What I've Learned as an Academic Blogger

In 2008, a year after I graduated college and a year into my Masters program, I started JasonHeppler.org.1 My writing here started out slowly, as a visit to the archives can attest. Even so, I never wanted the site to become overwhelming either for myself to maintain or readers that find enjoyment in the things I write about or link to.

I’ve been reflecting on the things I’ve learned as an academic blogger, and Shawn Blanc’s recent post prompted me to write up a few things I’ve learned over the last four years of writing here.2 Here’s an unordered list of thirty things.

The overall theme here is to be online. I cannot overstate how important it is to be engaged digitally, ideally on both blogs and Twitter where the humanities community is quite active. I credit my online presence with opening up some professional opportunities that have come my way recently (which I’m not going to reveal right now) as well as introducing me to a lot of people who I admire. The act of writing consistently helps you as a writer, but doing so publically adds to your online reputation as well. You are doing yourself a favor, in a job market that’s already extremely competitive, by writing for the web.

  1. To be more precise, I actually started writing for a WordPress blog I called Digital Clio, a collaborative blog I started with Brent Rogers. We both fell out of regular writing mainly due to busy schedules, but I moved my posts from DC over to here. 

  2. This list could also have been titled “What I’ve Learned as an Academic Tweeter.” Twitter has also proven an important medium for myself both personally and professionally. I joined Twitter roughly around the same time I started blogging. 

11 July 2012 · @jaheppler