The Benefits of Blogging for College Students

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a millennial who is more than familiar with all the tech terms of the digital age. With that being said, surely I don’t need to explain to you WHAT a blog is, right? Let’s just keep it simple: blogs provide a window on the opinions and interests of their creators.

 

So why blog?

Creative freedom

  • Blogging gives you a chance to break away from the structured writing you’re used to. Between papers and emails, the monotony of formal writing for school can get in the way of sometimes showing your true personality.
  • Blogs are also a great way showcase your writing voice. It’s basically like having a conversation with the internet. Consider the blogosphere as your new best friend!

Maintain your writing skills

  • It’s easy to forget how to write when you’re bogged down with formal writing. Blogging is a great way to maintain your writing skills. Everyone knows the more you write, the easier it gets.

Contribute to a community

  • Blogging is great if you have a niche interest. It connects you to like-minded people from all around the world.
  • It’s a great way to connect and make friends you would have never met before. When I began blogging, I connected with a girl in North Carolina who was pursuing the same major (I blogged about school a lot). Three years later and we still keep in touch. Pretty awesome, right?

Stand out among the competition

  • You’re about to graduate and start the job hunt, right? A blog will help you stand out from the average post-grad.  Since a blog is something that you do in your spare time, it’s a great way to display that you go above and beyond the required minimum.
  • Blogging sells your personality before you even get to the interview.
  • You can use your blog as an addition to your online portfolio. Feature all your creative works digitally in one place that makes it easier for employers to find.

 

Blogging Platforms

Free: Blogger, Wordpress.com, Tumblr, Medium

Paid: Wordpress.org (if you want to host externally), Squarespace

 

The best way to get started?

Try out all your options. There’s pros and cons to each platform that you will come up with for yourself. I loved Blogger because it gave me a lot of creative freedom with my theme compared to Wordpress. But Tumblr, for example, is great when it comes to embedding images. And Medium is awesome if you don’t necessarily want to stick to a theme.

It takes time, but stick with it. Finding your niche within the blogging community is just like finding your writing voice- once you’re there, you know it’s where you were supposed to be all along.

 

General Blogging Tips

  • Watch your words. While blogs are used as a great creative outlet, be careful of what you say online. It’s okay to voice your opinions, but try not to be offensive. If you don’t want your future employer to see it, best not to put it on your blog (REMEMBER: Once you start a blog, it’s immediately associated with your name online. One Google search could lead to everything).
  • Engage with the community! Don’t be afraid to comment on someone’s post. Finding others out there who are writing what you want to write will help you build an audience.

  • Be consistent! It’s easy to forget about a blog because life can get busy. As I mentioned earlier, the more you write, the easier it gets. Create a schedule ahead of time for when you want to post and brainstorm ideas before you sit down with your keyboard.

  • Always try to include some sort of media. Whether it’s an image or a video, you’ll captivate your readers  attention a lot quicker when you use something visual to draw them in.

  • Be yourself. It’s cliche, yes, but it’s the simple truth. Showcase your personality and the right people will begin to follow you.

  • PS- don’t be afraid to self-promote. A lot of times your friends and family will not only be your first readers, but also your biggest fans. Use your network to your advantage!

 

Further Reading