I haven't been very active on my blog this year; nevertheless, it has still been a significant year in my career. All of the skills and experiences I've developed over the past six years helped me start my science communication career. It certainly wasn’t a comfortable journey, as are most career paths.
To launch my science communication career, I needed to build a portfolio of my writing, which is the blog you are reading right now. It helped bolster my CV when I was a fresh bachelor’s graduate. From there, I dabbled into medical communications, decided it wasn’t for me, before going back to university to study a science communication master’s degree.
While you don’t necessarily need a master’s degree in science communication, I felt I needed it to solidify my knowledge in the field. And that’s what it did and more.
Getting into a science communications role was an experience. I got stuck in a catch-22 situation, and it got to a point where I just wanted to scream! Even though I had prior work experience, the recruiters told me, “you’re great, but you don’t have enough experience for this role,” which went on for a while until I landed my position at the company I’m working for currently. Finally, I succeeded in convincing them that I can learn on the job and that I have all of the skills needed for this role.
It’s now been just over one year in my new role. I’ve been looking after everything to do with the institute’s website, social media, and traditional media interactions. Did I ever imagine I would ever have such a front-facing job? No way! But it’s been an exciting journey, learning the inside-out of how a sector works and what people like to see online (social media and websites).
Regarding my blog:
Over the past year, I have tried to experiment with a few different strategies for my blog and ‘follow the trends’ per se, and this is what I have learned:
The data you get within your blogging platform is entirely different from the data in Google Analytics. Google Analytics provides the most accurate data.
I’ve also experimented by taking my posts to Instagram, which resulted in me entering an echo chamber with other science communicators. It was not the audience I wanted to reach.
Followers do not count on social media, engagement rate does. Measuring your engagement rate (audience and interaction with posts) demonstrates how engaging your content is.
So my goal for the next year is to use social media platforms for the promotion of blog posts only. All new blog posts and related content will stay on my blog. Laura, from Waste-Free PhD, recently took this brave step and recently launched her website, moving all of her Instagram content to her website, which has encouraged me to keep all of my content in one place. Instagram has been a great platform to meet other science communicators, and some of them have become my friends. But at the end of the day, it’s a social media platform, not a website.
Now let’s talk about the coronavirus.
Honestly, I didn’t want to mention this in my blog post. However, it has severely impacted how productive I have been on my blog. When the coronavirus came into the picture, it not only changed the way I’ve been working, it’s also changed the focus of our work (during my day job), putting all of the emphasis on COVID-19. I have not been motivated to write during the weekends. I’m currently working on this and trying to get myself out of this slump.
I have written two COVID-19 related blog posts in the initial months of the pandemic started (links below).
Now for some good news and a special announcement!
I have recently asked for guest posts on my Instagram account. They will be coming very soon, and one of them will be a podcast episode! Therefore, I will be launching a new podcast with the same name as my blog (date TBC). We will be talking about working from home, studying, and how the pandemic has impacted scientists and science communicators. This may sound contradictory to what I have spoken of above, but the aim of these guest posts and podcast episodes is to share a glimpse into everyone’s careers and how the pandemic has impacted us. I hope you will enjoy reading and listening to our discussions and that it will provide you with some helpful advice.
Posts published in my 6th year:
Making Tea | One Paragraph Science (With Arabic Translation)
As always, thanks to each and every one you for continuing to read my blog!
Here's to many more years to come!