Tips for Creating Your Study Abroad Blog!
Studying abroad in college can be an exhilarating experience, full of new sights, smells, people, and culture. While you’re abroad soaking in the adventure, why not share your experience with friends and family back home on a regular basis by keeping a blog?
Here’s a brief look at why blogging while studying abroad is a great idea, and ways you can make great blog content that shines.
Why create a study abroad blog?
Aside from posting updates on social media accounts, keeping a blog is a great way to keep friends and family up-to-date as well as to engage in a greater global travel community.
As mentioned in the article “How to Fund Your Semester Overseas,” sending a link to your blog to friends and family who have helped fund your semester overseas is a great way to show them that their support has paid off in a meaningful way. Even for those who have not necessarily supported your trip financially, those who care about you will very much enjoy reading about your experiences and reflections while you are overseas.
Moreover, by creating a blog, you will have a chance to interact with a global travel community of other students and travelers who are currently sharing similar experiences and interests. You’ll have the chance to easily find other students’ blogs, even some in the same region you are studying! This can be a wonderful way to learn about travel tips and ideas, and to relate to others who are experiencing the excitements and struggles of living in another country.
Setting up your blog
There are common blog sites, such as WordPress.com and BlogSpot.com,that allow users to create free accounts and a customizable page. However, a blogging platform I really enjoy that is specific to travel is TravelBlog.org. This website is designed so that you can browse bloggers and blog posts by country, which makes it easy to connect with other travelers in your area (or learn more about the country where you’ll be studying before you leave!). This website also has a neat map feature that allows friends and family to follow pins of the places you’ve visited when you tag a location in a post.
When setting up your study abroad blog site, it’s important to keep your design and layout simple. You’ll want your family and friends back home to be able to browse your site easily, and keeping a clean and simple design without too many jarring colors or fonts is the best way to ensure that your content is easily accessible.
Also, consider picking a blog title that is specific to your trip. This will make your blog easier to discover by fellow student travelers who are searching for blogs about traveling in your host country.
Tips for maintaining a great blog
After creating an account and site, understanding how to make your blog stand out with engaging and interesting content can make the difference between a mediocre blog and an outstanding blog. Here are a few quick tips for you to consider:
- Create content that’s genuine and unique to your personality. While your family and friends will miss you back home, they will certainly smile and laugh when they read a post that has your voice. Aside from listing off things that you saw or towns you visited, tell stories that paint a picture of the experience you are having overseas. Be creative, and don’t be afraid to express your thoughts and opinions!
- Include a couple to few high-quality photos in each blog post. While I traveled as a student, my family (especially my grandparents) kept asking me to send them more pictures. Why? Because family members always love to see your pictures, especially since you’ve been gone for some time. Including pictures on your blog also helps make the content more engaging by pairing your stories with actual photographs that make your words come to life.
- Visit other travelers’ blogs and interact in the comment field. As mentioned previously, engaging with fellow travelers who are living through similar experiences is a way to know that the feelings and struggles you face are completely normal. Also, by commenting and interacting on other blogs, you can gain more traffic to your own blog and become more reputable and respected in the travel blogging community.
- Try your hardest to post content on a weekly basis. Of course, this can be a struggle when you get busy with schoolwork or trips, but it’s important to try to make your postings regular and frequent so that as you gain an audience from the larger blogging community and to keep your readers coming back. Plus, you will likely one day enjoy going back and reading through all the blog posts from your time abroad. By posting consistently and frequently, you are capturing your experience abroad in a deep and meaningful way.
Share your study abroad blog with us!
Once you get your own study abroad blog up and running or if you have one already, we would love to read about your experience as a student traveler! Feel free to let us know about your study abroad experience and post a link in the comments below!