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Shall I start a blog or not is the question

Quite a few scientists have been blogging at the moment and more and more PhD students have started a blog.

Sometimes as a video blog to explain specific things, or in a different format like the English Open University.

Another form is using the text blog, like Eva Lantsoght’s or Dr. 27, or a running commentary like ‘my exciting PhD journey’. Have a look at The Next Scientist of Julio Peironcely.

Even The Guardian had a list of hottest science blogs a couple of years ago.

Why should you start a blog?

The answer is simple: because it is fun to do and because it can be beneficial to you. Not more and not less. Is it a necessity to start a blog? Not really….I wouldn’t like to state that, however, it can be to your advantage:

  • Blogging requires deep thought about your subject, because you need to figure out what you are going to write or film. The more you think, the more clarity you will get. Indeed very handy for your blog, but even more beneficial for your research or during meetings with your supervisor.
  • You will become inspired by blogging, simply because you will start to reflect on your research in a different way.
  • You learn to write by writing, by practising a lot. When blogging, you force yourself to write more frequently. Great start.
  • Writing helps you to list all your thoughts; excellent: especially for your research.
  • Blogging helps you to view yourself and your research with different eyes: what is interesting, what is fun, what is noteworthy? All of this can shift your perspective on your research; definitely an enrichment and to put things in a different context. Who doesn’t want that?
  • Blogging increases your visibility on the internet.
  • Readers/viewers can give you feedback on what you are writing. Every comment could potentially be very informative.
  • Readers/viewers could become interested in you and your research and start to follow you. Great to gather contacts for invites or for your network.

Is it hard to start a blog?

It definitely isn’t hard if you are enthusiastic about your research and you love to talk about it. The technique isn’t difficult to use. Pick a blog name, claim a domain name and use the free software of WordPress for instance. Simple software that is easy to use. The big advantage of blogging is, in case you are a bit insecure and shy, nobody will actually see you, you can passionately write about your research or any topic you would like, safely tucked away behind your desk.

Would you like to find out if blogging could be something you like doing?

Start brainstorming about certain subjects; be inspired by the blogs I mentioned; search the internet. Or make a mind map.
Good luck!

Then make an arrangement with yourself that you will write a blog, for example, once a week, about one of the subjects you thought of. Just type them out on your computer, without even publishing yet. Make sure you think about the following:

  • a good blog post is as short as possible
  • a good blog post deals with only one subject
  • a good blog post is personal
  • a good blog post has a captivating title and headings

If in a couple of weeks you are thinking: “Well, this is really great, this inspires me” be bold and go for it! I would love to see the link to your blog!

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