Why you should start a research blog
Almost everyone has a blog about one thing or the other. This is because blogging has become a serious marketing tool. So if caterers, photographers, and fashion designers have blogs, as a researcher, you should too. The question on your mind would be, “Why should I, as a researcher and author, take out time to create and write a blog? After all, my time is precious, and being consistent with writing and gaining followers is the least of my worries.”
Well, as valid as all your reasons may be, I would like to bring to your notice that more and more journals are incorporating blogs as part of their online presence. Also, what use would all your work be if they don’t reach the required audience? There is a myriad of other benefits blogging would do for you as a researcher. Let’s take a look at some of them:
It is excellent for your CV or resume
Would you like a new job? Do you want to obtain a research grant? Are you looking to collaborate with a new team? The more resourceful your blog and the more you have interactions with other researchers, the higher the likelihood that you will have the kind of collaborations you desire.
Putting your well-respected, comment filled, properly written blog on your curriculum vitae demonstrates you’re serious about what you’re doing.
What is the bottom line? Get exposure, get attention, get feedback, light up your life with blogging, and market yourself as an expert in your field.
It will help you generate new ideas
Blogging demands that you stretch your mental muscles to write credibly outside of what you know. How do new thoughts come about? When you think. How do you think? When you read and write. Writing pushes your brain to absorb additional ideas, to synthesize fresh ideas, and that’s about it. You will get new perspective, all the time.
Here is the most significant aspect of blogging; when you write something, and a stranger on the other side of the globe engages with it, you are sure to have a better understanding of your idea. So in case you are still wondering, yes, having your personal blog is a fantastic thing, and if you haven’t got a blog, right now, you ought to begin one.
You will understand what it takes to speak to a broader and more general audience
Academic blogs tend to concentrate on research and professional subjects. You will not only be prepared to speak in simple and clear words about your studies but also be able to communicate with other individuals in your public and private relationships.
Recall that the internet is universal. You can reach the world if you optimize your blog and your website such that people obtain your ideas as best results when they visit Google. This alone can open up new possibilities along the way.
Savor the public engagement that blogging provides and learn to explore more meaningful ways to share your ideas with the world.
Your writing will be improved
Writing is more complicated than it seems to be. If you ever attempted to blog or write outside your field of study, you would understand. However, since blogging involves constantly writing on a wide range of topics, your writing will tend to improve exponentially.
Blogging will further enhance your writing in the following ways:
Developing routine: Having a healthy writing practice that is both creative and academic is essential to improve your writing. Write daily with the expectation that at least once a week, you will post on your blog, to begin with. You can compose and polish an excellent article in one week.
Experiment with forms: you often need a narrative reflection to explain your research. On other occasions, it may need a more academic voice. Through blogging, you can experiment with various types of writing and publish it on your website. You can also grow your audience by experimenting with topics too.
Blogging helps you get to the point
The article on a blog is more of a short document than an extended essay. It is not feasible for many distinct concepts to be introduced and for several points to be made in 1000 words or less. The perfect location to speak about an idea is a blog post. (For instance, this post deals with blogging and research, nothing more.) A lot of research rests on the writer having a specific idea and arguing it through via the blog post. If you write too many thoughts and points in a blog post, it gets too crowded and becomes more difficult for your audience to digest.
Blogging helps you to become confident about communicating your ideas
Through writing, you will realize how confident you are about your ideas and discoveries. You will also be less anxious about expressing yourself. You’re going to start looking at writing as a professional would.
As you get familiar with the publishing of your research, you become more comfortable with the idea that your writing is out there for the world to see. It would also serve as a bank of information for organizations that would like for you to speak at their conferences and seminars.
As Michel de Certeau suggests, research is a scriptural economy – it exists for talking, reading, and writing. Blogging may help researchers feel better and able to take their place in this scriptural economy. Also, blogging will enable you as a researcher to be confident in your ability to make a statement briefly and perhaps elegantly.
It helps you to organize your thoughts and learn
Blogging enables you to teach yourself what you don’t know and to articulate what you know. When you begin writing research as a blog post, you are forced to organize your thoughts. If there are any gaps in the research topic that you are writing about, you will have to learn about it. Writing out and articulating your thoughts is a great way to internalize ideas you have learned or experienced. Writing helps you become more familiar with the research you are writing about.
Blogging becomes a source of passive income
There might be possibilities to monetize if you have a research blog with several active users. It can be instrumental in today’s economy to have other sources of revenue. You could put up your research work for a fee and the right audience will pay. Blogging can be a great side income if you work at a job that does not pay as much as you want, or if you want to earn more money (I mean, who doesn’t?).
It enables you to assist causes you are passionate about
Is there a particular cause or charity to which you have always wanted to donate? Your research blog can be a platform for solving this problem. Your in-depth research about a cause you are passionate about can serve as a donation because you are increasing the knowledge bank. When you put your soul into it, it becomes a gift. ⠀
Your Research blog will open doors for freelance positions
One thing clients always ask for first is your portfolio. As a research writer, once you have decided the niche you want to focus on, and you’ve set yourself up, blogging creates a platform for freelance research. A lot of people are not familiar with freelance research positions. Well, they exist, and the best way to put your foot in the door is to have your research blog.
Having looked at all the benefits of blogging for research, I would add a few tips to consider to help you boost your blog.
With blogging services such as WordPress and Medium, blogging is quite easy. The moment you have selected your domain name and theme, find your voice as you start to blog. This way, you will end up killing two birds with one stone; finding your voice and style of writing.
Look at other research blogs to see the range of styles used, and find what suits you best; whether that is shorter posts or longer, more reflective posts. Make it clear whether or not you are writing on behalf of an institution and, importantly, be yourself! Successful blogs tend to use a conversational tone and speak directly to the reader.
Define your audience. Make sure that you know who you are aiming your blog at- whether it be fellow academics and researchers, policy decision makers, or even schoolchildren. When you write, you should always have this audience in mind. This will help develop your tone and style, and your readers will end up feeling more ‘connected’ to your writing. Just remember to make your literature accessible to all- overly scientific and technical jargon will alienate some readers, as will posts that always stray off topic.
You want your blog to be as visible as possible on search engines, especially Google, as this will generate a lot of the traffic to your site. Think of keywords that best sum up your post and repeat them throughout your text (don’t overdo it!) and in the post title.
Good luck on your blogging journey!!