the boring questions. You’re looking for their personality to shine through.

Edit together

Once you’ve written the blog (or edited it, depending on the process you’re using), send it to your doctor for approval. Make sure there’s a quick turnaround time of when you want their edits back. Since you’ve already shared examples of what other blogs look like, they won’t be surprised by your short, staccato sentences, bullet points or catchy headline.

Keep a consistent schedule

Are you doing a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly blog? Whatever your schedule, be consistent about it. Find out the best times to interview your doctor and the setting they prefer for an interview: in-person, phone call or Skype.

Share analytics

Doctors love data. Once you’ve got the blog posted, it’s your job to promote it and then share analytics with your doctor. When sharing data, don’t just rely on your words. Share some pictures. Instead of just emailing, “100 people visited your blog,” why not also take a screenshot of the comments the blog has garnered? Make your doctor feel like they’re part of the marketing team and they’ll want you to keep on writing for you. 
  • HealthCare Digital Marketing
  • Content Strategy
  • blog

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