Creating content is becoming more and more essential for practitioners. It’s hard to create a website that gets search traffic without good words on the page. Newspaper ads work better when you also write articles. It’s easier to engage your clients in the long run when you communicate with them regularly, and that, too, takes content. Even a 140-character tweet or a Facebook update takes the same thing: content.

We’ve written about creating great content to market your practice. but we heard from people who felt they were stumbling before the start line–they didn’t know what to write about.

The good thing is that inspiration isn’t as far away as you might think. We write a lot, and we get our inspiration from some sources that are both free and easy to digest. Here are five of them.

1. Google News
We skim the Google Health News most mornings–I’d say it’s the one source we track regularly. It’s an easy way to get ideas, and it also gives us a heads up about what patients might be asking about. They’re getting the same news from one source or another, and that often leads to questions. Being prepared to answer them is helpful.

It takes me less than a minute to skim the headlines, and perhaps another minute longer once in a while to read a news story that catches my interest.

2. Google Alerts
Instead of searching on Google for your area of expertise every time you want to write something, wouldn’t it be great if Google just kept tabs on that for you? Enter Google Alerts, a free service that will search Google for terms you specify–like “infertility” for example–and deliver you a daily, weekly, or as-it-happens list of the latest relevant Google search results.

3. Alltop
is an amalgamation of top news stories from blogs and websites in a huge number of categories. You can find the health directory here. Pick a category, and you’ll find dozens and dozens of news stories and articles. Whenever you need inspiration, just surf over and skim the headlines.

4. Twitter Searches
Even if you’re not a Twitter user, you can still skulk around and follow the action. You can search tweets here to find everything from news and research to success stories and more. You may have to sift through a few personal tweets, but it’s fast, easy, and free.

5. Journals & Publications
Many medical journals have open access options, email summaries, or blog or Twitter feeds that let you stay up to date on research and best practices without paying a subscription fee. Check the website of your favorite journal, or if you want something broader, try a journal watch service like Galen’s Watch. You’ll get bit sized research summaries you can easily skim to find something relevant for your prospective clients. (For a free option, you can read the Galen’s Watch blog here to get a feel for it.)

There are plenty more sources of free inspiration – Facebook, association websites, blogs, article directories and other news aggregators. But any one of them will take you a long way.

Here are the two important parts:

1. When something you read inspires you, infuriates you, or otherwise sparks something in you, pay attention. It’s a sign that a) it’s relevant, b) you have something to say and c) you’ll find saying it easier than when you’re trying to simply fill a page. Writing’s a lot easier when you actually care.

2. Capture the idea. You don’t need to write anything now. You just need to capture the source so you’ll have it when you need it. Collect your inspiration in one place–it only takes a second to bookmark a URL, or paste it into a document on your desktop. That way, the next time you need content, you’ll have something to say. :)

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1 Response » to “5 Free Sources of Writing Inspiration for Your Practice”

  1. I am a new alternative healthcare professional who is work on my Master Herbalist Certification and registered dietitian. I am having a hard time finding clients. I have Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin but only receiving persons who are selling to me and fellow competition. Any suggestions? Thank you so much

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