The no. 1 blogging tip you should always keep in mind

My first blog was a travel blog. Nancy and I were working and travelling around Australia and New Zealand and, like so many others, we blogged about our down-under experience. The audience: Family and friends. Number of daily visitors: 3-5.

In 2004 there was no Twitter, and LinkedIn and Facebook were the new kids on the block. Still, it was good fun. We were passionate about our travel adventures and we enjoyed uploading the pictures we took with our 4 megapixel Sony Cybershot.

Professional blogging

Four years later we settled down in Western Australia and started a business. A blog became part of the new practice website.

In the early days the blog attracted 20-30 visitors per day, but after a while the number grew to 40-60. Connecting the blog to the practice social media accounts made a big difference. I learned a lot about content – what works and what doesn’t.

In 2013 we decided to move back to Queensland and I left the practice. I began to focus more on my Doctor’s bag blog (it’s good to see the Panaceum blog is still very much alive).

Keeping a blog going is hard work. There is no ‘easy way’ to do it. The competition is fierce and as there are many great bloggers out there, it’s not that simple to get noticed.

I really enjoy blogging – which helps of course. I am fortunate to work in an industry that’s a constant source of inspiration.

Slowly the visitors number started to climb to 80-100 per day.

The struggle

But just as I thought my blog was taking off, writer’s block hit me hard. My creativity was gone. I didn’t blog for a while. The longer I didn’t post anything, the more attractive the thought of deleting my WordPress account.

English is not my first language and I often struggle to find the correct words. So, I argued, why not save myself the trouble and stop blogging altogether?

One evening I was reading an article about writer’s block. It was the break-through I needed. The author, Jeff Goins, simply said: “You overcome writer’s block by writing.” His message was short & sweet: It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you get going.

That’s what I did and somehow it worked. Before I knew it, the inspiration was back and the blog ideas started flowing again.

The first time my daily visitors number reached 1K, I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a one-off, just luck, but last month over 15,000 people visited Doctor’s bag.

Although I want people to read my posts, it has never been my goal to get more visitors – nor do I think the hit counter is a measure of success. I enjoy producing content that makes others think. If it leads to change – even in the smallest way – I’ve reached my goal.

There will always be people with more writing talent, better posts and more followers, so I try to keep Bill Gates’ words in mind:

“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world… if you do so, you are insulting yourself

But there is one thing that is more important than anything else…

The best tip

The one thing that determines success in blogging, and in many other ventures in life, is perseverance. It is important to follow your passion. If you enjoy writing, the best tip I can give you is: Don’t give up.

Everybody has a story to tell, so keep writing. You will get better at it and people will find your blog.

Picture from my first travel blog in 2004, dropped off at Lizard Island, North Queensland, with food, water, tent & map.

5 thoughts on “The no. 1 blogging tip you should always keep in mind

  • Thanks for this interesting story and useful tips.

    I noted your references to running a ‘business’ in an ‘industry’. I realise that not having English as a first language can make it more difficult to fully grasp the fine differences in meaning between words (English is my second language too), but I would like to say that GPs and other health professionals are running professional practices rather than businesses in the usual sense of the word.

    The subtle but important difference between ‘normal’ businesses and professional practices is that in a normal business, the first duty is to maximise profit by all legal means, irrespective of any benefit to the customer, while in a professional practice the first duty is to do and to advise what is the patient’s (or client’s, if you a lawyer, architect, accountant, etc.) best interest. This is a very important difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Caveat – but not at all costs and sometimes what is in the patient’s interest is not the same as what is the best medical decision (e.g. the patient who yesterday wanted a sick note for the rest of the week after a minor procedure because “I have 100s of hours of sick leave”). Sometimes even the medical decision is not necessarily good for the business – it might be better for the patient if we decide to dress their chronic ulcer twice a week at the rooms but given the cost of consumables and manpower we might rather send them to the Government’s wound clinic where they may get worse/same/better care than from their GP.

      Reality is that commercial interest, ours and the patient, plays a huge role in our decision making

      Liked by 1 person

      • Everything that you say supports the principle that as doctors, we sometimes decide to do or have to do things that are definitely not in our own financial best interests.

        Where this extends to actually losing money, rather than making even a small profit, as in your example of providing expensive dressings for a patient, it is perfectly understandable to refer the patient elsewhere, because we also have a duty to ourselves and our families to earn a reasonable living.

        Our lawyer colleagues like to boast on their Websites about how many thousands of dollars of pro bono work they do. I was fascinated to learn that they include in this any work that they do for less than their usual full fee, e.g. if they reduce their fee from $1,000 per hour to $750 per hour, they count the work done for $750 per hour as pro bono. On this basis, we GPs could count all of our bulk billed work and any other work done at anything less than whatever we regard as our usual full fee as pro bono work, and of course, it would be a massive amount.

        Liked by 3 people

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.