How To Blog About Health (Step-By-Step Guide)
Health, wealth, and relationships — three blog niches where opportunity always exists. And guess which one tops the list every time for profitability? Yep, that would be health. Makes sense when you think about it because what’s more important than being mentally and physically fit, right?
The topic of health and its hundreds of sub-niches dominates the web and there’s no reason why you can’t have a voice too.
In this post, I’ll show you how to blog about health with action steps you can apply straight away.
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in…
STEP 1: DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
Why do you want to start a health blog? Is it to document your personal health journey? Build an online community? Start an online business? Spending time reflecting on this question will help determine the direction to take your blog.
If you’re just writing for yourself, pleasing others probably isn’t your biggest concern and that’s fine. But it’s difficult to earn income from a blog that focuses solely on personal experiences.
If your plan is to make money with your health blog, your main focus needs to be on helping and inspiring others and being passionate enough to stick it out until you see results.
STEP 2: CHOOSE A NICHE FOR YOUR HEALTH BLOG
Health is a HUGE niche and far too big a subject to tackle with a single blog. Instead, you want to focus on one subset and cover everything about it. Take Confined To Success for example — while I blog on several topics relating to chronic illness and disability, my main focus is on helping chronically ill and disabled individuals take better control of their lives financially. Similarly, you want to find an angle for your blog.
With that said, here are some possible directions to take…
Health Blog Topics
- Bee Venom Therapy
- Coffee Enemas
- Ozone Therapy
- Stem Cell Therapy
- Lyme Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Law of Attraction
- Occupational Therapy
- Nursing Homes
- Physical Therapy
- Hospice Care
- Belly Fat
- Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Tae Bo
Now, many of these sub-niches are still too big (e.g., yoga, cancer, physical therapy, etc.) In this case, try to drill down even more and/or pair it with a specific demographic (e.g., men, women, seniors, teenagers, boys, girls, adults, kids, etc.) Here’s what I mean…
Bodybuilding for women over 50Bulimia and teenage girlsOccupational therapy for toddlersBee venom therapy for Lyme DiseaseCancer in dogs
Any of these examples could work well for a health blog!
Now, this technique doesn’t apply to all niches because the target audience would be too small (e.g., ozone therapy for teenagers, etc.) That’s why you need to check Google first to see what the search results show.
Whichever niche you choose, make sure you understand your target audience to gain readers’ trust.
STEP 3: SET UP YOUR HEALTH BLOG
Getting your health blog up and running is outside the scope of this article but here are the core steps to the process so you know what to expect…
- Decide on a name for your blog – There are many website name generators but my favorite is namemesh.com.
- Register your domain name and set up hosting – Oftentimes, companies do one or the other but the one I use handles both AND automatically installs WordPress — the most popular content management system for blogs.
- Choose a theme for your blog – A theme is what gives a website its “look and feel” or “skin,” if you will. Aim for a clean, minimalist and responsive theme that’s user-friendly and accessible. Also, use colors that evoke “health,” especially greens, yellows, blues and white. But don’t go overboard, 2-3 colors are more than enough for your color scheme. (The service I use to host my websites also offers dozens of free themes to choose from).
- Install plugins – Plugins are add-ons that give websites extra functionality like pop-up windows, social media buttons and email opt-in forms. There are literally thousands available to choose from! But don’t worry, there’s only a handful you really need to run a successful website.
- Set up Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools – These tools will help you to identify traffic patterns and problems concerning your website — two must-haves when running a blog.
This process might seem daunting if you’ve never set up a blog before but it’s actually not that hard. For free step-by-step training, check out this awesome online learning center (I’m a member myself and will gladly help you out once you sign up!)
STEP 4: WRITE POSTS FOR YOUR HEALTH BLOG
1. Decide What to Write About
Once you’ve identified a niche for your health blog, start thinking about the kind of content you’re going to write. Here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling…
- Share basic/introductory information
- Answer commonly raised questions (Quora is a good source).
- Write product reviews (e.g., supplements, cross-trainers, books on healing, etc.)
- Conduct written interviews with authorities in your niche
- Report on the latest news (Google News, Twitter and Reddit are good sources).
- Feature an interesting infographic (can be outsourced on Fiverr or Upwork; Alternatively, design your own using Piktochart)
- Promote upcoming events and recap afterward (e.g., lectures, fundraisers, activist causes, etc.)
- Describe a typical day
- Invite guest posts
- Create top 10 lists of products and services
2. Do Your Research
Unless you’re an experienced medical practitioner or a personal blogger, you’re going to have to do research for the majority of articles you write. Perhaps even more so for a health-related blog where misleading readers with inaccurate information can land you in a heap of trouble!
This doesn’t mean you should avoid discussing tough or controversial subjects — you just have to make sure you’re able to back up your claims with hard facts before hitting ‘publish.’
Now, each article you write should tackle one topic and one topic only. For instance, it’s better to limit your post to the health benefits of green tea than attempt to cover every aspect of green tea (e.g., its history, how long to steep it, best brands, etc.) In short, you want to keep your article laser-focused.
But it’s not enough to have an idea of what to write. You also have to check whether other people would be interested in the subject matter too! After all, it doesn’t make sense to spend hours writing about a topic no one cares about (unless you’re writing for your own amusement, of course).
So, how do you do that? Through keyword research.
With keyword research, your goal is to identify commonly searched-for terms with low competition. Now, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner to help out but a better keyword tool like Jaaxy can speed up the process significantly.
Once you find a good keyword, you’re ready to start your research! Simple Google searches, eHow, and Wikihow are good starting points as well visiting other bloggers in your niche. Tools like Evernote and Workflowy are great for note-taking but a simple notepad will also do.
3. Create an Outline
While it’s tempting to start writing after completing your research, it’s not the best approach. For one thing, it’s harder to piece everything together and second, it takes longer to write.
Instead, organize your information into a coherent outline consisting of an introduction, support, sub-points, and conclusion (remember grade-school English?) And where relevant, work in the five “w’s”: who, what, where, when, and why.
4. Write, Write, Write
Nowadays, attention spans are short (especially online) so unless you grab readers’ attention in the first few seconds, you’ll likely lose them. That’s why your first few lines are super important. So, here are some suggestions to keep your visitors reading:
- Make a bold statement
- Cite a controversial quote
- Ask a question
- Share an interesting fact
- Tell a personal story
- Set up an imaginary scene
A common mistake many health bloggers make is using medical jargon to appear more authoritative in hopes of attracting more readers. Don’t do this!
Visitors don’t want to read a glossary, they want tough concepts presented in everyday language they can understand.
Furthermore, they want to see a real personality shine through and feel as if you’re personally talking to them. And if you’re willing to open up about your own health struggles in the process, all the better. This is how to connect with an audience and start building trust.
But there’s a caveat…
You might want to tone down the doom and gloom, especially if you’re naturally solemn to begin with. While people appreciate authenticity, most don’t want to read a health blog that makes them feel bad about themselves and their state of affairs (there are enough health forums for that!)
So, where possible, always offer hope and point out the wonderful life that awaits them because even in the bleakest of times, things can change. [source] And that’s a core message of THIS blog, despite my own hardships.
Another suggestion…don’t use your blog to rat out bad doctors, practitioners and/or clinics. There are plenty of places on the internet that allow you to air out your grievances but your blog shouldn’t be one of them. It doesn’t look professional and it’s not worth the risk of getting sued for defamation!
Okay, let’s now move on to some writing tips…
- Aim to write 1000+ words per article – Longer, in-depth articles tend to rank better in Google so make sure the majority of your posts are comprehensive.
- Avoid long sentences – In the online world, people scan text more than read it — a harsh reality for bloggers who pore over every word. To make your text more digestible, keep your sentences short and stick to paragraphs of 75 characters or less.
- Make your text visually stand out – Where possible, bold and italicize select phrases and use plenty of bullet points to help differentiate text.
- Intersperse text with engaging images and video – A huge block of text without any visuals can quickly bore readers so make sure to include a few where possible. For awesome imagery, check out Pixabay and Pexels — two of my favorite free stock photography websites. And to manipulate images, give Canva and Pixlr a try. In regards to video creation, Screencast-O-Matic is a great free tool or simply find a video on YouTube and embed it in your post.
- Use call-to-actions – Whether it’s inviting readers to subscribe to your email list, buy a product, fill out a survey, ‘Like’ a post, or redirect them to another article of yours, make sure to include some type of call-to-action at the end of every post.
- Optimize your posts for SEO – Getting good at search engine optimization (SEO) ensures higher search engine rankings for your posts.
5. Edit and Edit Some More
Articles riddled with spelling mistakes, bad punctuation and poor grammar doesn’t look professional. That’s why it’s a good idea to read over your posts a few times to check for errors (including out loud!)
As a last once-over, copy your text into Grammarly, Hemingway and the Readability Test Tool (in that order) to look for any mistakes you might have missed and finalize your articles for publishing.
STEP 5: GET SOCIAL
So you publish a new article you’re really proud of and now you’re ready to take a well-deserved break. Well, sorry to break the news to you but you’re just getting started!
If you expect your articles to get the attention they deserve, you have to do more than rely on SEO for traffic — you need to start connecting with people online! Here are some ways how…
Conclude your articles by encouraging readers to leave a comment and make sure to always reply. This is a great way to keep the conversation going.
If the comment happens to be a question you’re unable to answer, admit as much! (This goes back to my point about being authentic.)
Oh, and don’t be discouraged by trolls who try to bring you down at every chance. [source] So long as you stay the course and continue to believe in what you’re doing, you’ll come out on top. 🙂
Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can bring a lot of traffic to your blog if done correctly. Start by following groups and individuals in your health niche. Many will subsequently follow you back and when they do, make sure to initiate and contribute to discussions. Once you’ve built a level of trust, people will be more receptive whenever you post links to your articles (just don’t do it too often, once per day is fine).
To speed up the process, a free service like Hootsuite will post your article links quickly and reliably to several social media platforms simultaneously.
Now, alternatively, you could pay for ads on these platforms and bypass all this ground work but then you’re looking at some advanced training.
While blogging is often solitary work, you can’t be an island and expect your blog to take off by itself. You have to start making connections to gain traction!
Start by using a tool like Ninja Outreach to identify the top movers in your niche and become an active reader and commenter of these blogs. Most importantly, reach out the owners! Visiting these popular blogs might also give you some ideas to improve your own website.
Start contributing to boards like healthboards.com and curezone.org and make sure to leave a link back to your blog in the signature area (check their terms and service first!)
STEP 6: RINSE AND REPEAT
It’s unrealistic to expect gobs of traffic and recurring income just by posting one new article per month to your blog. You have to keep at it consistently to reach this stage.
Whether you’re able to commit to one article per day or one article per week, decide on a realistic publishing schedule you can stick to. This helps for several reasons…
- Having a set schedule with deadlines to meet cultivates consistency
- Google loves seeing fresh content posted regularly and rewards you with higher rankings
- Appreciators of your work are more likely to return to your blog and become loyal readers
I recommend using Google Calendar to create an editorial calendar for your articles but a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet will also do.
Also, keep in mind a lot of blog tasks can be automated so you can concentrate more on what you enjoy most…writing!
HOW TO MONETIZE A HEALTH BLOG
Ahhh, now we get to the good stuff, right? Well, this is another topic that warrants its own article but here a few key points…
There are many ways to make money with a health blog like selling your own products and services, selling ad space, email marketing, Google Adsense, CPA offers (cost per acquisition) and many more.
But I think the easiest strategy is affiliate marketing, where you receive commission for promoting products and services offered by other companies. For the health niche specifically, these could be products like vitamins, self-improvement books, yoga mats and services like gym memberships, life coaching and chronic illness counseling.
For best results, you want to make sure every product and service you promote isn’t just relevant to your niche but also highly relevant to the article you’re promoting it on (e.g., ‘Vitamin XYZ’ matched with ‘Vitamin XYZ product review’.)
Also, very important – don’t promote crappy products or products you have a hard time getting behind. Sure, you might sell a few here and there but you risk losing credibility among readers and that’s FAR more important in the long run.
Most likely you’ll have to work many months before seeing any return but because this process is cumulative – all the hard work you do now will eventually pay off! Not to mention the fact you’ll get better and better at it.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with your blog. Those who succeed online constantly tweak and try new things to increase traffic and conversions so follow their example!
TOOLS MENTIONED IN THIS POST
CanvaEvernoteGoogle CalendarGoogle Keyword PlannerGrammarly
PiktochartPixlrReadability Test ToolWorkflowy
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!
Do you already have a niche in mind for your health blog? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Leave your comments below!
WANT YOUR 1ST INVESTMENT PROPERTY?
We started from not having any clue where to begin to acquiring three investment properties in 18 months, grossing over $4,000 per month… and we can show you how we did it!
We know what it’s like to be in your shoes. So, let us show you how to go from being “clueless” about real estate investing to acquiring your first property and beyond!
You know, this is really a great idea and your post is a wealth of information to help anyone get started with a health blog. It’s got my wheels turning with ideas already. I have an inner ear disease myself that has affected my life for the past 20 years, and still does. I could see using this blog to educate others so they could learn about it as well.
Hi Leahrae, glad you find it helpful and a source of inspiration!
Hello, I blog about health myself and everyone needs a tip or two to learn how to blog better. Your steps to rinse and repeat are spot on and I intend to use what I have learned to write better blogs on my own website for sure.
Thanks for your suggestions.
I agree with your principles in choosing a niche to blog about.
The most important part in choosing a niche is to narrow your chosen niche down towards a more targeted audience. Every niche centres around many avenues. You will be able to connect easier to a targeted audience whilst also gaining trust and becoming authorised over time as your website becomes more established.
By using the keyword tool for your web post titles, registering the website with Search Engines through the SEO plugin, Google Analytics and Google+ are the key ingredients to achieve high rankings and become successful and authoritative within a targeted niche.
High rankings do take time but are achievable if blog posts are written regularly and that’s the key.
Couldn’t have said it better myself, thanks Simon. 🙂
I really like your website, it was simple to navigate and nicely designed. I am new to blogging and have only been setup a few months. I am also a member of CIB like yourself. I would be very grateful if you could have a peep at mine and make any suggestions to layout etc as I have been struggling with the technical side as I have no experience with coding. I am not looking to make money from this at the moment! but would like to know where I can get the right people interested.
Hi Emma, thanks for the compliment. I think you’re moving in the right direction with your blog. Your focus should be on producing content first and foremost, stylistic changes can happen later. To start getting people to your blog, you need to learn a bit about how to conduct keyword research. Feel free to drop me a private message if you have more questions. Best…
Wow, you covered a lot here but in the end a blog is quite involved and a lot of things have to come into play. I agree with your point about health being too broad a field to dive into, it needs to be broken down. Of course, it’s always good to be passionate about your subject whilst initially building it and not making money.
Really like the look and feel of your blog!
Hi there Stephan,
Wow! that was an absolutely awesome read on a how to blog and earn money from blogging! What I have noticed is that this can be applied to other areas and not just health, right?
Am I also correct in assuming we have to find a market (like health in your example) then find a suitable market segment i.e healthy eating for pensioners?
Yup, that’s pretty much it Derek!
This is a great blueprint for setting up a blog in the health niche. I’m currently working on a make money blog and after I get a little more success with it, I may start a second blog just because you have mapped this out so well!
As a new to intermediate blogger who hasn’t made a solid income yet, what services do you think are most worth having. Or do you think that it is okay to start and keep a blog running on every free tool and service I can find?
It seems that there is so many neat tools out there but they all are with a monthly cost that could eventually add up to quite a bit of a monthly expense. I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
Thanks for writing this dynamic article it is truly inspiring!
Hi David, actually most of the tools mentioned in this post are either free or have trial versions. There are a great number of free tools available to get you going until you start making more money. You’d have to let me know in what area you’re thinking about specifically in order for me to help you. Thanks…
You described everything someone should do to write an engaging and interesting blog post about health. I had never thought of setting up an imaginary scene so that the reader could actually picture in their mind what I was trying to explain. Ingenious idea.
Drilling down to a much narrower niche or group of people seems like the wrong thing to do, but actually, it is the right thing to do. You are able to stay more focused and not work yourself to death covering too large of a niche.
Using the free tools to help you look more professional in your writing is a very well thought out plan of action. You have many great suggestions which I plan on using from now on. Thank you for this wonderful post.
Thanks for chiming in Kenneth!
I found your site extremely easy to navigate! The 6 Easy steps caught my eye right away and I really found Step #1 to define your purpose to be the most important step. I’ve found that as a visionary I just want to GO GO GO and keep going and sometimes lose sight of the purpose for a minute and have to pause and go back. Starting a blog can be frustrating and you can learn something new that might not always be applicable to your purpose and blog.
Would you suggest writing down your answers to these steps somewhere?
Thanks, in regards to writing down steps and whatnot, Evernote is good for stuff like that.
Hi Stephan, First of all, your article seems to have been matched perfectly to me. Although I am working on my Bilingual StoryTime site primarily right now (one thing at a time), I have a health blog that I have been trying to develop as well, it will take more time. Like you, I have an interest in helping people with disabilities because I myself have a disability but thanks to sites like Weathy Affiliate, I am able to overcome my obstacles in life by building a business upon the things that I am good at.
Since the general purpose of my blog is to be a detective about healthy food and give people the truth about different foods and supplements, I have to really keep your advice in mind about narrowing the topics for each blog post so that I am tackling a particular focus in each article. For example, I really want to write a post this week about the health benefits of drinking coffee. Your comment about being careful with what you say about other health professionals was very helpful too.
Now I have a question for you, if one puts the disclaimer in every video and blog post “I am not a doctor. The information I share is my opinion and you must always consult with a physician…” Should that not serve to eliminate the chances of getting in trouble if some advice you give does not work out? Certainly we want to assess everything we say with research but everyone is unique.
Hi Charlotte, thanks for chiming in! In regards to your comment, I don’t think it’s necessary to put a disclaimer everywhere like that. Just adding it in the footer of your site or having a dedicated Disclaimer page should suffice.
I’ve been wanting to start a health blog for a while now but truly underestimated just how much goes into it.
This particular niche has a lot more depth to it than I thought.
Ninja Outreach is definitely something I haven’t used and I can’t wait to try it on my other blogs but I’m also not keen to add another $49 payment to my monthly bill. Are there any alternatives to helping you get great blog outreach?
Hi Ryan, thanks for stopping by. Yes, Ninja Outreach is pricey but they have a 14-day free trial so you can take advantage of all it has to offer during that time, that’s what I did! 🙂
I love how this article was written and arranged, very pleasing to the eyes and it reads really well.
I tried to focus on a health blog a few months back, specifically on all the benefits of coconut oil but I eventually gave up and deleted the whole site because I wasn’t confident enough and didn’t get the proper training and tools.
I am now focusing on an entirely non-health related niche and I am very happy with it. I think these steps can be applied to other niche blogs as well, right?
They most certainly can Rab, best of luck with your new site!
Stephan I want so badly to do a blog on overall health for the family so it will touch on issues for all age groups. I wanted to know is that too big of a reach to do? Also I have anxiety so when I get too much info at one time it becomes overwhelming for me. I need someone to help me get the blog up and running and then I will be able to manage it. I don’t know anyone in my community that does blogging so I’m stuck with the want of doing and ideas that I can’t put into action.
Hi Mia, a general blog on health isn’t a good idea as it will get lost in a sea of thousands of other health-related blogs. I highly recommend zeroing in ONE particular theme like those mentioned in this article. I can help you get all set up within the Wealthy Affiliate community. You can sign up HERE. Hope to see you inside!
I am writing a health blog with the intended audience being nutritionists. So is it still a mistake to use medical or scientific jargon? I need to do that to explain my point.
I tried to tone it down, but it is not something I can avoid. Is there a way to make it work for the more technical audience?
Also, thanks for your pointers on Ninja Outreach and message boards / forums. I didn’t think of that!
Hi Zaid, thanks for chiming in. I think it all depends on the audience. As you’re catering to nutritionists, using medical/scientific jargon makes perfect sense (so long as you’re experienced in this area). Otherwise, I’d use laymen’s terms.
I recently started developing a website on conquering depression (conquer-depression.com). I really enjoy writing and blogging about the research that has been done on this topic. The vast amount of information in this field is overwhelming though and sometimes I feel like I am only just scratching the surface – sometimes I just don’t know where to start. It’s also scary because I am actually an engineer and have no official qualification in mental health or psychology, but I do my best to ensure that my content is always backed by proper research, I really appreciate your post because you give some solid advice. I would really appreciate it if you could have a look at my site if you have any spare time and tell me where I can improve?
I already own a site now, but I am thinking of starting another one in the Health niche. Your steps have helped provide me with an abstract framework to get started. You are right, purpose is essential for any good blog. It is what drives you to write well.
I do have a question though. If I ever encounter any problems while writing about my niche, what would you recommend I do to solve it? Who do I go to? Thank you in advance and I hope you have a great day!
Hi Alex, thanks for stopping by. To answer your question, I’d look to authority sites in your niche for sure. If you mean general writing advice, I’d look to copyblogger.com to start with.
Comments are closed.