How to Apply for a Blog Job

Posted By Darren Rowse 30th of August 2006 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Heads Up!

There is a phishing scam hitting many job boards that is hard for us to detect. We're doing our best to moderate and spot them, but the scam starts once you contact them and usually involves a request for a Skype interview, to download a zip file with their 'writing guidelines' or 'payment terms', and to send them an invoice via Paypal. The file is a keystroke logger and they're looking to steal your Paypal credentials. Please see our Tips for Applying Safely Online before applying for any jobs. 

So you want a blog job……

Well some of you seem to if the amount of traffic and subscribers to the feed at the Job Boards are anything to go by.

I’ve just been chatting to a number of the advertisers who have listed jobs and there have been three resounding pieces of feedback:

  1. They have had a lot of applicants.
  2. They’ve had some amazing quality applicants.
  3. They’ve also had some applicants who are not doing themselves any favors in the way they’ve applied for positions.

It’s this last point that I’d like to address in this post.

The fact is that there are significantly more people looking for blog jobs than there are jobs on the market at present. This is definitely changing as more businesses and networks emerge – however for the time being, if you are a blogger looking for work, you need to think quite carefully about how you apply for blogging jobs.

Here are 11 tips to keep in mind as you apply:

1. Act Quickly

Jobs on the ProBlogger Job board go quickly. We regularly see advertisers mark their jobs as filled within 24 hours of them being posted.

While I’d encourage applicants not to rush the process (and come across as not having thought it through) I would suggest that you need to act reasonably quickly when applying for a blog job or you could miss out. 24 hours is a long time in blogging – take any longer than that to express your interest in a job and you might miss out on it.

There are a few ways to make sure you see new jobs quickly. Firstly if you’re an RSS feed reader we have an Job Board RSS feed that you can subscribe to.

Secondly there’s a feature in the sidebar of the job board where you can set up email alerts. You can add a keyword to filter the jobs if you have a specific category of job that you want (eg put ‘travel’ in if you just want to hear about jobs that have that keyword) or if you want to be alerted of all jobs leave the keyword blank and just put in your email address and we’ll send you a daily digest of the new jobs of all types.

Lastly all new jobs are tweeted once on the ProBlogger Twitter account.

Note: also be aware that jobs stay listed on the job board for 30 days. While we encourage advertisers to close them when they hire someone – not all advertisers do this so some of the older jobs may actually be filled.

2. Follow the Instructions

Many of those advertising ask for specific things to be included in their applications. Some ask for examples of writing, others ask for links to your blogs, others ask you to answer a question and all ask you to apply in a certain way.

A consistent piece of feedback from advertisers has been that many applicants fail to apply in a way that is consistent with the instructions.

Failing to show that you can follow steps outlined in a job advertisement isn’t a good first impression to a prospective employer so read the ad carefully and respond to what is asked.

3. Sell Yourself

I’ve noticed that at Digital Photography School when we last advertised for writers using our job board that a few bloggers seemed to be suffering from inferiority complexes and sent in applications that could almost have been interpreted as a list of reasons NOT to hire them.

As with any other non blogging job, applicants should see their application as an opportunity to sell themselves for the blog in question.

Give concise reasons why you would be good for the blog. Talk about your experience, your knowledge of the topic, your passion for communication, the way you work with others etc.

There’s no need to present yourself as something that you’re not or to hype yourself up – but as you write ask yourself whether what you’re adding to your application would make someone more or less likely to hire you.

4. Write Well

Blogging is largely a written medium and your written application gives your prospective employer a hint as to how well you will perform. See your application as an audition in and of itself and put together a well written, well spelt, well structured application that demonstrates your grasp of grammar and the written language and you’ll be a step closer to securing the position.

Proof read your application before sending it in and get someone else to proof read it if you’re able to to pick up the mistakes you’ll miss.

5. Give examples of your Work

Most job ads ask for examples of your work so you should be prepared to give them as they can make or break your chances. There are a number of things to consider in the choices you make around what to give as examples:

  • unless asked for full written examples include links to your work on your own blog/site (something a number of advertisers have fed back to me)
  • if you do need to include full examples, put them at the end of your application where they won’t disrupt the flow of your application letter
  • pick examples of your work that relate to the blog you’re applying for (for example pick examples that highlight your expertise in the topic and show off the style of writing that the blog would be in
  • pick a number of posts that show your versatility and diversity of writing styles (ie you might like to submit a list post, a humorous post and a ‘how to’ type post.
  • if you don’t have a suitable example already – write one specifically for the application

6. Be Concise

Advertisers are reporting that they are getting quite a few applications.

I know from personal experience that it takes time to wade through them all so you can stand out by being concise and not overwhelming people with your applications.

Don’t be too brief however – you do need to include everything that they ask for and sell yourself (see above).

7. Demonstrate a Knowledge of Blogging

Different jobs require different levels of experience in different fields but it would usually be an advantage to show your understanding of the medium.

You can do this by showing your own blog (with a link) if you have one and ensuring that when your potential employer goes to look at it that it’s updated, professional and working.

Give examples of how you’ve built your blog over time and what blogging tools and platforms you’re familiar with.

If you don’t already have a blog then I’d highly recommend starting one.

In my experience, most blog employers are looking for someone with at least some experience in blogging and even a basic personal one that you can show as an example of how you can maintain a blog over the long term can help your application.

8. Demonstrate a Knowledge of the Topic

This is vital. People don’t generally employ or contract people to write a blog for them on a topic that they have no knowledge in or passion for.

Show that you have a good grasp of the topic by talking a little about it and how you’d tackle the blog. List relevant non writing experience you have with the topic.

The examples of your writing can be a great place to do this.

9. Don’t apply for Everything

I’ve discovered over the last few years that there are a few bloggers out there that are serial appliers for blog jobs. No matter what the topic they seem to apply for it, even though they have little or no understanding of the topic in many cases.

While I know it can be frustrating to see jobs advertised that you’re not suitable for – it doesn’t do your reputation much good if you apply for them anyway.

10. Demonstrate that you’re willing to go beyond writing well

Over the last few months I’ve noticed a change in how those listing jobs on the job board are advertising for bloggers.

While previously they seemed to be just looking for writers – these days they are also looking for people who will go beyond the basics of adding content and are looking for people who will demonstrate an ability to build a blog in other ways.

So if you feel you have expertise in another area than just writing demonstrate this also.

It might be blog promotion and marketing, it could be building community on a blog , it might be SEO, social media, editing, or it could be blog design. If you have experience in creating other types of content (eg video, podcasting etc) then list these too.

The more skills you bring to the blog the more likely you are to get a second look in the initial filtering stage.

If you have a large social network and are willing to promote the content you write to your network include this too as it’ll be very attractive to advertisers.

11. Stand Out from the Crowd

I’ve already alluded to the fact that there seems to be a significant oversupply in bloggers in comparison to blog jobs at present.

This is definitely changing however you need to assume that when you send a job blog application that it will be one of a number of others.

As a result you need to consider how you’ll stand out. You can do this by doing all of the above – but you might also want to consider how you can go above and beyond to get the attention of your potential employer. Don’t be gimmicky or cheesy – but be creative and entrepreneurial and you could just get an edge.

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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Thanks for the great entry, Darren. I can vouch for #2 as being a significant problem. Whenever I am looking for people for anything, I provide detailed instructions and expect a follow through that meets those requirements. If someone can’t take the time to dot their I’s and cross their T’s, the likelihood of them being able to follow through on a contract and expectations is slim.

  2. Being interested in blog jobs but not thinking I’m good enough to apply for them this post really helped out.

    I still think (and know) that I have things to work on but this posts helps with pinpointing key areas. Thanks for the tips Darren.

  3. It’s interesting reading what jobs are available. It gives some idea of what topics are hot.

    Does it ever snow in Australia?

  4. Great tips.

  5. […] Update: Darren Rowse has some good tips on getting a job over at Problogger. […]

  6. After looking again at the job board, is there a way Darren that the site could be updated to let prospective bloggers know when a job has been filled it may save the blogger and advertiser a lot of time and energy.

  7. Great tips, Darren, I always enjoy your posts, you have a way of directing the blogging orchestra.

    However, I just posted an article on Nigerian scam in my new blog, could you please help me drive traffic to it, we are trying to fight this crime, its killing us here in Nigeria.

  8. Awesome post as always, insightful and motivational.

    A Los Angeles Acting School

  9. Darren’s second point is vital. If you can’t follow instructions then you’re simply showing that you are not the right person for the job you’re applying for.

    Many businesses get so many applications for a position that the first filter they apply is whether or not the application has been made in the way that was requested in the ad for the job.

    When we’re looking for a new writer it doesn’t matter how wonderful an applicant’s resume looks, if their application isn’t presented in the way we requested then it goes straight into the garbage.

    Wentworth – it does snow in some parts of Australia. Wise Australians live in parts of the country where we can wear shorts all year round :)

  10. Back in traditional business,
    if the candidate can’t follow instructions,
    their resumes are tossed.

    UNLESS the position is for a role that requires creativity or extreme confidence.

    Would I turn away a salesman who instead of e-mailing his application,
    dropped it off personally, sweet talking the receptionist and learning the names of key contacts?
    Of course not!

  11. Do you want to be a blogger?…

    Whether you are competing with thousands of people for a ProBlogger Job Board job or applying to become an ITToolbox blogger you should read the tips from Darren Rouse from Problogger on How to Apply for a Blog Job….

  12. we’ll be adding a feature to tell people when the job is filled shortly. It will be up to advertisers to let us know that it is but it’ll help cut down on needless applications.

  13. […] You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your ownsite. […]

  14. snows here quite a bit – in some parts.

  15. This is one of the many best things you do for bloggers.

  16. […] Darren Rowse of Job Boards and Problogger has provided some tips on How to Apply for a Blog Job. Some of Darrens tips include: […]

  17. Perhaps you could also start a topic aimed at small companies looking to hire employees. Simple replies acknowledging receipt of application might be one suggestion for one of the employers listed on your board. It only takes a minute to set up a boilerplate response.

  18. […] OK let’s assume you decided to apply for the job… what should you do next… the answer is to be found here:link […]

  19. You summarize it concisely. A lot of people underestimate themselves and didn’t do justice to themselves. Some of them even just sent a two liner as an application. Said a lot for their laziness…~

  20. # 9 i think is the most important aspect don’t rush for everything. just concentrate more on your knowlegdable topics.

  21. I just stumbled upon your blog after reading John Chow’s blog. I love the information and the tips are great too! I am relatively new to blogging and have been considering starting a blog. I am having a difficult time with coming up with a name for my blog.

  22. Ashlee says: 07/09/2007 at 8:32 am

    I am just starting out, but love to write. Can anyone give me advice? It seems as if you have to be well experienced to do this.

  23. I think anyone can start out. Just start with easier jobs with good deadlines and keep your schedule clear.

  24. Good entry, finally some useful and practical advice from the guys themselves. This really helps. Thanks for posting this!

  25. Did you think about offrering this service in other languages?

  26. web2.0 jobs the future?

  27. […] Having run the ProBlogger Job Boards for over a year now and having seen hundreds of jobs advertised in that time – there are a number of tips that I’d give to advertisers looking to fill job positions via our blogger job boards (note – if you’re a blogger looking for a job then I wrote a post previously on How to Apply for a Blog Job). […]

  28. i want to be blogger,your word is so useful for me.thank you very much.

  29. When there is because this service in german? web2.0 is the future for a long time. Stupid comment from the user ‘jobs and more’. bye… :)

  30. Awesome tips! Thanks ;-)

    Michele
    Writing the Cyber Highway

  31. I have started some suggestions/tips for finding a new job. Feel free to add your tips or anything that would help someone in finding a new job.

  32. Here is the link to the blog i started:

    http://jobsearchaid.blogspot.com/

  33. Thanks for the good advice posted here. I am somewhat niched in political satire but am seeing how it goes. I’ll let you know.

  34. i also looking for a job,but how ? there are many people outside there…but they are just giving the job to someone else.

  35. Antenna says: 01/31/2008 at 9:08 am

    Considering the onslaught of bloggers and blog sites, I would imagine editors will soon be in demand.

  36. Mohanraj says: 02/01/2008 at 4:27 pm

    Interesting post for the budding bloggers like me. Thanks for the tips Darren.

    Love with blogging
    Mohanraj

  37. #12……. write, write, write, like your life depends on it! One must love creating articles for folks to enjoy…. articles that draw people in – make them want more – make them want to comment…enroll….buy….sell…..dream….

    It does no good to write for the check – without putting your heart in it it’s just words.

    Philosophy of the true blogger: ‘Blog before food….’

  38. Good entry, there are some useful and practical advice. Thanks for posting this!

  39. namrata singh says: 05/02/2008 at 10:01 pm

    how to become a blog writter?

    hi! i really appriciate the topic however i wanted to know how to apply for a blogger writter and is it essential to have a few blogs already online. i m new to this and have a flair and passion to write so if some bdy can enlighten me on the same it wud be very helpful.

  40. Namrata Singh – It is probably a very good idea to have at least one blog already up and running before you apply. Same any any other job, a lack of experience will play against you.

  41. Namrata Singh – It is probably a very good idea to have at least one blog already up and running before you apply. Same any any other job, a lack of experience will play against you.

  42. hi! i really appriciate the topic however i wanted to know how to apply for a blogger writter and is it essential to have a few blogs already online. i m new to this and have a flair and passion to write so if some bdy can enlighten me on the same it wud be very helpful.

  43. write, write, write, like your life depends on it! One must love creating articles for folks to enjoy…. articles that draw people in – make them want more – make them want to comment…enroll….buy….sell…..dream….

    It does no good to write for the check – without putting your heart in it it’s just words.

    Philosophy of the true blogger: ‘Blog before food….

  44. […] 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 […]

  45. […] his post, Darren also references a earlier post of his from 2006 on how to apply for a blog job. Great advice all around from […]

  46. Namrata Singh – It is probably a very good idea to have at least one blog already up and running before you apply. Same any any other job, a lack of experience will play against you.

  47. Being interested in blog jobs but not thinking I’m good enough to apply for them this post really helped out.

    Same any any other job, a lack of experience will play against you.

  48. Considering the onslaught of bloggers and blog sites, I would imagine editors will soon be in demand.

  49. Considering the onslaught of bloggers and blog sites, I would imagine editors will soon be in demand.