The Science of blogging or the blogging of Science?
Beyond the seen and unseen opportunities, let's dive straight in with reasons why You should have a Science (STEMM) blog:
1. You get to write creatively. You can temporarily drop the formalities of manuscript and grant writing and try your authentic voice.
2. You are in control. You are a writer, editor, publisher, stylist and more. You decide on what you want to put out there to reflect You and your work.
3. Self promotion. Shout about the awesome research You do or the learning spaces You are busy exploring.
4. You create a portfolio of writing. Having a place where you can direct people to for jobs and networking opportunities. And not just writing - it could be almost a CV of all your engagement activity too.
5. You show who You are. Add colours to complete your personality canvas. Humour, too. Show the world that scientists aren't just boring nerds.
Here is the 5 step formula I use for the posts I write (after much trial and error to find what works best for science communication):
Step 1: You need a scroll stopping headline. Think about those blog or article headlines you click on. You click on them because you want the value they are offering. Earn your 'see more'.
Step 2: Use white space! No one likes a huge chunk of text. Use paragraphs. Break it up and help your reader skim with ease.
Step 3: Tell a story. Stories weave wonder, not witchcraft. A skillfully shared story is as potent as any sorcery. Ants shape each other's behavior by exchanging chemicals. We do it by sharing tales that touch hearts and transform us. Story-telling is a true wonder of the world.
Step 4: Use hashtags strategies. All 30!
Step 5: Include a call to action. Let your audience know what You want them to do after reading your post. How do You want them to engage? Don't think it's patronising - we as audience need to be guided by You so the post births its purpose.
Now go write your inspiring Science captions and spread the joy of learning and discovery!