Helpful Tips on How To Write a Blog Post from Your Journal Article
An excellent way to generate interest in a newly published article in an academic or scientific journal is to write a blog post about the paper. Such a post need not be long – in fact, shorter is often better, with most blog posts not exceeding 1,000 words – and writing it will take a very small amount of time compared to the time you have already dedicated to the research, writing, proofreading and revision of the original article. If you have a blog or website of your own, that will obviously be a good place to post your work, but a multi-author blog with a large base of readers interested in research similar to yours often proves far more successful for attracting serious readers who may ultimately cite your article in their own work.
Your blog post should essentially be a shorter version of your article that is designed to communicate effectively with readers of all kinds. Several aspects of the original article can therefore be eliminated while constructing your post. A literature review should not be included, for instance, and neither should a lengthy discussion of how your findings differ from those of other scholars, though a few key points can be mentioned in a sentence or two, especially if your work builds on or overturns a particularly influential or popular study. A description of your methodology is also unnecessary. If your methods are particularly innovative, readers will need to consult your article to understand them in any case, and if they are traditional, scholarly readers will require no explanation and other readers will accept them as standard. Recording all of the data associated with your research and results should also be avoided, as should any digressions about unsuccessful aspects of your research. Too much information and detail will overload readers and obscure your central messages, so a long discussion of context is also a mistake, though you will need to provide just enough for readers to understand the significance of your work.
Summarising those central messages about what you investigated, what you discovered and what your discoveries mean should be the central focus of your post, and you should provide a catchy narrative heading that reflects those messages. Your first paragraph can clearly and briefly explain why your post and thus your article is of interest, using striking statistics, promises of new knowledge and intriguing puzzles to draw readers into your writing. Your written style should be elegant and correct as well as engaging and accessible to general readers, convincing them that your writing will be both interesting and entirely readable. Do not save the best or most tantalising points for the end of your post or tease them out gradually as you may have done in your article. Such a policy will frustrate many readers, and there simply is not enough room for anything but the most succinct descriptions of fascinating information, so the best material should start immediately. Be sure to define or explain with precision any specialised terminology, jargon or formulae you use, and it can be helpful to include one or two tables or figures that are carefully designed and accurately labelled to show key trends.
Finally, finish your post with a memorable sentence that gives a good impression of your work and make sure that you mention the title of your article and provide a link to it at the end of your post. Remember, too, that a short bio explaining your credentials can help you win readers’ trust.
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If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.