Blogging As an Online Student - How It Can Help (Or Hurt) Your Career
Blogging is a time-consuming activity. There are also significant pitfalls, particularly if you write on a controversial topic or have a particularly astringent tone. Blogging can be worth it to students nearing graduation, however—if you can manage your time well. There are many benefits to blogging that could lead to a job when you graduate. Here are just a few of the positive and negative aspects of blogging for online students.
Blogging is time-consuming
There’s no question that blogging can take up a lot of your time. It’s not just writing a post every day that’s time-consuming. It’s responding to reader comments, checking your statistics, fiddling with your template or blogging platform, and cruising other blogs to leave comments and drum up traffic. Blogging can become a major task if you let it—and spending all that time on your blog could interfere with your grades.
Some blogging could reflect badly on you
Depending on how you write and manage your blog, keeping a blog can hurt you. If you write posts with a negative bent, rant against your school, certain classes or professors, or are rude to people who come to comment, you might get traffic—the Internet loves controversy. But it could also give you a bad reputation at your school—among students and professors alike.
Blogging could get you expelled
It’s rare—although not unheard of—for students to be expelled for their blogs. You’d have to write something really virulent—attacking the school, a particular professor or student, or a course or department. But some writers thrive on the controversy their blogs create—and leave themselves open for harsh consequences.
If you’re going to blog as an online
You start a positive online record—before you graduate
If you keep your blog professional and focused on your work interests, writing a blog could help you enormously in your post-graduate job search. One of the things it can do is help you establish a positive online reputation, counteracting anything about you that you wouldn’t want employers to know about—that comes up in a Google search.
You demonstrate your enthusiasm for an area
Most employers believe that post-graduate job applicants are flighty. As a new graduate, it’s expected that you’ll want to try out many different jobs and possibly industries before “settling.” However, employers love dependable employees with a demonstrated interest in their field—it makes them look less likely to stray. Your blog can demonstrate a passion for the area you’re applying for work in. Then again, if you’re applying to jobs outside your blog topic, it could be a red flag to employers—indicating your interests and passions lie elsewhere.
You make connections
Blogging can help you make strong connections that could lead to a job someday. Other bloggers can become colleagues whom you correspond with—after you’ve built up a reputation in the blogosphere. In addition, you never know who’s reading and commenting on your blog. Someone in a position to hire could be impressed with your knowledge, passion and drive—and offer you a job.
You demonstrate good writing ability
If there’s one skill many employers agree recent graduates lack, it’s strong writing ability. The ability to communicate clearly in writing is valuable in almost every job—and bad writing doesn’t just reflect badly on you. It also reflects badly on the company if you’re writing as their representative. If you can show in your blog that you’re a strong writer, it will help you get hired when you’re done with class.
Of course, this could also work against you—if you’re not a good writer. Self-published blogs have no editing department, no Spell-Check program, and no proofreaders. You’ll need to be sure you write grammatically. Your more educated audience will notice—and bad writing won’t reflect well on you either in the classroom or in the job market. In addition, blogs have no fact-checkers—so you’ll have to make sure you’re saying things that are true. If you don’t, your audience will call you out—and how you handle the situation could make a big difference in how your audience perceives you.
Blogging can definitely help you get a job after graduation—if you write well and stick to a topic your employers will find interesting. However, blogging can also get you in trouble. It can take time away from studying; it can damage your online reputation; and it can even get you expelled in the most extreme cases. If you’re going to blog as an online student, do it right. Keep it positive and focused according to your interests; show off your strong writing ability; and avoid topics that are too offensive or controversial. If you do, your blog can serve as a strong example of your positive qualities when potential employers search online for information about you. And it’s more likely to help than hurt you—especially in the job market.
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