Academics are very busy people. Among other things, they must teach, mark, publish, and network. Despite all that work, we still suggest that you try to write newspaper or magazine articles occasionally.
Publishing for magazines is a great way to improve your writing skills, as your content will be reviewed by experienced editors. This will help you professionally when writing academic papers. Once you get the hang of it, it can also be a lucrative side hustle as publishers are always looking for articles that contain in-depth information and that are written by a experts in the field.
Fundamentally, your blog post is a story about a particular event. First identify what event you want to write about and why it is of value to your readers. After understanding the purpose of the writing the story, jot down a list of every topic that must be covered. This step is the most important. If done well everything else will naturally flow from it.
How will the article be structured?
Once you have a good understanding of the plot, start working on the structure of your story. Write a detailed bullet point outline of how the article will look:
Make readers stop in their tracks: First grab readers’ attention by telling them why they should care about the story. This includes how the issue covered can affect their lives (i.e. the decrease in the bee population will jeopardize food security) or how mind boggling amazing is the topic (i.e. millions of light years away the collision of two black holes has created ripples in space time that can be felt on earth).
Paint a vivid image: After grabbing the readers’ attention, describe the event that you will talk about. Include all important information such as its origin, its scale or its frequency. Your objective is to build a vivid mental image for your readers: they should be able to close their eyes and picture the main characters in the article, whether they are bees or black holes.
Academics are very busy people. Among other things, they must teach, mark, publish, and network. Despite all that work, we still suggest that you maintain a science blog. It can help you build your career, secure research grants, find collaborators all over the world, and get ideas for new research.
Cross disciplinary collaboration
Professors traditionally publish in academic journals. This is an effective way for your peers to review your work and to read a very technical explanation of your research. Unfortunately, that audience is extremely targeted.
Since inter-disciplinary collaboration is the most effective to identify and solve problems in an ever complex world, your ideas should be exposed as widely as possible. Having a blog reveals your work to researchers who would otherwise never know about it. If they find that there is a link to theirs, they will be able to propose a joint paper.
Such a cross disciplinary paper, by its very nature, will be more likely to break exciting new ground, receive more citations and benefit from more exposure.
Besides being used to express views and opinions, academics can also supplement their income through a blog. Because of their duty to remain neutral, they must, however, be creative when monetizing their blog. This article will teach you how to generate revenue in a subtle way that does not compromise your professional integrity.
Building your blog
The first thing that we recommend is that you invest in a professional looking blog. You can use off-the-shelf website creating tools or, if you lack the technical abilities, hire a web designer to build a blog for you. They can build it for $600 and, for less than a hundred more, they can even create your own logo.
Secondly, leverage your authority by creating the blog around your research: there are thousands of blogs on the internet, the ones that succeed are the ones that stand out.
Once you found your niche, create unique and interesting content. You will obviously post articles on subjects related to your research. However, you can make your blog even more interesting if you also have more personal content like pictures and articles describing your typical workday, posts about professional challenges, videos of experiments and field studies, or profiles of your assistants and students. Continue reading “Tips for Academics: Monetizing Your Blog”→
Guest blogging is way to expand your following by publishing articles on third party blogs. This practice introduces people, who would otherwise have no exposure to your work, to what you do. It can also supplement your income since most sites pay guest writers.
By regularly guest blogging, you will build a reputation as an expert in your field. This reputation could lead to more lucrative assignments such as writing for magazines, doing television interviews or getting published.
Where to guest blog
Before even exploring guest blogging, you must already have high quality articles. This is essential because host sites will review your work before accepting your offer. They look for the quality of your writing, the frequency of typos, the number of likes, comments and shares that you receive, and whether you are indeed a subject matter expert who generates original ideas. Continue reading “Tips for Academics: Why and How to Guest Blog”→