education science technology

9-Day Science Blog Challenge, Day 1

This is the first of what was supposed to be a 28-Day Challenge on a Facebook page. However, it was very time-consuming and did not receive enough engagement at the time to keep me motivated to continue.

I do want to save my posts somewhere because they have some useful guidance for bloggers. I drew my information from books, blogs, and my 17 years’ experience in web design to help people build a better science blog.

Day 1: Finding Your Purpose

You may have already given this topic a lot of thought, but if not, or if you haven’t written it out formally, give this challenge a whirl.

Begin with considering: WHY do you blog? In particular, why do you have a *science* blog? These can be difficult questions to answer, but they are essential in communicating what you do to others.

You can be very honest with yourself here. You don’t need to show us your work for this part. Are you just really excited to show people how cool science is? Do you feel that science education is important for a voting public? Is it an opportunity to provide exposure for your research? Will blogging get your work in front of people who can improve your station in life? Do you hope to find others to collaborate with? Do you hope to make cash directly from your blogging efforts? Or is it some combination of these, and/or other motivations? Think deeply about your whys.

The next thing to consider is, what is your niche? That is, what sets your blog apart from all the rest? Do you write about a specific area of science, or write in a unique way about it? Or maybe you write about a broad range of topics, but there is something special about the way you write about it. You might not even know yet how your blog is unique—maybe you just dove in and wrote a bunch of stuff. In time, trends will emerge in your posts that will help you solidify what your niche is. And hey, that can change over time.

Finally, do you have an overall message you wish to convey to all who read your blog? Who are your readers, and what benefit do you provide them (more about that tomorrow)?

Exercise 1: Write Your Elevator Pitch

An “elevator pitch” is a quick overview of what you do, which can be delivered to someone else in about 30 seconds (the duration of an elevator ride).

In the online world, this may translate into 150 words, 30 words, or 140 characters, depending on the location.

For example, Facebook pages have a little About blurb that allows only a few dozen words to be displayed. Or you might select four or five words as a tagline to display next to your logo. Eventually, you might beef up the elevator pitch to adapt for your blog’s About page.

Your goal is to quickly communicate what you do, as well as entice the reader to want to know more.

Brainstorm words related to your blog and choice of topic. Consider asking friends or family to describe your blog in a sentence.

Write two versions of your elevator pitch. Keep it short, intriguing, and clear:

  • one that is fewer than 20 words (a tagline or slogan)
  • one that is 100-150 words (an expanded explanation)

Please feel free to share your thoughts and/or elevator pitch below (and link to your blog.)

By Dawn Pedersen

Science advocate, web designer, educator, artist, and mommy.

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