An amateurs guide to blogging

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Artwork by Joe Mahon

I feel like I talk a lot about things being scary on this blog.

Blogging is scary. Blogging is putting your writing, reflections and opinions on the internet and totally opening yourself up to criticism. If you don’t think that’s scary then can you come and write a blog post for us please?!

Ok, so you’re thinking “if you think blogging is so scary why do you do it?” Well, I do it for 3 reasons really:

  1. To increase awareness of healthcare science and the STP.
  2. To give advice and help potential STP applicants.
  3. To create content that current trainees can relate to.

So this is my number one tip on “how to blog”. Find your reason for blogging and if it’s important enough to you then it will outweigh the scariness of putting your thoughts on the internet. I’ve been blogging on STP Perspectives for about two months now and it’s been so much more rewarding than I ever could’ve anticipated. I never would have seen myself as a committed blogger, but we’ve had such a great response and engagement from readers, it really does make it worth it for me. Two months doesn’t make me a blogging expert, we don’t have thousands of followers and there are hundreds of blog posts like this out there, but I wanted to share how I’ve found blogging so far and the things I’ve learnt.

As I mentioned, my number one top tip is to have a good reason for blogging. Without a good reason you’ll probably struggle to even get started, and even if you do get started, you might find it difficult to keep up your enthusiasm after a while.

Number two has got to be setting yourself a target of how often you want to publish. I have been religiously publishing something once a week since we started. Sometimes I worry if I’m valuing quantity over quality, but having almost a routine really encourages me to keep producing regular content. I do always try to make sure everything I write will have value to someone (even if it’s just me!).

That leads me nicely on to number three: you have to write for yourself. What I mean by that is that you have to write about things you’re interested in, otherwise it becomes a chore. I like to write posts that I think other people will find interesting or helpful but my main source of inspiration is “what would I like to read a blog post on” or “what would I find useful to read about”.

Having said that, it can be really difficult to keep coming up with interesting things to write about! So tip number four is: seize every opportunity you can. Whether it’s to talk to interesting people, responding to comments from readers, or getting different people to write their own posts. I’m very lucky to have met and know some very intelligent and talented people in healthcare science and I hope they take it as a compliment when I ask if they can contribute or be featured on this blog.

If this post has inspired you to write a blog post, let us know- we’ll happily welcome you to the STP Perspectives team. If you’ve been inspired a step further to start an entire blog of your own, equally let us know- we’d love to publicise your blog and/or collaborate! As always, thank you so much for sticking with us and continuing to read what we have to say!

Until next time!

Author: Jes

I am a trainee clinical bioinformatician working at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. I am passionate about increasing awareness and discussion about healthcare science and particularly the routes into the field.

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