I would argue that all of your students have done the first steps of creating a student blog, but haven’t made it official.
The term blogging has many different meanings. Some see it as an online journal. Others see it as a key content marketing tool. Many think it’s dead, while others argue it’s thriving.
Ultimately, a blog is a collection of content that is displayed on a web page. This content can either be personal or professional. Blogs can be made using free platforms or with paid hosting and a custom domain. They can assist a business by expanding on their products. They can be a collection of private stories or writing that are posted under your name or an alias.
However, every blog serves one main purpose. To drive traffic to your content which is relevant to that specific audience. This is something many students aim to do, whether it is to get post-secondary institutions to notice them academically or athletically, or to grow their social media feeds for future opportunities.
Although a student blog will have a difficult time replacing the popularity of social media, it can serve as an important tool. And I believe the best time to start a student blog is yesterday.
Why A Student Blog Instead of Trendy Platforms?
Many students love to market themselves on social media. I do believe that social media can serve as a great tool for exposure, such as college recruitment. However, social media has limitations. You can only post content that is specific to that platform and you are limited to a word or character count.
Student blogs give you the freedom of a blank canvas. It becomes a site that is completely unique to each student and gives them creative control over the aesthetics and content.
The social media platforms our students focus on can then be used as a tool for each student blog. The content that is posted can help push their audience back to their blog, which can give detailed explanations of the things they choose to share.
It becomes their home base, and everything else is used to drive their intended audience back there.
The benefits don’t stop there. The following are a wide range of benefits for every student when they take the chance on a student blog.
1) A Student Blog Sparks Creativity
Unlike social media, blogs give the owner complete creative freedom. Students can have complete ownership of how they want their blog to look and function. Students will be able to really display their personality through their blog.
Student blogs can also feature whatever content they choose to share. If they are particularly proud of something they do in or out of school, they can choose where it goes and who can see it.
Additionally, they will receive feedback from people who aren’t their teachers. If they have the ability to see what others think of their work, it will help them become more creative in future work.
The ability to be creative with a blog will help translate those skills to other curricular areas, such as writing or visual arts.
2) A Student Blog Promotes Problem Solving
Unless you are a computer science teacher, many of your students will not know how to troubleshoot issues on their site. Perhaps they want something to pop up at a specific time or want a planned image or video to be displayed in a certain area. I push my students to do research and find ways to make these things happen on their own, whether it is through a plugin or through coding.
Having an unforeseen issue arise on a student blog is a double edged sword. Although it may hinder others ability to see your content, it also pushes students to solve that problem quickly. It is amazing how locked in students get when trying to solve something that is impacting them so drastically.
3) A Student Blog Enhances Writing Skills
Because writing is a major part of blogging, students need to make sure that their content is clear, concise, and correct. I have seen huge strides in writing and communication skills through student blogs. They are forced to use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation, which then funnels through to their other courses.
I encourage my students to use free writing tools to help them, like Grammarly. Although Grammarly identifies and corrects mistakes for the students, they start to learn how to avoid and correct these mistakes before they even happen. The overall quality of writing starts to enhance.
One thing I encourage students to do is to write in Grammarly’s dashboard, then move it onto their blog. This can alleviate any issues with the Grammarly extension not working with certain websites or softwares.
4) A Student Blog Creates Model Digital Citizens
Digital citizenship is extremely important but many have difficulty teaching it. When students are forced to write content regularly, they will also have to communicate their message in an effective way. Even though their blog will express their feelings and thoughts, they will also have to deal with interpersonal communication. Many bloggers deal with comments, emails, offers, and collaboration requests. When students receive these, they will be forced to reply in a professional manner.
I find many of my students lack the skills to effectively communicate through email. Because student bloggers need to keep a professional image online, they will need to be consistent with that in the other communication channels.
5) Blogs Help Students Make Global Connections
I still remember seeing the first few international visitors to my site in Google Analytics. It was a really cool feeling knowing that people all over the world engage with my content.
I have developed professional relationships through blogging. There are a lot of people who I communicate with regularly and would love to meet in person one day.
Students can gain those same opportunities.
If a student seems to be the only one in their school with specific interests or passions, that does not mean they are the only one in the world. By expressing themselves through blogging, other students from all over the world can find them and develop connections.
There are a lot of examples of classes using their blog to connect with other classrooms. Students with individual blogs can do the same!
6) A Student Blog Forces Students to Regularly Create Content
Think of a blog like a clothing store you enjoy going to. If you regularly walk into that store and all of the clothing is the same, you will eventually find a new clothing store to shop at. You’ve consumed all the content at that clothing store, and they are not creating anything new.
Blogs are the same. If you are not regularly creating content, your audience will go elsewhere.
A student blog forces them to regularly update their offerings to their audience to keep them coming back. Additionally, new content can bring in new audience members who may engage with other items you’ve published.
What happens to businesses that don’t create new offerings to their customers? They go out of business. Don’t let that happen to your blog.
7) Student Blogs and Digital Marketing Go Hand-In-Hand
So many of my students stress about their social media accounts. They want to obtain a lot of followers who will actively engage with their content. However, trying to find content to post regularly can be overwhelming and stressful.
I teach students that the purpose of digital marketing is to grow a following, but for a purpose. Anyone who is successful on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter eventually push their followers to a conversion on another landing page since social media doesn’t support that.
Where is that landing page? Typically a website much like their blogs.
I encourage my students to start new social media accounts directly connected to their student blogs. This gives them a blank slate to work with where they can develop content around driving content to their blog.
Developing a following on social media is great. Developing an audience on a landing page is even better. Which goes into the next benefit…
8) Student Blogs Can Become an Income Source
If students really buy into their blog, they can make the decision to make it their side hustle and monetize it.
There are many ways to monetize a blog, such as advertisements, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, or selling a product. These aren’t limited to just adults or industry professionals. There are also many students who have monetized blogs and have been successful.
Blogging can be a very profitable side hustle, and many have turned it into their full-time income. However, full-time blogging can be a lengthy process. Why not get started on this in high school and get a head start on your finances?
Blogging comes in many forms. Some turn on the camera. Others plug in a microphone. Although there are arguments that vlogging and podcasts are more popular currently, the writing medium has never left. And I am willing to bet it never will.
Students can create a hub of information that shows the world who they are, and why they are so great. All teachers think their students are great and have unlimited potential. Let’s get the rest of the world to see that too.
Although I am passionate about sharing content, I also believe that teachers should take on challenges with their students. I believe teachers should take on a blog similar to their students to showcase what they do with the world and inspire other teachers to try new things in their classroom.
That is my goal with this blog. If I have inspired just one teacher to try something new, I feel like I have done my job.
Please share your experiences with student or teacher blogs in the comments below. I would also love to connect on social media to help promote each other’s blogging journey and expand our reach in the world.
Thanks for reading!