How To Start a Blog in College
I have had many people ask me how I started a blog during college, why I did, and if they should. I've also had a few requests to write a post explaining how to start a blog in college and why. So I decided to go for it! I am hoping a lot of you can benefit from this post and reach out to me if you do decide to start a blog with any questions or for any advice. In this post I answered and explained the most popular blogging questions.
How to start a blog in college in 4 simple steps and why you should
College is one of the best times to start a blog. Now that might seem crazy considering how busy college students already are. But think about it, college students are in the midst of all these new experiences and things happening in their lives, there is so much to write about!
I can confidently say that starting a blog during college has been the most beneficial thing I have done during college thus far. If you want to start a blog during college, I promise that you can do it especially with these four simple steps I will be explaining in this post.
Still not sure if you should start a blog in college? I've got you covered.
Real benefits of blogging:
- It has helped me meet so many awesome people
- Build a network, make connections, and improve my resume
- Learn incredibly useful technical skills that I would've never thought I could learn or I would've never even attempted to learn. For example: HTML, Photoshop, SEO, Analytics, CSS
- Improve my writing skills
- Express myself by sharing my ideas, opinions, and experiences
Let's dive into this how to guide: How Start a Blog in College today!
(if you feel that you don't have the time to start a blog in college right now but want to start a blog eventually, Pin this post to have easy access to this how to start a blog in college guide in the future)
1. The first step is to determine which blogging platform you want to use
This decision was not hard for me to make. I knew that WordPress.org was and still is the biggest and most popular blogging platform, for many reasons.
Side note: WordPress.org and WordPress.com are two different platforms. The similarity in names causes beginner bloggers (like me) to not even recognize the difference which is not good because the difference is substantial. I absolutely recommend WordPress.org. This is a free option where you will choose a self-hosting provider.
If you are going to start a blog and you are like most bloggers, then you want to choose your OWN domain name to be exactly what you want. (not www.yourdomain.wordpress.com or www.yourdomain.wixsite.com, but yourdomain.com)
WordPress.com is a platform where you do not own your blog, and there are many limits on this platform. I wanted my website domain name to simply be dombagnoche.com, and I wanted to own all of my content. If you are going to put in the work of creating a blog, you deserve to have ownership over that website and all of your content!
Which is why I recommend WordPress.org!
There are so many bloggers that are making the switch a few months a few months in, and it is very likely that you will want to switch to a self-hosted site eventually as well. Starting out on a self-hosted site will save you so much time!
Once you have a blogging platform decided, you are ready to move on to the next step.
Please note that this post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, you can read my disclosure policy here
2. Choose a Hosting Provider and Domain Name
(probably the most important decision/step to take when starting a blog)
It's a common misconception that if you self-host your blog, it will cost you a significant amount of money but that's not true. I began self-hosting my WordPress blog with the hosting provider Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider.
The thing I loved most about using Bluehost as my web hosting provider was that I received a free domain name and it is so easy to get WordPress installed with Bluehost's 1 click install for WordPress. Please note one more time that you only get to choose and own your free domain name using WordPress.org, not WordPress.com.
You need a hosting provider to begin your blog. But you are just starting out, so I know most of us don't want to spend a lot of money for a blog because 1. we aren't entirely sure this whole blogging thing will work out and 2. we are college students, enough said.
That is why Bluehost is great because it is cheap yet super easy for beginners.
Setting up your new blog is easy with Bluehost. If you run into problems, they have customer service representatives available 24/7 to assist you whenever you need it! Additionally, if you completely hate self-hosting with Bluehost (which I am very confident you won't), they will even refund your money.
The important point of this step is to understand how important it is to self-host your blog if you ever have any slight intentions of maximizing the benefits of blogging.
After you set up an account with a hosting provider and install WordPress, you are ready to get to the fun part!
3. Choose a Theme for Your New Blog
This step was extremely hard for me. I probably changed my blog's theme 40 times! I used a lot of free themes; some I found on WordPress and some I downloaded from other free websites. I am sure there are a ton of free awesome themes out there and most likely you can find a free theme that works for your blog when you are starting out.
Although eventually, I think it is 100 percent worth it to invest in a theme. The first theme I ever bought came from Creative Market (an awesome website with tons of independent graphic designers, etc. that sell their products) It was a simple and easy to understand theme which was exactly what I needed at the time.
If you are looking for a paid theme but not ready to spend a large amount of money, Creative Market has a lot of cheaper costing themes or graphics that can make a free theme look more professional & clean.
Recently, I purchased the Genesis framework from Studio Press which was another one of the best blogging-related investments I've made. A WordPress Theme Framework is not a theme; it's a structure you buy once for your site that makes it much easier to work with your theme. Under the Genesis Framework you are able to use a huge selection of themes and customized them however you want. The
I just wanted to throw this in here for future reference. It is not entirely necessary to purchase a blog theme immediately. Although, it will help and save you time if you choose to do it now.
4. Build and Launch Your New Blog
It takes practice to figure out where everything is on your WordPress dashboard. Before you know it, navigating around the WordPress dashboard will be simple.
You can start creating new posts right away with the post tab - this is where you will always go to write a blog post or edit/update an existing post.If you have a little writers' block or you are confused on what exactly you want your blog's main focus to be, that is okay since there are countless other things you can do with your blog.
Start working with the Appearance tab - this tab has a variety of sub-tabs where you can do as little or as much customization as you would like!
You will want to take a look at the Pages tab - this is where your main site navigation and content should go; for example, an about me page, contact info, etc.
The great part of having and owning your blog is that you make every decision about everything. Therefore, there is not a set amount of posts a blog must have in order to launch. I launched my blog with only having a single post!
The most important step to take once you decide to Start a Blog in College is to really spend time choosing what you want your main blog topic/topics to be. I suggest taking a look at the things you already are interested in and enjoying doing & talking about and go from there. Blogging is so easy when you are writing about things you genuinely enjoy.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this guide. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions! Anything you are interested in hearing more about regarding college and blogging, I'm here.
I hope I have convinced some of you to start your blogging journey!
Make sure to Pin this photo below so you can refer back to this post anytime. Additionally, if you feel that you don't have the time to start a blog in college right now but want to start a blog eventually, Pin this post to have easy access to this how to start a blog in college guide!
In conclusion, please feel free to reach out to me with any further questions you have regarding how to start a blog in college!