Blogging has long been known as one of the best ways to grow a business. It shows off your employees’ expertise, and gives your potential clients more information about your products/services, industry, and company. It can serve as a database of informative articles on how to use your products or a way for those in the industry to keep up with news.
But what you might not have known (or blissfully ignored), is that blogging can be very beneficial to students.
Blogging Increases Credibility
As a student or new grad, you might not have a lot of relevant experience to your industry, if any experience at all. I know when I was in university I didn’t have a job, so I found it challenging to prove that I knew what I actually knew.
If I had started a blog in university and kept it up, I could’ve used the information I was learning in class (and for assignments) and related it to my own life and career goals. When potential employers went to my website, they could have seen that I have thoughts and opinions on what’s going on in my industry, rather than just betting on my experience in my university program.
You’re Already Doing the Work
How many assignments have you written in university? Lots, probably. And since you’re in that university program, I’m going to assume you’re interested in what you’re studying.
You can easily take these assignments (that you’ve already researched & put the effort into), and turn them into well-thought-out, insightful blog posts with minimal effort. Just change the tone of voice to be more personal and less academic, which makes it easier to read. Instead of having a list of citations at the end of your post (which you could still do if you wanted to, or if your focus was solely academic), hyperlink the quotes or in-text citations to where you found them online. Add a relevant image as a featured image and you’re ready to share your knowledge with the world!
Blogging Shows Soft Skills
There are 2 main types of skills that recruiters and potential employers look for: technical skills (or “hard skills”) and soft skills. Technical skills are the things you learn in class; how to research effectively, how to solve complicated formulas, and how to use computer programs like Microsoft Excel or Adobe InDesign. Soft skills are the skills you learn as a result of learning technical skills; teamwork, time management, persistence.
Blogging enriches and emphasizes your soft skills. Not only does it show that you can write effectively, but also that you’re thinking beyond the classroom. It shows that you can stick with long-term projects, and that you’re creative. Your computer skills are also highlighted, which are important even if you’re going into a profession that doesn’t require heavy use of a computer.
Blogging Opens Up Opportunities
Have you ever been to a networking event and felt like you’re identical to every other university student in the crowd? Having a blog sets you apart from the rest. It gives you something to talk about to people who may have a job for you in the future. You can also use your blog posts on social media like LinkedIn to spark conversations and make a name for yourself.
Not only that, but blogging consistently on your own domain can lead to opportunities to guest write for others and reach a larger audience.
A Couple Caveats
Ok so I know I’ve been talking about how amazing blogging can be for your career, but it doesn’t come for free. Blogging is only going to be beneficial to you if you do it consistently. It won’t help you if you haven’t updated your blog in three years, but still have it on your resumé.
Not only that, but your blog should be focused on what you want to achieve in your career for it to be the most beneficial. Of course you’ll still show the soft skills employers are looking for with a blog about fashion if you’re an accountant, but you’ll benefit even more if you have a blog about what’s going on in the accounting industry.
How Do I Get Started?
Blogging can be as laid-back or as intense as you’d like it to be. Most people start off with a free provider like Medium, Blogger, or WordPress.com and just start writing!
This is not the approach I would recommend, though, if you’re really looking to get the most out of blogging. Like any social media, what you post is limited to the platform you’re on. By having your own personal website, preferably through WordPress or Squarespace, you have full control over your blog. Most free sites limit what your blog will look like, have a sub-domain name (like “yourname.website.com”), and not offer the backend customizations you might be looking for.
Not only that, but putting some money into your site every month will motivate you to continue working on it because you’ve given it more value. By paying a monthly fee for hosting, a one-time fee for your Premium theme (if on WordPress), and an annual fee for your domain, you’re putting a monetary value on what your blog means to you. The higher the number, the more likely (I find) that you’ll keep with it. You don’t want to have “wasted” the money.
You Can Help Me, Yeah?
Ok so now you know that blogging can help you get a job, and that all you really need to get started is a domain and something to write about. But what if you’re “all-in”?
This is where I can help! Get in touch with me for more information on how I can help you set up your website, hone in on your blog’s focus, and give you the social media strategies to take your blog from idea to reality.