After reading my report ‘How To Build A Blog As A Student‘ lots of readers started their own blog, not only personal blogs, but also niche blogs (this blog is in the ‘college life’ niche)! Today I will share with you a case study, Ryan’s blog called ‘Practical Premed‘.

Practical Premed is a blog filled with tips for premeds. Ryan himself is a premed, so he knows everything about it. After the site was live and Ryan had written around 5 articles for it, I had a Skype call with him, with some suggestions. I’ll include these suggestions in the end.

First things first, why and how this blog?

How and why did Ryan start a blog?

Why did Ryan wanted a blog?

As a premed, you need to stand out in order to get into med school eventually. Ryan decided that he wanted to do something not a lot of people do, starting a blog. He was reading several college blogs (including this one) already and found the tips helpful. Besides blogs, he had also read Tim Ferriss’ ‘The 4-Hour Workweek
‘ and the The 80/20 Principle
, he loved that these authors actually earned money with helping people!

So he wanted to do something similiar. The Tipping Point was when he read the post ‘22 reasons to start a blog as a student‘ on this site. He decided to start a blog himself!

How did Ryan start a blog in the first place?

After reading the ebook ‘How To Build A Blog As A Student‘ he wasn’t sure if he would like writing as much as he was thinking he was going to. Clever as he is, he decided to start a .wordpress.com blog first, in order to find this out. I highly advice this for anyone who likes to start with the blogging thing. I did this myself as well, when I reached 10 articles I found out I really liked this, so I bought my own domain name!

After having written a couple of articles, Ryan found himself ‘suitable’ as a writer, so he did the same as I do! He got his own domain name. This went all according to the book (the ebook in fact ;)) and now his site is live!

Suggestions I gave to Ryan

  1. Professionality. At the top of the site Ryan posted a question ‘What is the Practical Premed???’ Three question marks, while one should be more than enough. This seems like a small point, but it resembles more. When you are building a professional blog, you want to be professional. Your blog should breath professionality. And you should find this back in every sentence. Especially on the homepage.
  2. Convert small titles in longer titles. Ryan had articles named ‘Be Assertive’ and ‘The Change’. Catchy titles of course, but if you would find a link somewhere with the title: ‘Be Assertive’, would you click on it? You have no idea what it is about right? To have more compelling titles, they have to be longer. Besides, if you want some basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization), longer titles contain more keywords, so are better.
  3. Create a brand. After you’ve read this sentence you should close this page: ‘Where do you think about when you think about StudySuccessful?’ Opened the page again? What did you think about? I think something like the color blue. StudySuccessful‘s brand is blue. As CampusByte‘s color is green, CollegeThrive‘s black/orange and HackCollege‘s dark blue. Blogs who have been in here for the long haul have a clear brand. Ryan’s blog was white and minimalistic. Of course, this could be a brand as well, but it doesn’t seperate as well as a color. My advice was to lose the minimalistic design and get a more brandable design.
  4. Don’t even think about monetizing before you have 1k (thousand) visitors a month. Period. Don’t try Google Ads or anything, you won’t get rich from it. Google Adwords can bring in some money if you have over 10k visitors a month. If you desperate for trying to earning money, try affiliate links. When you have around 1k visitors you can think about 125×125 ads (like in the sidebar on the right on this blog), because this still looks pretty professional. Ryan isn’t in here for the money, he is just having a nice project to focus on and something with which he will stand out from other premeds.
  5. Read blogs about blogging. It only starts with these tips. There are tons of other sites who deliver you tons of free content to enhance your blogging experience. Three of my favourits: Problogger (best blog about blogging), Viperchill (great site by Glen Allsopp on internet marketing, blogging and entrepreneurship in general) and Copyblogger (great site about writing for the internet)

With these suggestions I left Ryan (as it was also 2am in Europe, where I live). The day after, he implemented the changes and the site looked way better.

Are you thinking about starting your own blog? But you are still not sure? Check the post ‘22 reasons to start a blog as a student‘ and you will be convinced! After that, download the free ebook ‘How To Build A Blog As A Student’ and start building your blog! After that, email me with your brand new blog, I would love to take a quick look, maybe I can share some tips!

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