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5 More Reasons Why All Students Should Be Bloggers

This guest post is by Hugh Grigg of East Asia Student.

Guest blogger Michael White has already written an excellent article on student blogging, looking at the career benefits of blogging for students.

He’s covered that area better than I could have (I’m still at university), but here I want to look at the fantastic potential of blogging right from the start of your course, and how it can help you with your studies.

1. It’s a ready-made niche

We all know that one of the biggest challenges in blogging is finding a good, workable niche. This is such a significant task, in fact, that quite a few people make thousands of dollars a month selling software to help people with it. But if you’re taking a university degree, you don’t need to worry about that. Your field of study is a ready-made, off-the-shelf niche.

Now, some subjects will turn into larger niches than others. There aren’t as many maths blogs as there are language-learning blogs, for example (maths bloggers, please reveal yourselves in the comments!). But no matter what your degree is, it makes a perfect niche to work in because you’ve got constant inspiration and input for content.

I write about my East Asian Studies degree, and have far more content than I could ever write about. I’ve never been stuck with the question, “What could I write about?”, but I’m often faced with the query, “Which of these promising topics shall I write about today?”

On top of that, your notes and learning materials are perfect for conversion into online content that will definitely be useful to a lot of people. Which brings me to…

2. You’ve got a guaranteed audience

Not long after I started blogging, I found that I was getting consistent traffic from the city I study in. Not only that, but I noticed my site being mentioned as a useful resource in discussion threads with my classmates, and even saw people with print-outs of my content in class!

At that point I hadn’t even mentioned the site was min—he other students on my course had found it naturally online. Since then, I’ve had students and staff from other institutions contacting me to express thanks for my content or ask if they can use it in their classes.

That felt amazing, of course, but most importantly, it demonstrates that there’s a real demand for hands-on, genuine content about the challenges people have with their university courses. As a student, you find ways to tackle those challenges every day, and that kind of experience is worth so much in the world of blogging.

You’ve got an endless source of ways to help your readers deal with their problems and build an audience. Plus, you spend time with your target audience every day in class, and know them better than anyone else for that reason.

3. It’s your passion

So your university course carves out a good niche and lets you know you’ve got an audience before you even begin. If that wasn’t enough, it also gives you a topic you’re passionate about. You’ve got the topic, audience and motivation for a great blog right there.

Okay, so maybe not everyone is totally in love with their course, and nobody likes it all the time. I enjoy my degree very much, and think it was one of the best choices I ever made, but I still have plenty of days where I’m not motivated. More often than not, though, having the blog provides that boost in interest.

Rather than thinking, “Oh, not another Tang dynasty poem”, I think, “Well, my annotations and translation would be a useful post for anyone studying this”—and that gets me into it. Blogging about your degree makes you more passionate about it.

4. It’s a great way to keep track of your studies

Keeping track of your progress is extremely important if you’re going to stay motivated in the long term. Day-to-day changes in your knowledge can be small, but when you look back over months or years, the difference is staggering. Plus, as Michael White pointed out in his article, it all makes an excellent portfolio to show to others.

What better way to do this than with a blog? This has helped me out on more occasions than I can remember. Rather than leafing through piles of paper or searching for files on my hard-drive, I just Google for my own notes and work. Sometimes I even come across work I’d forgotten I’d done, because it’s all faithfully stored and available online. And, of course, you’re attracting everyone else in the world who finds your notes and coursework useful.

5. Blogging helps you learn

And finally, a slightly less concrete point. As well as making an excellent record of your studies, keeping a blog actually helps you to learn directly. This happens because the old adage that ”teaching helps you learn” is true.

Rather than just writing up your notes idiosyncratically for yourself, you’re forced to re-write them in a way that’s useful and accessible for all. That process pays dividends to you.

Throughout each year at university, I consistently convert my class notes and materials into web content, which requires research, analysis and careful presentation of the topic. At the end of the year, I also use my own posts as a revision tool before exams.

Ultimately I’m writing for myself, but that just ensures that I’m offering the best content I can to my audience, which is what blogging is all about.

Are you a student blogger, or do you know one? Share your story with us in the comments.

Hugh Grigg is studying East Asian Studies (Chinese) at the University of Cambridge, and writes about it at his site East Asia Student.

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Comments

  1. Raymond Duke says:

    I agree that blogging is a good thing to do while you are a student. I have learned to take notes in class in “blog format” which includes headings, subheadings, and to the point blurbs in between. Blogging has helped me get to the point in both taking notes, studying, and writing. That might be against the grain of what academics are supposed to be (i.e, writing with a lot of “fluff”), but its been working work well for me so far.

    Additionally, by blogging I am helping myself transition from what I study to something I could use to make buck from. Because, after all, I do have student debt to pay off. I would be interested in finding more blogs by students who are learning how to brand themselves to prepare for the “real world.” If anyone knows of any bloggers or blogs that fit this category, let me know.

  2. Paul says:

    While in seminary, I used my blog to formulate ideas for the next semester’s research papers. Professors would comment on the blog or via email, and I could have my preliminary research completed before the semester even began. Two of the posts can be seen here: http://www.ingodsway.org/wesley-seminary/ and they are titled Integration Paper Thoughts.

  3. Great suggestions as always…… I am working on a site/blog at the moment that is in my field of study and work and all points raised are very relevant. Always easier to write about your passion and as expected, will result in higher quality content being produced. Thanks Darren

    • Ben Troy says:

      Numerous times students have corrected misconceptions or created new awareness of concepts being taught within our room. They become teachers rather than just students in our classroom and blogging allows them to continue that outside our classroom walls.

  4. Gilbert says:

    Thanks a lot for the good and informative post Hugg.Its very true that we sometimes end up referring to what we ourselves put in place. In simple terms we are turning our blogs into libraries and other than just reading and forgetting why not store them right there?
    Thanks a lot Cheers.

  5. Chris says:

    I have done the same thing with history. It’s taking some time to build up an audience, but it is growing over time slowly but surely.

  6. Ben Troy says:

    The writing is no longer just for me but the whole world. When we write science diaries, we have scientists write back to us and push their questioning skills. When students write about a book they are reading, other students ask them questions and give them more recommendations. When students go on vacations they write to us to tell us all about it.

  7. It’s definitely a great thing to do.

    I’ve also found the talking to my professors about my projects online is a good way to think of new ideas.

  8. Richard Ng says:

    Totally agreed wtih your points, Hugh. Even though I am no longer a student many many years ago (but I am still learning and thus generally still a student in wider sense). In fact, everyone who like to write or jot down their thoughts should be blogger as it is a great way to express ourselves in the online space.

    Cheers!

  9. Jim Rothfork says:

    This post is so applicable to me right now. It’s great, and the points are right on. I’m more of a former student (recent-ish grad) who’s blogging is related to my field of study. Somehow, there’s a lot more to draw on for inspiration.

  10. Michael says:

    You are spot on! What you’re majoring in college makes you an expert in that field. Blogging about it forces you to find interesting new developments about your major that you might not learn from your professors. Learning does NOT stop after you leave the classroom.

  11. I am totally agree with you blogging is a good thing to do while you are a student.
    Thanks for sharing information

  12. Shelby Roth says:

    This is an amazing site ever! I absolutely assent with you on this and being a student, blogging is one way of gathering much knowledge than what you can think of! Things seem new everyday and it actually helps one have a break-through on what he/she wants in life-the target or visions in life! Thank you for sharing!

  13. This is indeed awesome writing. I actually agreed with the idea of students being bloggers! It is actually your passion that gives you a theme or title you are fanatic about. I loved your encouragement there and thank you a lot for sharing such inspiring information!

  14. Ayaz says:

    I am totally agree with you blogging is something where you have to provide solution for your readers issues. and if you managed to get the right traffic that can be a good source of building authority as well as earning great amount.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing great experience :-)

  15. I am glad that you gained your audience quite easily. It is encouraging… and thumbs up for your success. I am a student and I am thinking consistent blogging!

  16. Okto says:

    Blogs can be used for notes. So for student it could highly valuable media for their studies. Great post

  17. I love blogs because they usually chip in when I am looking for clarification. They are a great help and I use them to do my assignment!

  18. vicky says:

    yes, you are write students should maintain a blog.

  19. Shalu Sharma says:

    Actually this is a very good idea. Students should become bloggers and take a little time to blog. They already have a topic and they just talk about what they studying. Who know’s somewhere down the line, their blog could become famous and even the lectures might start recommending it. A brilliant idea.

  20. Sal Jumat says:

    I should have started blogging as a student. Better late than never!!!

  21. Mr.X says:

    Blogging can be taken as a career as well after graduation.

  22. Chris says:

    Good idea for a post. I’ve worked with many schools and when I go to recommend they setup a blog they typically say “we don’t have anyone with the time to do blog post”. My first response is what about those hundreds of students?

  23. This reminds me of Pat Flynn who started his Green Exam Academy blog when studying for his architecture degree. That was how he got into blogging and now he makes a full time income.

  24. its great way to learn and earn …… but do remember it needs patients to get traffic and money…

  25. A very inspiring article! I’ve stopped college for quite a time now and worked as a freelance writer. Somehow in my college days, I never did blogging and this article made me guilty – thinking – of the years I’ve wasted goofing around college without direction on my chosen course.

    When time comes I’ll go back to college again, I’ll be doing this. Thanks!

  26. Victoria says:

    Hugh, this was an excellent post and is exactly what I find myself doing quite often. I actually run three blogs because I love to write. I found it hard to fit everything into one blog, so we have our technology blog which is what I am majoring in – Information Technology and I often convert my essays into a blog post. I have found that by doing this I work even harder in class and have been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA and remain on the Presidents List. When the information doesn’t fit our Technology blog, I will consider our other two blogs. I feel this is incredibly important and as you said, it does help you to retain the information and in the process I have helped people as well – it is a win-win situation.
    Blessings!

  27. Deepa says:

    Blogging helps the students to improve their writing skills, as well as it helps them to connect with the experts in their niche..

  28. Agree with you can learn lots of things while blogging. I was a nursing student when I started blogging. The thing is, my knowledge is not only focused in nursing stuffs. I’v learned the technical side of blogging such as SEO, basic html and php codes, web hosting and a lot more. Now i am not just a nurse but also a blogger, a webmaster, a search engine optimizer.

  29. rakesh says:

    Ultimately I’m writing for myself, but that just ensures that I’m offering the best content I can to my audience, which is what blogging is all about.
    i truly agrees with this point in this article

  30. Mark says:

    i agreed with Hugh and the last point that blogging help to learn. it’s like writing about the study in a notepad or like in school workbook. Blogging required learn and it directly help to get extra Marks :)

  31. Thibault says:

    Nice post. I fully agreed.

  32. Josh Hatch says:

    I’ve actually just started writing my first blog today and it just so happens to be about math and science. I haven’t actually launched it yet. I want to finish my first series of posts first, it will be 5 posts about quadratic equations and methods to solve them (I plan to finish writing them tomorrow). The url will be mostlymathematics.blogspot.com

    I am planning to write about both basic and more advanced math but quadratic equations were the first subject to come to mind. I may also write about chemistry and physics as I enjoy those subjects as well.