Social media for learning, teaching and research: Blogs and blogging

What is a blog?

A blog (an abridgement of the term web log) is an updated webpage which can be written by an individual, a department or a project group. 

Blogging takes place on a number of free platforms, the most popular being WordPress and Blogger.

Blog posts can either be read online like any other website, or users can subscribe to receive automatic updates.

Why blog?

Blogs are great places to instigate conversation, share findings, and sustain  engagement.

Blogging can help clarify ideas and isn't restricted to publishers' frameworks.

Blogging communicates ideas and help to build your reputation.

Blogs in plain English

A no-frills introduction to what blogging involves.

Top five tips for blogs and blogging

1. Have a clear purpose.

Once you've figured out what you'd like to write about make sure it is clear to readers. You can use the title, sub-title, and/or the 'about me' section to do this. 

2. Post regularly and consistently.

You are more likely to get regular readers of your blog if they expect you to post fairly regularly. Depending on what it is you wish to write about it may be apppropriate to write daily, weekly or monthly. Identify what works for you and try to stick to it.

3. Always include a picture.

Including a picture breaks up the text, makes the post look more viually appealing and makes it easier to read. The same applies for using paragraphs, bold headings and bullet points.

4. Allow comments.  

You can always moderate comments if you are concerned about spam, although most blogging sites do a good job at removing this. Comments allow your readers to interact with you and participate in the discussion of your topic.

5. Publicise your posts.  

Tweet your posts and put a link to your blog in your Twitter profile. Do the same in LinkedIn.

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