A lot of students view blogging merely as a creative outlet. It allows them to express their feelings, share their opinions, and take a break from the everyday stresses of school life.
However, blogs can also be powerful tools that can prepare students for the professional life. Not only will it help them expand their network, an authoritative blog can also help students attain an “influencer” status — someone companies would love to work with.
“A well-informed blog is like a resume that’s constantly updating itself”, says Kelly Sutton of HackCollege.
With the right strategy, a blog can even be a source of passive income that can help students support their studies. In fact, it is entirely possible for them to go full-time and start a fruitful blogging career.
Blogging can Help You Broaden Your Skill Set
Pursuing blogging will expose you to using online resources that will help you develop the essential digital skills to compete with the world’s pool of talent.
According to The Guardian, digital literacy can boost the employability rate of students as companies require a certain degree of IT competency for important positions.
For example, visual content such as infographics can make your blog content standout and attract more readers. A professional blogger will usually outsource the skills necessary to get the job done. But for students who have no reliable source of funds, they’re more likely to take on the job and learn the skills themselves.
Thanks to the internet, aspiring student bloggers have access to all the resources they need to make these things happen. They can use step-by-step guides, mentoring programs, video tutorials, and online communities to learn as they get productive right away. They can even use services to obtain homework help so they can focus more on blogging without compromising their grades.
Lastly, blogging today has a lower barrier to entry due to the DIY-style blogging platforms. Students can also test their coding skills with a more comprehensive Content Management System like WordPress.
How to Build a Successful Blog as a Student
Below are the essential steps that will help you build a successful blog as a student:
1. Learn How to Create Killer Content
If you want to reap the full benefits of blogging, you need to stop treating it as a hobby and learn how to create high quality posts. Keep in mind that your blog will serve as a portfolio that you can show potential clients and employers. That said, you need to know how to write posts that can highlight your expertise and show readers that you know your stuff.
The process of writing quality posts can be summed up into two things: provide well-researched and valuable information and offer practicable and actionable tips. A perfect example of this can be seen through organizations and programs that use blogs to better inform their audience about what they have to offer. For example, Elevations RTC has a blog on their site that talks about the common struggles students and teenagers have in the world today, and how their service is catered to such an audience. By bringing such issues to light and providing a valuable resource for their audiences, it allows for improved engagement and loyalty from their customers.
Not only will these principles build your authority, it will improve the “link worthiness” of your blog.
Keep in mind that when sharing information online, bloggers and most readers tend to link to the original source of information for validation. For content producers, being linked to helps them reach more people with their blog. It is also highly beneficial for Search Engine Optimization or SEO, which can expose your site to the millions who use search engines to seek information.
A specific practice is the Skyscraper Technique, which involves deliberately searching for outdated blog posts, polishing it into something better, and then promoting it to the websites that link to the original content. It is a great strategy to have especially if you’re running out of new topic ideas.
“Good content is not storytelling. It’s telling your story well.” – Ann Hadley, MarketingProfs
To further improve the value of your blog content, make sure you highlight the post’s key points and offer actionable advice. Show your readers how to apply what they just learned. Doing so will win your audience’s trust and make them more receptive to your future posts — allowing you to build a large readership over time.
When it comes to quantity, producing a high number of blog posts a month has shown a significant increase in traffic. However, blogging at a high velocity is not really viable for students who still face weekly schoolwork. That said, a better strategy is to only publish posts whenever you have something new and valuable to share.
2. Use Automation as Much as Possible
As a student, you don’t really have a lot of time to spare for blogging activities. Don’t forget that, aside from writing the actual content, you also have to promote them into distribution channels that will help you reach more people. To save precious time, you can leverage automation tools and platforms for content promotion.
One particular channel you should never be without is social media. With websites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can connect with your target audience on a near-personal level as you promote your content.
To automate social sharing, you can use a tool like IFTTT which works by letting you specify triggers for certain actions. For example, you can automatically share a post to your Facebook or Twitter accounts whenever a new item is added to your RSS feed.
Just remember that IFTTT works by integrating different platforms such as Trello, Weebly, and Evernote into one cohesive environment. Today, it works with 366 different services you can mix and match to automate specific processes.
Alternatively, you can use a platform like Viral Content Bee to have influencers share your content automatically. This approach will allow you to leverage the social reach of other bloggers — essentially “borrowing” some of their authority for yourself. Lastly, don’t forget to create well-optimized social media accounts to make the most out of your social media strategy.
3. Pay Attention to Visuals
A surefire way to improve your content is learn how to use visual content. With visual content such as featured images and infographics, you can easily capture the attention of readers as well as improve the communication of your message.
According to research, colored visual content increases the audience’s willingness to read an entire article by 80%. Visual content can also aid in information retention and improves the overall reading experience of your blog audience.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional web designer to incorporate beautiful visuals to your website. It makes sense if you’re pursuing a degree in web design, but if not, you can simply go to websites like Pixabay to obtain stock photos and use platforms such as Canva to come up with something unique on your own.
Remember that your website should reflect your personality as a student and present your content in a way that’s aligned with your field of expertise. For example, if you’re a photography major, you can leverage platforms like Wix and WordPress.com to find photography-related themes. You should also learn how to leverage visual elements that can present your work in the best light such as an image slider or a gallery.
The student life is already a handful, but remember that it’s all about preparing for your future. Truth be told, not a lot of students are willing to invest their free time in building a blog. They would rather spend their weekends enjoying their youth, which is perfectly reasonable.
That’s why blogging early will separate you from the pack and give you a head start later in life. Just imagine yourself already making it big in the industry while the rest of your peers only have their resumes with no experience to rely on.
The Gigantic Benefits Of Blogging For College Students