This post is based on Episode 185 of the ProBlogger podcast.
Whether you’re looking to become a full-time blogger, want to supplement your blogging income, or simply want to make a bit of money to support your own blog as it grows, finding a paid blogging job can help you go further, faster.
Back in 2006 I started the ProBlogger job board. Since then we’ve had well over 10,000 jobs listed on that board. Typically there’s at least one new job each day, and often as many as five or six. Most of them are writing-related, but there are also jobs aimed at editors and other types of content creators.
Featured jobs appear at the top of the board (where advertisers have paid a little extra), and the other jobs appear beneath them with the most recent at the top. There are usually three or four pages of active jobs at any given time.
I even use the job board myself. Several times a year I advertise for writers for Digital Photography School. But while we get a lot of applications (often 60 or more), a lot of those applying don’t do themselves any favours.
So today I’ll be sharing ten tips for applying for a job on the ProBlogger job board (or any other job board) in a way that will help you stand out for the crowd.
Tip #1: If You See a Job You’d Like, Act Quickly!
Advertisers sometimes remove a job within 24 hours of posting it because they managed to fill the position. Obviously you don’t want to send a rushed, half-complete application. But you should get it in fairly promptly.
Here are a few ways to find out about the jobs as soon as they’re advertised:
- Use the jobs board RSS feed of all jobs.
- Set up an email alert on the jobs board. (Look in the sidebar, or scroll down if you’re using a mobile.) You can enter a keyword to get only jobs that use that keyword, or leave it blank to get a daily email with all the new jobs.
- Follow the ProBlogger Twitter account, where we tweet each new job once.
By default, jobs stay on the board for 30 days. We encourage advertisers to close their jobs once they’re filled, but not everyone does this. If you see an older job that looks like a great fit for you, it’s fine to email the advertiser and check whether the job is still open before applying.
Tip #2: Follow the Instructions in the Job Listing
Different advertisers will want you to apply in different ways. And they often tell you exactly what they want from you.
When advertising for Digital Photography School writers we’ve asked for specific things, such as examples of their work. We’ve also told applicants not to send in a full resume. But if you looked through the applications we get you’d be amazed how many people clearly didn’t read the instructions.
If you apply for a job and don’t follow the instructions, it’s a signal to the advertiser that you don’t pay attention to detail. So make sure you read the job listing carefully and do everything you’re asked to do.
Tip #3: Be Willing to “Sell Yourself”
So many people applying for DPS jobs sell themselves short. I know it can be hard to write confidently about your skills and abilities. But you need to put your best foot forward and give people a reason to hire you.
Talk about your previous experience, your knowledge, and your passion for the topic. Emphasise skills such as working with others or whatever else you can bring to the job. It’s not about selling yourself as something you’re not. It’s about making the most of everything you have.
Tip #4: Write Your Application Well
I’m always amazed at people who don’t proofread their applications. When you’re applying for a blogging job – which inevitably involves a lot of writing – your written application gives the advertiser an idea of how good you’ll be.
If you send an application that’s well written, well structured, spell-checked, and grammatically correct, you’ll put yourself ahead of your competition. Proofread your application and, if you can, get someone else to proofread it for you too.
Tip #5: Give Examples of Your Previous Work
Most of the jobs on our jobs board ask for examples of posts you’ve written previously.
Sometimes they’ll ask for links to articles you’ve had published somewhere else. (Ideally these will be on someone else’s site, but articles on your own site is often fine too.) Sometimes they’ll ask for a document or PDF file with a sample of your writing. Look at what they’re asking for, and make sure you send your samples in their preferred format.
When you’re deciding which pieces to use, think about:
- Including a link to your own blog (if you’re already a blogger). This will help demonstrate your experience.
- Choosing pieces relevant to the job (e.g. a post about travel for a travel writing blog). If you don’t have anything, you may even want to write a post for your own blog you can link to.
- Choosing pieces that match the style the advertiser is looking for. Take a look at their blog and find out what type of content they produce. Is it conversational or formal? Is it short and concise or more detailed?
- Offering a range of different types of content to show your versatility (unless they’re only advertising for a particular type of content, such as list posts). For instance, you may want to show them:
- a list post
- a “how to” post
- a more humorous post
- a story-driven post.
Tip #6: Be Concise and Don’t Overwhelm the Advertiser
When I talk to advertisers who post jobs on the ProBlogger job board, they often tell me they’re getting a lot of applications. If they receive a long application, it can take them quite a while just to read and process it.
So while you should include everything they ask for in your application, you should also be concise. This isn’t the place to tell them your life story. Don’t overwhelm the advertiser with tons of detail. Instead, select the most important information.
Tip #7: Demonstrate a Knowledge of Blogging Itself
As well as showing you know the topic area well (which I’ll get to in a moment), you need to show you understand the technical side of blogging.
For instance, if you regularly share content on a blog, and you’re familiar with WordPress or another blogging tool, make sure you let the advertiser know. Give them a link to your blog, or tell them how long you’ve been using WordPress.
These tell the advertiser that you’re serious about blogging and already have the skills you need. They’ll know they won’t have to invest time teaching you how to create a blog post in WordPress or how to add an image to a post.
If you don’t already got a blog of your own, get one going. We have an entire free course to help you.
Tip #8: Demonstrate Knowledge of the Topic
I’m sure this is obvious, but people won’t employ you to write for their blog if you don’t have a good understanding of the topic.
Ideally you’ll have already written about that topic. But you may be able to show your understanding of the topic in other ways. You may have had some training on it through work, or delivered workshops. Or maybe it’s a hobby you engage in extensively.
Demonstrating you know their topic well and you’re up to date with the latest trends within it will add a lot to your application.
Tip #9: Only Apply to Jobs That Are a Good Fit for You
In the past few years I’ve found that some people apply for every job that appears on the job board. And it inevitably comes across in the applications, where are pretty much copied and pasted from one job to the next.
Don’t give an advertiser the impression you’re desperate for any job. They want to know you’re a great fit for their job. Tailor your application to what they need, and make sure you have the skills they’re looking for.
Tip #10: Demonstrate You’re Willing to Go Beyond Just Writing
While it’s crucial to show advertisers you have the writing experience and abilities they’re looking for, you can also offer them something more.
For instance, if you have experience in design, search engine optimisation, editing, creating video or anything like that, list it at the bottom of your application. It will show the advertiser they’re not just getting a writer. They’re also getting someone who can help with search engine optimisation, or create new types of content for their blog.
You can also include links to your social network profiles, and tell advertisers you’re willing to promote the content you write on your social networks. This can be an added bonus for an advertiser, as it will help bring traffic to their site.
If you follow even half of these tip you’ll immediately put yourself ahead of a lot of other people applying. Follow them all, and you’ll really stand out from the crowd.
Check out the ProBlogger jobs board and see if there are jobs you’d like to apply for.
Good luck with your hunt.
Image credit: Grovemade