“Why should I start a blog? I have nothing to say. And even if I did, no one would really want to read it anyway. After all, I’m just a student.”
If you’re like many students, you’ve probably felt this way when others suggest that you should blog. You might be hesitant to share your knowledge online because you think that no one cares, or that you have nothing new to add to the conversation. After all, with literally millions of blogs on the Internet covering every conceivable subject, it’s hard to find a fresh angle.
Still, it’s important for business students to blog. A personal blog is more than just a place to pontificate on current events or share the latest adventures of your hygienically challenged roommate. It’s a valuable tool for building your career, and for honing the skills you’re learning in the classroom.
Not convinced? Check out these five reasons you should start blogging today.
You Can Build Your Brand and Professional Reputation
You know by now that employers use more than a resume to determine which candidates they want to interview for open positions. More than half of all employers search for candidates online before scheduling an interview. What do you want your potential boss to see when he or she turns to Google to find out the goods on you: Questionable photos from last summer’s beach blowout, or a well-thought out, articulate blog that shows not only that you know your stuff, but also that you have original thought and ideas? A blog is a place to begin developing your professional persona, and show the world that you’re more than the average student.
You Can Show Off
Sure, you’re a student, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have insight or opinions about the latest developments in the business world. Your blog is the place to share your interpretation and analysis of current events, your take on current thought leadership and present your ideas about the future of business. Consider using your blog as your portfolio; if you develop a brilliant case study analysis or a killer presentation, talk about it on your blog. Not only might you inspire others to look at things with a new perspective, you will impress potential employers by showing them exactly what you know and can do.
You Can Practice Writing
Let’s face it, not everyone loves writing. But writing is like a muscle: The more you practice, the stronger it gets, and the easier it becomes to do the “heavy lifting.” As an MBA student, you’re probably getting plenty of practice but a blog is a chance to hone those skills even further. It’s a chance to write about things that you’re truly passionate about, and to share ideas about complex topic in a way that others can understand. Again, potential employers will see what you can do before you even have the first interview.
You Can Build Your Network
Networking is everything when it comes to landing a great job these days, but it can be difficult for students to grow their networks outside of their classmates, instructors and colleagues at internships or part-time jobs. A blog can pave the way toward developing relationships with other professionals, which may turn out to be mutually beneficial. Some of the ways you can network include:
- Engage with readers who take the time to comment on your blog.
- Share your blog via social media. Consider using the LinkedIn Influencer program to share your best work and get it in front of a potentially huge audience of interested professionals who want to make connections.
- Offer to submit relevant guest posts to well-read or influential sites to build your reputation and relationships with influential people in your field.
- Write posts directly related to thought leaders, such as reactions to their posts, books or media appearances. Post an interview with a leader in your field.
It Opens Doors
Professional blogging takes time and a commitment to creating the highest quality posts and getting them in front of the largest possible audience. As a student, you may not wish to make such a significant commitment, but if you do treat your blog with professionalism and commitment, it could open the doors to larger opportunities, such as media appearances, invitations to conferences or even book deals. Do not start your blog expecting fame and fortune, but focus on quality and be open to any opportunities that may come your way.
Starting a blog might feel like just one more thing that a busy business student shouldn’t take on. But unlike some other activities (ahem, beach bashes) the time you spend working on your blog is likely to pay off significantly in the future.