Why You Should Read Blogs
Guest Blogger: Geoff Jackson : Geoff@aytm.com
Doing extra reading probably isn’t high on the priority list for most college students, but I found it to be really helpful in more fully understanding subjects covered. And it helped me get a job.
While coursework, lectures and textbooks are invaluable, I found it really helpful to read blogs as they can give some added perspective. Simply hearing the same topics in a different manner or from a different perspective often helped give me a more thorough understanding of my curriculum.
The most helpful part of reading blogs was an additional perspective or the less formal approach and tone in blogs (compared to a text book) but rather that they tended to be full of real life examples and mini-case studies. Consistently reading case studies or stories from experienced professionals who are working in the field helped to solidify the concepts learned and paired these concepts with multiple scenarios where they were used. This helped give me a more in depth understanding of how concepts were more likely to be used and play out when I joined the work force.
The question this leaves is how did it help me get a job? When I was interviewing with the first company I worked for, they asked me if I followed industry news at all. I was able to tell them that I did by reading several blogs. I think what helped me wasn’t that I stayed current on industry news but that I took initiative and went a step further than most people.
So now you might be asking, how do you find blogs? I’m glad you asked, there are a ton of ways to find blogs on the internet, but here are three that have worked well for me:
Alltop is one of the most exhaustive catalogues of blogs around. You can find blogs regarding just about any subject. They have everything from Astronomy to Zoology and everything in between. If you don’t see a specific topic listed, all hope is not lost as they have a pretty good search functionality implemented on their website.
Google Blog Search
Google Blog Search is a great resource as you can search for any topic you’re interested in or studying and Google will search through all of the blogs they know of to find relevant sites. If you search for blogs related to journalism, make sure to click the option at the top for “Related blogs about journalism” – this will make the search results return blogs about journalism rather than all blog content (blogs and individual blog posts determined to be about journalism) so you will only being seeing homepages and no individual blog entries.
What Influences Other Bloggers
Once you find a few blogs that you enjoy reading take note of what they like and what influences them. Many times bloggers will have a “bloggers ” list or “links” list in their side bar – this is usually a list of links to the blogs that they read the most often or they think are really good resources. Additionally, you should see what they link to or reference in their posts. Most bloggers are sometimes inspired by other bloggers and will link to specific articles or they will link to resources that they recommend. If you enjoy what a blogger has to say, you should take a look at who is influencing them.
So even if reading blogs isn’t something very relevant to your major or career choice, this lesson still stands: you will gain a better understanding of your curriculum and separate yourself from other candidates when you put extra effort into your learning and take initiative.
This is a guest post by Geoff, a recent college graduate from the marketing program at Cal Poly and marketer for AYTM, a provider of online market research. He also blogs in his spare time on topics from marketing to mountain biking.