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In today’s world of the 24/7 news cycle and predominance of social media, academic blogging is a requirement for getting your work noticed. In fact, blogs can be a very effective way to promote your article, as well as engage in conversations with other researchers. Although they require a significant commitment of time, those efforts are repaid as you and your work becomes more and more visible in the crowded environment of academic research.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the basics of academic blog structure, academic blogging guidelines and academic blogging tips. By following these guidelines, you’ll be engaging with a much larger audience than you would with just “traditional” methods of disseminating your research.
How to Start an Academic Blog
Getting started with your blog is not as complicated as you might think. Although, if you’re not familiar with blog platforms, it might take a while to get familiarized with the different options and formats available to you.
Let’s take a look at the process, step by step. You might complete some of these steps in a different order, and that’s ok. The most important thing is that you think each step through. Talk to colleagues with successful logs, model blogs that you enjoy engaging with, and pay attention to what types of posts get attention. With time and practice, you’ll find your blog visibility increasing, as well as attention for your work.
Step 1 – Define your theme and focus:
Of course your blog will relate to your research, but you also want to draw in potential readers with posts and information related to the work that you do. For example, if your research relates to learning strategies, you may want to include posts on research around learning styles.
Step 2 – Choose a blogging platform:
There are many different blogging platforms available, and they all have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs.
Step 3 – Get a domain:
Select a domain name that will be easy for your readers to find. Most researchers use some form of their name, keywords from their research, or their project name. Also, keep in mind that some blogging platforms include domain name capabilities.
Step 4 – Name it:
Related to your domain name, you’ll want to name your blog. It can be an expanded version of your domain name, or simply your name. However, the more creative you can get with the name of your blog, the more attention you can get.
Step 5 – Your Profile:
When creating your blog, you’ll be asked to write a profile so that your readers can learn more about you. Check out profiles of some of the blogs you enjoy. This is another space where you can be creative, drawing interest in your work by describing yourself in a unique way. Don’t forget a picture of yourself!
Step 6 – Plan It:
Once you’ve got everything set up, and decided on a focus and theme for your blog, plan on writing a post at least once a week.
Step 7 – Invite:
After you have a few posts under your belt, invite your colleagues and friends to follow your blog, and to invite their friends.
Step 8 – Engage:
Perhaps the most important step after you have everything started is to engage with other blogs. Follow blogs related to your field, and leave relevant, meaningful comments. Very often, if you do this consistently, readers of another academic blog will follow you. Likewise, if a reader comments on your blog post, respond quickly and personally. The more you engage, the more activity you’ll see on your blog.
Step 9 – Share:
Make sure to share links of all of your blog posts in every social media account you have, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Promoting your work with social media is critical to gaining a foothold in the often overcrowded information highway.
Step 10 – Track:
Every blogging platform has tools built in to help you understand your readers, and how they found you. You can also often get insight into effective keywords and topics to help drive additional topics for blogs that will draw the most interests.
Getting recognition in your field isn’t as easy as just publishing your work. By taking the time and making the commitment to post interesting blogs related to your field of study, you can make real connections with potential readers and collaborators. You can also raise your profile in the field, opening up more professional and academic opportunities.
Basically, blogging can supplement traditional methods of disseminating your research, and networking among your colleagues. In this day and age, academic blogging is essential to reach your audience and engage with peers from around the world.
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