25 years ago, the world’s first serious blog appeared, ushering in a new age of sharing information. Since then, blogs have fundamentally changed much about daily life; how people express themselves, follow the news, even how they learn. It’s also how many of today’s accredited journalists and renowned authors got their first starts!
Therefore, with responsible writers and savvy readers, blogs can be an extremely useful resource. If students also get involved, numerous benefits can follow, enriching the lives of young people. Here are a few ways blogs can be helpful!
All writing demands some degree of self-expression. Whether it’s essays or fiction, articulating one’s thoughts to a reader can be an uplifting experience.
For example, in 2011 BBC News investigated a Bolton primary school. They noted that ‘blogging made writing cool for boys’, and that test scores were improved as a result. It showed that writing blogs can instil confidence, which will go a long way in influencing how pupils approach their studies and interact with their peers.
Many school pupils can feel like social outcasts, or that no one listens to them or appreciates their views or opinions. Well, blogging can really challenge that consensus for them. It gives them a voice and window of authority on a subject, and that’s simply invaluable!
It should be noted that in class, close supervision must be exercised by a teacher. Since blogging is based around ‘sharing on the internet’, it’s a good idea to make students aware of what is and isn’t appropriate to share online. Therefore, this activity is a great way to gently introduce them to the concepts of online safety.
Personal information should be omitted from student blogging if younger pupils are the authors. However, discussions around school subjects, film, music, video games, arts, opinions on current events, school news, and other such topics can be up for publication. Therefore, a degree of essential discretion can be taught here. In the end, this will help keep them safe at least, both at school and at home.
Blogs aren’t a one-time activity – it’s a hobby for life, if the blogger so chooses! There’s never a time where an author can run out of things to talk about, and there’s always a reason to keep things up to date. Put simply, there’s no running out of steam here, and things can always develop and progress. As the world evolves and changes shape, so too does the world of blogging!
In the end, it’s nice to have something to keep going back to, and pupils should have something that they can work on, nurture and grow themselves. Ultimately, a blog is perfectly fit for that purpose, and they’re certainly not going out of style or relevancy anytime soon.
If people work at their hobbies long enough and improve their skills, then eventually, those hobbies can become fully fledged careers. It’s true in sports and arts, and it’s true for blogging too. Numerous bloggers have gone on to have their websites turned into award-winning books, from exciting novels to fully-fledged recipe texts. The possibilities are endless here.
Some bloggers go on to be millionaire celebrities, others run a humble site with ads integrated into their articles, profiting from the revenue. However, there are other possibilities too. For example, even major broadsheets like The Guardian accept student submissions for articles, so there’re numerous ways to build an impressive portfolio and expand one’s own readership – even from a young age!
Of course, it’s normal for school pupils to feel lost in the way of their future careers, or indecisive about which opportunities they should chase. Perhaps blogging could help them discover that they have options, and bring some much-needed clarity as to what they’re capable of? Not everyone wants a book deal of course, but the sky is the limit nevertheless!
Ultimately, blogging can be an extremely useful hobby to pursue. It can help school pupils get in touch with their creative sides, teach them essential life lessons, and give them something to build themselves. If they previously had low self-esteem, blogging could very well be the tool that fixes that problem.
There are links to relevant articles below if you would like to investigate this subject further.
On how a blogger can see their work accepted by a major media outlet: https://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2013/sep/23/blogging-students-how-to-pitch-and-blog
On going from blogs to books: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/jun/06/from-blogs-to-books
An article on making writing blogs cool (from a time when it wasn’t so much so) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-12448932
I'm a freelance copywriter with an undergraduate degree in English Literature. I've written for many different outlets, including but not limited to marketing agencies, graduate recruitment websites, and online training companies. I've even interviewed a few famous actors for student and arts blogs too! Covering a wide span of material has been incredibly rewarding, as I get to turn my experiences in the arts, education and careers into helpful advice. I sincerely hope you'll find something to your liking here!