I almost can’t believe it, but College Info Geek has been around for two whole years. That’s pretty crazy to say, given that there are over 100 million blogs on the internet and most don’t last more than a few months.
However, this blog has seemed to stand the test of time. The weird part is – I never meant to start my own website in the first place!
I initially wanted to become a writer for another site, and I applied for a position during the summer after my freshman year. Evidently there were some other, more qualified candidates, because they ended up rejecting me. And you know what? I’m glad they did.
That rejection was what motivated me to build my own blog. For the first few months running it, I was still a little disappointed – I thought my opportunities would have been much greater as a staff member for a large blog than as an independent writer.
Two years later, however, I know for a fact that starting my own blog was the right decision. I’ve been afforded far more opportunities by building my own brand than I ever would have gotten writing for someone else. I’m also free to make my own decisions – I don’t have to censor myself, I can change the look and feel of the site to my heart’s content, and I can manage all aspects of the brand. It’s amazing to have that control.
Speaking of opportunities… I honestly can’t believe the things I’ve been able to do as a result of starting this blog.
First and foremost, I’ve been able to help students reach their goals. This was exactly what I set out to do when I started, but I’ve been able to do so much more than I ever imagined. I thought just a few people would read my tips, and that would be that. Instead, over 20,000 people come to College Info Geek every month. I get regular email from students asking questions or thanking me for my articles. It’s amazing to receive that kind of feedback, and if you’re one of the people that’s emailed me in the past - thank you so much.
I’ve also created lots of great relationships. Just through blogging, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and build friendships with a ton of amazing people. I certainly can’t mention them all, but some include:
- Shep McAllister and Emily Chapman, former HackCollege writers
- Derek Jensen, fellow ISU student and creator of Resimplify
- Jeff Bajayo, a super-dedicated student entrepreneur and blogger
- Alex Mangini, creator of Kolakube and 18-year-old genius (I learned the basics of blogging from this guy)
- Rob Rammuny, another awesome 18-year-old entrepreneur
- Lauryn Ashely, writer for Talk Nerdy 2 Me and for herself
- Pamela Nguyen and Mustafah Greene from Surviving College
- Halley, Jen, and the rest of the awesome team at Ivy Worldwide
- Bobby Adamson, creator of The Student Hustle
- Bud Hennekes, creator of A Boundless World and person who defines the word “ambitious”
- Sean Davis, creator of SDavisMedia
- Pat Flynn, creator of Smart Passive Income (another guy who’s taught me a ton about blogging)
- Srinivas Rao, an awesome guy who surfs every day and interviews lots of amazing people at BlogCastFM
- Jessie Spielvogel, one of the first ladies I discovered doing the whole world-travelling, blogging thing
- Karl Hughes, editor for Uloop and basically the king of Google+
- Stefan Knapen, creator of Study Successful
- The amazing people who joined the College Info Geek team back when this blog was more of a multiple-author effort: Andrew Holcomb, Ryan Nguyen, Martin Boehme, Chris Wilkins, Vishrut Srivastava, Hema Karunakaram, Meghan Callahan, and Christina Samurkas
- Awesomely dedicated readers who’ve stuck with my rambling for the long haul like Andy Bell, Aaron Couch, Dalton Ruschy, and Mike Plis – thanks!
Lastly, I’ve been able to actually travel and support myself through this blog. I was able to fly to California twice – once for Adobe MAX and once for Adobe Days – both times for free. I’ve also finally been able to start making an income, mainly from The Ultimate Guide to Building a Personal Website.
These are things I saw other people doing when I started – other people who were the “pro bloggers”. I never thought I’d reach that point, so to look back now and see that it was actually possible is astounding. Anything truly is possible if you work hard enough at it!
If you’re intrigued about blogging, check out this video I made for my friend Shankar Ganesh’s presentation a few months ago:
Going forward, I’m planning on working even harder before to help students reach their goals. I’ll soon be releasing my Personal Branding Toolbox for email subscribers (you can subscribe at the bottom of this post), which I hope will help students learn to build their own brand and make themselves much more marketable.
I also want to start speaking at universities about making college a remarkable experience and building a personal brand. I’d love to connect with you guys in person, and that would be an amazing way to do it. If you’d like me to come speak at your school, let me know and I’ll try to make it happen!
Lastly, I’d just like to say thanks. Whether you’re a long-time subscriber or a new reader, thank you so much for taking the time to check out College Info Geek. As a writer, my work is validated when it’s read, and you’ve helped me to find out that I can actually make a difference.
Here’s to another great year!