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.
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”→