There are lots of ways that you can use blogging platforms to share your expertise or experiences, so it is important to think strategically about what you want to achieve and how blogging can help you develop as a researcher.
ACTIVITY 1: REASONS FOR BLOGGING
REFINE YOUR WRITING SKILLS
Writing for a blog can help you develop your non-academic writing
style and to clarify your ideas.
Blog posts can evolve into conference papers or journal articles
REACH A BROADER AUDIENCE
Blogging is a variation
of open access
publishing, allowing you
to contribute to the
global knowledge pool.
It can also increase
downloads of your
(altmetrics) @SocialMediaQUB #QUBlogging
ENHANCE YOUR ONLINE PROFILE
Blogging allows you to establish
your reputation as an expert
while you are waiting to have
Online communication skills are
an important part of your career
NETWORK WITH OTHER
“many bloggers are
talking together in
a kind of giant,
PatThomson and Inger Mewburn
ENGAGE WITH THE
Blogging can bridge the divide between
academia and the public and help raise
awareness of your research findings
• Blog owner writes most or all posts
• 2-10 authors generate most content
• Central editorial team collate posts from different authors
TYPES OF BLOG
Academic life commentary
MAKING BLOGGING WORK
READ OTHER BLOGS
The higher education blogs
ACTIVITY 2: EVALUATING A BLOG
• Search for a blog relevant to your research area
• Evaluate it by answering the following questions:
– What type of blog is it – solo, collaborative or multi-author?
– What is the purpose of the blog?
– Who is the intended audience?
– Is it easy to navigate around the blog?
– Are the theme and visuals appropriate?
– What do you like/dislike most about the blog?
DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE
I want to
ACTIVITY 3: WHERE TO BLOG?
Take a look at the following blogging options and decide which one
would be best suited for your blog:
• Queen’s blogs - (blogs.qub.ac.uk) based on WordPress
• WordPress - easy-to-use free blogging site that includes analytics
• Medium - story editor that focuses on ideas and networks
• Blogger - (blogspot) free weblog publishing tool from Google
• Sunsed - low-cost blogging platform which includes analytics and
PLAN YOUR CONTENT
Note down ideas and create a
schedule around events you are
attending or other activities
that you can write about
ACTIVITY 4: GETTING STARTED!
• Think of a name for your blog
– This will become your domain name so keep it short and quirky!
• In one sentence, outline the mission statement for your blog
– This can later be developed into your first blog post summarising the focus
of your blog
• Post your answers on the Blogging for researchers padlet:
• Include a photo and a short ‘bio’ detailing your current position, research
interests and any publications
• Include links to your journal articles, other blog posts, online profiles
FIND YOUR VOICE
• Interesting ideas
• Lessons learned
• Mistakes made
• Don’t use jargon
• Be concise
interesting • Use anecdotes
• Include visuals
Tell a story
WHAT MAKES A GOOD BLOG POST?
A catchy heading
A high impact introduction –
fascinating fact, startling statistic or
Get to the point
early – limit to 3
Simple exhibits –
Tell a story or
A strong finish
that leaves a
ACTIVITY 5: TURNING AN IDEA INTO A
Choose one of the following questions
• What have you learned as an academic?
• What is the most interesting part of your work?
• What is the key finding from your research so far?
Think of a title and 3 key points that your blog post would make
Identify possible visuals that your blog post could include
BLOG POSTS VS JOURNAL ARTICLES
Blog post Journal article
Length 700 -1000 words 7000-10000 words
Style Informal Formal
Target audience Academic, professional or public Mainly academic
Frequency Weekly – Monthly Yearly
Content Colour images, tables, charts,
Black and white tables, charts and
Accessibility Open access – unlimited audience Subscription – limited audience
JOURNAL ARTICLE TO BLOG POST
One or two
lines at start of
What did your
Include any key
What is your
main finding or
PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
Add a link on
Include a link in
your email signature
SEO FOR BLOGS
Links Titles Headings
URLs Images Excerpts
ISSUES TO CONSIDER
Publishing unfinished work
Journals want previously
Reputational risk to you and the
Plan first few posts in advance
Adopt an informal style – avoid jargon
How would you describe your research to a friend?
Use short sentences and paragraphs
Use bullet points and lists
Include images and video if relevant
Use hyperlinks rather than a list of references
“Be brief, be vivid, and be connected.”
3 ESSENTIAL RULES FOR
WRITING A GOOD BLOG
IF YOU BLOG, TWITTER CAN HELP!
“see how people retweet you—their re-phrasings and summaries
can often show you a better way of capturing what your post says”
Prof Patrick Dunleavy (LSE) @Write4Research
DOING IT RIGHT!
Discuss your ideas with your colleagues
Read the University’s Social Media Policy
Respect copyright and link to or cite sources
Moderate all comments
Respond to comments and Tweets
Remain professional at all times!
• Social Media support (policies and guides):
• Social Media QUB blog: https://socialmediaqub.wordpress.com/
• Guide to setting up a WordPress blog: https://learn.wordpress.com/
• Blogger: How to start a blog: https://youtu.be/bU4gXHkejMo
• How to write a good research blog post:
• Kjellberg, Sara. I am a blogging researcher: Motivations for blogging in a scholarly context. First
Monday, [S.l.], jul. 2010. ISSN 13960466.
• Riesch, Hauke, and Jonathan Mendel. "Science blogging: Networks, boundaries and
limitations." Science as Culture 23.1 (2014): 51-72.
• Shema H, Bar-Ilan J,Thelwall M (2012) Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly
Information. PLoS ONE 7(5): e35869. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035869