Over the past year, blogging has taught me so much about creativity, technology, and social media. I started blogging because I wanted to use my platform or audience on social media to create positive change and inspire people. This broad mission statement allowed me to write whatever I wanted and really allow me to find direction. I’m only just now starting to feel like I sort of know what I’m doing. After spending so much time learning and perfecting -I have to ask if devoting so much time to writing, producing, and promoting posts was really worth it.
I think people perceive blogs to be an easy hobby. Although they can be, to run a successful blog is much more work than it seems. With blogging, writing, being involved in two clubs, having some sort of social life and studying -I have to be a master time manager or else everything starts to crumble. Blogging is not just writing posts, it’s tweaking web design for hours, contacting other bloggers, crafting images, interacting on pages, replying to comments, checking analytics, editing posts, and finally publishing and promoting posts. Sometimes it takes me half an hour to write a post, other times it will take me eight hours. Because writing is a creative process, I find it very difficult to know how long it will take me to write any given post. I know other more experienced bloggers are able to craft a post and promote it in under an hour but keep in mind that if you are starting a blog, it will likely take a lot more work than expected.
After a year of blogging, I’ve realized I’m not overly passionate about everything blogging involves and I’m certainly more of a writer than a blogger. Like many students in college, I still don’t know my exact career path or career goals. Blogging allowed me to dabble in social media and marketing, web development, and writing. I was able to get experience with these skills without ever actually getting traditional employment in any of those fields. More importantly, I was able to learn what I’m good at and passionate about. I’ve tweaked my blog so I prioritize promotion and branding less and focus more on creating quality content for my audience. Because I am constantly creating my blog, I can decide what to focus on and really carve a path for myself. This enables me to be way more flexible than I could be in a traditional job and really establish myself more deeply in fields I would actually want to work further in.
If you’re considering starting blogging, don’t do it for the money or for the audience. Even if you do happen to hit the blogging jackpot and your posts skyrocket in popularity, the modesty of blogging for a reason beyond the numbers will keep posts humble.
I definitely think blogging or more generally, building skills outside of the classroom, isn’t just worth it- it’s necessary. If students want to separate themselves from the crowd, a blog or something similar is a great way to gain skills and knowledge beyond what is learnt in class.
A huge task of being in college is carving that path, figuring out what skills and career interests students and moving closer towards whatever that may be. Although starting my blog hasn’t made me instagram famous or brought me tons of brand deals, I definitely have a better idea of what I want to do and who I want to be. Because of this, blogging in college has been an invaluable experience and for everyone wanting to start a blog- here’s your sign to do it.
My Tips for Starting a Blog
-knowing the basic lingo (SEO, hosting, affiliate links) can get you pretty far
-research different sites (WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Blogger) and decide which is right for your blog. Note- WordPress is definitely most popular
-write what you would want to read
-rather than trying to create a community of readers from scratch, use the network you already have on social media as a starting block
-have something like an elevator pitch ready for when people ask you about the blog
-especially at the start, it can be more important to just get content out then to make perfect content.
-develop a brand/have a niche , just having an idea of what you want your blog to look like and convey will give readers consistency and give you a better idea of what to aim for
-start off with a master plan or do what I did and have no plan at all, regardless actually taking those starting steps is most important
Author: Kate Elizabeth Korte
Author Bio: Kate is a feminist lifestyle and travel blogger and Political Science student from Canada, currently on a semester exchange to the United Kingdom. She collects her writing on her blog, Live Authentic, and contributes regularly to a student blog, The University Network. Kate can often be found in local coffee shops writing, accompanied by a mocha and a croissant. She is an avid avocado fan and loves heated political discussions (preferably with wine).
Link to social media or website: http://www.kateelizab.com