Think about your blog post title. This headline is how people will initially find your post, and then draw them in to your content. Blogging is about having a conversation with your readers, so how do you want to start that conversation? You also need to consider your audience – you want to appeal to a wide range of people, so don’t use academic jargon. Remember that the blog post will be linked to the relevant JMM article for those who want to find out more.
- Keep it short. Less than 55 characters is ideal for a title so it doesn’t get cut off when being displayed by search engine. This is then also easily Tweetable so people can share your content.
- Keep it accurate, and try to include at least one key word that reflects your blog theme. Don’t use a title that has no relevance to what you have actually written. You can frame your title as a question, or a statement, or you can address the reader directly.
- Make it appealing. This doesn’t necessarily mean being humorous (although you can be), but think about allusion, alliteration, pastiche, juxtaposition, etc. If you are struggling, give your blog a working title and come back to it once you have finished writing. The JMM Editorial Office can also help you with this.
Who are you writing for? The aim of the blog post is to help readers engage with your research, and, hopefully, encourage them to go on and read the full article. Practitioners, policy makers, media professionals and interested members of the general public will want an easily digestible summary of your research, with key pointers as to its findings and relevance. Other academics, researchers and students will read the blog post as an introduction to your work. This ties in with …
What do you want to get out of your blog post? Do you think your research has policy implications? Then spell these out. Is your research ‘newsworthy’? Think how you’d like your research to be covered in the media. Other questions to think about include:
- Does your research fill a gap in our knowledge?
- Does your research solve a problem?
- Does your research have ‘real-world’ applications?
4. Break it down
Keep your writing clear and jargon free, and try and keep to shorter sentences and paragraphs. Structure your post – using subheadings will help signpost your content to readers and also search engines. Bullet points and lists are useful, but don’t overdo these. Try and keep to the classic ‘Kipling’ questions of: What, Why, When, Where, How and Who. Try not to be too descriptive and aim to give clear indicators or outcomes. Also think of up to 6 keywords to describe your post that can be used to tag it. Remember, the reader can go to the full article for more detailed information.
5. Takeaways / quotes to pull out
Think of the main 2 to 3 ‘takeaway’ points of your post, and highlight these.
We will then format these on the site so that they stand out to the reader.
A blog post is a chance to express your personality outside the conventions of more ‘academic’ writing. Writing in a personable way can help people identify with you and your work, and this does have knock-on effects. You may gain new collaborators and expand your personal networks, and, given the importance of ‘impact’, showing that you are able to communicate your research in an accessible way is of great interest to policy makers, journalists and other media professionals who may be looking for a subject expert or a topical story.
7. Links to other content
Try and include a few hyperlinks throughout the content to build interest and engagement. These can be to, for example, definitions of key terms, or to other useful research/blogs/news. Keep academic references to a minimum though – these can be found in the full JMM article.
8. Share-ability & Promotion
Your post will have social sharing activated. Many of the JMM articles featured on the blog will be free to access for a period and this will be highlighted when it is available. (Don’t forget to share your 50 free article e-prints). Your blog post will show your article’s live Altmetric score so you can see the attention your article is getting online. Posts are published on the JMM Blog under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
- Help yourself. Whilst we will promote your blog, the best thing you can do is to share the posting yourself, either through social media, academic networking sites or through your own networks such as putting a link in your email signature (request an email banner here) or distributing the link to interested colleagues or any e-lists/groups you are a member of. You can also highlight the blog to your Department or University PR/Social Media teams. If you follow or know of particular journalists or practitioners with an interest in your research field, don’t be afraid to make targeted contact if you think your research is of particular interest to them, but do your homework to contact only one or two appropriate links at a time, and don’t spam! Read about how one T&F Author took a multimedia approach to promoting their own research.
- Commenting. Commenting will be enabled for blog posts, and comments are published on submission and may be subject to moderation, according to our T&Cs. Keep an eye on comments on your blog post in case you wish to respond.
9. Bio and photo
Please send us a good photo/headshot of yourself – don’t worry about resolution or size, we will sort that out. This will go at the end of the article, along with a brief author bio of up to 50 words, including a web address and Twitter handle/other social media links if you have them.
10. Enjoy it!
Don’t worry about it too much. Blog posts do not need to be perfect! The Editorial Office will check things over before posting and let you know if we think anything needs tweaking. We’ll also source appropriate images to illustrate your words (although feel free to suggest images if you have any ideas, and we’ll see if they are suitable in terms of copyright etc.) And, finally, we’ll make it all look good and get promoting.
We want to help you get your research recognised! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the JMM Editorial Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
This post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, unless otherwise stated. Third party materials remain the copyright of the original rightsholder.