I believe that creating an Economics blog, could be a fantastic way to improve your UCAS application and hence your chances of admission into the universities you are applying for.
It has the capacity to demonstrate many aspects that the admission tutor will be looking for in a successful applicant, only however if the blog is carried out in the right way (if the blog is of a poor quality, with poor posts - then it could have the opposite effect), and of course only if the aspects of the application point the admission tutor to actually visit your blog.
(If you are worried about cost or difficulty - don't be, just head over to the free blogging sites such as Blogger, which has a really simple process to set up your blog in literally a minute).
But first, I would do some research into what is looked for in a Economics Personal Statement from the actual academic side, and list the things that convince the admission tutor you have a good ability in Economics.
For example LSE states in their 'What is looked for in the (Economics) personal statement?' that candidates should "indicate their awareness of what the subject involves" - then within in the blog, as you aren't limited by space, you can then go on to do this rather well.
Then, I would actually learn about blogs and posts - you need your blog to look the part, and you need your posts to contain EXCELLENT economic content, you aren't like most bloggers, worried about traffic, so you don't have to worry about SEO etc. Visit sites such as SocialTriggers for tips on improving the look of your blog and presenting information.
But now, I am just going over briefly just some of the reasons why I think an Economics Blog can benefit an applicant applying to study Economics:
You are Providing Evidence that you are Computer Literate- The creation of the blog itself demonstrates that you have a whole range of skills, and a high level of computer ability. For example, you have to know about certain computer languages for the design and functionality of the blog and that you know the rules of the online world - copyright etc.
You Aren't Limited by Space - as you aren't limited by space, like you are in your UCAS personal statement - you can go into even further detail about Economic ideas and issues - and be able to quote people etc. You have the perfect opportunity to 'show off' the elements that are needed to be a good Economist. E.g. understanding and applying mathematics to economic situations.
You are Showing Evidence of Your 'Writing Skill' - Now you have a blog, the admission tutor now doesn't just have your personal statement to go by, for your writing skill - but your entire blog. Your blog posts can show that you structure your writing, that you write and communicate in a clear way - you can demonstrate all the aspects of writing an admission tutor is looking for.
You are Showing Evidence of Analysis - obviously depending on your blog posts, but you should be aiming to analyse economic data and information (that you will reference to in the correct way) in most of your posts. Showing the admission tutor that you can actually make sense of what is 'going on'. For example - you have looked at a recent economic forecast, or graph (be sure to ask for permission to use images in your blog) and assessed possible outcomes etc.
You are Showing Evidence of Further Reading - as well as telling Admission tutors that you have read Economics books, and maybe coming up with a couple of ideas in your personal statements that you give an opinion on - you are now providing more evidence that you actually do 'read the books', by constantly referring to them in your blog posts and showing your opinion around the issue that is brought up in the book. (Also don't just reference economics books, but economic newspapers, magazines, recent economic research, even other economic blogs).
You are Providing Further Evidence that you have an Interest in Economics - obviously by continuing to work on the blog, you have shown that you are actually interested in Economics. However, also make sure that this comes across in your writing - do the blog in your own style, but have a positive attitude towards it (but obviously don't go over the top). Also if you state that you particularly like a certain aspect of Economics - you can aim many of your posts specifically at that certain aspect (or even the entire blog).
You are being Original - you are writing an Economics blog, I doubt many of your other fellow applicants do, and so not only are you standing out from the crowd, you also have a relevant extra curricular activity - one that actually improves your Economic ability.
You Might be able to Create a Connection - this is obviously a more indirect approach, and more of a hopeful idea - but if you write around research that has been conducted by lecturers who are at the university you wish to apply for - you might just find that the admission tutor happens to be them, hence you have made an instant connection.
Here are just a few ideas to think about:
Obviously, as said above do research into what Universities are looking for from an Academic point of view in personal statements - then integrate this into your Economics blog - be sure to spend a lot of time on your posts, get your Economics teacher to read it through, ask them how you can improve it - before posting etc.
I would take off the dates and times of when the blog post was published - so then the admission tutor has no idea as to how long you have been blogging or how regularly you post.
You decide how many times you post - but the more quality content on there, the better.ex
Make your blog look active - don't give indicators away that show your blog is rarely viewed e.g. if you receive a low amount of traffic don't show your traffic count. Get friends to comment on your posts.
But be sure to make your blog - quality - the better the blog, the more they will be impressed. It isn't all about the content (mostly is), make sure the design of your blog is spot on.
Remember this is only a small part of your entire application, I would advise to treat the writing of the blog as an economic extra curricular activity - and also as a learning experience. So I would mention that you have created an Economics blog in your personal statement in some way, but then have the URL of the blog mentioned in your reference (as the URL will take up too much space in your personal statement) and then hope that the natural curiosity of the admission tutor is enough for them to take a look.
If you have come up with any questions or any other reasons on why doing an Economics blog post could be a good idea when applying to study Economics please comment below.