Have you ever wondered why some crazy scientists waste their time writing a science blog instead of more papers?
I am not talking about people whose job is science communication or science journalism. I am talking about regular scientists like you or me. And these guys are no fools, so there must be something behind blogging worth spending time on it.
A blog can suit many purposes, like career promotion, finding answers when you are stuck, or just sharing with others. Whatever it brings, it will surprise you.
This post presents 9 reasons (there are many more) why writing a science blog can boost your career.
Even a highly renowned mathematician used his blog to solve some hard mathematical problems. Check the introduction of this TED talk by Michael Nielsen.
Benefits of scientific blogging
Not every blogger benefits in the same way. This post shows the success stories of some scientists with blogging.
A blog can help you land a new job, get a research grant, or find new collaborators. The nice thing is that you can’t predict what will happen, you have to give it a try and see it for yourself.
A Science Blog Boosts Your Career
Having a science blog gives you exposure, and when you are exposed lots of (good) things can happen. It puts you and your ideas and your research out in the world. It can be scary, but also highly rewarding.
Running a scientific blog makes it easier to find you and to relate you with certain topics. If a scientist is looking for a collaborator with expertise in your field, he can find your blog and deduct that you are the expert he needs.
A journalist might need a scientist to be interviewed. He won’t go to PubMed to read papers on the matter. He will google the question he needs to answer and your blog can be the bait to attract him.
Being in the spotlight with your blog accelerates your career in different ways.
- Show your research to the world: write educational posts for the common citizen. Or hardcore scientific posts for specialists in your field. In any case, you will reach a larger audience and get more exposure.
- Get feedback and ideas: having more eyes looking into your research can help identifying mistakes you made. Readers can share new points of view that you haven’t considered. This can only improve the quality of your science.
- Become an expert: if you post regularly about similar topics, like your field of research, it establishes your blog as the place to go for information on those topics. This is true for regular readers, but as well for Google, and believe me, you want uncle Google to assign you the label “expert in your field”.
A Science Blog Keeps You Learning
Having a science blog pushes you out of your comfort zone. You need to adapt your writing and your style from what you are used to.
A science blog allows you to experiment, to be playful. You can try to express new ideas, new formats, play with the images. You can to many things that a scientific journal would not allow. Remember, you are the boss.
All this experimentation enhances your creativity and removes the rust of some of your skills.
- Improve your writing skills: writing a blog post is not like writing a scientific paper. It requires simple and clear text, far from the technical tone and euphemisms you use in your articles and grant proposals.
- Make you message engaging: you have to adapt your message to your expected audience. Not only this, you have to make it attractive, so your post is worth reading.
- Sort your ideas: it is said that a good way to learn something is to write it down or to teach it to someone. With a blog you do both things at the same time.
Other Perks Of A Science Blog
Having a blog is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. Many other perks of blogging can add a sweet touch for running a science blog.
- Ego satisfaction: it feels great when a reader leaves a comment saying how interesting your posts are, or how useful your papers are for his work. It is a place for others to communicate with you.
- Meeting real people: what starts online can be extended to the analog world. Some readers will be attending similar conferences you do, and they might want to meet you in person.
- It is cheap: compared to paying publication fees or a trip to a conference, blogging is relatively cheap. And it really pays off. You can choose for free blogging platforms like Tumblr or Blogger, or host (paying) your own WordPress blog. Even if you choose to pay you can have it running for €40 a year.
Your Science Blog And Connecting The Dots
Probably you have seen this speech by Steve Jobs (if not do it right now). The bottom message is: do things with your heart, later on in life you will connect the dots looking backwards and everything will make sense.
Writing a science blog is one of those dots that will explain how you achieved what you achieved. Nobody knows what it will be, but something will occur thanks to your blog. And it will be good.
What Is My Reason To Blog?
In my opening post Next Scientist, The Blog For The Scientist 2.0 I describe my reasons. It all boils down to getting exposure.
I was a nobody in Google terms, people could not find me. I wanted my blog to appear when people searched my name. Next to this, I wanted it to show my interests, opinions, and research, so people could know in more detail who and what I am.
Thanks to my blog, I got feedback on my research, greetings from happy readers, and people at conferences knew me because of my blog. Running a blog also ignited my social media activities, which led to meet in real life some online buddies.
Having my own science blog paid off.
If you are running a science blog, please share your story in the comments section. What is your reason for blogging? Did you have any success stories or eureka moments?
Get Your Science Blog
Are you jealous of these science blogs? Are you convinced of the benefits of running your science blog?
Would you like to have your own science blog but don’t know where to start? We offer you 3 options:
- Check our Resources for Digital Scientists page to find all you need to get started in science blogging.
- Register to our newsletter and have access to 6 videos that teach you How To Do Your Own Science Blog, covering
- Hire me and let me set up a science blog for you (or even more)
- Registering a domain name for your science blog.
- How to install WordPress.
- Writing your first blog post.
- Editing the home page of your science blog.
- Installing themes to change the visual layout of your blog.
- How to add extra functions to your blog with plugins.