We welcome ‘guest posts’ and contributions to the blog.
If you have an idea for a blog please get in touch with us.
Why should you blog?
Writing blog posts offers the opportunity to write in a different way that many academics find both challenging and liberating. You can share your ideas with a wider range of readers and make valuable research connections across disciplines. Articles may be picked up by international media outlets and shared via social media.
We have 3 main types of content:
- Comments – a critical comment or observation about a topical health issue (e.g. health in the news).
- Features – a commentary on health issues of more enduring impact (e.g. you might revisit a research related issue that you have already discussed in academic articles and wish to bring to a wider audience).
- Reviews – a review of any type of cultural or media artefact related to health – e.g. fiction and non-fiction books, television or web series, film, exhibitions or performances, health apps and games. We encourage extended reviews that are engaging and eclectic, taking an irreverent approach to links between politics, economics, sociology and issues of health and healthcare.
The writing should be concise with ‘comments’, ‘features’ or ‘reviews’ between 800 – 1,500 words in length with no end references (links should be embedded). People tend to read ‘blogs’ in the same way that they read newspaper articles and so your article should be brief enough to be read in a few minutes
Your key point (or points) should ideally appear in the first paragraph as blogs are not always read to the end and are frequently accessed on mobile devices. If you are not used to writing for a blog you may find that using the ‘Inverted Pyramid‘ style to be a useful way of structuring your article.
Please remember that this blog is intended to be read by people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Everything published on this blog should be easily understood by a general audience. Try to write clearly without using jargon or specialist language, and try to put yourself in the place of a reader who may not be familiar with the subject you are writing about. You can use the free Hemingway Editor to style check your writing for readability and to make sure your prose is accessible.
The best posts often express a clear, unambiguous or even controversial opinion.
Photos: All articles are accompanied by photos or illustrations (suggest one yourself or we can source these from royalty free image sites such as creative commons on flickr). Reviews can typically be illustrated with a still from the object of your review (e.g. book cover, film poster) without copyright issues.
All posts should usually include some references or links to other sites. These sources should back up the points that you make in your post. We would ask that you embed these references in your text, rather than as endnotes or footnotes (posts with endnotes or footnotes will not be published on this blog). See current blog posts for an example of this ‘house style’.
If you are unsure if a post will work on this blog then feel free to contact us with an outline or rough draft. We will let you know if your piece will work on this blog and constructively support you in producing a finished post. Please be aware that sometimes we may not be able to use your piece for editorial reasons, e.g. the blog has recently run a similar article or the editors feel the post is better placed elsewhere.
Search Engine Optimization
We want your writing to be discovered and picked up by readers. To do this, we use Search Engine Optimization, which is a way of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to our website.
For this to be the most effective, it would be helpful to consider a couple of things when writing your blog:
- First, think of a suitable ‘keyword’ or short phrase that we can index to help readers find your article. Ideally, this ‘keyword’ should appear in your title and the first paragraph of your blog. If it can also appear in a sub-heading, then this also improves the searchability of your blog.
- Second, your blog should also contain a link to another article on the ‘Cost of Living’ site. Search engines use automatic ‘crawlers’ to search sites, and these follow internal links on websites to discover new materials. Without an internal link, your article may never be found by a search engine. If possible, try to find a link to another article from ‘Cost of Living’, but we will add one for you if you cannot do this.
All material published on the ‘Cost of Living’ Blog is peer appraised by two of our editors. We use peer appraisal to support authors in publishing posts that are engaging and suitable for a general audience.
The editors reserve the right to edit, alter or shorten any submitted text.
We publish articles on this blog under a Creative Commons “Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)” copyright licence. All authors are assumed to agree with their work being published under this Creative Commons copyright licence.
This means that people are free to:
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Under the following terms:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
- NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.