The BXtra website was a two year pilot project which is no longer running and therefore is no longer accepting submissions.
The information below was co-created by students and may be useful for any students creating blogs, podcasts and videos.
Top tips on popular content formats:
Top tips for BLOGS:
- Aim for brevity – 500-800 words, in short paragraphs, is good.
- Keep sentences relative short and simple.
- Language used in blogs should be informal, but spelling and grammar still needs to be accurate.
- Make sure it has a fairly logical structure and is easy to follow.
- Try to use at least one image to help break up lots of text and keep interest, but make sure it is either your own or is free to reuse (e.g. with a creative commons copyright license). Copyright is really strict for images. Sites like Unsplash provide copyright-free images.
- Remember that you are writing for a non-specialist audience, so explain any complex or specialist terms you are using.
- Do let your own voice, opinions and experiences shine through – that’s what readers connect with and find engaging.
- Most blogs include hyperlinks to related material, to allow readers to follow up on things that might interest them, and access relevant background information.
- Grab readers’ attention with a ‘hook’ – something that might surprise them, such as an anecdote or a detail few would know.
- If you’re including references (more likely for academic pieces), make sure these are all correct.
- Add an estimation of how long it takes to read at the top, e.g., ‘Time to read: 4 mins’. This is a common convention of blogs.
Top tips for PODCASTS:
- Try to record in a space you won’t be disturbed, and with no background noise. Ideally use a mic.
- Try to sound natural and unscripted.
- Think about embedding a jingle or two to help keep attention. You can access royalty-free jingles from sites like Incompetech.
- If you’ve never recorded a podcast before, you can watch our 20 min video on how to record and edit a podcast using the free-to-use software Audacity.
Top tips for VIDEOS:
- If you are videoing yourself or others, ensure the camera is steady, with a clear focus.
- Ensure the visual content is relevant and engaging.
- Ensure sound quality is good.
- Remember that most images are under copyright and not free to re-use. Make sure you use images which are free for reuse or which are your own. The same goes for songs!
- Aim for semi-professional editing, with seamless transitions etc.