In theory, blogging is a relatively simple concept.
All you need is a website to post on, article ideas and the motivation to sit down and write something thoughtful (regularly!).
The reasons for blogging are numerous; wanting to write for fun, as part of a content marketing strategy or even if you want to become an influencer. But, if you are going to blog, you need to be dedicated to the concept. I hate to break it to you, if you think it is easy or you can make money relatively quickly, then think again.
Saying that, one of the benefits of blogging is that you can blog about absolutely anything. For example, this blog post is just one of many blog posts that I have written for my own site. For my blog posts, I write about what I know, and what I have real-life experience about. You could therefore say, my niche is science and digital marketing.
But what if you want to choose your niche as science, and what to write a science blog? How should you go about it?
Steps you need to take before starting your science blog
I’m going to split the next section into numbered steps.
This way it makes it really easy to understand the thought process, and it should allow anybody to go away and launch and run a site, even if you have no little to no knowledge before reading this.
1. Choose your niche
Before you start writing about, decide about what you are going to write about. Do you have a science speciality? It’s probably best to pick that to write about.
Before you do anything else, you need to have in mind what you are going to blog about.
I say this, because ‘science’ is an incredibly vast topic. It typically encompasses chemistry, biology and physics, but it also overlaps with maths, astrology, social science etc., you get the idea.
Having a sub-topic will know about make it easier to produce consistent content for your blog. If somebody reads one of your articles, they are likely to read another if it is based around the same topic.
An example of this is..
Once you haven chosen your science sub-topic, you can go on to the next step.
2. Picking a domain name and creating a website
To start your blog, you need a domain name, web hosting and a website builder. There are lots of options available here, but the important part is that you pick something you are comfortable with using already, or happy to learn to use.
One of the reasons I told you to pick a subtopic above was because it makes this step easier.
When you pick a domain name, the domain for this site is ‘patrickwareing.com’, I would recommend choosing something that makes it easy for anybody to understand what the content is about just by reading the name.
For example, ‘analytical-chemistry-news.com’ would be a good example, whereas ‘science-with-patrick.com’ would be too generic and add little context to users.
However, you may need to play around with your domain name based on what is available to purchase. I would recommend sticking to a .co.uk or .com domain, rather than going with a fancy TLD. You will find prices vary, but you should be able to purchase a domain name for around £10 a year. Check out Namecheap or Google domain names and see what is available.
When it comes to the website side of things, you need to connect you domain name to web hosting and a CMS (content management system).
A CMS is essentially a website builder, it is where you write content for your website, choose which images to show, which URLs you wish to use etc. There are loads of options available, including wordpress, wix, weebly etc.
Web hosting connects the domain name you have to the content you produce on your CMS. Again, there’s lots of options with varying prices. Included below are links to help you understand everything you need to get started.
However, if the above sounds too challenging or like too much effort, you can always choose a site like medium, where you can sign up and start creating content immediately!
3. Start Writing Content
A blog is pointless without any content. Get your blog going by starting to write about what you know and get publishing.
If you’ve gone through all the effort to create and setup a website to start blogging, you just need to produce content.
I am by no means an excellent writer, but when I approach blog posts like this, I try to keep things short yet informative.
Get started by writing things you know about already and what you would want to read yourself. This allows you to ‘practice’ blogging and see if it something you really want to pursue.
The great thing about starting a science blog, is that you are more than likely an expert in some sort of scientific field already.
For me, I have experience in developing consumer goods. I could easily write blog posts on the instruments and equipment I used in the lab, how I approached creating new formulations or even write about how I keep the lab organised.
However, what if you run out of ideas?
This is where you can start looking for ‘keywords’. If you aren’t aware of keywords, they are simply ideas and topics that you can research that are used extensively in digital marketing.
Here’s an example.
Say I wanted to write something about ‘formulation chemistry’. I could simply type ‘formulation chemistry’ into Google and look for the suggestions that Google gives me, based on what other people are already searching for.
Below are two screenshots for where you can find these ideas:
Here you instantly have ideas for new blog content, where you can take one of the suggested questions or statements and use them as a title and simply write content to satisfy your title.
This is a basic example of SEO (search engine optimisation). You can scroll down to learn more about SEO and how you can use it to promote your blog!
4. Promote your content
Once you have started publishing content, then you need to give people to option to discover it and read it. Promoting content isn’t difficult, it just takes some conscious effort.
When you start any new blog, the reality is, it will be very hard for people to automatically come across it and find it.
This is where you need to start promoting your new blog.
If you have any friends, or even colleagues, that will be interested in your blog, ask them to read it and share it with their respective networks.
But don’t just leave it for other people to promote on your behalf. Go and set up social media accounts connected to your new blog. Every time you create a new post, make sure it is sufficiently shared across your social media accounts, relevant hashtags and with similar accounts. The more you can grow these accounts, the higher potential reach you have to readers.
5. Stop making excuses
The only thing stopping you from creating a successful blog is the fear or laziness of not producing content. You just have to get started.
Ultimately, you need to just write and publish content.
Getting started is by far the hardest part to start blogging. It also takes a lot of practice to think of new topics, writing them down, updating your website etc.
However, you can approach your blog posts like any scientific report you would write usually. Start with introduction, write the main section and finish with a conclusion.
Once you’ve got your blog up and running, you can always look to improve your blogging. Here’s a few additional tips for you to try:
Create a content calendar – a content calendar is basically a publishing schedule and you can make it as basic or complex as you want. Start you content calendar by writing down some rough article titles with ideas for content, and assign a regularly frequency of publishing dates. Check out this resource for more information about creating a content calendar.
Set up notifications – if you are looking for inspiration for new articles or content to share on social media, you can do this a few ways. Check out relevant hashtags on social media (#scicomm is a good one), set up Google Alerts for email notifications on relevant topics or check out a list of scientific press releases.
Reach out the other bloggers – If there’s somebody’s science blog that you are already a fan of, get in touch with them and tell them! Everybody likes receiving praise and they might even share some of their blogging secrets, or let you write an article on their blog to boost your audience!
Learn SEO – When I started my first affiliate website, I spent lots of time learning how to get traffic from search engines. This is known as SEO (search engine optimisation) and is the process of doing certain things to improve the visibility of your website on search engines. There really is no better way to learn this than to do it to your very own blog!
Can I use my blog to make money?
Of course, making some sort of passive income from your blog crosses everybody’s mind at some point. And making money is definitely doable.
Generally speaking, the more website traffic you get to your website, the more money you can make. However, you can make money by putting adverts on your website, such as Google Adsense, sign up to relevant affiliate programs or even accept sponsored posts.
Ready to start your scientific blog now?
The above guide is very basic but should give you enough information to go from idea to implementation.
My advice would be to start out with simple, regular blog posts and take it from there. As you get used to blogging, you can look at making your website design better, generating more traffic to your blog or looking at monetising it.
Well-executed blogging is an advantageous skill, and may even help your professional career as a scientist in the long run.
Got any questions about anything I’ve written here? Feel free to get in touch with any questions or even just to share a link to your new blog!