New Year’s Resolutions – Writing and Marketing Content for Scientists

New Year’s resolutions didn’t appeal to me for many years. Why should resolutions happen on January 1st? I understand the “New Year = new you” connection, but it seems like a cop-out for the other 364 days a year. Resolutions are also often tied to weight loss, which I’ve always found cliché.

Last year things changed. I was starting a new job, and I worried that spending all my time in my work-from-home office would take a toll on my health. In addition, I wanted to take learning about my new job in marketing seriously. So, I committed to eating more vegetables, exercising more, and developing marketing skills.

Boy, was I surprised by the results!

Did I get ripped from all the exercise and the vegetables I was eating? Absolutely not. Instead, I learned how to change my habits in a step-by-step fashion. I stuck with my initial resolutions, but added on many others that have helped me grow in subtle but important ways. I am very proud of all the progress I have made in 2021.

This year, I wanted to take things further. I’m turning my website into a resource for scientists to improve their writing, marketing, and communication skills. This plan has three main parts:

  • Write and publish 24 blog posts
  • Create and publish 24 videos
  • Post 240 times on LinkedIn

Why Share My Content New Year’s Resolutions?

How do you succeed in achieving a goal? This subject has been studied in-depth. The New York Times published an excellent round-up on the subject. Three themes stick out that are most relevant in my experience:

Set a realistic goal: setting an overly ambitious goal sets yourself up for failure. Start with something that clearly improves your current lifestyle, but not much beyond that. Building good habits is about repetition, not ambition. If you find it too easy, you can up the difficulty level later.

Create a plan: are your resolutions a to-do list or a wish list? The main difference between a realistic and an unrealistic goal is whether you have a plan. I’d love to lose about 40 lbs, but I would not be able to create a plan to meet that goal unless I totally restructured my life. If you can’t create a plan to achieve your objective than you probably need to reassess your priorities.

Declaring your goal: share your goal with someone in your life, whether it is your romantic partner or the entire internet. Good ideas solidify into resolutions when you share them. Personally, I know I take promises I make to others seriously but can be flaky about promises to myself. Sharing goals is a way to turn that internal promise into an external one.

You may think that writing this post is just about declaring my goal, but it has actually helped me in all three area. These content New Year’s resolutions were not the first to come to my mind. If I was going to share my resolutions, they would need to be something I could stand behind as well as a plan to achieve that goal.

After several rounds of reflection, I decided I want to focus on teaching writing and marketing to scientists. It is right at the intersection of where I could find an audience as well as where I could be of service to others.

Goals - New Year's Resolutions - Writing and Marketing Content for Scientists - Jesse Harris - Blog - Science | Marketing | Writing
Photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash

24 Blog Posts for my website in 2022

My first resolution is to write 24 posts on writing and marketing for scientists. Putting out 24 blog posts is not much for someone who writes as much as I do. I banged out about 50 posts in 2020 and 100 in 2021 (my portfolio page covers some of that work). Writing 24 blog posts over a year is a downgrade in volume. Instead, I want to focus on quality and write work that I am proud of rather than merely satisfied with.

Here is an idea of what might be included:

  • Tips on how to improve writing skills as a scientist
  • Strategies to increase the distribution and recognition of your research work
  • Guides to make the transition from academia to marketing
  • Analysis of high-quality science writing
  • Interviews with people who work in science communication or marketing

Articles will be coming out approximately twice per month, though I hope to do more than that. The goal of 24 is meant to be a floor rather than a ceiling.

24 YouTube or TikTok Videos in 2022

My second resolution is to create 24 videos on the topics covered in my blog posts. I love video editing. I have been having a blast creating videos for work this past year. By making videos for my personal channel I can experiment and develop a broader range of skills.

You may have noticed that I have resolved to create 24 blog posts and 24 videos. I haven’t decided if they will all be the same, but the first few will. Working on the written and video content simultaneously will improve the quality of both.

Using both TikTok and YouTube might seem like a strange strategy. I have some experience with both platforms. While you can repurpose video for both, they have extremely different advantages and disadvantages. TikTok has an incredible discovery algorithm, which means my content will help me show content to a new audience. In contrast, YouTube has a better search algorithm, which allows me to capture audience via SEO. I will try to manage both at once, but may switch to just focus on one if necessary.

240 LinkedIn Posts in 2022

Surprisingly, this may be the most challenging item on the list.

I’ve been on LinkedIn for several years, but the platform has never clicked for me. It has an inauthentic feel-good vibe that I cannot pin down. At the same time, I see people who appear to love the platform and use it to build communities and networks. LinkedIn could provide the perfect environment to connect with scientists and other marketers, I just need to get over the hump.

240 LinkedIn posts in a year is about 2 posts every 3 days. LinkedIn recommends posting between once a week and once a day, so this rhythm falls within that band. If the platform still isn’t working for me after a year, I can give up knowing I put in a solid effort.

Also – if you are reading this and want to connect on LinkedIn, send me an invite! I will add 100% of the people who try to connect with me on the platform. Of my few connections, most are not active users, so I would love to have more people to interact with. I’m also taking recommendations of who to follow on the platform!

Start Your Content New Year’s Resolutions

My content New Year’s Resolutions took a lot of serious thought. My blogging and video projects in the past have been devoted to exploring whatever topic crosses my mind. By forcing myself to pick a direction, I hope to build something useful to others, not just explore my own thoughts.

I would love others to take part in the same journey of creating content New Year’s resolutions. If you don’t have a website, blog, or channel, this is a great time to start one. Make a simple and achievable content plan, then start creating! My schedule of 24 posts and 24 videos would be quite demanding for a beginner. I’d suggest something less ambitious if you are new to this area. 12 blogs in a year should be achievable.

My first article can be found here – What is Science Writing?

If you want to follow my progress, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter! I will send out monthly summaries of what I’ve been working on so you never miss my content.

Jesse Harris, M.Sc., M.A.Sc.
Jesse Harris, M.Sc., M.A.Sc.

TestJesse is a Marketing and Communications Specialist at ACD/Labs. He is passionate about science writing and marketing.

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