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Blogging: Blogging for researchers

Resources for blogging at third level and beyond

What is a Blog?

Examples

Below are some examples of academics using blogs:

The Banana Lounge: Former researcher and current lecturer, based in Melbourne. This blog covers a wide range of topics and the author also writes for the blog the Research Whisperer. 

Catherine Cronin:  PHD student in NUI Galway, currently working towards a PhD in the area of open educational practices in higher education.

Blogging for publicising research

Why Blog?

There are a number of reasons why you should start a blog while researching but some of the main reasons to start a blog would be:

- It allows you to learn new things: Blogging is about sharing what you see, or want to see, in the world. It’s about teaching or sharing what you know and what you, too, are learning. When you start a blog, you’ll find yourself always learning new things about your areas of interest so you can keep sharing without running dry of ideas.

- It helps you think clearer: The ability to think clearly and generate ideas is one of life’s most critical skills. Blogging about your research topic allows you to write about your ideas and findings and  gain new perspective.

- It helps you write better: Writing about your research topic on a regular basis will help improve your writing style. 

- It helps you gain clarity: Writing a blog is different from writing up your research, when writing a blog you use different language than you would in an academic setting. This helps you simplify your research area and gain clarity. 

Read more reasons why you should start a blog here

Top Tips - Imagery

To ensure your blog is looking its best use some imagery that is relevant and adds interest to your blog. Below is a list of places you may find some images and some tips when using them. 

Google Images

Usually the first stop for people when doing a search for an image. Type into the search bar what you are looking for and receive countless images back. 

Top Tip: To get a high quality image from Google images click on search tools and then from the dropdown menu size choose large

NOTE: Not all images on you discover on Google Images are copyright free. Read more about permissions here.

Pexels

Pexels offers free stock photos, copyright free. Just check to see if the creator has asked for a credit when you use the image. This credit could be in the form of a brief mention below the image. 

Image from Pexels

Before You Begin

Before starting your blog you should ask yourself a few questions:

Who? - Who will be reading this blog? Who are my audience?

What? - What will the subject matter of the blog be?

Where? - Where am I posting this? (What platform will I use)

When? - When am I starting? How often will I post? 

Why? - Why am I starting a blog? Is there a benefit for my research?

Where to create a blog

Thinking of setting up a blog? Here are some of the most popular blogging sites:

Wordpress 

Wordpress is an easy to use system, you would be able to get your blog up and running 

Blogger

Sign in with your Google ID, you can have a blog up and running in seconds, which can then be customised with new themes.

Live Journal

LiveJournal (like Blogger) started life in 1999. Perhaps because of its age, it rather blurs the lines (the site says "wilfully") between blogging and social networking.

Weebly

You get access to customisable layouts, a bunch of free themes, and the usual sharing features you'd expect, to spread your words far and wide.