When I was a journalism student, the internet was in its infancy. People used it for reference, and there was no scope to publish work outside of print media.
The internet is a wonderful thing, despite it drastically changing how we consume media in print. I spent my formative years in print, which at the time was highly suspicious of so-called 'new media'.
Anyway, fast-forward 15 years or so and here we are. I've worked across various platforms in digital and print, journalism still has students, we still have print media - although in a much leaner form - and there are thousands of blogs in every area of interest.
I like reading blogs. Most of the ones I enjoy reading aren't automotive related, but it takes all sorts.
Guest blogging is good, too. A different perspective on a subject is often refreshing and thought provoking.
Some of the blogs I read belong to university students. Some of them are journalism students. As a a potential future employer, and already involved in decisions on recruitment, it's useful to see which students are likely candidates for roles on our editorial team.
By 'roles' I mean proper writing. Yes, journalists are paid to write. Not much but most of us manage to make a living from it.
I also see many students writing on automotive blogs owned by other people. We work in a highly competitive industry with far more people who want to be in it than there are jobs.
Guest blogging is good for the reasons outlined above. But regular blogging on someone else's site? If you're passionate about writing and enthusiastic about a particular subject, you might think "Why not? It's all good practice."
But your own personal blog is the best shop window for your own ability, and don't let those other bloggers tempt you by calling it unpaid 'work experience'.
Trust me. It isn't work experience. Providing copy for free regularly on someone else's blog is giving them the best part of the deal.
Spending time in an environment producing a publication with other team members, whether it's digital or good old print, is where you really learn the job and create a good impression that will encourage editors to think about employing you.
Many successful careers in journalism have been given a welcome boost in this way.
So what can you do to help?