How to Blog?

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Now that you have decided to blog. Firstly, Congratulations! You have gone past the most difficult roadblock in your path towards a successful blog. Human beings hate change and find inertia the most difficult to overcome. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty about how to actually go about it. Not yet convinced? Please have a look at our article on why doctors should blog.

Your head is brimming with ideas; you have what it takes to change the world. You have already decided whether you want a personal or professional blog. Your fingers are itching to get to the typewriter. Relax! Take a deep breath. This is a point where you need to research the best way of publishing a blog as time spent on this now will save you a lot of heartaches later. I have seen many a well-meaning doctor blogger churn out a few articles in this initial flush of enthusiasm. At this point, some of their friend’s websites will accept their articles. The blogger now is ambitious. He would like to publish her own blog. With alacrity, he signs onto Blogspot or to WordPress.com and expects that it will now be easy to just copy and paste articles on his computer on to the website. To his dismay, he realizes that it is not a simple matter of cut and paste and he must deal with the technicalities of managing the backend of a website of which he has not the foggiest.

The human mind, when faced with difficulties and obstructions, tends to procrastinate and delays the publishing of the article to another day. By this time, he hopes that he will be master the art of publishing on the web. As is usual, procrastination tends to stretch itself. In the meantime, the day-to-day pressures of practice and or academics continue and learning web-publishing is put on a backburner. Only a very small percentage of doctors are ever able to overcome the block at this stage and actually go on to publish their own blog.

I have been through this process myself, and I quite understand your impatience and eagerness to both publish and share your ideas and content with the world. But I want you to be different. I want you to complete the job that you have undertaken. Believe me; it will provide you rich returns both as a boost to your practice and emotional fulfilment for many years to come. So, let’s get cracking! Naming your blog “A rose by another name would smell just as sweet.”

While this may be true for roses, the name that you choose for your blog can make all the difference between a blog that it is easy to remember and quick to get to versus a forgettable blog. Spend a lot of time on this one, brainstorm with your friends and colleagues. Pick their brains, scout the articles on the web for good ideas and tips and tricks. there is almost no topic in this world that does not have guides available on the web. If you find one skill that has not been covered, voila! You have the best blogging idea and will find quick and easy success especially if there is a need for it. Doctors should probably not waste their time on this shortcut; there are other battles to win.

Some tips while choosing the name of your blog: 

  1. Keep it short and snappy. Many of the good domain names are already taken. 
  2. Depending on whether it is for professional purposes or for personal purposes, it should resonate with your speciality or with the subject matter of the blog, or with the organization or the person running the blog.
  1. Usually, the name of the blog is the same as the domain name. But it can be different. A domain name is the main address of the blog, e.g. my professional blog is called https://childsurgeon.com, and my clinic blog is https://www.nathaniclinic.com/ 
  1. Make sure that two individual words in the domain name are not the same, e.g. doremiinternational.com(imaginary). When telling someone about the site, you will have to mention double ‘i’, and that is a pain, and it can lead to confusion.
  2. Suppose you have a really good domain name in mind, and it is not available, you can check if it is for sale. If it is for your hospital or clinic, it may be well worth it, to buy that domain name.

There are other factors to consider that are just too many to list in this article, but you can certainly search for how to choose a good domain name, and you will be flooded with good articles. The name of the blog and the domain name are things for you to spend time on as they are permanent. The rest of the blog will undergo continuous improvement over time and can be revised at any time in the future. If you decide that you don’t like the title of your blog or the domain name, then you will be starting from scratch all over again and lose all the hard work that went into developing your blog. The title of the blog is decided by you and entered by you in the backend administration zone of your web hosting service provider (more on that in my next article).

The domain name needs to be purchased separately or is assigned to you depending on whether you choose to host on a common platform or whether you decide to maintain the website yourself. This is explained in much greater detail in our next article on blogging. Self-hosting versus hosting on common blogging platforms

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About the author

Dr Rajesh Nathani is a Paediatric Surgeon with some of the leading hospitals in Mumbai and also successfully runs his clinical practice. He is an ardent reader and an enthusiastic blogger.

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