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To Blog or not to Blog… Why Academic Blogging is Helpful for your Career

by Jana McCloskey-Gholikhany

In the age of social media, modern-day academia is taking different forms. The number of academic blogs, for instance, has increased significantly in recent years. So why should an academic take the time to blog? This article outlines the importance and benefits of academic blogging.

Photo 'Blogging?' by Anonymous Account via Flickr

Self-promotion and publicity on social media  

One of the hardest elements of being an academic is getting people to read your research. Blogging can be a very useful tool in driving people towards your published articles. You can use blog posts to summarize the main points or conclusions of your publications and include a direct link to your article.  

Blogging also offers the opportunity to promote your work on social media because blog posts are easier than academic articles to share on a range of social media platforms. For instance, when an author writes for the Crossroads Europe blog, UACES then promotes their contribution on Twitter and Facebook. Therefore, blogging is simultaneously an excellent way to build your online and social media presence! 

 

The benefits of a different medium 

Blogging is an excellent way of reaching new audiences and writing in a more accessible format. As a researcher in European Studies, your work is of interest to a diverse range of actors beyond academia, such as policy-makers, government and EU officials, journalists. A blog post should be relatively short, concise, and adapted to its audience. Writing for a blog is an opportunity to move away from the jargon and formality of academic writing and make your work more accessible. In turn, this can bring you a new and more diverse readership. This exercise also helps develop communication skills. As Dr Eleanor Brooks, Health Policy lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, member of the UACES funded Research Network EU Health Governance and regular blogger explains: “it’s ‘good practice’ for me to keep writing in a shorter, more public-facing format than I would normally do for a full-text article”.  

Taro Nishikawaa recent contributor to our Crossroads Europe blog also points out that expressing your ideas in a clearer and shorter format is helpful when applying for academic posts and when teaching at university level. 

 

New topics and new conversations  

When writing for an academic blog, there is no rule forcing you to write about your current research. Blogging is flexible and gives you the opportunity to share your views on different topics. You can contribute to an ongoing public debate, share your views on public-policy, give your opinion on recent readings or events. 

Cairo Junqueria and Bruno Luciano, co-authors of a recent piece for Crossroads Europe explain that a blog post is also the space to explore some ideas related to, but not included, in a research paper.  

 

 

Networking 

Networking is an undeniable element of every job these days. Academic blogging gives scholars a new platform for networking. Indeed, by publishing on an established academic blog, you become connected to other contributors. You may also see that your readers leave comments on your blog posts, contact you to discuss your work or share related research.  

Dr Brooks explains that in her most recent post, a short overview of research data she collected, publishing the post was useful in allowing others the opportunity to react to her work.  

In sum, the benefits of blogging greatly outweigh the short time cost a post requires - so why wait to join the blogosphere?