Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Consumer Health Blogs

One aspect of medical writing that I haven't seen much material on is writing consumer health blogs. You know, there are a lot of books on the craft of medical writing (style, grammar) and the basics of scientific writing (how to write a journal article, regulatory documents, etc.). But what about health blogs?

Let me take a crack at this, then.
  • Health blogs should provide short articles on specific topics. Ideally, they should include pictures or photos and links to expert sites for more information. For example, a writer may create a cancer blog with varied articles, but link to their photoblog, providing cancer and cancer related photos.
  • Health blogs should allow the reader to interact with the writer/blogger through either a forum or email.
  • Health blogs must avoid giving a reader the impression that the articles are giving a diagnosis or sound medical advice. Always include a line or phrase advising the reader to seek the advice from a doctor or medical professional and to discuss the article with them. Remember: giving the wrong impression in this area could result in very serious consequences for the writer, the publication and the reader (s).
Blogging about a health topic you are familiar with may be easy for you at first (you have all this information you want to share!), but it requires commitment (to post every day or every week some fresh material). Check these 20 tips for good blogging.

To see what bloggers around the world are posting about your health topic, do a search on

Finally, you may want to skim over the legalities for bloggers.

Thanks for reading!

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