Joining up with the Students' Union Skills Training, Ross Ferguson delivered an insightful presentation on best practice for blogging, covering communication principles and skills which can be applied to everyday applications rather than technical aspects. Topics including content design, editing, engaging with audiences, and evaluation.
You can watch a recording of the full session online.
While the content was provided mainly for a corporate context, Ross briefly touched on the advantages of having a personal blog:
- very fun and rewarding activity allowing for personal development
- reflection of yourself by looking at old posts
- provide a place for employers to verify who you are beyond your CV.
Ross gave examples of Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Mashable as the top three world blogs by revenue, however these make money from "blogging black magic" - clickbait and adverts. Examples of well written blogs which provide insight include Smashing Magazine, Inside Intercom, and the Foreign Office Blog were mentioned. On a more local scale, Zoomix at was mentioned as being a very well presented blog written by a PhD student at the University of Bath and is well worth looking at.
The importance of writing to suit your audience was a key theme throughout the session, highlighting the need to analyse who you visitors are and the content they wish to see. One of the University's most popular blogs by viewcount is Campus travel updates, and Ross stated how they have adapted their posts to provide a very short, concise useful updates after looking at analytics.
The University's marketing and communications team also provide blogging advice.