According to latest blog statistics, over 2 million blog posts are published each day. There are 6.7 million people publishing blog posts to websites regularly, and over 100 millions blogs on the internet.
People blog for different reasons:
- Brands blog to convert customers and gain authority on the internet.
- Professionals blog to share their expertise and sometimes make a full-time income from doing so.
- Non-professionals blog part- or full-time to share their expertise to supplement or replace their full-time income.
- Hobbyists blog to inspire and share their thoughts and musings online.
- And many more!
But how about you as a college student? Should you start a blog? The answer is yes!
Read on for the top 7 reasons you should start a blog in college.
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#1: You Become a Better Writer/Become More Articulate
Being able to articulate our thoughts clearly is a skill that we all need in order to function adequately. Consistently and regularly putting our thoughts together in writing is one of the best ways to improve this skill.
Other than keeping a physical personal journal, blogging is one of the most effective ways to achieve this. Blogging seriously involves writing as often and as consistently as possible while at the same time adhering to a standard of quality. It is a challenge to consistently and regularly create content of high quality, and it’s this challenge that helps bloggers to improve their writing and articulation.
If you love writing and already journal very often, then you should think about starting a blog! It could literally be about anything you please. It could be about your personal musings or helpful tips you may want to share with others about a specific topic.
If writing is not your thing and you prefer to tell a story through photos and videos, you can use social media for that. Over 12 million people regularly use social media to blog. Whatever platform you use to blog, there may be some writing involved, and the mere fact that you’re curating content to tell a story or share your thoughts will help you to organise your thoughts better and articulate them well.
#2: You Become Comfortable With Putting Yourself Out There
When I just started this blog, I was so scared to tell anyone I had it. To put it quite frankly, I was ashamed of my blog.
This blog went through a whole lot of re-designing and re-purposing before I finally decided on my focus. And even after I thought I decided on something permanently, my focus began to evolve.
In the first few months of taking my blog seriously, I was quite literally scared of people seeing my content. I wanted them to read it of course and I wanted to be helpful, but I would cringe if someone read one of my blog posts out loud to me. (Actually, I still do that even now because I find it slightly weird, but I’m improving)
But now, after realising that I have a unique voice and I have value to share, I have become proud of my art and my content. I am constantly assessing the value I’m putting out and whether or not I could be offering more. Investing my time into creating my content has made me confident in it. Now, I’m proud to be a blogger, and I don’t hide it anymore. I’m no longer afraid of putting myself out there.
You won’t immediately experience this if you start blogging but it comes from doing it over time. After a while you’ll realise that you have nothing to be afraid of and that what you have to share has weight. Not only that, but you’ll feel good when your content actually has an impact on others. That leads me to my next point…
#3: You Get a Chance to Inspire and Impact Others
When you work hard to create good content that you think can help others in some way, it’s good to know that it’s actually appreciated and well received. I love getting comments from people who read my blog, whether on the blog, in person or on other forms of social media. It warms my heart to know that I can help someone, even if it’s in a small way.
As a blogger, your words can be very powerful. And if you use that power wisely, your words can uplift, inspire and positively impact people. This is a humbling privilege to have, and it is something to be proud of.
When you recognise that others are looking to you for inspiration, this can help you to become more mindful about how you live your life and the decisions you make. Knowing that you’re setting an example for someone out there moves you to want to set a good example, not only for others’ sakes, but also because you want to live your best life.
#4: It Can Hold You Accountable
If you’re someone who decides to use your blog as your online personal journal, it can help you to stay accountable. For example, if you start a blog to document your fitness journey, knowing that you have to consistently post progress reports will help you to stay consistent.
This doesn’t have to be a written blog on WordPress or Blogger, it could be a visual blog or journal on a social media platform like Instagram. Here’s an example (Chloe’s Natural Hair journal), and another (Audrey’s Fitness journal). Whatever format you choose to follow, being brave enough to publicly share your girls and aspirations is a very powerful tool to help you achieve those goals.
Knowing that you have to update this personal but public journal will motivate you to work to achieve your goals. Setting these goals publicly will prompt to at least to try to achieve them. It won’t ensure that you achieve your goals but it will definitely improve your mindset.
#5: You Can Make Some Money From It
Be careful with this one. It’s not always wise to go into blogging just to make money from it. While it is okay to make money from your blog and to want to make money from your blog, especially after working so hard on it, it should not be your only reason for blogging. It might sound cliche, but your readers can definitely tell when someone is blogging just to make money (I know I’ve read a couple blogs like that).
Your primary interest should be to provide value in some way, whether it’s through sharing your unique experience or through sharing helpful information you have researched or otherwise come up with. With that being said, even if you do start a blog because you want to eventually make money from it, you must ensure that the aforementioned criteria is fulfilled first, and making money can come after.
With that being said, how much money you make blogging depends on many things. These include but are not limited to: How much time you dedicate to blogging, what you blog about, your marketing strategy and the methods you use to monetise.
Using a Free Vs. Self-Hosted Blog
If you’re someone who is looking to blog just as a hobby and you wish to share your personal musings, you’d likely go with a free blogging platform such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com. You can’t monetise a free blogging platform readily. However, if you’re blogging simply for the fun of it, that would be your best option.
Free blogs have more limitations, but are more hands-off in terms of handling the back-end of the site. You don’t have to pay for hosting if you choose a free plan (think of hosting as paying rent for a space on the internet). The downside of this is that even though it’s your blog, you won’t own it. If you blog with WordPress.com, WordPress is the real owner of your blog. Therefore, you wouldn’t have the freedom to
For those looking to blog more professionally, you may consider starting a self-hosted blog. With a self-hosted blog, you have to pay for hosting from a provider like Bluehost (they have plans starting from only $3.95 per month) and purchase your domain name (eg. www.anythingdayna.com). You do have to do a little more leg work when setting up your blog but in the end, you own your blog completely.
I’ll do a tutorial on how to start a self-hosted blog using Bluehost soon, so you can look out for that. (Update: Read the post here!)
With all that being said, it is important to note that many bloggers do not actually make money from blogging. According to a survey of 1000 bloggers done by www.blogging.org, 81% never make $100 from blogging, while 8% make enough to 36support a family and only 2% make upwards of $150,000.
I recognise that this is a topic that requires a whole blog post by itself, so I’ll just stop here.
#6: You Become More Confident
Since getting serious about my blog, I’ve become more confident in more than one aspect of my life.
For one, I became more confident in my writing skills. Blogging hasn’t turned me into a poet or a novelist, but it has definitely helped me to find my writing voice. I now appreciate the fact that my voice is unique and it matters. I’ve stopped second guessing myself before I hit the publish button. That doesn’t mean I post haphazardly, it just means I know now that I have value to put out there.
Depending on what you blog about, you may eventually be seen as an expert in your niche. (A blogging niche is essentially a topic you decide to focus on). This can make you more confident in your personal brand.
#7: You’ll Have a Platform To Use To Launch Into Other Ventures
Some bloggers turn a series of their highly informative blog posts into a book. Others use their blogging platform to launch another book they’ve written. Blogging can also get you speaking engagements, whether in the blogging sphere or in your specified niche.
You could even start a YouTube channel, a clothing line, a hair product line, or any other business. Essentially, once you have a built a following of people who genuinely enjoy the content you create, you have people who would possibly want to support you in your future ventures.
There are some other things I could mention here, but I think those are the top reasons you should start a blog in college. Have any of you thought of starting a blog? If you have, I hope this post convinced you that you should go for it! If you’re already a blogger, what are some benefits you’ve gained from blogging? Please let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,