How to Write a Blog Post to Promote a Scientific Article
This is a guest post by Prafull Sharma is the Founder of content marketing agency LeadsPanda.com and author of the One-Page Content Marketing Blueprint. He shares tips to 2x your content marketing results on LeadsPanda blog. Do connect with him on Twitter at @prafullsha.
With WordPress bloggers churning out 70.5 million fresh posts and receiving 52.1 million comments monthly, blogging is definitely a popular promotional tool. The question is, how can blogging help scientific researchers achieve their goals?
For one thing, blogging is an excellent way for scientific research to be discovered. Every time a blog post is published, this content has the potential to be shared on various social media platforms and to be discovered by search engines.
This increases the reach of the scientific article by exposing it to more academics as well as non-academics who are more likely to read blog posts than scientific journals, or who aren’t willing to shell out the money to get past paywalls.
Over 409 million web users view 21.2 billion blog pages monthly on WordPress alone, which is a huge number of potential readers!
However, attracting and captivating even a fraction of these readers is much more difficult than just pasting research into a blogging platform. It takes know-how to write a blog post. Whether posting research yourself or hiring a writer to turn it into a quality blog, a key foundational aspect of this is creating a content brief.
The absence of a quality brief leads to only creating or receiving (from your hired writer) mediocre content without a clear objective as to what the article should achieve.
That said, here are 9 vital components of a quality content brief to help create valuable and engaging research article blog posts.
1. Be Flexible with Titles
The process of coming up with a catchy, relevant blog title is a dynamic one. A specific idea for a title may change to a better one while creating the post. This is especially important if writers are hired to craft the piece. Provide a title just to get them started on the topic.
A flexible headline gives the writer enough creativity room. They might completely rewrite the title or tweak the original. Leave room for other title suggestions, and keep the title open in the case of numbered posts.
For example, use: X Reasons Lions Choose to Hunt at Night instead of 5 Reasons Lions Choose to Hunt at Night.
2. Write for a Specific Audience
Target the article to the right audience. Without a clear understanding of the audience being targeted, the blog post may not appeal to anyone and fall flat. The point of writing a blog from a scientific paper or report is to reach fresh audiences who are interested in the research topic.
The easiest way to achieve this is by creating audience avatars which represent the desired audience for an article. This serves as a guide during the writing process by ensuring the post sticks to the interests and style of its intended audience.
Example: My target audience is microbiology major undergraduates who are researching a new strain of the common flu.
3. Write a Concise Post Summary
Before beginning the writing process, write out the overall idea behind the post in a few sentences. What is the main concept of the piece? What is the expected takeaway for the reader?
Example: This piece will cover the major reasons lions hunt at night based on new scientific research from 2020. What do they do in the daytime and how do their physiological features lead to this difference in nocturnal and daytime behavior?
4. Have a Clear Goal
Why is the blog post being written? Is the aim to simply give readers information about the findings? Find research and development partners? Or is the intention to promote and raise awareness of specific scientific research?
Set clear goals so the writing is guided by established objectives. This is extremely important when hiring writers to assist. They need to know the goals to structure and flesh out the post correctly.
Example: The goal of this piece is to promote “Your scientific research 2020” on virus behavior and raise public awareness of the implications of the findings, while getting the word out to potential research partners.
5. Define the Voice of the Piece
How should the reader relate to the piece? The voice of the blog post amplifies the message via a tone, style, or personality. This also includes the perspective (1st, 2nd, or 3rd person).
Example: The post should be strictly informational and formal. Use 1st person when writing and keep it straightforward and factually based.
6. Determine How Long the Piece Should Be
Content length considerations are vital for blog posts. In general, it’s recommended to keep the blog over 1,000 words, as Google ranks posts with 1000+ words higher.
The content brief should include the blog word count, as this affects the effort that’s put into extrapolating the research into content for the piece.
Example: 1,500 to 3,000 words.
7. Identify Relevant Keywords
Unlike scientific research papers, blog posts will not be found as frequently if they are not optimized for relevant keywords. Keywords and keyword phrases tell search engines what the content is about so they can consider its relevance to web users searching for exact or related words or phrases.
Keywords should also be included in the content brief so the writer(s) can keep them in mind to include them as naturally as possible in the blog.
Example: Why do lions hunt at night, night behavior of lions, lion night habits, lion nocturnal hunting behavior, lions hunting at night
8. Include a Call-to-Action
Every article needs a Call-to-Action (CTA). Since one of the main goals of writing the post is to promote the scientific article, the CTA can be a link pointing to the research paper, with text admonishing the reader to click on it to learn more about the findings of the paper.
A secondary CTA is also necessary. It compels the reader to engage further with the post by sharing it on their social media platforms or leaving a comment to facilitate social proof and create discussions.
Example: Primary CTA: Encourage readers to click the research article link. Secondary CTAs: Compel readers to share the post across their various social media platforms or get in touch to partner on further research.
9. Fix Deadlines and Stick to Them
As crazy as it may seem, it could take a week to write a 1,000-word post instead of a day or two if there is no clear due date. A deadline allows for tracking whether or not the current writing speed will hit the mark, and adjusting the schedule accordingly to pick up the pace. Establish realistic deadlines and don’t expect to write a 10,000-word piece in 2 hours. It just won’t happen.
Writing a blog post to promote a scientific article goes beyond simply summarizing the findings. The best way to plan is to draft a content brief outlining the title, target audience, summary, goals, voice/style, length, keywords, call-to-actions, and the article deadline. Follow these steps towards crafting a professional-quality blog that reaches the right readers, gets the message across, and promotes the scientific article.