How to Make a Study Abroad Blog (That More People Than Your Mom Will Read)
It’s All About the Pics. People like blogs with pictures, fact. Try to add in funny/interesting ones besides the usual “here is a picture of me standing in front of some historic landmark” shot. Consider mixing it up with other graphics such as artwork, quotes, celeb photos, etc.
Compress your images. It takes too long for a site to load when the image file size is over 30kb. To get a picture under 30kb you can use the ‘save for web’ function on Adobe Photoshop, you can ‘compress for web’ using Microsoft Office Picture Manager, or you can export as a jpeg with low image quality using Picture Viewer/Preview on a Mac.
Keep it short. No one reads long posts according to our web stats.
Know Your Audience. Who is reading your blog? More importantly who do you want to read your blog? If you want to expand your readership beyond your parents, think about what you can say that will be funny/interesting/relatable/informative/crazy enough to hold the attention of others. If your intended audience is other study abroad students who are all traveling too, the typical “here is a picture of the meal I ate in Barcelona” won’t suffice.
Give the Deets. If you’re blogging about an awesome restaurant, bar, or hostel include the link to their home page, google map address, yelp reviews etc. The easier you can make it for your readers, the more likely they’ll be to return.
Recycle Web Content. If you found an interesting blog or news article that you think your readers would be interested in, take a screenshot and post your take on the article. Be sure to link to the original article and give credit to the source.
Embrace SEO. If you want to get your post ranked in Google pick a keyword, put it in the heading, and then repeat it a bunch of times in the actual post. It makes the most sense to choose a phrase that students would be searching for in Google. Check out the post “study abroad essay” for a good example if you’re interested. Name your images with popular keywords for better SEO as well.
Use Social Media. Distribute links to your posts from your Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Stumble Upon accounts. @ relevant organizations on Twitter and let them know if you have a particularly interesting post. Maybe they’ll retweet you or follow your account. Put a link to your blog on your Linkedin page and comment on relevant news articles using your blog address. Post in College Confidential and other forums if you really want to go nuts. There are a million ways you can get your name out there and increase your traffic if you’re willing to put in the effort.
Choose the Right Blogging Platform. Blogger and Tumblr are okay but your blog will easily get lost in the sea of millions of other users. If you want more page views, check out Students Gone Global which organizes their blogs by destination. Exclusively for student travelers, Students Gone Global has networking features that the other sites don’t. ‘Like’ the Students Gone Global Facebook Page to stay updated on their launch.