A few years ago, everybody and their brother had a blog. Before social media really took hold, Blogger, TypePad and the like were crowded with documentation of the mundane details of our lives. Then social media exploded and microblogging overcame macro, and now traditional blogging is back in full force. In an era when personal branding is so important to establishing your digital identity, grad student blogs should be a requirement. Here are a few benefits grad students can gain from adding their voice.
Building Toward The Future
Your digital presence is quickly replacing the traditional résumé as the portfolio of choice for future employment, so filling the Internet with solid writing examples with your name attached to them is always a good idea. Chances are you’ll be job-searching soon (or already are) so the more positive, professional content you can attach to your name, the better.
Sharpening Your Writing & Research
I’m sure you know by now that writing is a huge part of grad school, but it can be a struggle. What better way to hone your writing skills than writing about what YOU care about, rather than what you’re required to? The more you practice, the smoother your words will flow. Your fear of writing will decrease. And writing a grad school blog can also make you a better researcher, as you dig deep for insights and bring your voice to the conversation.
Network Without Networking
Some people just love attending networking events---you know the ones, with the tiny cheese cubes and the bar-height cocktail tables. For many of us, blogging is another great way to connect with colleagues. Chances are other grad students and established scholars in your field will find your blog, and those connections could grow into research collaborations and even future jobs.
Shape Your View on the World
Writing has a way of helping shape your views on a subject. Sometimes all it takes is the effort to express your opinion to clarify a key point in your mind, or even make you realize you feel differently about a subject than you did before. Don’t be afraid of these realizations---clarity is your friend! Just start writing and see what you learn about your point of view.
Never Stop Learning
Writing a grad school blog is another learning opportunity for both you and your readers. You’ll learn through your research and writing and your readers will learn from you. Everyone has a perspective to offer the world, and grad student blogs are a great forum to share, inform, and shape those perspectives.
Remember Your Experiences
Grad school can be a blur, and before you know it, it’s over. Blogging can help you remember the valuable things you’ve learned, and as you look back, those lessons will evolve as you grow and change as a scholar.
Where Should You Blog?
There are a ton of blogging platforms out there, but the two we recommend are Wordpress and Medium. Both are free to get started and offer a user-friendly experience. Medium has become very popular for long-form posts, which could be ideal for grad students.
Give it a try, and we think you’ll be glad you started a grad school blog. Go forth and share your voice!