Nurse practitioners and NP students have important stories to share and I can think of no better way to share them other than with blogging. I started my original blog, A Nurse Practitioner’s View, approximately 3 1/2 years ago. I didn’t start blogging because I thought I had anything better to say than anybody else did but the problem I saw was a gaping void of nurse practitioners in the health care blogosphere. There were plenty of excellently written physician, nurse and EMS blogs. There was less than a handful of blogs that I came across that were authored by NPs and I saw this as an opportunity to share some of my thoughts and perspectives in health care today. Nurse Practitioners were literally being slammed and there was very little support on-line for our practice. I started by politely responding to some of the erroneous and obnoxious comments about NPs on other blogs and that soon left me even more frustrated as the flaming only increased. I felt the need to write my own script as a nurse practitioner and thus a blog was born!
I chose to blog about trends and current health-related issues. However, the options are virtually limitless! Some may choose to blog strictly about clinical issues (remember to take privacy and HIPPA precautions) while others may choose to blog about healthcare technology or economics, for example. Another option is to blog a little about everything.
Below are some general tips and a checklist for getting ready to join the blogosphere. Blogging is very simple and if you can navigate a standard word processor program, you can blog. There is very little technical knowledge required.
- Choose a Title for your blog
- Decide if you want to blog anonymously or not. This may be one of the toughest choices since not being anonymous really puts you “out” there yet is a great way to add credibility.
- Decide your platform for blogging (WordPress and Blogger are 2 of the more popular platforms)
- Design the layout of your blog.
- Decide if you want to accept advertising on your blog. You can actually make a few dollars by having advertising links on your blog. I chose to avoid advertising since I wanted to have a very clean and non-biased perspective.
- Link to other blogs that you read and are of interest.
- Install a page counter or analytic tool to track traffic to your posts and site (I use Google Analytics.)
- Register your blog with blog directories such as Technorati.
- Link your blog to your Twitter and Facebook accounts to reach a larger audience
- Start writing!
One of my biggest suggestions is to plan to post regularly – whether it is a few times a week or month – it will help to build your audience. I’ve seen many well written and well-intentioned blogs start out only to fizzle after a few weeks or months of posts. Posting regularly will also help you become a better writer.
Come on in and join us in the blogosphere!