Linda Forshaw

Great info for smarter students.

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Another New Year. Another New Blog?

It’s that time again. A new year; a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. No doubt many of you will have made several resolutions – exercise more, party less, study harder? 

Some of you may even have decided to start a blog. 

You’d be in good company. According to NM Incite, there were over 181 million blogs by the end of 2011. Blogging is undoubtedly big business and it’s likely to get even bigger as consumers the world over demand increasing amounts of informative, relevant, and timely content. 

You might have been thinking that your blog would be a channel for personal satisfaction; an outlet to express personal musings. While that’s a decent aim, and one that according to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2011 is shared by 60% of bloggers, there is so much more you could be using your blog for. 

Career opportunities after graduation are likely to hotly contested by hundreds and sometimes even thousands of other candidates. As a result, you have to find ways to stand out from those other candidates; to make yourself unique. There is much talk about how job seekers can use social media profiles in order to stand out from the crowd. It’s a proven and growing approach; the only problem being that, as the approach becomes increasingly mainstream, it becomes harder for those students using the channel to stand out. It is becoming expected; the norm as opposed to the exception.

Undoubtedly a professional social network presence will stand you in good stead, but in order to widen the gap between you and other candidates you will have to come up with something new. Starting a college blog offers you the perfect opportunity for you to do exactly that. Think about it. You leave college and you’ve got your eye on the perfect job. At the interview stage, you come up against another student from your class. You’ve both graduated with exactly the same grades, you both had a part time job while you were studying, and you both have internship experience. What if the only discernable difference is that one of you have spent some of your spare time at college maintaining a college blog. Who do you think would get the job?

Creating and maintaining a college blog is a way for you to become a respected voice in an increasingly competitive environment. Aside from an enhanced reputation and increased visibility, there are a number of other benefits too. Continually writing content relevant to your field of study is likely to improve your writing skills. Practice makes perfect after all. Honing your writing skills will work in your favour when it comes to written assignments. It will also pay dividends when it comes to exam time. Those students who achieve the best results are likely to be those who have reinforced their learning throughout the duration of a particular study period. By writing timely blogs and inviting discussion and opinion on your posts, you’re likely to have a better understanding of topics than most of your peers. There’s also the chance of making some money (music to your ears, right?). While starting a college blog (or any blog for that matter) is by no means a path to overnight riches, it’s most certainly a step on the right road. Over the course of a four year study period, there’s no telling how much your blog could be making by the time you graduate.

Before you all rush off to start your own college blog, we’d like to wish you a happy new year from all at Degree Jungle. We hope it’s a productive one for you all. 

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