Starting a business at university: Blog

Blogging has become the in-thing but there's still an opportunity for money to be made from starting a part-time blog or ‘vlog’ business at university

Why start a blog business?

Blogs are big business. Thanks to blog and video blogging – ‘vlog’ – stars such as Zoella, Tanya Burr, Jim Chapman and more, blogging has gone from the small screen to the mainstream with some bloggers now able to captivate an audience of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.

The blogging market might appear saturated but there are still a number of opportunities and verticals you can pursue such as travel, parenting and fashion, and, if you can get your tone, focus and layout right, a blog can generate additional income to support your studies.

Even WordPress, one of the most popular blog and web building platforms, was created by a university student. Matt Mullweg came up with the idea while studying at the University of Houston in 2003 and, within a few months, quickly expanded his publishing service to power 2,000 blogs. The platform now powers almost 15% of the top one million sites for traffic on the internet.

How to start a blogging business while at university

It’s fairly easy to enter the blogosphere for next to nothing and you can set up a blog in a matter of minutes using the range of free website building solutions which are readily available such as WordPress or Blogger. However, if you want to start your own blog from scratch, you can follow a similar route to starting an e-commerce business and purchase an original domain name from as little as £3.

Content is king when it comes to making a blog a success so you’ll need to focus on creating articles and features that focus on popular topics – a good idea is to look at trending hashtags on Twitter to compile articles that will maximise on potential traffic. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential to attracting readers so make sure you consider keywords that readers will be searching for.

If your blog takes off, you can then look at running sponsored posts and advertising on your site. ‘Vlogging’ – combining a blog with YouTube videos – is a great way of expanding your reach and, if you can get a high level of traffic, you can earn a cut of advertising revenue through your YouTube channel.

Read our guide on starting a blog business here


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Student business inspiration

Ella Woodward

Blogging sensation Ella Woodward set up her blog Deliciously Ella in her final year at the University of St Andrews. Fast forward three years and the 24 year-old female entrepreneur’s clean eating blog posts now rack up over 150,000 daily website hits from users across the world, has achieved over 70,000 app downloads and helped her seal success with her recipe book; 2015’s bestseller.

The blogger has capitalised on potential revenue opportunities by partnering with companies in the space and has expanded her blog and vlog business into events and cookery classes; this shift from online to offline is an option you could also consider once your blog is established.

In an interview with the Telegraph last month, Ella advised that “starting a blog while you’re a student could change your life”:

“You don’t have the pressure to find a full-time job and support yourself like you will when you leave, which gives you time to properly experiment. For me, it was such an amazing experience. I was able to really get to grips with social media and find out what my audience liked and didn’t like. By the time I graduated, I had enough of a head start that I was able to make a career out of it.”

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