In 2012 I wrote a blog post about my blogging rules. While I wrote it to be a quick read while I was traipsing about Europe for a week, many found it very helpful for keeping up their own blogs. The information in that post was great for people who are just starting blogs or who have dedicated blogging as a job. However, in my current position at university, I have found that there are some blogging rules that definitely should be added to the list. I don’t have the time I used to, and the constant flow of work takes up some of my more creative idea time. Therefore, I have made a new list of rules that are great for people who have less time to blog, but who still love doing it and want to continue!
My College Blogging Rules
1. Write your posts beforehand
Blogging once a week is great, but let’s be real. Having actual time to sit down and write a decent blog post once a week doesn’t actually happen. We just have too many assignments and real life things going on. To make sure your posts come out once a week, and they aren’t written at 2am after you finish your term paper, write your posts beforehand. When I went to Europe I wrote two posts the week before that I could publish while I was traveling. Find a weekend or a free night and write a blog post or two. With me now taking on several more credits (and a 300-level course) along with general life things, writing a post before is going to save my life. As we speak I’m taking the hour between my morning classes and writing posts for the next month in case my schedule picks up even more. Writing beforehand is a genius idea, and I highly recommend it to you.
2. Make a blogging planner
Oh, so you have a midterm, two projects, a presentation, and five assignments due this month? And you want to blog? Yeah, you’re going to really need to plan out your time if you want that to happen. Buy yourself a planner (I’m really particular to Moleskine, or you can get this fancy one I would love) and plan out what you want to blog and when you want to blog. I know blogging is pretty low on priorities at this time in our lives, but it’s still something important. Don’t half arse it because you have other things going on. Using a planner and figuring out when you can fit it into your schedule is the best way to continue doing what you love while you gain an education.
3. Use your classes as inspiration
Several times this year I have used my classes as inspiration. My psychology class, my media professions class, my media & society class, they have all helped me gain inspiration for my writing. Actually, when I’m completely out of ideas I go to class and usually find something there. Part of what makes college so much better than high school is that we are taking classes tailored to our interests. Which means we’re paying money to learn about the things that already inspire us. And if you write about it it’s basically like paying to write a fantastic blog post without plagiarism issues. So, why wouldn’t you use class for great writing material?
4. Find the perfect writing space
Everyone has a great place to study. That isn’t always the perfect place to write. At school, I love to study in the study room in my dorm. But whenever I try to write there, my brain goes blank and I end up searching creepy fan merchandise on Amazon for hours. Yeah, it’s entertaining but not very productive. And after months at school, I finally found my perfect writing space. In the law library, in the armchairs by the windows, in the armchair three from the right. Seriously, that place makes my writing juices flow and I write all my blog posts, my papers, and my freelance articles there. I urge you to find your own place, because it makes such a difference in your writing.
5. Use blogging as an outlet
Honestly, college is stressful and will put you in a bad mood more than once a week.Use blogging as an outlet to release your frustrations, but also to guide others on how to handle the situation. Facts are that someone else is going to have the same problem and will come across your post and will be helped. Multiple times in the past I have found myself in an absolute rage and wrote a blog post, only to find myself feeling better and will an article that people really liked.
6. Don’t make every post about your school
I know it’s tempting to just write about everything happening to you at school. Trust me, I have enough material for my own book just in the six months I’ve been here. But people get bored of listening to your stories about school, especially as they aren’t there. Try to balance your stories about school (your ridiculous History professor is hilarious, but we only need to hear about him once) with posts about other topics that everyone can share in. In trying to build an audience, you need to appeal to more than just those attending your school. Everyone should feel included in your writing.
7. If you’re serious, treat blogging as a class
This is where you will all beat me to a pulp, but hear me out! I’ve been blogging for three years, and i honestly don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t spending my time on this site. And althoughI am a full-time student with a part-time job working as a freelance journalist, I consider my blog a big part of my life. So I treat it like it is a class of my own. It doesn’t have set hours, but I set aside time at night to write my posts, edit them, and brainstorm content ideas. This term I’m spending five hours a week on contacting guest bloggers (if you would like to be considered, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) and writing my posts and editing them and adding pictures and conducting interviews and other blog things that come along like answering comments. I make a real commitment to something that matters so much to me. If you’re serious about writing, I suggest doing the same.
And those are my college blogging rules! If you are like me and in university (or in some sort of other time demanding occupation) I hope these rules will help you with your blogging endeavors! I started spring term this week and I know that this list will basically be my bible as I negotiate everything on my plate. This includes fangirling over 5 Second of Summer’s spectacular EP!
Stay classy, Internet,
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