Guide to blogging for science communication
What is blogging?
Blogging provides you with a regular and longer-format means of telling stories about your research and others’ science. The best bloggers are excellent storytellers and know how to incorporate photos and other graphics into their posts. They also post regularly, respond quickly to comments, and engage readers in actual conversations around the content they post. While blogs can be rewarding and can provide you with the framework to write popular science stories more broadly, starting and maintaining your own blog requires a considerable time investment. Alternatively, there is always the option of writing a guest post for an established blog as a way of testing the waters. There are many different types of blogs and places to host a blog and we provide some resources below.
Blog if you are looking to invest at minimum of one hour several times a week and to tell science stories in an engaging, popular format. If your needs are different, consider using a different social media channel.
For more tips, check out our toolkit, Blogging for Science.
- Don’t commit until you’re ready. Blogs require a lot of planning and maintenance. Get a feel for the medium first—browse other blogs or write a guest post for an existing blog—before starting your own. Also, decide who your audience will be.
- Plan it out. You’ll need to plan not just your specific message per post but, the overall theme of your blog. Choose an interesting title that reflects the theme. Not every post has to be long, but you should post something new at least once a week.
- Watch your comments. Make sure that no comment thread gets out of hand and respond regularly to the comments you receive. Social media is interactive; readers will visit more if they know you’re responsive to them.
- Catch the eye. Make post titles interesting and use striking images (of your own or those in the public domain but be sure to follow all copyright and attribution requirements).
- Draw them in. You can tell the stories behind your research or the stories of your research, but make sure you create a narrative that will capture readers’ interest.