Before you start writing your blog post be clear and specific on the topic and why you’re writing it. You might want to cover what you learned from a recent conference you attended or write a lay summary of a journal article you’ve published.
Once you know your topic and what you want to get out of writing the blog post, choose the platform which will meet your aims. Do you want to allow for discussion and engagement? Write for a blog which allows for comments – though make sure you’re prepared to respond to these. Do you want to reach a particular audience? Then write for a blog with this readership.
For a blog post you want to use a catchy title, encouraging people to click through. But at the same time, make sure it isn’t misleading and accurately reflects the content of the post. Snappy titles e.g., ’10 tips on ….’, ‘5 things I learned about…’ can often appeal to the time-short reader.
Who do you want to reach? Is it researchers in your field? Those from outside your area of specialty? The general public? Policy makers or the media? Keeping your audience at the forefront of your mind is essential in every decision – from choosing the title to selecting images that will resonate.
An academic blog post is different to an academic journal article. Often, they are intended for a wider audience, including those outside of academia so you need to tailor language to your audience. As journal and blog editor Per Carlbring notes, “do not use unnecessary technical expressions – it’s a difficult art to explain complicated principles in an easy way.”
Again, blogs are typically a lot more concise and briefer than journal articles. So, translate your arguments into the essential points.
Use appropriate videos or pictures to help break the text up and make your blog post more engaging to the audience. Make sure you have appropriate permissions to use any images, giving credit to the artist where necessary.
Your blog post is a publication, so make sure it fits in with the rest of your research ensuring you cite it appropriately and bear in mind any intellectual property issues. If your research has not yet been published, bear in mind any risks with giving information away.
Remember to include links to your social media accounts, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other academic networking channel. By adding these to your blog posts it will help you build up your online research profile.
It is not uncommon for employers to look up potential candidates online. So, ensure your tone is professional and don’t include anything you wouldn’t want to be quoted on.
Take a look at our Research Communication Services for more help in communicating your research to your audience in an engaging way.