Should I or should I not? But before you dismiss blogging as a time waster while you’re in grad school, here are some of the valid reasons why a grad student should maintain a blog:
Relieve stress. Stress is inevitable when you’re in grad school. Lots of reports, readings, and other requirements could eat you up in whole. Sometimes we need a diversion, something that takes our mind out of the academic hassles. Writing is a form of diversion. In grad school we write about scholarly topics in order to impress our professors. When you blog you write to impress yourself and your target readers. Never mind if you don’t have more than 10 readers. Somehow, somebody out of the billions of internet surfers will find your blog through a search engine. Plus, you’ll have your family and friends as loyal readers, what more can you ask for. Furthermore, nothing beats the feeling of seeing your writing being published online.
Understand technology. Let’s face it, we have to catch up with it. The internet is not just for teenagers it’s for everyone. It has revolutionized our concept of communication. When you blog, you’ll learn about the concept of web traffic, search engine optimization, social media, internet security, web programming, etc. This is a practical example of “learning by doing”.
Publish your ideas. You got into grad school because you want to be an expert of a specific field. Because of that, you are expected to have something to say that relates to your field. What better way to publish what you think about certain issues than through a blog. It’s easier, faster, and more convenient than traditional media.
Sustain your interest. If you stay in grad school within 3 to 5 years. How long can you sustain your interest in that field? Blogging helps you focus your interest in your field if you keep on posting articles related to what you are majoring in. Furthermore, blogging is not only about writing posts, it’s also about researching, editing, publishing, and marketing it. This is something that keeps you on your toes while in grad school.
Establish internet presence. Blogging is a way of showcasing your skills. What you write about tells a reader what you are interested in and what your expertise is. The growing trend in human resource recruitment nowadays is to google applicants in order to find out something about them. A blog puts your name on top of a Google search (it really does) so people interested in you (or your work) can easily find you. Try googling my name, and see the results. Moreover, an internet presence can also be a marketing strategy especially if you are offering consultancy services.
I’m not saying that blogging can be appropriate for all grad students. However, I believe that for every endeavor to be successful, it should be enjoyed by the one doing it. For someone to enjoy blogging, a good reason for doing it should be a prerequisite.
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