Blogging in college can be a challenge for any student, especially English majors who are already required to do more than their fair share of reading and writing. I’ll admit it, sometimes the process of maintaining a blog can be overwhelming and tedious, yet blogging is a hobby that I return to for many reasons, especially because of how rewarding and enjoyable it can be.
1. Blogging allows a space to write imperfectly.
Many college students avoid starting a blog because they think that they won’t ever be able to make it exactly the way that they want it, whether it be the design or content itself. However, blogging in college allows students a space to polish these skills by practicing them in an organic situation. The theme or design of the blog doesn’t have to be perfect, and neither does the content.
English majors can especially benefit from the practice of writing in a low-pressure environment that still demands some effort. I personally like to think of blogging as being in between journal/diary writing and professional or published writing.
It doesn’t have to be flawless, but it needs to be something you feel comfortable sharing with the world. No pressure, though! You can always go back and edit something or even delete it altogether.
2. Blogging provides an authentic audience.
Blogging allows you to have a sense of ownership over your writing because it is something that you and you alone publish. The beauty of a blog is that it provides some freedom, allowing writers to create and post whatever they want, whenever they want.
College can provide authentic audiences for your work, depending on how successful your marketing strategies are and how searchable your content is. This really allows one to feel like the writing that they are doing matters since real people are looking for it and reading it.
Many times, blog posts won’t receive a lot of views or shares, but don’t worry, there are people out there reading and enjoying your content, whether or not it seems like it.
3. Blogging allows you to find community.
Blogging can allow you to find like-minded people that you may not have met otherwise. It can allow you to follow people who blog about topics you are deeply interested in or simply curious about.
Your feed will show you the latest blog posts of other people. Scrolling through and liking and commenting thoughtfully on other people’s content may lead to them being interested in your content as well.
Beware of being ingenuine in these actions, though, since it is not hard to tell when someone is interacting with you simply in the hopes of getting further engagement on their site. When you are authentic and interested in others and their content, usually they will do the same for you.
4. Blogging allows you to document your journey.
Blogging in college can allow you to document your journey from orientation to graduation through photos, videos, graphics and most commonly, words. You may feel as though you are already doing this through other social media platforms, but a blog is different because it forces you to take some extra time to truly reflect on an experience, event or topic that is important to you.
The blog can reflect not only how your writing has improved over time, but also you as a person. This is really important because sometimes a person just needs to step back from the hustle and bustle of life and take time to really pay attention to where they are, where they are going, who they are and who they are becoming. Blogging provides a cost-efficient and easy way of doing this.
5. Blogging can help you find career opportunities.
Many internships and career opportunities seek candidates who are skilled in writing, as well as digital media. Some applications will even ask candidates to provide a link to their blog site if they happen to feel comfortable doing so.
Creating a blog can help you further professionalize yourself as well as provide a method of displaying relevant skills, such as writing, editing, designing and marketing, skills that employers are actively seeking when considering applicants.
However, if you wouldn’t feel comfortable having your future boss or coworkers reading the content on your blog, whether it be too personal or inappropriate, then I wouldn’t recommend linking your blog to your application or resume.
While blogging can be something that can help find or obtain an internship or a job, a blog is not something that has to be created solely for that purpose. It is more than okay to write for yourself and yourself only.
When creating a blog, don’t stress too much about the details. You can always go back and readjust the design and content on your site if you realize that you are not as happy with it as you originally were. Remember that it’s okay to focus on one topic or several at once.
Remember that it’s okay to write either formally or informally, since you are the creator of the blog and you have the right to decide what that blog can and should look like. Remember that it’s okay to start over, and remember that it’s okay to choose a different style or brand whenever you feel like.
The most important thing about blogging is making it your own and staying true to your own voice. The miscellaneous details that you may or may not initially have anxiety about will work themselves out as you become more familiar with blogging in general and as your blog becomes more established.
Don’t be afraid to begin, don’t be afraid to continue creating and don’t be afraid to take a break when you need to — your blog will still be there where you left it.