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Applying for a Blogger Job? Treat it Seriously

Posted By Darren Rowse 20th of August 2008 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Today I received an email from one of the advertisers on the ProBlogger Job Boards. They reflected back to me that they’d had a lot of ‘low quality’ job applications and made some suggestions for those looking to apply for a blogger job.

I’ll include their suggestions below.

Let me say that I get a variety of feedback from advertisers on the job boards. Most tell me that they get great applications and generally quickly fill jobs (some end up hiring more than one blogger because they get so many good applicants) – but mixed in with them are always blogger job applications that they immediately disqualify due to poor quality.

Essential reading for all those applying for blogger jobs should be – how to apply for a blog job where I give 11 tips on applying for job board positions. However let me share with you the three points that the advertiser that I mentioned above made in their feedback about problems that they saw applications having (I’ve put their points in quotations and added a couple of comments of my own:

Grammar and spelling – should go without saying, but we saw way too many applicants with poor grammar and spelling. Get someone to double check before sending.”

It staggers me that bloggers would not work hard to communicate clearly when applying for a job that is all about communicating clearly! While I understand not everyone has an amazing command on the English language – those looking to hire bloggers for commercial positions will take your abilities in your application as a hint as to how well you’ll perform on their blog.

Follow directions – Increase your chances of the job seeker liking you by actually following the directions stated at the bottom of the email. Don’t, in a rush, send off an email with your resume attached when they ask for no attachments. Attention to detail is key to making a good first impression over email.”

Once again – this is common sense but something I saw many applicants fail to follow when I’ve previously advertised for bloggers personally. Failing to follow instructions again signals to your potential employee that you might not be the right person for the job.

Email address – drop the cutesy “xxxxx [email protected]” email address and opt for something more professional. For extra bonus points, register a domain name that is professional and clever, and create a simple “[email protected]” email alias.”

I personally wouldn’t rate this one quite as highly as the others – however it does add to the professionalism of your application and shows that you’ve gone to a little effort in branding yourself as an online worker.

Take it Seriously

Ultimately my main advice to bloggers wanting to get a blogging job is to take the application process seriously. Treat it as though you are applying for any job.

Advertisers are not advertising on the Job Boards simply for fun or looking for sub par bloggers. They are businesses looking to hire professionals. Present yourself this way and you’ll stand out from the crowd and give yourself every chance of landing yourself a blogging job.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I’ve definitely found that with blogging, just like anything in life, quality is key. Thanks for the great information and insight!

  2. First impression matters. The best of these tip is your email address. Choose a professional email address to show you are serious.

    Darren, I noticed your entrecard widget, have you decided to bring it back?

  3. Thanks a lot for this Darren. I’ve been looking around at blogger jobs lately and this guide will be a big help.

    I’d love to see more about finding jobs as bloggers if you’ve got more to say.

  4. Japan has a lot of blogging jobs nowadays. It seems that Japanese companies are going for English blogs to help them market their products and services to the rest of the world.

    Thought you folks should know that.

  5. The sad part is you could have a part two on every blog post you write from here to eternity and there will still be people that do not follow directions.

    These are also the people that generally start blogging about how blogging is a scam and no real jobs are available.

    Oh – and that working from home is a farce and only scam artists are successful.. Or that we’re all lying about working successfully from home.

  6. As I was just re-reading this post I thought it was interesting how similar this is to starting your own blog. The readers are the employers and, just like you explained how easy it is for the advertisers to disqualify an applicant for poor quality, so does the reader. When I go to a blog site for the first time I have an immediate first impression that affects the way I perceive the content. When I see a completely stock, ‘dime a dozen’ WordPress Theme, misspelled words all over the place and poor grammar I get turned off very quickly. As much as we want to believe it’s all about the writing there’s no doubt that every aspect is important when it comes to having a successful blog. (I am in no way a pro at this. My blog is very new and, for all I know, falls into the category described. I just know the difference from a blog that’s done right and one that’s ALL WRONG.)
    I just wanted to point out that this is great info, not only for the blog applicant but also for anyone starting their own blogging website.

  7. I agree with “Motivate Thyself” here, these points are most definitely similar to what to remember when starting your own blog. If you’re looking for your blog to be taken professionally, you must drop the “cutesy” name (cutesy and clever are not interchangeable) and using proper grammar and spelling are so important. When reading blogs, if I’m greeted with a bunch of bad grammar and poor spelling, especially if that blogger says that they use FireFox which has its own spell checker incorporated within the browser, I just click off of it and go to the next blog.

    I haven’t applied for a blog job, but I do work with many people looking to start their own blogs and even I look for these same qualities when choosing who I will work with in regards to my business. The big rule here is to simply come off as professional if you’re looking to be taken seriously; it’s as simple as that.

  8. Applying for a blogging job is like applying for any other job: First impressions are the most important!

    All you have to present to the potential employer are words, and those words must be as impressive as you can possibly make them. Unprofessional words are an immediate reason to hit the delete button, just like unprofessional looks sour a face-to-face interview within seconds.

    It’s the same when you’re looking for a guest blogging invitation. Present yourself as professionally as you would when applying for the invitation in person!

    Though I have been contacted by several people looking for a guest blogging invitation, I have turned them all down for the same reason: unprofessionalism.

  9. I’ve been working on my grammar myself as I know it’s a weak point of mine. A copy of “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White is something that I’ve found very useful.

    I see a lot of grammar and spelling issues with resumes that I review, these are quickly discarded but are basically annoying.

  10. Check your work. All of us, hopefully, learned to do this in elementary school. The same thing applies here. It’s amazing how many mistakes we can take care of, just by reading our work over.

  11. Great reminder post Darren.

    I like how you highlighted “Follow Instructions” as many of my applicants don’t do this. They could have stellar resumes but if they cant follow the simple instructions…..

  12. Darren –

    Couldn’t agree more. I have hired people for other small one off jobs, and even at that level, I can’t believe how unprofessional some people are. Sometimes I get an application with no cover letter, no resume – just a few words such as “I can do this. What’s the pay rate?” etc etc

    Now, if I was advertising for a problogger, and I recognized the NAME (such as say a Darren Rowse applying) then I might write back – but it’s always somebody who is just scanning the boards, sees an opportunity and is applying to everything. Cover letter, resume, some indication that you read my job posting and took it seriously, or you aren’t getting contacted.

  13. A blogger job is still A job, so it must always be taken seriously. It escapes me as to why most of my college friends still use their “cutesy” email addresses on their resumes despite the many warnings and explanations in technical writing classes.

  14. To play Devil’s advocate for a second – surely some of these advertisers seeking ‘professionals’ aren’t surprised at the quality of applicants when they’re paying $5 per 600-1000 word post?

    If you want professionals you need to pay for them. All that said, your points apply to all jobs – if you don’t look the goods you haven’t a chance.

  15. One of the ways we evaluate blogger applications is to check whether they follow our specific instructions about how to name the file they e-mail to us. Over 60 percent of the applicants ignore the instructions. Think those would-be bloggers rise to the top of our “must hire” list? Nope.

    But we can hardly wait to hire one applicant, who kindly informed of us of a typo he’d found on OUR site. He did it with grace and humor. He’ll be the next person we hire when we have an opening that fits his skills and interests.

    Laura Christianson
    co-founder, HeBlogsSheBlogs.com

  16. I must learn how to applying a Blogger Job…

  17. Very nice suggestions here. Spell check is nowadays becoming so easy with Firefox already shipping the built in spell checker with it. But yet many people do forget about it.

    Good one on that email address too :D

  18. A lot of these postings require freelance rates and salary requirements…. how would you deal with that? Different kinds of posts require different levels of work, and I feel uncomfortable talking numbers without really getting a good idea of what the client wants.

  19. I’d say that people should think the whole idea of becoming a blogger through much more seriously. From my experience a lot of people are just not ready to really do what the serious blogging requires (although they think they are when just starting). Therefore the application for a blogging job and the the whole blogging later on can’t be but lame. Perhaps it would be a good idea to restate several times what quality blogging really requires when searching for a blogger to employ so we could have much more quality blogs.

  20. Darren

    All of these are great pointers and to me they all share the same trait – they are good common sense pointers. I agree with several of the comments here regarding the professional email. Nothing turns me off a prospect faster than a yahoo, GMail or worse hotmail address used for business.

    It is all about first impressions people, make them count.

  21. I ain’t working for the man!

  22. After seeing a flashy real estate agent card and reading the email address as bigtaym@popularmailplace_dot_com, you have wonder if the person couldn’t get clean gmail address. Yahoo and hotmail simply don’t convey the professionalism anymore.

    The email point does rate high in terms of impression. JMHO.

  23. As for the email address, I’d say that although the professional email address is a must thing to have, there are some situations when the yahoo or hotmail email address will be needed.
    If you run a large email list you may find out not all of your messages sent to your prospects end up in their email boxes. Don’t know about others but as I’ve done some research about the delivery rate of my messages I established some of my messages were never delivered to their destination. It turned out that my professional email address has been rejected due to strict and too many times “wrongfully” strict spam regulations. I discovered that competition may have had something to do with my professional address being deemed a spam. Moreover I learned how to defame the reputation of a certain email address myself. This in order to learn what exactly could be happening when your email is rejected for no valid reason.
    Anyway, I wanted my email messages to be delivered to my subscribers. After some more research I found out that the hotmail address I created for this purpose was getting through the obstacles and was received by my subscribers. Isn’t that the most important thing? To deliver what you’ve promised! What I want to say here, gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc. addresses don’t have to mean that the business using those is not credible. It may just be that the specific situation require those in order to reach all of your online friends.

  24. I really love the job boards here and I take a lot of pride in my responses to potential employers. I’ve found a really good and reliable job through this site already and look forward to more.

    Thanks for everything you do, Darren.

  25. Darren makes some good points. However, companies like B5Media always advertise but in12 attempts I’ve never been able to connect and I make most of my living from blogging.

    The other guys are offering below crap for writing. It’s okay if want to work for $5 a post.

  26. Most of the writing jobs I see are paying absurdly low wages for the work required. $5 per 600 word article is absolutely inadequate for a professional writer. I charge $60 for such an article, and would never apply to any posting that pays less than that rate.

    Lowell’s comment above is absolutely correct — you get what you pay for…

  27. Great post, Darren! But I have to agree with the other comments re: the obscenely low rate of pay for some of these blogging “jobs.” If they want professionalism and quality, they are going to have to start paying for it!

  28. Great post. We often post feedback from clients who advertise jobs at FWJ and while the bulk of the feedback is positive, the biggest pet peeve is when the applicants don’t follow directions.

    Applicant’s should always take their time with their cover letters and resumes. Proofread several times and also check the ad several times to make sure no stone is left unturned.

    If I can offer one more recommendation – Take a little time to know your potential client. Check out his website, learn about his product, follow him on Twitter (that last item is what moved my resume to the top of the heap for my BlogTalkRadio gig, by the way) and let him know you’ve been doing your homework. Employers like to know you’ll go that extra mile.

  29. I subscribe to about 10 Blogs on Affiliate Marketing and Blogging, and this is the only one I can think of that uses correct grammer, and does not contain any spelling mistakes.
    It blows me away how few people pay attention to these details, as poor spelling and grammar drive people like me crazy because I am a fast reader, and my concentration gets broken frequently.
    I congratulate you on that, and also a very good post.

  30. I do not agree with him! Why it’s necessary to a have [email protected] email?

  31. This new year the web will come of age. Quality will prevail as the cream rises to the surface

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