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Issue: 71 - Nov 14, 2014
10 Ideas for your Blog or Website Posts
By: Maureen Blaney Flietner
Mavourneen LLC/MBF Communications

Blank screen staring you in the face? You’re not alone.

If you write for your practice’s social media sites, you know that repeatedly coming up with a topic can get to be a chore. Reposting videos from the web and publishing cute animal photos only works for so long and visitors won’t be able to tell your practice from every other one doing the same thing.

It takes a bit of planning, curiosity, and imagination to write regularly for those who visit the website or follow social media sites of a business. So how can you ease the task?

  • Create an ongoing calendar in which you continually fill in topic ideas at least three to six months out. In that way, you won’t come to the end of a year and suddenly realize you have nothing for January.
  • As you think up topics or something triggers an idea, write a note and put in a special “topics” folder on your computer. Paper reminders on a bulletin board can work, too.
  • Ask your colleagues to contribute their ideas for posts and perhaps even set up a suggestion box.

Often a collection of good starter ideas will help. These are ideas you should then customize to your clientele, practice, location, staff, and culture.

Here are 10 subject ideas to get you thinking. Keep your potential clients’ perspective in mind.

1. Consider the season.
Depending on where you are located, each season brings its own opportunities to educate, remind, and even humor people. For some, summers are uncomfortable with extreme heat and nasty pests. For others, winters are the worst with ice, snow, and awful wind chills. Those seasonal changes may mean differences in exercise, feed, water, shelter, protection from pests, and more to discuss.

2. Focus on the unusual or new.
Did you add a new service? Acquire a major device to enhance patient care? Add a team member with special expertise in one area or with one species you hadn’t dealt with before? Go beyond the press release and purchased ads. Connect with your clients by letting them know how this might benefit them and their animals.

3. Provide details about your practice from a different angle.
Do you focus only on your veterinarians? The experiences of the practice staff often make interesting topics. Consider insights into those who accompany the veterinarians on outside calls to those who supervise the surgery recovery area.

4. Remember what differentiates your practice.
Maybe you’ve offered early morning and/or later evening hours one day a week for years. It’s been so much a part of the practice that you’ve forgotten just how important those hours can be to potential clients. Perhaps you offer a carry-out pet food service for older clients or a cats-only quiet night for much-needed exams. What extras do you offer? Write about them!

5. Get the clients’ perspectives.
You know your clients and if there are ones particularly pleased with the outcome of a service or product, ask if you might get quotes for a post. Most people are willing to share their experiences. Your readers like to hear about how services or products have worked for others.

6. Use the obvious holidays as idea springboards but go beyond as well.
Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July. They are standard fodder for holiday posts: Avoid turkey bones for the dog; don’t let your pets get into chocolate; shelter your pets from fireworks. But what about all those other holidays, pet holidays? National Pet ID Week, Hairball Awareness Day, National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, and National Pet Obesity Awareness Day among others are occasions that let you connect through education and perhaps even a bit of humor.

7. Put the holiday focus on people, too.

It doesn’t have to be only animal holidays that trigger topics. Consider information angles for those holidays honoring people who take care of animals. National Veterinary Technician Week, National Farriers Week, Professional Pet Sitters Week, National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, and World Veterinary Day among others offer opportunities to inform and connect.

8. Offer insights into your hospital’s culture.
Don’t just write that your hospital has won an award or honor but also about what the award means for your clients. Why did you win? Should clients expect a certain level of care? Does your practice have cutting-edge equipment? Do you value experience and further education? Let people know that you recognize staff for years of service. Celebrate team members who have completed further education.

9. Review who you are and what you do.
What may seem obvious to you and your practice and familiar to long-time clients is often not known to others. You’ve had an ophthalmology specialist on your team for years? A team member with a special interest in nutritional supplements? A special discount you offer the first Wednesday of every month? Who knew? Inform.

10. Let people know about the good you do.
Business is about relationships. People like doing business with those who have the same interests and appreciate those with a heart. Do you have a team in the pet walk that raises money for the local shelter? Do team members visit cancer wards or nursing homes with certified therapy pets? Does your practice offer discounts for service animals? Your website and social media sites are opportunities to let people get to know you and become your clients.

Maureen Blaney Flietner ( develops feature articles, press releases, and website and social media posts for veterinary-related and other businesses and niche publications and designs newsletters, brochures and other marketing materials for clients. Her services also include stock photography and illustration work (