To students graduating high school, college life may appear glorious on the outside. However, it’s only after you actually enter college do you realize it is anything but as shown in the movies. Simply put, it’s an endless struggle to keep up with all sorts of deadlines: assignments, projects, quizzes, and what have you.
Still, despite all the workload, you will surely find the time to do a little something for your personal development. The activities you choose to do in these precious hours can make all the difference to your career right after college.
Among all the great things you can (and should) do before finishing your undergraduate education, launching a personal website arguably tops the list. A personal website is your virtual home in the gargantuan world wide web.
Now, there is a myriad of website builders and content management systems (CMS) available today, but nothing comes close to WordPress. Originally started as a blogging tool, and now evolved into a versatile CMS, it still maintains its status as the best blogging platform on the market. In fact, it currently powers a whopping 32.3% of all websites on the internet, including 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world such as CNN, TIME.com, TechCrunch, New York Post, and many other big names.
It is an open source, fairly easy-to-use, highly customizable (with thousands of plugins and themes), SEO-friendly, and secure CMS. All you really need to purchase is a domain name and hosting plan, and then install WordPress to get started.
Anyway, talking about the subject of blogging, here are five reasons why you should bother to blog right from your first year at college.
To uncover your true long-term passion
If you’re already 100% certain about what you want to do in life, then you are one of the lucky few. You can skip ahead to the next point.
Unfortunately, most freshmen don’t know where their true ambitions lie. While it’s okay to take your time to discover and explore numerous potential career options before getting into one for the long haul, many students fail to narrow down on one actual ‘passion’ even after graduating.
With blogging, you tend to authentically pen down your thoughts and learnings. Over the course of writing several blog posts on a particular subject, you’ll start to realize what really makes you tick.
Say, for example, you are pursuing a degree in computer science. You blog about your daily/weekly learnings in the form of tutorials and how-tos. If you continue this activity for months or years on end and never once feel it’s “humdrum”, you’ll know it’s the perfect career for you.
Similarly, if you choose to blog about marketing while pursuing computer science, and thoroughly enjoy it nevertheless, you’ll know a switch in discipline is in order.
In other words, blogging empowers you to give voice to your true passions.
To hone your creative side
One of the best things about blogging is how creative the entire process is. It has several facets that contribute to honing your overall creativity:
- Writing: Well, duh. Blogging, for the most part, is about creative (yet practical) writing. And writing as a skill is often overlooked but plays a huge role in almost any professional career.
- Design: Apart from all the writing, you’ll often want to include great visuals to drive the point home. This can be in the form of self-created graphics using tools like Canva or even simple instructional videos. Furthermore, just the process of creating and maintaining a WordPress blog requires you to learn the art of modern website design.
- Problem-solving: If you’ve ever written a report, an essay or article, you’ll know the dreaded feeling of staring at a blank document, not knowing how to begin. This so-called “writer’s block” often requires you to do a ton of research and come up with new, ingenious ways to approach the task of writing a sensible piece.
Blogging, thus, is one of the foremost ways to get those creative juices flowing.
To become more employable
Apart from developing your creative skills, blogging promotes other soft skills as well. Put them together and you’ll be a far more employable graduate than if you hadn’t bothered to try blogging.
But wait, there’s more. Launching a WordPress blog will also potentially sharpen your:
- Data analysis skills: If you choose to dive deep into blogging, you’ll inevitably come across and install Google Analytics. You’ll spend hours trying to analyze and improve your site’s traffic, perform split tests, optimize for search engines, and so on. All this adds up to some serious, in-demand analytical skills.
- Technical knowledge: The path to WordPress mastery is paved with writing, design, coding, digital marketing, and web development skills. Depending on the level of interest and the amount of time you have, you’ll surely become proficient in at least one or two of these crafts. For example, you’ll probably want to learn the basics of HTML and CSS which, in turn, gives your CV a major boost.
- Other software knowledge: As mentioned earlier, you’ll most likely need to do some designing too if you want to run a decent looking blog. Consequently, you’ll get your hands dirty with extremely rewarding software such as Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro.
Not to mention, proficiency in using WordPress and WordPress development itself is a highly sought-after skill by today’s employers.
To showcase your portfolio
While having a portfolio website to showcase your work is becoming increasingly mainstream, most fresh graduates settle with a standard one-page CV. In this regard, your personal WordPress blog can be so much more than just a blog.
Apart from showcasing your finest writings and artwork, you can leverage your website to demonstrate all your awards and achievements throughout your college life. What’s more, you can display recommendations/testimonials from professors and internship mentors.
As a cherry on the cake, all you have to do is share a link when someone asks you for your CV.
To earn a side income
College can be an expensive affair. If done right, your WordPress blog can be a modest source of side income to help with the daily bills.
There are many ways to monetize your blog, from affiliate marketing to setting up Google AdSense, depending on how far you’ve come with your blog. Note that if you’re planning to use your blog as a way to showcase your portfolio, then monetizing with advertisements is not your best bet.
Hopefully, these five reasons will convince you to go launch a WordPress blog the moment you enter college.