As if juggling the demands of college life weren’t tough enough, the digital age has now added a few more components to the equation. Social media has been growing in popularity since Facebook broke out onto the college scene in 2004, but the popularity of blogging among college students has remained somewhat obscure.
Today, blogging is slowly rising in popularity among the college crowd, and one of the reasons for this is because there is a potential to make money through your blog. Either way, blogging provides a good outlet for college students to vent their academic frustrations and share valuable advice and information with others.
If you are a student who is looking for a way to share your thoughts on college life and the educational system, a blog may be the perfect thing for you. Since life is probably already too hectic, here are five easy-to-follow tips to help get you started.
- Use a free blogging site: Unless you are looking to create a truly professional blog for business purposes, stick with the free blogging sites. There are several different sites to choose from, but some of the most popular free ones are WordPress.com, Blog.com, Blogger.com and Tumblr.com. If you have friends who are already blogging, consider using the same free blog site they use so that it will be easier to follow and promote each other’s blogs.
- Come up with a rough idea of what you want to do with your blog: If you are looking to gain thousands of followers and eventually use your blog to make money, then you should probably come up with a goal and a theme for your blog. Otherwise, just come up with a rough idea of what you want to accomplish with the blog. Some beginner bloggers back themselves into a corner by announcing that their blog will only cover one topic or theme. Instead of narrowing your focus at the outset, start your blog by introducing yourself and then sharing a few bits of useful information every few days (or even just once a week). Allow your blog to find its place organically and keep an open mind.
- Stay open to guest posting: Once you start to gain followers (who very well may just be your three best friends), allow any interested readers the opportunity to submit guest posts to you for possible publication on your blog. This opens up the discussion and also gives you the opportunity to share your posts on other blogs, as well. Make sure you post a guest blogger guide that reviews your terms for guest posting, and provide an email address where interested guest bloggers can reach you with their post ideas.
- Promote your blog to others: If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you can easily share a link to your blog to all your social media friends. This is by far the simplest way to gain followers; just tweet or share the post link on your wall, and add a comment explaining the post or asking others to follow your blog.
- Prepare for comments: Maintaining a blog and sharing your thoughts with the public can sometimes require a tough shell and a lot of confidence. Blog programs always provide readers the option to leave comments, and this opens up the potential for negative feedback. There are ways to block readers from commenting on your posts, but if you keep the option on, be prepared. This is especially true if you are sharing opinions or information that could be considered controversial.
For help building your blog (in terms of design and organization), use the “how to” section provided by all blog sites.
Good luck and have fun!