Starting a college blog can be a great way to make the most of your college experience. There’s a lot of unique benefits to putting your thoughts on the web, and I’ll be sure to outline those here as well as include a step by step guide to actually setting up your blog! You don’t have to be a computer genius or anything like that, don’t worry! You’ll be shocked at how easy it is! Let’s get started!
Why start a college blog?
There’s a lot of benefits to starting a college blog that a lot of people probably don’t think about. Here are just a few of the many reasons to start a blog in college:
- It serves as a virtual resume. What better way to share your writing, social media, and business skills than through a website? I always list my blog on my resume employers and teachers are always impressed! You can list impressive stats like your monthly page views or growth, and this shows so much potential!
- Networking. Blogs are a great way to network with other individuals and companies! These could be useful for a future career.
- You learn valuable career skills. Managing a blog requires patience, energy, and time management skills! Not to mention, you’ll be doing a lot of writing, advertising, and communicating! These are all super helpful for a future career!
But I’m not great with computers?
There’s a common misconception that you have to be a computer genius to manage a website. This is not the case. Modern web hosts are easy to use and walk you through the process of setting up a website. There are platforms you can run on your website, such as WordPress, which make maintaining your blog a breeze. Themes and designs are available for free or for purchase to help personalize your page. You don’t need to know how to code or design!
Sounds great, where do I start?
Well, the first thing you need to do is decide whether you want to pay for hosting or set up a free blog. Sites like WordPress allow users to set up a free WordPress hosted blog, but there are drawbacks to this. For example, they’re technically the owners of all your content, and you don’t have many options for monetization for the future. If you can afford it, I would definitely recommend a self-hosted website. These aren’t much money at all, and if you follow this tutorial you can get 25% off an already inexpensive hosting package through HostGator.
Once you’ve decided where your blog will be hosted, it’s time to choose a name. I recommend choosing a name you know you won’t outgrow anytime soon. Avoid using slang or trendy words which will lose momentum as trends change. I chose my blog name because it’s 1) the name of one of my childhood blogs (yes, I was that 11-year-old with a blog) and 2) it includes my name which I will never outgrow.
Let’s get down to business.
Alright, so you’ve decided a self-hosted blog is right for you, now let’s get started. First, we need to set up the hosting. For the purpose of this tutorial, I will be using HostGator because I’ve tried several hosts and this is my personal favorite. They’re really user-friendly, and their one-step WordPress install feature makes life easier. If you choose to sign up with HostGator, I have a coupon code that can save you 25% on your entire plan!
On HostGator.com click “get started” to choose your plan. You’ll be presented with a few different options, but you really only need the smallest plan. The bigger ones are good for larger companies and people who need advanced features, but for a personal blog the “Hatchling” plan is more than enough!
Once you’ve chosen your plan, you’ll be walked through the rest of the process. At this point, you are prompted to choose your domain name. As you type in your name, you’ll see whether or not it’s taken as well as additional name recommendations. I recommend going with a .com domain whenever possible! Other options aren’t usually as easy to remember for viewers.
Next, you’ll be asked to create an account. Choose a username and a verification pin. This is where you select your billing cycle. In general, the more you pay up front, the cheaper it is. For example, paying for the entire year of hosting at once is cheaper than paying monthly. This is completely up to you!
Continue through the registration process, entering your billing and account information.
I personally opted out of all the add-on services because I don’t think a personal blog really needs them, but this is up to you. Now, you’ll be able to enter my coupon code for 20% off! The code is SAMANTHABILITY.
When you’re ready to submit, click checkout to complete your registration process!
Note that your website will take up to 48 hours to process, so don’t freak if there’s nothing there yet! Luckily, installing WordPress is super simple through HostGator. Just log into your account and view the hosting panel. Under “Special Offers,” click “Get started with WordPress.” You’ll be redirected to a different page.
In the QuickInstall portal, click “Quick install” to install WordPress on your blog!
That’s seriously it! I know, it’s that simple!
Now that your blog is all set up you’re ready to start posting! Here are some tips for successfully launching a blog:
- Have at least 4-5 posts already published before you officially promote your blog, that way your viewers have more than one post to look at!
- Don’t stress about page views at first, things will build momentum naturally!
- Pinterest is your best friend!
- Interact with other bloggers and support each other.
What are your tips for starting a blog?
This post contains affiliate links. Choosing to click on these links gives me a small commission. However, like always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!