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10 Most Viewed Posts From 2011

10 Most Viewed Posts In 2011

This is me in Koh Chang (Thailand) during Xmas 2011 holidays

Dear readers, thanks for coming to my site. These are the 10 most viewed posts in my blog during 2011. I started to blog seriously from September 2011 and I am quite happy with the amount of readers I got in 3 months.

 

How To Identify A Social Media Douchebag

Most of those social media gurus/experts are in fact social media douchebags. Learn how to spot them and stay away from them.

The 4 Hour Workweek Guide To PhD Motivation

Boost your PhD motivation using the learnings from The 4 Hour Workweek. Finish your PhD faster. Increase the quality of your research.

Top 7 Things You Need To Know Before You Start a PhD

7 things you are not told before starting a PhD. Ignore them at your peril, you future PhD student.

Motivation Letter Example For PhD And Graduate Jobs

PhD motivation letter sample that you can use for PhD jobs. Use this cover letter for graduate school when applying for a graduate degree.

5 Phases of PhD Motivation Explained: The Roller Coaster Curve

During a PhD, graduate students go through 5 phases of motivation, here is how they work.

Free Template: Cover Letter Template For Scientific Journal Submission

Useful template for when you are submitting a scientific article and the journal requires a cover letter.

Top 42 Books For PhD And Graduate Students

From writing papers, to giving presentations, to grad school humor. The top 42 books for PhD and graduate students. Read them to survive grad school.

3 Websites For Alternative Income Generation As A Scientist

Generate alternative income as a scientist in your free time. Do freelance work using your expertise.

How To Use The Oxford Comma

How to use correctly the Oxford Comma when enumerating items in English.

Kill Procrastination Guilt With The Pomodoro Technique

Beat procrastination guilt and determine when a day was productive enough with the pomodoro technique. You might be more productive than you think.

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How To Use Google To Find Topics For Your Posts

 

How To Use Google To Find Topics For Your Posts

Image by annais via Flickr

Finding topics for your posts

Sometimes it is hard to come up with topics to write in your blog. If you want to attract readers, these topics should interest them. How can you find these topics? Good old Google can help you.

In this post I will show you how I used Google Analytics, Google Trends, and Google Insights to find ideas for new posts and keywords. Furthermore, I will assume that one of your goals is to increase the number of visitors for your website.

Step 1. Google  Analytics / Webmaster Tools: What is your blog known for?

How To Use Google Webmaster Tools To Find Topics For Your Posts

Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools allow you to check how well does your website rank for certain search queries.

Ideally you would want to rank as high as possible in Google Search in those topics that you are covering with your blog.

Since my blog is small and I cover many topics, my results are not spectacular. But If you check carefully, you can see that I rank well for “motivation phd” and “phd motivation”.

This tells me that if I keep writing on phd motivation I have chances of appear on the top results of Google and establish a reputation as expert douchebag in phd motivation.

Step 2. Google Keyword Tool: Are there enough searches?

How To Use Google Keyword Tool To Find Topics For Your Posts

 

Keyword Tool from Google Adwords gives you an estimate of the number of monthly searches keywords receive. Ideally, you would like to write about topics, i.e. keywords, that receive a lot of searches AND have low competition. Why low competition? Because it will be easier to rank higher in Google, which will bring more readers.

Here I see that in Keywords Ideas a word pops up, “graduate”. I realized that across my blog I was only use the word PhD to describe this research position. What about graduate? This word is the most used in USA for what in Europe we call PhD.

If I want to get more readers from USA I should also include “graduate” in my posts and my keywords.

You can also come up with new blog posts that use some of the suggested keywords. I did this with the Motivation Letter Example For PhD And Graduate Jobs.

 

Step 3. Google Insights: What are people really searching for?

With Google Insights you can check in detail search data, breaking down the searches by territory, date, and trending related searches.

What I want to see is what volume of searches received in 2011 certain terms in different areas.

Worldwide searches show me that effectively there are lots of searches that target “graduate”, so I should also include this word in my posts. It also seems that “advice” is a hotter term than “motivation”, so I should also use the former.
When I query for the same 4 terms in USA, I see that the only relevant is “graduate advice”. Same conclusion like above, since I want to get readers from the States.


What about India? They have an army of millions and millions of young university students, that might consider a Phd or graduate degree in science as a viable career path.

Here Google Insights shows that people from India mainly search for Phd and not graduate, so if I want to attract some of them, I should keep writing about PhD motivation.

What other tricks or tools do you use to generate ideas for your blog posts?

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Sample Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

Cover Letter Example For PhD And Graduate Jobs

Image by MrBG via Flickr

 Due to massive demand I decided to add a price to the reference, motivation and cover letters. Now each letter costs $5. 

I would like to share with you an example of a statement of purpose for graduate school I have used in the past. I have sent plenty of motivation statements like this one when I was searching for a PhD project in Europe.

It pays off to start from a good cover letter, like this one, and spend time fine tuning it for each solicitation.

You can download for $5 a template for a Statement of Purpose for Graduate School. You can also find other templates in the Free Stuff section.

If you find it useful, you are welcome to purchase the Statement of Purpose for Graduate School  for $5 or the amount you decide. I just give the option of a small gratitude payment if you think it is deserved.

Tips For Writing Your Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

When you write a motivation statement for a PhD position or for graduate school, remember the following tips:

  • Make it personal. Don’t just copy paste the motivation letter and change the names. It has to sound like you wrote it only for this application.
  • Start with a short elevator pitch, so the reader wants to know more about you and keeps reading.
  • Describe both your education and experience, and how they are relevant for the PhD job you are applying for.
  • Mention the benefits for you and for the group if you get the job.
  • End with positivity and energy.

UPDATED: Check the Next Scientist

I have started a new blog to help PhD students and young scientist to do better science, get exposure and grow their academic footprint. All using digital hacks, blogging and social media. Check these blog posts, I think you might find them interesting:

Free Template: Cover Letter Template For Scientific Journal Submission

Free Template: Cover Letter Template For Scientific Journal Submission

Image by MrBG via Flickr

 

 Due to massive demand I decided to add a price to the reference, motivation and cover letters. Now each letter costs $5. 

I added a new cover letter template to my collection of reference letter templates. Download the Cover Letter Template For Journal Submission here.

If you find it useful, you are welcome to purchase for $5 the Cover Letter Template For Journal Submission for the amount you decide. I just give the option of a small gratitude payment if you think it is deserved.

You might find it useful when you are submitting a scientific article and the journal requires a cover letter. In it you will explain why they should consider your work for publication. Furthermore, you should describe what your contributions to the field are.

Some practical information for the submission:

  • Do not paste your abstract in the letter. Make the content original.
  • Be humble. Use sentences like “We believe our work can be of interest for scientist in the field…”.
  • Initially you can be the corresponding author (the guy in charge of submitting the article) instead of your professor, he will make things go slow. Once your article is accepted, you can request to put him back as the corresponding author.

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UPDATED: Check the Next Scientist

I have started a new blog to help PhD students and young scientist to do better science, get exposure and grow their academic footprint. All using digital hacks, blogging and social media. Check these blog posts, I think you might find them interesting: