Write … to the Point

– writing tips and tricks

Archive for the month “August, 2015”

FREE: Reference material to help you write health content

FREE list of health referencesIn previous blog posts, we’ve discussed the importance of building credibility as a writer and given you tips on how to develop content for your health blogs.

In this post, we’re going to share with you some important reference material that will help you write your health content, and build your credibility.

Why use references?

Referencing is vital when it comes to health writing — or any factual type of writing. There are millions of health-related websites and blogs out there, with many of them offering conflicting advice and information. What’s worse, is that the majority of health information (from what I have seen), is not referenced appropriately.

Referencing is important for several reasons:

  • It ensures the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date
  • It reassures the reader that you are providing them with accurate information
  • It helps build your credibility as a writer
  • It helps gain trust from your target audience
  • It enables your reader to go to the source of the information for further detail.

How to reference

We will talk in more detail on how to reference information in a future blog post. However, when you do reference material, it’s important to quote the original source of the information, rather than make a general statement.

For example, writing, “According to the Heart Foundation, more than 46,600 Australians died from cardiovascular disease in 2013” is preferable to: “Over 46,600 Australians died from cardiovascular disease in 2013”.

When it comes to referencing research studies, simply saying “a study found x,y and z” is not enough. You need to quote the actual study and provide a link to the original study. For example, “a 2010 study by Harvard University, published in Some Journal, found x, y and z” (Reference, detailing the authors, title of study and where it was published should be provided in text or as a footnote, along with a link to the study).

What to reference

There are some definite DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to referencing. Two of the biggest are:

DO use credible reference sources, such as official organisations, peak bodies and accredited government agencies.

(NOTE: Wikipedia is NOT a credible source of information)

DON’T quote information from other articles, particularly if they have not used references.

So where should you go for credible information?

Well, you’re in luck, because here is my list of top places where I source my health information.

FREE list of resources

GLOBAL

 INTERNATIONAL

AUSTRALIAN

Peak bodies

Australian Government Websites

Remember, referencing is critical if you are writing for the health and wellness sector, so always make sure you use credible and reputable institutions and organisations when doing your research.

If you would like help writing your blog or health and wellness content, check out the great variety of Blogging Business Packages we have available. Or, you can simply contact us to have a chat about your needs.

We’d love to hear from you.

Until next time

Nerissa

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Health blogging: 6 ways to develop content

6 ways to come up with health content

Health and wellness is a boom industry. In fact, Euromonitor International predicts the industry will continue to grow and become a trillion dollar industry by 2017. [i]

Along with this boom, we have seen an explosion in the number of health and wellness websites and blogs over the past couple of years. And if global predictions are accurate, the number of these will continue to grow over the next few years.

If you work in the health and wellness sector, you may have a blog. (If you don’t but are wondering if you should, take a look at our previous post Blogging for business: 4 things to consider).

However, having a blog and writing it regularly are two different things. After all, how do you know what to write about?

How to generate health content

Because the health and wellness sector is such a big business, it should be relatively easy to come up with content. Right? The first step however, is to know what the purpose of your content is. Do you aim to:

  • show case your knowledge as an expert?
  • sell your services?
  • recruit new clients?
  • offer value-added service to your existing clients?

What you aim to do will influence your content.

Planning health content

Your blog should reflect an aspect of your business. There are many industries within the health and wellness sector. For example:

  • Nutritionists/dietitians
  • Alternative therapies (e.g. aromatherapy, herbal medicine)
  • Personal training
  • Weight loss
  • Beauty therapy
  • Manipulative therapies (e.g. physio, chiropractors, osteopaths, massage therapists)
  • Sports coaches and specialists (e.g. running coaches, sports psychologists).

When planning blog content, you should always try to relate it back to your core business.

6 ways to develop content

So you know what you want to achieve with your blog, and the area you are going to focus on. But where do you get your ideas from?

Here are our top tips:

  1. Health awareness days/weeks/months — With so many health awareness days, weeks and months on the calendar, there is bound to be something you can link in with. For example, Heart Week provides an opportunity to write a blog with a number of different approaches — eating for a healthy heart, how to recognise a heart attack, exercise to improve your heart, etc.
  1. Latest research — Researchers all over the world are making new discoveries relating to health all the time. A quick google search will yield links to news reports. Simply use the information (citing the original reference if possible to build your credibility as a writer), and make it relevant to your audience.
  1. Latest statistics — Health organisations often release new statistics on a regular basis. For example, new obesity statistics offer a platform to discuss issues surrounding sedentary lifestyles, taking up a new sport, mindful eating, avoiding fad diets, etc.
  1. Use the experts — Draw upon content from other professional organisations. For example, if you are a physiotherapist, you may wish to utilise graphics illustrating posture, developed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association, and write an article about correct posture in the workplace. You may also wish to interview an expert on a particular topic that is related to your field.
  1. Link it to current events/news stories — Newspapers, online magazines and even Facebook are full of stories of people who are battling conditions such as cancer, motor neurone disease, diabetes, etc. Use these stories as a platform to discuss a topic related to this story, and once again, relate it back to your business.
  1. Write about how you help people — This is not a ‘direct plug’ for business, but rather a value-adding service. For example, if you are a personal trainer, you can write about how you have turned someone’s life around and include pictures and even an interview with one of your clients. Similarly, a beautician may write about how they helped someone overcome chronic acne.

Successful blogging involves providing useful information your target audience can relate to, and providing it consistently.

If you would like help planning and writing your health and wellness blogs, contact us. We would love to work with you.

And keep your eye out for our next blog post, which will show you the best websites to use when researching for your health writing.

Until next time.

Nerissa

References:

[i] Euromonitor International, Health and Wellness the Trillion Dollar Industry in 2017: Key Research Highlights, published 29 November 2012; accessed 28 July 2015, http://blog.euromonitor.com/2012/11/health-and-wellness-the-trillion-dollar-industry-in-2017-key-research-highlights.html

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