Ok so I admit that writing a blog myself means I might be a bit biased on this subject, but I really do think that blogs can be good for your career. Really.
How, I hear you ask?
Well, in a number of ways actually.
1) Write your own blog. Not only is this an excellent opportunity for you to develop your writing skills, but it is an immediate way of getting some additional skills and experience that you can mention on your CV. Along with the obvious communication skills etc, it shows initiative, drive and commitment. Writing skills and experience is not only crucial for roles in journalism, marketing and PR. Whatever industry you want to enter, being able to write in a clear and concise way that is suitable for the intended audience is important.
2) Reading other blogs is a great way of keeping up to date with current trends and developments in the area of work you are looking to get in to. Due to the instant update nature of blogs, you can have the very latest information at your fingertips. Use this information at interview or on an application form to show your interest and enthusiasm for the industry. Make yourself stand out from the crowd by being able to show your commercial awareness and understanding of the market through having current knowledge and examples.
So if you are applying for a finance or management job, you may be asked your opinion on the recent budget announcement or the current economic climate. For a marketing or TV role you may be asked what your favourite marketing campaign or television programme is right now and why.
Mentioning to an interviewer that you follow relevent blogs is likely to make you stand out from the crowd, however be prepared to explain which ones you follow, why and what you have learned from them. The BBC alone has hundreds of different blogs, ranging from general news to science or the arts. The same applies with most newspapers too. Depending on your industry of interest, you could choose to read a blog written by a particular journalist who reports on finance, business, politics or health for example. The opportunities are endless!
Commenting on other blogs can be a great part of networking online. As well as getting writing experience, you can build links with other writers. You can then use these contacts within your network to find out more about a particular job, how they got into the industry, what advice they would give to graduates looking for work experience and so on. You never know, if you play your cards right, they might even be able to help you gain further work experience, or even paid work.