Well, the topic of discussion today is whether students should become bloggers or consider blogging as their primary career option. I thought of writing about this topic after reading a post on melvin’s blog (a blog by a student blogger) and also after observing the trend of more and more students focusing on blogging, of late.
I know that it’s a controversial topic and many of the young bloggers in my own private blogosphere are students. They are all wonderful people who have great potential to make it big on the Internet. However, my sincere advice to them is that when you are studying just focus on that alone! And I have my reasons to believe so.
Who is a typical student blogger?
What I have observed is that a typical student blogger comes from one of the engineering or technical disciplines. Most of them tend to write more about software, gadgets, Google and technical pieces. Most of the time, they aren’t really natural bloggers – which means that they aren’t there because they are interested in creative writing or even long term writing ambitions. It is more about making a few extra bucks (online) while studying.
In fact, earning money while studying is not a bad idea at all as it can really help to support your education. People have done it in the past with jobs varying from giving tuition classes to kids, working in McDonalds or any front desk job etc. If you think from that angle, it makes absolute sense to make money online via blogging right from when you are a student. However, the difference here is that people get so addicted to online life and blogging (unlike other boring jobs) that they tend to skip their studies or even make it second priority.
And the worst thing is that, most people are not really blogging to support their education. Most of them are after quick bucks and this explains the mentality of the new generation. Many of those exceptionally talented, bright students want to become overnight entrepreneurs rather than a good engineer. They need money to spend rather than save and it’s about living today rather than planning for tomorrow. And those who could have become good engineers, programmers and great entrepreneurs end up becoming mediocre Internet marketers.
Why education & degree are very important?
I am in my late 30s now. In the past twenty years or so I have seen a number of classmates and colleagues of mine who went after quick bucks via money chain schemes, Amway affiliate marketing, stock markets, make money online etc and failed miserably. Of course, there has been that one person out of 1000s who made it big via a start-up idea but most others didn’t get anywhere. Fortunately, those who did such experiments after their basic degree, could still land in a job later, after one or two failures or learning. Others are still continuing their experiments only because there was no proper educational foundation in their lives.
Is blogging and making money online perennial?
Things like ‘Google fetching you money’ today may not be a sustainable business model for ever. However, basic qualifications around tried and tested industries and sectors (like manufacturing, retail, petrochemicals, construction etc) will sustain beyond time and can be your foolproof career option. Of course, once you have a degree around that, you can still experiment with the trend but not when you have no basic education.
Well, at the end, nobody has any right to suggest that students should not blog? But it’s my belief that being a student – especially school and undergraduate level – is an important phase of life that never returns. Getting passed out of high school and university with a reasonable grade is something very important in life and something that can never be corrected. One could add up any number of diplomas and certificate courses later but basic education (with your basics right) is very important in life. Hence, when you are in that phase, just focus on studies alone. Blogging can be done, say a few years later. If you still want blog during studies, you could do it but the priority should be clearly understood.
What’s your opinion, young student blogger?
[PS: I wrote this post spontaneously after reading Melvin’s post, Arun’s & Pradeep’s facebook comments and never really proofread it…]