Nursing is a fulfilling job but it isn’t the most financially rewarding career you can get. In fact, 15% of nurses feel unsatisfied with their job because of low compensation and lack of pay raise.
If you are feeling the same way and thinking of quitting your job- don’t do that just yet. There are tons of side jobs you can get to add extra cash to your monthly salary. This is where creating your own nursing blog can help.
If you are interested but don’t know how to start, this step-by-step guide is just what you need.
1Choose a blogging platform
In starting any blog, the first thing you need to do is determine your coding skills. If you’re like most nurses who don’t have any idea how to code, find a blogging platform that doesn’t require coding skills.
Your best options include Wix, Blogger, Medium, Ghost, Weebly, LiveJournal, Squarespace, and Joomla. The most popular, however, is WordPress. It’s the best choice for those bloggers who need freedom and flexibility with their sites.
WordPress is an open source software which features many tools you can use to control every aspect of your website. You may also add extra features you want or use any theme that will match your tone and personality.
You can use any premade theme you can find online. If you’re a little creative, you can customize your own design or plug-in. Apart from those things, you also have the option to use custom analytics and tracking tools, like Google Analytics.
There are many beautiful platforms for beginner bloggers but if you can learn WordPress, do it because of the tons of FREE resources like plugins and themes.
2Choose your domain name and niche
As much as possible, stick to your niche. It’s what you know best. You can write tips for new nurses, share encouraging stories, or post handy tips.
Choose a domain name that’s coherent and straightforward. Remember, the domain name will represent your personal brand so it should make a good first impression.
Think it over and avoid using too simple domain names. Below are some essential things you can consider:
- The domain name should be concise.
- Use keywords that will relate what your blog is about. This will boost your site’s ranking on search engines.
- Stick with “.com” as much as possible.
You can buy your domain name for cheap from sites like Namecheap.
3Select a web host
A web host ensures the availability of your site to the visitors on the Internet. It stores necessary data such as text, photos, videos. It also determines how much content you can add to the page, how fast the website loads, and other important parameters.
There are many different types of web hosting plans available. The most common are shared hosting and dedicated hosting plans.
Shared hosting enables many websites to reside on one server while dedicated hosting means that you can rent an entire server for yourself. For a new blogger, it’s better to choose shared hosting and then switch to dedicated hosting when your blog and traffic increase in size.
There are some options you can consider.
- Bluehost powers over 2 million websites and it offers free domains, unlimited emails, and 30-day money back guarantee. If you select WordPress as your blogging platform, you’ll get some benefits because Bluehost is tuned for WordPress.
- SiteGround offers tools that can make site management easier. Also, it gives the perfect protection from hacks and the support team is available 24/7.
- GoDaddy is an affordable hosting service with a wide range of features. It has 24/7 customer service, flexible building site tools, and solid security.
4Customize your website
In order to attract visitors, you should customize your blog. The first step is to choose a theme which will help people navigate through your site. Try different templates until you find the perfect one for you.
Another way to customize the site is to add plugins. They bring the functionality of your website to the next level. There are plugins that can get rid of spam, track stats, and keep the site running fast.
Plugins are also essential for search engine optimization, SEO improvement, and social media sharing. However, do not add too many plugins because they can slow down your site.
5Create great content
A site with a user-friendly interface and a well-picked domain name can give you a good start in managing a nursing blog. However, if you want to ensure success, you need to create really good content.
Here are some tips:
- Your first post should be uplifting. It should give an insight into your professional life. You can add some personal details or share a motivational story to your readers. Be honest, sincere, professional, and try to express your opinion in a clear and coherent way.
- You can use editing tools, publishing tools, and SEO tools. Do a basic keyword research with a free tool. Two of your best choices are Google Adwords keyword planner and KeySearch keyword research tool.
- Don’t forget to create an About Us page once you’ve published several posts. This section is one of the most important sections because it is the most visited page. There, you can express yourself, describe your plans, and the reason why people should follow you.
- Don’t forget to link to other great nurse blog posts at the end of yours. That will help you and the author of the other post get better rankings on Google.
- You can write about the problems nurses face regularly, such as life-saving decisions, medical errors, and misunderstandings with patients. You can share tips, inspiring stories, and valuable experiences from your practice, too.
- Stick to the integrity of the profession. Your tips should be applicable and you should sound professional. Make your content easy to understand so that the readers can grasp the concepts easily.
- Remember that you will become a public person and everyone can read everything you post. Make sure that your posts don’t violate your facility’s policy on social media. Don’t engage in lateral violence and don’t violate HIPAA.
- Your content should be completely unique. Never re-use or steal content. If you use some ideas, always give credit to the author.
- Post some videos that will illustrate your text and give an insight into your profession and life. Also, you can add some photos because they captivate the readers and they represent your site. You can post some photos of yourself as well. Don’t be afraid of being real because you build a community around a real person.
- It doesn’t matter whether you post text or videos, your activity should be consistent. Don’t post tons of short posts after a long pause, it won’t be beneficial.
- If you want to promote your blog, you should be active on social media. IG, FB, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr are the platforms you can use. Besides, communication with other bloggers will help you to grow professionally, learn new things, expand your audience and who knows, maybe you’ll find friends for life. Facebook, Twitter have growing nursing and medical communities you can join. You can follow other bloggers and they shouldn’t be necessarily nurses. It will help you to stay up on the latest trends and techniques.
- Don’t forget that if you have a professional relationship with a company, always disclose that within your posts as links and have a disclaimer page. If you share posts on social media, use hashtags #ad or #sponsored.
See Also: Top 100 Nursing Blogs That Matter
With the exception of the minimal fees for your domain name and hosting, everything else we’ve mentioned, you can get for FREE. Plugins, themes, online editing tools, grammar check tools, and so on, can be all had for free. As a beginner blogger, it’s good to keep your costs down in the beginning while you’re still waiting for the money to start rolling in.
Your biggest investment would be time and effort as you set up your website and write your content. You’ll also have to wait around 6 months before seeing any real activity especially if you get caught in Google’s sandbox.
But you know what? Keeping a nursing blog can be very rewarding both emotionally and financially. All you need to have is the courage to take that first step and the passion to see you through to the end.
Andrew Guerra is an editor of Sweety Text Messages. He likes to share his thoughts with the people around. His writing on motivation, love has appeared to make our life better. Andrew believes in fairness and human wisdom.