Every person I met at a recent event seemed to be a food, fashion or lifestyle blogger. While I personally love all of these types of blogs, they are not in my career wheelhouse. It made me consider why LNCs (including myself) need to be more active in this area. As a LNC, you are likely already savvy with technology in terms of gathering and disseminating medical, healthcare, and legal information. Why would you need to do more? In a nutshell, because social media is a growth industry and your professional and career opportunities are going to be increasingly tied to this medium in the future. Within the social media world, blogging is (or can be) a key factor for making connections, gaining recognition, recruiting or being recruited, and growing your LNC practice.
The Pros to Blogging as an LNC:
Take Advantage of Social Media Drivers
According to Forbes magazine, as of the end of year 2014, social media now ranks as the #1 driver of all website referral traffic and this statistic has been growing year over year. Blogging helps to drive traffic to your professional website and to your social media sites, such as your LinkedIn profile. Whether you are an employee or an independent LNC, blogging can greatly enhance your network and maybe get you that next contact, raise, job, or referral. Blogging about legal nurse consulting can also make starting your own business easier as it puts you “out” into the virtual community.
Enhance and Expand Your Image
Blogging is publishing. It is a way to showcase what you know and how you know it. It is a method to connect your personal or business website, your (hopefully) flawless CV, your marketing materials and, perhaps, your work product to a larger audience. Commenting on others’ blogs and posting to social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter expands your network further and encourages others to link, in turn, to your blog.
Provide Timely and Relevant Content
The LNC is uniquely positioned to connect the dots between clinical and legal topics – and to expound on these topics from a professional nursing standpoint. The business side of legal nurse consulting is another area where LNC blogs can add value to readers. You may say, well I already post links to articles in my LinkedIn groups, why is there any need to do more? In a nutshell, blogging gives you the opportunity to add your voice and to bring forth the unique perspective you provide as a LNC.
Some blog topics that may be of particular value for readers include analyzing current news in the healthcare and legal industries, sharing checklists you find helpful, discussing leadership in the industry, giving personal insight into what inspires you as a LNC, educating others as to LNC practice, and providing updates on clinical topics in areas in which you have expertise.
The Potential Cons to Blogging as an LNC:
Your Blog Posts Will Never Go Away
This is the good news/bad news about blogging: whatever you write will never disappear. If it is wonderful content and shows your expertise, then it will be “evergreen” in a very auspicious manner. On the other hand, if you write something that does not put you in the best light, is simply wrong or outdated, then you may harm your image, your reputation, and your business.
In particular if you want to blog about your work product, always maintain confidentiality and observe any HIPAA requirements. Even if a client gives “permission” for his or her case or name to be used in a blog, you may want to change details and use pseudonyms for your protection. Be very careful to redact any individually identifiable health information (unless, of course, you are blogging about a case that is already public knowledge).
If you testify as a LNC, you can be sure that any opposing counsel (and even retaining counsel) will have thoroughly researched not only your website but also your posts. So take care to avoid bias, the appearance of bias and other potentially negative opinions or commentary.
The Learning Curve
Like almost every other endeavor in life, you will need to upgrade your skills or learn new ones. For the technical aspects of blogging, I recommend looking at the numerous resources and guidelines that are available through Google, LinkedIn, and blog hosting sites (think of this as research, an arena in which LNCs excel!).
You will need to learn the hows and whys of search engine optimization, “link juice” (yes, there is a whole new lingua franca in the blogging world) and other ever-changing terminology. Or you will need good help. In fact, hiring or retaining an expert to assist you with launching and maintaining your blog will save you considerable time and effort. Just remember, you need to be the one reviewing every word as only you know what is appropriate and what is not.
Interested in honing your skills on the AALNC Presidents Blog? Contact us.
Mary K. Sussex, MBA, BSN, RN-BC, LNCC, CNLCP, CHTS-CP
Secretary/Treasurer, AALNC Board of Directors