How Often Should a Physician Blog?

January 16, 2012

Recently someone asked how often a medical blogger should post.  True-to-form there was the suggestion that you post daily.

This is a timeless question.  But I’d be careful believing that there’s a firm answer.

What you do with your blog and how often you do it depends upon what you seek to gain from your presence.  If you are dependent upon advertising you must continually feed the beast.  If, on the other hand, you are a general surgeon interested in showcasing some of your thinking before potential patients, you might get the job done posting a couple of times a month.  If you are a serious writer I suspect that you’re better off honoring quality over quantity.

But the point here is that your mileage may vary.

My problem with all these rules is that it often keeps good doctors quiet.  And for better or worse, our best examples of physician bloggers are those most focused on blogging.  Most examples are unsustainable.  But most physicians do not want to be focused on blogging.  There’s lots to be gained from voices of the everyday physician – even if just once every week or two.

Then there’s the tendency are to get wrapped up in metrics.  We want more but typically we don’t know why.  We all learn pretty quickly that more we post the more traffic we see.  Ultimately it’s important to think about why you’re here and what you want to get out of your presence.

And that’s what should determine how often you post.


{ 6 comments }

Simon Sikorski, M.D. January 16, 2012 at 8:30 am

Good post Bryan!

Janet January 16, 2012 at 9:39 am

Thanks for this post and the recent one about the elusiveness of time and the balance of life off line. Wonderful points to ponder. I manage several social media streams and have a family, so finding “the right/quality/down” time is an ongoing dance. But authenticity is always the starting point- I appreciate yours.

DrV January 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Wow, thanks Janet. Very kind.

Paul January 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Very well said Bryan.

I’m not a big fan of “publish or perish”, so I often find that I avoid many of the too frequently updated blogs due to lack of quality.

I especially think medical bloggers should also consider the quality of their readers. Too often, I think number of readers/likes/followers are overemphasized. If a blogger is really looking to make good connections, having just a small handful of people that are willing to read almost anything you write and comment/discuss is much more valuable. A somewhat similar explanation of this idea can be found by searching google for Kevin Kelly’s post called ’1000 true fans’.

Michael Kirsch, MD January 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I’m into the 4th yr of MDWhistleblower and do a weekly post. For me, and hopefully the readers, this is the right frequency. More often, and the pleasure of the blog would become a burden for me. Less often would cut the readers loose. Agree completely that quality is the touchstone. Best wishes from an adult GI.

Alfred Knight, MD January 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm

As a new blogger, I am trying to find the right rhythm, mix of topics, levels of interest. Forced to deadlines or specified work product is limiting and leads to quantity, not quality. How long did it take you to get into a comfortable frequecy of submissions?

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