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Guidelines for Guest Contributors

Master
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Writing a Guest Post

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We encourage faculty, staff members, and trainees to share ideas for Momentum blog post topics or propose writing a blog post from your perspective on relevant topics, such as events, new programs, research breakthroughs or interesting happenings around Baylor. There are many benefits of writing a blog post from your perspective on a relevant topic and of the blog team writing about your program.

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Benefits of Blogging

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  • Visibility: A way for readers to become interested in your work or to potentially contact you for appointments.
  • Education: Help readers to better understand what you do.
  • Expertise: Start or contribute to a conversation on an important topic in the field, helping to establish yourself as an expert on a topic.
  • Expression: To clarify, express an opinion, inspire, and educate.
  • Promotion: Direct attention to the topic of your choice.
  • Connection: Communicate and help others through an engaging, social medium.
  • Trust: Enhance online image and reputation, and gain readers’ trust.
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Topic Ideas

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- General health: Provide health tips and information. See examples.

- Ask the Expert Q&A: Expert responds to relevant questions. See example.

- Infographics: Providing relevant health information in the form of a short and straightforward graphic. See example.

- Hot Health Topics: Specific, topical-oriented blog posts. For example: Senior health, mental health, cancer, disabilities, genetics, women’s health, men’s health, heart health, lifestyle and wellness, nutrition. See example.

- Recipes: Sharing health-focused recipes from registered dietitians or other health providers. See recipe examples.

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Content and Best Practices

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Writing a blog post isn’t the same as writing a 4,000-word article for an academic journal or posting a 280-character tweet on Twitter; it’s a completely different medium. Blog posts are typically short and conversational, and an approximate word count of 250-700 words is a good guideline. Best practices for blogging include:

- Shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs (chunks of two to three sentences). See more information on best practices for writing good blog posts.

- Bulleted lists.

- Link to Baylor content, including relevant departmental sites, clinic information, as well as other blog posts.

- Write for the lay person (avoiding medical jargon). Use anecdotes and narrative voice whenever possible.

- Consider using the first person voice if relevant; it makes for an engaging user experience.

- Provide an image (stock photo is fine) to go along with every blog post.

- When relevant, providing a link to a video or infographic is engaging.

- Use AP style: If you are unfamiliar with AP style, please review Baylor's basic AP Style Guide.

- Invite reader comments: Pose questions at the end of a post if relevant.

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Comments

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Contributing a blog post creates a natural opportunity for readers to become interested in what you do, whether it’s prospective students, patients, or any other audience you might be targeting. A blog is a social sphere and, as such, you should be encouraging conversation both on the blog and about your blog on other social mediums. Invite conversation with the tone of your post and pose questions, such as “What do you think?” Conversation is an important and valuable aspect of blogging, and it’s a feature that differentiates this medium from traditional print articles.

The Baylor blog is set up so that anyone can comment on any posts, but comments will have to be reviewed before they go live. This way, the blog maintainer can check the comments for appropriateness before allowing them to be published. This doesn’t mean that negative comments are discouraged, but it does mean that anything inappropriate, irrelevant, overly self-promotional in nature, or anything deemed unsuitable will not be published. But when comments are received, please make sure to engage them.

Note: Please refrain from providing anything that could be construed as specific medical advice within the comment area.

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Promotion

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After you take the time to write a blog post, or to let us know about something exciting going on in your group that merits a blog post, you’ll want people to read it and, ideally, to share your post with others.

Specific ways to promote your blog post include:

  • Social media: Promote each new post on social media, including the link.
  • Email list: If your department or organization has an email list, send out an announcement about the blog, and ask members of your group to help promote the blog by sharing it on social media or via email.
  • Website: Put a link to the blog post on your site.
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Questions? Want to Propose a Post?

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Email the Baylor blog team at blogteam@bcm.edu with any questions about blogging, or let us know what kind of blog post you’re thinking about, and we’ll contact you with details about how to move forward.

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Visit Our Blog Network

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Baylor College of Medicine’s Blog Network includes Momentum, From the Labs, PolicyWise, Progress Notes, and The Stitch. These blogs provide insight into happenings in healthcare, education, research, surgical care, and health and science policy.