How to Apply for a Blogging Job
In today’s lesson, I want to talk about finding a job as a blogger – particularly how to apply for a blogging job.
Back in 2006 I noticed I started getting a lot of two types of emails:
- People wanting to hire bloggers would email me asking if I knew anyone suitable for a blogging job that they had.
- Bloggers would email asking if I knew anyone looking to hire a blogger.
After months of getting these kinds of emails and manually playing matchmaker I decided it would be easier if I just created a place for people to meet one another.
I started the ProBlogger job board where those looking to hire bloggers could advertise their blogging job opportunities and bloggers could apply for the jobs.
While it started slow with just a new job every few days – since 2006 we’ve had well over 10,000 jobs listed!
These days there’s usually 1-5 new jobs listed on the boards – with some days as many as 10 new ones going up.
Late last year we redesigned the job board and added some new categories. Now you can not only advertise to find a writer but there’s the ability to find people to work as editors/proofreaders, ghostwriters, promoters/marketers, copywriters and more.
I use the job board to advertise for writers on my own photography blog several times a year and we always find great candidates but every time we do it highlights to me that some people could do with some help in putting their application together.
So in today’s episode I want to give you some tips for applying for a blogging job.
If you’re looking for work at the moment – this is the episode for you.
Further Resources on How to Get a Blogging Job
Hi there and welcome to episode 185 of the ProBlogger podcast.
My name is Darren Rowse and I am the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, event, job board and a series of ebooks all designed to help you as a blogger to start your blog, to grow your audience, to create great content, engage with that audience and hopefully make some money from your blog as well.
You can learn more about ProBlogger and all we do over at problogger.com. Just look at the menu at the top and you’ll find all of the different things I’ve just mentioned.
In today’s lesson, I want to talk about finding a job as a blogger, particularly how to apply for a blogging job. Back in 2006, I noticed I started getting two types of questions quite regularly from readers of ProBlogger. Firstly, there was one group of bloggers who wanted to hire someone to work for them. Either as a writer, an editor or in some other aspect of their business and these people would email me and go, do you know anyone who’s suitable for this type of job?
The second type of email were from people looking for work. People saying I want a part time job, I’m building my blog, I need to pick up some other work. Do you know anyone wanting to hire someone like me? I realized I was good at playing the matchmaker and I used to try and match people up and look through the emails I was getting from people wanting to hire and try and match them up with a people looking to be hired but it was a bit of a clunky process. I decided it would be a lot easier if I just created a place where people could meet one another.
I started the ProBlogger Job Board. This is a place where people looking to hire bloggers could advertise their jobs and people looking for work could apply for those jobs. It started in 2006, I can’t remember exactly when in the year but it started very slowly. I remember going to a few of my friend’s and saying, hey, do you want to advertise for free on it? Just to get some jobs out there and I think it launched with five or six different jobs. Every few days someone else would advertise on it.
Since that time, it’s grown and the demand for people looking to hire writers and bloggers for different aspects of their business has grown. Since 2006, we’ve had well over 10,000 jobs listed on that job board. Over 10 years now, we’ve had about 1,000 jobs per year on average, although it has escalated. These days, typically, there’s at least one new job advertised every day. Sometimes as many as five or six. I think our record was 12 jobs in one day listed. As I just looked at it now, there’s over 100 jobs listed on the job board right now, four whole pages worth of them.
Late last year we redesigned the job board and added some new categories. Now you can not only advertise if you want to find a writer but you can also advertise for editors, proofreaders, ghostwriters, copywriters, even people to help you promote your blog. There’s a number of different categories that you can advertise there for.
If you are looking for work at the moment, as a blogger, you want to supplement your income in some way, there’s a variety of different types of jobs being advertised there. Most of them are writing related but we’re increasingly seeing people looking for editors and other types of content creators as well.
I use the job board to advertise for writers from my own Photography Blogs several times a year. One of the things I noticed is that we get quite a few applications, last time we advertised we had 60 people apply but quite a few of the applications really didn’t themselves any favors. I’ve realized every time I advertise that a lot of bloggers are applying for jobs in ways that really don’t help them to get the jobs.
In today’s episode, I want to give you some tips for applying for a job on the ProBlogger job board or another job board as well. If you are looking for work at the moment, as a blogger or in some related field, this episode is for you.
I’ve got today’s show notes over at problogger.com/podcast/185 where I’ll link to the job board and also give you some further reading as well.
First thing I want to say is that if you are looking for the job board, head over to problogger.com/ jobs. It’s pretty simple to remember, problogger.com/jobs and you’ll find the job board. You’ll see on the front page there are some featured jobs, advertisers who pay a little bit extra to have their job featured for the whole month at the top. If you scroll through the pages, there are three or four different pages with 30 or so jobs per page there. You’ll see there are some fascinating jobs listed there from time to time.
That’s the first thing I’ll say, head over to the job board and have a look at what is being advertised there. I’ve got 11 things for you to keep in mind as you’re putting together your application.
First thing is to act quickly. The jobs on the job boards do go quickly and we regularly see advertisers put a job up and within 24 hours they take the job down because they’ve already filled the job. You’ll see there’s three or four pages where the jobs in there. There’s also been other jobs advertised in the last month that are no longer there.
I do encourage you to act quickly. You don’t want to rush the process, you don’t want to apply with a half organized application, you want to actually put together something of quality but you do need to act reasonably quickly. Even 24 hours is a long time in blogging land. If you see an opportunity, put aside some time to act fairly quickly.
There are a number of things that you can do to make sure you see the jobs quickly as soon as they’re advertised. Firstly, you use RSS feeds and you have an RSS feed reader. We have an RSS feed, you can follow that that into your feed reader and see the jobs as they come up.
Secondly, there’s also a feature in the sidebar on the job board. If you go to the job board now, if you’re looking at a desktop, you’ll see in the sidebar. If you are in a mobile, you might need to scroll down a little bit to see it. There’s an opportunity there for you to setup an email alert. You can add in your email address and you can add in a keyword as well if you want to filter the jobs.
If you only want to find food blogging jobs, if you write about food, you might want to put in the word food there and it will only send you an email if the job is listed that uses the word food in the job. Or if you’re a travel blogger, you might want to just put in the word travel. If you’re interested in lots of categories, you can leave the keyword field empty and we will email you once a day with all the new jobs. I actually subscribe to that just to see the new jobs that come up and the email comes through once a day and you get a digest of the new jobs. That’s one way to be alerted via email when the new jobs go up.
Lastly, you can also follow the ProBlogger Twitter account because every new job gets tweeted out once as well. You want to see all the jobs there unless you’re sitting there and looking everyday on Twitter but that might be another place as well.
The other thing to say is that jobs stay listed for 30 days. We do encourage anyone who advertises on the job board to close the job down when they hire someone but not all advertisers do this. You will see some of the older jobs on the job board may already be filled. You probably get better luck at high hit rate if you do apply for the newer jobs, but sometimes in those archives, sometimes advertisers are looking for something very niche-y or something very specific and they’ll keep the job open for the whole 30 days as well. Do dig into the archives. If you see something that’s a perfect fit for you, just send them an email and see whether it is still open.
Number two is to follow the instructions in the job, it’s amazing when I’ve advertised for people on Digital Photography School when I’ve advertised for writers, we ask for some specific things in the application. We ask for examples of their work, we ask them not to send in full resumes, we ask them to do some specific things. It’s amazing how many people obviously do not read the job and don’t follow the instructions. If you are applying for a job and it’s been asked for you to supply some examples of your work or not to do something and you don’t follow those instructions, it’s a signal to an advertiser that you are someone who doesn’t pay attention to detail. Carefully read the job and follow the instructions. I shouldn’t really have to say it but it’s amazing how many people don’t do that.
Number three tip is to sell yourself. It’s amazing, when I look through the applications that come in for jobs that we’ve put up on the job board, how many people who sell themselves short and I understand this on some levels. I’ve got a bit of an inferiority complex myself and I find it hard to sell myself but you really need to put your best foot forward. As with any job, you’ve got to give people a reason to hire you. List some reasons why you would be good for the job, talk about your experience, talk about your knowledge of the topic, talk about your passion for communication, your passion for the topic. The way you work with others, the skills that you have, all of these things are going to help you be noticed. You don’t have to hype yourself up, you don’t have to sell yourself as something that you’re not but put your best foot forward. If you need some help with that, find a friend, find a colleague, find someone who can help you to put words to those skills and might help to sell you.
Number four is to write your application well. This is one of those ones I’m amazed that people don’t proofread their applications. Blogging, you’re applying for a job, that is a largely written medium in most cases and your written application gives your prospective employer a hint as to how well you’re going to do your job. See your application as an audition for the job. If you put forward an application that’s well written, that is spell checked, that’s well structured, that demonstrates that you know grammar, then you’re going to do yourself a lot of favors. Proofread your application. Really important. If possible, find someone else to proofread it for you because they’ll pick up mistakes that you will miss. It’s really important to put your best foot forward in that regard.
Tip number five is to give examples of your work. Most of the jobs that you see listed on the job board do ask for this and they ask for it in different ways. Sometimes they ask for links for articles that you’ve published somewhere else, whether that being on your own blog or on other line article sites in different ways. Some people actually want you to send them a document or send them a PDF. Have a look at what they’re asking for, you may need to do a little bit of work to get it into the right format but it’s really important that you do put forward some examples of what you’ve done.
There’s a number of things to consider when you think about what pieces you want to show them. They sometimes will ask for something very specific but in many cases just give us some example of your works. Include links to your blog. It’s really good if you can show them that you are a blogger already, share links to that. You want to choose to show them content that relates to the topic, if possible. If it’s a travel writing blog and you’ve never written a blog post about travel, you might want to go and quickly write a post for your own blog on travel to show them that you can write on that particular topic.
You want to actually show them the style as well and sometimes it can be worthwhile going and having a look at the advertiser’s blog or their website to find out what style of content they produce. Some people write in a more conversational style, sometimes people want a more formal style. Go and have a look at their blog, try and understand who their reader is, what style of content works well in that site and then show them examples that they could imagine seeing that topic content on their sites. You really want to do some research.
Pick examples that are relevant to the topic, to the style and also maybe try and show a few different types of content that you can do. Show some examples that show your versatility in writing a different styles. You might want to show them a list post that you’ve written, you might want to show them a how to piece of content that you‘ve written, you might want to show them a humorous post that you’ve written, a story that you’ve written. Showcase that you’re not just someone who’s going to write one type of content, if that’s what they’re looking for.
Again, this will come from the ad itself. Hopefully they have said a little bit about the topic content that they want but do the research, go and have a look at their site, find out what works well. You might want to take the URL and put it into a tool like BuzzSumo, buzzsumo.com and see what has done well on their site in the past. BuzzSumo will show you what on their site has been shared the most; that will give you some hints as to the type of content that they might want to be producing.
If in doubt, you can always email them in many cases as well. If there’s not enough information in the ad, you can actually email them and say, “I’m putting together my application, I’d love to know a little bit more about the style of content that you want.” Going back and asking some questions may be something that can help you to shape your application in some ways.
Tip number six is to be concise. Advertisers that I talk to on the ProBlogger job board are telling me that they are getting quite a few applications. Last time we advertised, we had 60 or so different applications for a job that we were advertising, they’ve got to get through a lot of applications and if they see an application that is really long, it’s a bit of a signal to them that there is going to be a fair bit of work involved here. You want to be concise, you don’t want to be too brief, you want to include everything that they ask for but don’t overwhelm people with your application. It’s important to get that balance right.
Tip number seven. Demonstrate a knowledge of blogging. You don’t want to just demonstrate your knowledge of the topic which I’ll talk about in a moment but also show them that you understand blogging itself. Obviously they’re going to want to know that you know about your topic but if you can show them that you’re a blogger, share a link with them and that you’ve been at it for a while, if you have, that you have a professionally regularly updated blog that you regularly produce content, and you can give some examples of that, that you are familiar with tools like WordPress or other blogging tools. These types of things are signals to a prospective advertiser that you’re serious about blogging, that you’re serious about your craft, that you’ve gathered some skills already. It’s also going to help them to know that they may not have to train you as much. They don’t have to walk you through how to update a blog post because you’ve already done that on your own blog.
If you haven’t got a blog yet, get one going. Check out our five step guide to starting a blog but get one going because that’s a great resume, it’s a great portfolio for you if you do want to find this type of work. Demonstrate that you are a blogger, that you understand the tools and that you got some skills in that area.
Tip number eight is to demonstrate the knowledge on the topic itself. This is so important, probably should be in my number one tip but people don’t employ people to write on their blog if they don’t have an understanding of that particular topic. If you’ve got some experience in that area and writing about that topic, that’s really great, but if you’ve got other experiences as well. Maybe you’ve had some training in your topic, maybe you’ve delivered workshops, maybe you subscribed to other blogs. You can actually show that you are across the topic, you know what the latest trend are in that particular topic and that is going to add a lot as well.
Tip number nine. Don’t apply for every job. I’ve discovered over the last few years in my own advertising that some people do apply for every single job that comes up on the job board and this comes across in the application. But usually, it’s a copy and paste kind of application that people are sending in. The applications themselves often demonstrate that people haven’t read the ad, they don’t have any knowledge, they’re just desperate for a job. Really take the time to filter through the jobs. Find the ones that you can really be a good fit for and just apply for those and really tailor those applications. So important. Don’t apply for everything, it’s just going to annoy the advertiser.
Tip number 10. Demonstrate that you’re willing to go beyond just writing. If it is a writing job, that’s great. Demonstrate that you can write. That’s really important. Demonstrate all the things I just said but also show them how else you can add something to their blog. If you can demonstrate to an advertiser that you don’t just write well but you have experience in design, in writing for search engine optimization, that you have experience in social media, in editing, in design, in creating visual content, in creating video. Any other skill that you’ve got, just list it as other skills thing in the bottom of your application. There are other thing that I do because they will peak the interest of advertisers. That will show advertisers that maybe they’re not just getting a writer here, maybe they’re getting someone who can help with search engine optimization or maybe you could help them create some new types of content for their blog.
The other thing that I think is really important is if you have a social network already, if you’re already on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, any of these networks, include links to those, show them that you’re already networking in these areas and include that you’d be willing to promote the content you write to your own social network. This will grab people’s attention because they want new eyeballs on their content. If you’re willing to share your content with your own network, and share it with other bloggers that you know, that to them will signal new eyeballs on the content, new traffic to their site. That will be something that will hopefully get them interested.
Demonstrate in your application that you’re not just willing to write the content but you’re willing to respond to comments, that you’re willing to share the content on social media, and that you’re willing to go the extra mile to help them to build a successful blog. You’re not just there for content, you’re there for a little bit more than that.
The last tip I’ll give you is to stand out from the crowd. I’ve already mentioned a number of times that you won’t be the only person applying for this job. I don’t remember ever getting an email from an advertiser saying I didn’t get any applications or I only got a couple of applications. Most advertisers are reporting that they’re getting quite a few application, so you won’t be the only one sending your application. Think about how can I stand out from the crowd.
Hopefully you’ll stand out from the crowd by doing the things I’ve already talked about, demonstrating that you’re going to go above beyond writing, that you understand your topic, that you’re a great blogger but also think about how can you stand out with the opening line of your application, how can you show them that you are an A-list candidate because they will be going through the applications and probably getting rid of over half of the applications very quickly. You want to do something to really grab their attention.
Hopefully somewhere in those 11 tips, there are some that you can take on board as you are applying for jobs on the ProBlogger job board. Again, it is at problogger.com/jobs, that will get you to that job board. Do give it a go, check out the latest jobs that are there right now. We promote the job board to advertisers regularly so there’s always fresh jobs coming up. Make sure you subscribe to get the alerts. I think it’s really important to at least be subscribing via email or RSS and then maybe checking out the Twitter account as well.
Let us know how you go with the applications. Let us know if there are any improvements that you want on the job board as well as either as an advertiser or as someone applying for jobs as well. You can don that over on today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/185, also if you’ve got any feedback on today’s show, you can also do that in the ProBlogger podcast listeners Facebook group.
This week we went past 3,000 members of that group. Lots of activity happening in there and some really good conversation again. Do a search on Facebook for ProBlogger podcast listeners and you’ll find that group and I usually let people in who apply within 24 hours, although I will be on the road this week going to Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, and that’s the last thing I wanted to say.
If you are going to be in San Diego for Social Media Marketing World in the next week, pop on my session. I’m doing a session on the Future Of Blogging, The Changing World Of Blogging In A Social Media A`ge. I’d love it if you’d come along and check out that session and come and say hi. Love to meet you at Social Media Marketing World this particular week.
Thanks for listening today. Good luck with your applications for jobs and I look forward to chatting with you next week on the ProBlogger Podcast.
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