We all know that grades and test scores are key factors in college admissions, but activities outside of the classroom are also very important. Schools are looking to build a class of specialists, so it’s important to hone in on a few interests you’re really passionate about and develop them.
One activity that allows you to learn, document your experience and demonstrate knowledge of a particular field or interest is blogging. A blog is a great tool to show off your accomplishments and expertise to admissions officers, and since the spring semester is a great time to deepen your interests there’s no better time to start.
Sites like WordPress, Blogger and many others are free and easy to use. Here are some tips on how to start a blog and use it to enhance your profile.
How to Start a Blog
Develop a topic!
Coming up with a topic or goal is actually a lot more difficult than it sounds. It must encompass your interests and draw on your talents or expertise, but also be focused and noteworthy. If you are interested in sports, delve deeper into one aspect of athletics that really appeals to you. Is it college recruiting? Insider info and analysis of one NBA team? NCAA rules and regulations? Think of one hot topic to write about on a consistent basis, but that also requires you to do more research and become more knowledgeable about.
Keep a consistent time to write.
It’s important to stay organized and prioritize schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Identify days or times that allow more time for blogging, then keep to your scheduled writing time. Having a routine will make this become a natural habit.
Develop a content schedule.
In order to organize thoughts and create a flow for posting, develop a content schedule. Decide how many times a week/month you want to post and create a calendar with different topics for each posting day. This will require research and brainstorming to ensure you stay on task. Stick to the schedule! This is key to maintaining a successful blog and expanding knowledge of a particular interest. Don’t just post one or two times and let the blog fall to the wayside.
Use social media accounts to promote your writing.
It’s common knowledge that some admissions officers are looking up students on social media, but highlighting your blog and interests isn’t just for appearances. Show posts to others as a way to get feedback from peers, commentary, and maybe even suggestions for future posts that others may want to read about.
Include a link to your blog in applications!
Finally, when it comes time to apply to college, be sure to include the link to the blog in applications. On the Common Application, you can include it in the “activities” section and fill out the information as if it was any other extracurricular activity.
Admissions officers love learning new things about applicants. By giving them the opportunity to explore works outside of the application, you are allowing them to learn more about you and your true passions. All the more reason to get your blog up and running now!
Our team of expert counselors frequently advises students on how to identify their core interests, develop them in a way that is meaningful and will help them stand out in the application process. Starting a blog is one way to highlight and develop your core interests, but there’s always more that students can be doing to set themselves apart. If you need help identifying your interests or advice on how to develop and enhance your extracurricular activities, contact us today!