“Prepare for a marathon, not a sprint” — @behindthespin
Guess what, @behindthespin (aka Richard) is absolutely correct. Student bloggers should be aware that starting a blog is part of a longer game.
Some myths about student blogging:
- You will receive instant attention / online fame
- It will only provide a positive and rewarding experience
- Blogging is easy
Let’s not be pessimistic about blogging though. I have found myself:
- Being mentioned in University lectures around the country
- Keeping in contact with talented students online
- Blogging enhancing my online profile (branding)
Let me indulge each point:
You will receive instant attention / online fame
It was thanks to @behindthespin that I started a business related blog after he spotted an earlier blog of mine called ‘A Superfluous Ramble’. In reality I have been blogging for 6 years and have learnt a lot in the process. Yet this business related blog was started in 2009. In this time I have written 267 posts, at an average of 500 words each (conservative in my view) then I have typed 133,500 words (clearly out shadowing a measly 10,000 words dissertation). Whilst I have gained a niche audience of attention it is nowhere near the heights of others in the blogosphere.
It will only provide a positive and rewarding experience
Everyone likes receive positive comments but as with dispelling any opinion in public be prepared for negative comments (most are rarely constructive). On a couple of occasions I have been tempted to give up blogging completely after nasty spells of continuous ‘trolling’. Grow a thick skin, the internet is home to all sorts of creatures — some unpleasant ones may pay your comment box, email address or social networks a visit.
Blogging is easy
If you take blogging seriously then it must be frequent — go one step further and plan posts in advance. Blogging for me was born out of my love for writing and it is this passion which keeps this piece of internet real-estate going. Yet this is a marathon and writing an effective blog will increase your need to take notice of current events, read books, read magazines and generally take an interest in the world around you. The challenge every blogger faces is creating quality content (which my cousin @jonwhite123) highlighted on Google+ recently. Are you in for the challenge?
Yet blogging has personally provided me with rewarding experiences:
Being mentioned in University lectures around the country
Early 2010 I had a student email me saying that their lecturer had mentioned me in class, this shocked me. Never had I imagined that my online efforts would be used as an example in PR lectures around the country. For this I consider myself lucky. Yet take notice of the students in my next point as they deserve attention too.
Keeping in contact with talented students online
Clearly I am not the only student PR blogger, take notice of; @JessicaNorthPR, @LeahEserPR and @claresiobhan. These students all maintain blogs and regularly tweet. PR degrees are spawning many talented digital PR students and all of them are examples in their own right. Spot our different methods and run a comparison — we are all unique and should all be mentioned.
Blogging Enhancing my business profile (branding)
It is an old trick to brand yourself online in order to gain attention. The best example of this being done has to be fellow Microsoft Intern @MrLeeWilliams who has used his creative talents to make an impact online. Keeping a blog has the added advantage of providing juicy keywords to search engines, having a URL to place over the internet and pushing your CV forward (Yes, I put the address of my blog on my CV).