Blogging, who has the time?

The idea of writing a blog can be intimidating. Many of the most popular blogs are updated daily, or even multiple times a day. For most academics and research professionals, this type of schedule often just does not work. Luckily, it doesn’t have to.

Here are some tips for creating a successful blog, or becoming a successful blogger, in less time:

Starting a Group/Community Blog

While a single blog post is often written by a single author, the same does not necessarily hold true for a successful blog. Creating one blog and sharing the blogging responsibilities is a great way to keep up with the content demands and keep your audience satisfied. Here is an example of one such blog started in Harvard’s halls, http://www.iq.harvard.edu/blog/sss/

Write for an Established Blog

There are many blogs out there looking for bloggers to provide at least some of the content. If a blog seems to match well with your experience/interest, send an email and see if they would accept submissions. This is a great way to reach an already established readership and saves the trouble of building your own. Here is a blog by the American Evaluation Association on the lookout for submissions: http://aea365.org/blog/

Blogging on a Schedule

Pick a schedule and try to stick to it. You are not at the mercy of an editor so just choose one that works for you (biweekly, weekly, monthly, etc.). Blogs are often archived by date and your history might give a prospective reader an idea of when the next post will be available. Your schedule does not have to be exact, just close. Long random breaks between entries might suggest to a prospective follower that the blog is dead.

Increased Readership is not Always the Point

One way the web is different from print is that you don’t need a readership to publish. In fact most blogs start with next to no established audience. There are different reasons to blog. Showcasing expertise, keeping connected with colleagues, and taking control of your online identity are just a few. Before worrying about your readership, just blog and see how you like it. If it does not take off, no biggie. In the online world failure is cheaper than ever.