I met a young student today.
He is looking for a career in international relations, economics, and politics.
We connected over these two books and did not get a lot of time to discuss what he is doing already except for two things. One, he is writing a blog, and two, he is part of a summer program for youngsters.
We discussed a bit about how he can use his writing to stand out among his peers and get attention. I am sharing it here as a recap for him and hoping that it will be useful to you or someone you know.
Blogging For Beginners: How To Blog Well And Use It To Pursue Your Goals
Blog on a schedule.
Be consistent. If you can’t blog weekly, at least publish something new every fortnight. This will make sure that your readers know when to come back for a new blog post.
Update readers about new posts.
You can create a WhatsApp group for already connected readers. Chances are that some of your early readers are friends and family and they should be fine to receive periodic updates from you.
For others, get their email ids and mobile numbers with their permission to send updates. Then send them updates whenever you have a new post.
There are tools like MailChimp and ConvertKit to capture email and phone number and send updates. If you don’t want to worry about tech and just want to send updates then use substack. It is advertised as a product to write paid newsletters but you can send free newsletters with it.
Don’t worry about money yet.
Get in the groove of publishing regularly and writing well. This is more important than money.
Connect with your idols.
There may be people who you want to get advice from. They may be unreachable but if you reach out to interview it is likely that they will happily answer your question. You may create a dedicated interview site like my younger sister who launched Young & Shining to connect with young achievers.
Use the blog as a means to an end.
You don’t need to be a career blogger. But you can leverage your blog to get admission into a good college and that should be a big enough reward.
Think a book when writing a blog.
Imagine you are planning to write a book. Then think about what are the topics you want to write about, make those your blog topics. This way you can use your blog as the first step towards writing a book. I have written more about it in the slow approach to writing a book.
Read different authors and expose yourself to ideas from people with different backgrounds so that your worldview will not be limited.
Comments or no comments.
If you write about a sensitive topic related to people’s beliefs or national identities you may get negative comments. To avoid this situation you can disable comments on your blog. That way you can focus more on exploring and sharing your ideas. But this is a personal choice and if you wish you can engage with negative commentators.
Work at becoming a good writer.
This is probably the most important of all. There are a lot of good classes that you can take. If you are interested in long-form writing or essays then this class by Malcolm Gladwell is good.
You can only be limited by your imagination.
Teenage is the time when you are coming face to face with new realities, new experiences, new aspirations, and expectations from self and of others. All of this may seem overwhelming at first. And, you may shut off some of the new experiences when you should do the opposite.
Instead of being glued to your phone or internet as your primary source of information and motivation, go out in the real world and gain experience and information from there. Use tools and create systems to manage information. For example, you can use pinboard to store your links with short notes. You can even create a digital commonplace book.
Hope this information is useful for you as you go out and explore, and get ready to make your mark in this new world.