Practical advice for writing blogs for non-academics
Blogs can help you reach a wider audience with your research, opinion or viewpoint. They are becoming an increasingly important way to disseminate research and often appeal to academics as well as non-academics and can help you reach new people with your views as well as increase your own profile.
Top tips for writing a blog for a non-academic
Ask yourself why you are writing on this topic and in this format. What do you hope to achieve? Who is your audience? What action do you want your audience to take after reading your piece?
Look at examples
Which blog posts have you found most engaging, and why?
Frame your blog around a key question or problem
By clearly defining the key issue or problem your research is trying to solve you can ensure you are telling your audience why this is important, and how it relates to them in everyday life. Communicating complex ideas in clear and simple language is a valuable skill.
Especially in your title - you want people to be able to find your blog via search engines.
Put your most important points at the start
Catch your readers attention at the beginning to keep them reading the rest of your post.
Think about the visual experience
Keep your paragraphs short and concise as big blocks of text can make readers switch off. Consider other ways to make your post visually engaging with images and graphics.
Stick to the essentials
Keep to three or four key messages without trying to include every detail of your research.
Blogs are a less formal style of writing, but it is still good practice to include all your relevant sources and citations and provide links.
Include a short bio
At the bottom of your blog add a couple of sentences about you, so readers can find you. Add links to your social media by including your Twitter or LinkedIn handles.
Here is your opportunity to write about why your research is important to you, in a tone that is authentic to you. Details about you, your life and the day to day experience of conducting research are important ways to connect with your audience. People are as interested in hearing what goes wrong as what goes right, and blogs are the ideal format for sharing important aspects of research that people rarely hear about.