Covering topics ranging from business news to the latest celebrity gossip to international travel, blogs are an inexpensive but versatile way to communicate and build your personal brand. Here are seven reasons why college students should consider starting their own blog on business-related topics.
- Blogs provide a portfolio piece for your career.
Particularly if you are studying marketing, public relations or journalism, demonstrating your communication abilities is a big plus when you interview for jobs. Blogs provide a strong portfolio piece, which you can easily share with a link by email and reference on your LinkedIn profile and résumé.
- Your blog is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge of a particular academic subject.
In contrast to the teaching and group project focus of undergraduate degrees, most graduate and doctoral programs have a strong research or individual project emphasis, with writing being an integral component of many courses. Maintaining a blog in your desired career field will help keep you on top of the subject matter, while demonstrating your understanding and interest.
- A well-written blog is a part of your web presence that you can completely control.
Polls consistently show that a majority of today’s employers look at the digital footprint of applicants. Chances are a hiring representative will come across your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts – and hopefully, in the process, won’t discover anything too embarrassing or unprofessional. But if you have a well-written blog covering your field of interest, you can point employers to your blog too and show that you have a professional online presence – even if it doesn’t appear in a Google search of your name.
- Having a blog helps you hone your writing skills.
Writing isn’t only important if you want to work for the media. From accounting firms to the medical field, the ability to present yourself well in print is essential in most careers a college graduate may pursue. Writing a blog about a subject you are interested in will help you hone your writing skills in a fun way. To ensure that your blog is up to professional standards, consider using the latest print or online AP Stylebook, which provides journalistic guidelines used by major publications worldwide.
- You can connect with other bloggers, potentially forming significant career relationships.
With millions of blog posts written daily, blog writing is a hobby, career-building activity or income source for hundreds of thousands globally. The blogosphere provides endless opportunities for networking and building professional relationships. Consider offering to be a guest writer on your favorite blog (or letting someone else guest write on your blog) and start or join a conversation by commenting on blogs you follow.
- You can hone your photography, videography and presentation skills.
It’s not all about writing. In today’s world of interactive media, most blogs include photos and videos. Infographics and presentations, which can be created for free on Picktochart, Slideshare or Google Slides, provide an added feature that may make your blog more engaging. Showing your creativity and storytelling ability may be especially attractive to employers in marketing and public relations.
- Blogs may provide an income source.
It may sound too good to be true, but it can become a reality. Many writers have been able to turn their blogs into successful internet-based businesses by attracting large audiences, sometimes enabling them to quit their jobs and focus on building their web businesses full-time. If you write high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers, you may be able to turn your writing into a business.
Want to get started on your personal blog? The first steps are to develop a mission statement for your blog, identify the content you would like to create and select a platform, such as WordPress (the platform this site is published on), Weebly, Blogger or Tumblr, to launch your site for free. Consider taking your content to a higher level by paying a nominal fee to register your own domain name and host your own site. One of the benefits of using WordPress is that it is not difficult to move your website to a professional web hosting service from the free one if you ever feel that it will benefit you.