Friday, October 19, 2018 | ePaper

Blog about your research

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Alyssa Walker :
You can blog about anything: cooking, teaching, fashion, books, history, politics, sports, current events, science… your research… the list goes on.
Why should you start a blog about your research? Exposure.
What is it? "Blog, "short for weblog is a website or page that your regularly update with news and material relevant to you.
Some use blogs as online personal diaries or journals. Others use them to generate web traffic to their sites using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies.
Blogging about your research not only associates your name with your research on the internet, it also has a myriad of other benefits.
Let's take a closer look at the top four reason you should blog about your research:
1. It will improve your writing
Writing is harder than it looks. You know this if you ever tried to blog or write outside your research area.
Here's how blogging will improve your writing:
Establishing Routine -  establishing a healthy writing practice that is both academic and creative is imperative for your writing to improve. What better way to practice writing than to blog? Write every day with the expectation that you will publish your blog at least once per week, at least to start. That gives you a whole week to write and polish one good piece of writing.
Experimenting With Forms - sometimes your research requires a narrative reflection to explain. Other times, it requires a more academic voice. By blogging, you can experiment with different types of writing and publish them on your website. Experimenting with different types of writing will also help you expand your audience (see #2).
2. You'll learn to talk to a wider, more general audience
Academic blogs tend to focus on professional topics and research. Being able to talk about your research in plain, clear language will help you not just with writing, but with your public and personal interactions with other people.
Remember: the internet is global. If you optimize your blog and web page to get the most hits on google, you'll reach the global public-and this can open up other possibilities down the road.
Embrace the public engagement that is blogging and learn to discuss your research in more meaningful ways with the whole world.
3. It's great for your CV or resumé
Want a new job? Trying to land that research grant? Looking for new collaborators? The better your blog and the more interactions you have with other researchers and scientists, the more likely it is that you'll already have opened those doors to collaboration.
Putting your highly respected, comment-laden, well-written blog on your resume shows that you're serious about what you do.
Bottom line? Get exposure. Get feedback. Ignite your real-life and internet personas with blogging and market yourself as an expert in your field.
4. It will help generate new ideas
Blogging requires you to flex your writing muscles, write outside of what you know, and write credibly.
How do new ideas happen? You think. How do you think? You write. And write and write and write.
Writing forces your brain to digest new information, synthesize new information improve your thinking and voila! You have new ideas. All the time. Here's the best part of blogging: when you write something and someone-a stranger on the other side of the world, perhaps-engages with it or comments on it, you know you have something to say that others are interested in.
Yes, your blog is a good thing, and yes, you should start one right now.
Interested in starting a blog? Check out these blogging websites to help get you started: WordPress, Bluehost, and Medium.

(Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family).

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