To become a professional academic writer
Some students dream of becoming professional academic writers but knowing where to start is hard. Getting an article published in a journal can be a long, hard process with no guarantee that the article will actually be published or even read by others. So, what can you do instead? You can start writing a blog.
Building a blog
There are loads of great, free websites that you can use to help you start your blog. Some of these sites will even help you to make money from your blog, but your blog has got to be good enough to attract readers. This can be a challenge for academic writers as academic texts are generally quite formal in style and can have limited appeal.
However, do not be disheartened. There is a challenge to be embraced in bringing academic writing to the wider world and blog posts are a great way to start. Just don’t expect to be an overnight sensation!
That brings us to our second point…
It takes time!
An often overlooked point is that building a successful blog takes time. Blogging superstars may seem as though they became famous overnight, but the reality is that they worked long and hard to be successful, and they probably indulged in some shameless self-promotion too!
To get the most out of a blog it is essential to understand how blogs can be marketed to a wider audience using SEO and Adwords, to name just two tools. It is also necessary to keep up to date with changes in search engine protocols. Basically, what worked last month will probably not work next month!
What will always be important will be producing original and unique content. In this regard, you need to be a leader of the pack, not a follower. Search engines filter out those blogs which only “copy and paste” information from other sources, as well as those which present information which is very similar to information found on other sites.
That means that you need to spend some time looking to see what other blogs are out there which may be similar to yours. Set up alerts so that you do not spend hours every week looking to see if anything new and relevant has been published. Your time is precious, so you have to spend it wisely! Read what is relevant and disregard what is not.
It might sound obvious, but for any writer actually getting down and doing some writing is a necessary part of their daily routine. Writing needs to be a habit that is nurtured and developed if it is to be successful, and it is no different from academic writing.
In fact, writing blog posts can be a great way of developing this routine. As blog posts are necessarily short and concise they can be written quite quickly and posted instantly, allowing your audience to immediately start interacting with your work. Being able to respond to comments and questions about your work from external readers can be really important in helping you to ensure that what you are writing down is precisely what you are trying to get across to your audience. Sometimes what you think you’ve written isn’t as clear to others as it is to you! If you have to repeatedly clarify and explain yourself then you need to check very carefully what you have written.
Blog posts are short and sweet
As mentioned earlier, blog posts tend to be quite short as they are generally aimed at readers who don’t want to sit and read longer pieces.
Being able to write very concisely, and to use features such as lists, bullet points, and very short paragraphs is a skill which academics need to demonstrate, especially when writing abstracts, summarizing material for others or when presenting at conferences. So, next time anyone suggests that you are wasting your time writing blogs, you can point out that you are actually demonstrating the high-quality writing skills needed for academic success.
Analytics can help!
Academic writers have the ability to powerfully inform their readers using facts which they know to be true and are verifiable. How you choose to present these in your blog can determine how popular the blog posts are.
Try writing your blog in a variety of styles and formats then look at the analytics associated with your paper to see which ones were the most popular. You might find that certain style, perhaps one with a more conversational tone and shorter, easier to read paragraphs, was more popular than posts consisting of more formal language and longer paragraphs. If so, then ensure your future posts are chatty and have short paragraphs! You might find that posts around a certain topic are popular, in which case writes more of them.
Blog posts are a great way of taking your work out into the world and connecting with a wider audience. With focus and attention to detail, you will be able to use your blogs to position yourself as an expert academic writer to be hired by professional custom writing services. Just remember to regularly upload original and unique content, to promote your blog so that others are made aware of it and to interact with the people who leave comments and messages. By positioning yourself as an expert you will find that soon, people will start coming to you for advice about your subject. You may even be able to make some money from your blog!
About Author: Joan Young is an aspiring journalist and copywriter with a deep interest in sociology, inventions and technological progress. In a spare from traveling minute, she provides online tutoring sessions to international students and finds immense pleasure in witnessing their writing progress. Some of her insights can be found in her author’s column on the blog of academic custom writing service AdvancedWriters which assist students with the most complicated assignments.