Personally, I think we tend to get too caught up in this whole “Internet” thing sometimes. We try too hard to differentiate between online and offline, like working online is so much different from working offline, and we just make it more complicated than it really is. Applying for a blogging job is no different than applying for any other job. Yes, you’re applying “online” via email or a form, but it still comes down to the same basic idea: The employer wants to know WIIFM?
Treat It Like Any Other Job Application
No matter what type of job he’s hiring for the employer has only one question: If I hire you, what will I get in exchange for your paycheck? What’s In It For Me? It doesn’t matter if it’s a blogging job, an accounting job, or a job digging ditches for the cable company. He may ask you dozens of questions and have you jump through a few hoops but it all boils down to: What’s In It For Me? So keep that question in front of your mind as you’re applying.
Blogging has the reputation of being a laid back career but, in reality, if someone is considering hiring a blogger then he understands this is a business not just a hobby. And since he’s going to be compensating you in some way, he wants to know that you understand this, too, so you need to approach him in a professional manner.
Introduce yourself and refer to the position you’re applying for. It helps, too, to let him know how you know he’s looking. “I saw your article on your blog” or “I saw your ad at ProBlogger’s job board” helps because he may also be advertising for a designer or editor on other job boards.
The one big difference in applying for a blogging job is that most employers won’t be interested in your entire life history and all the different jobs you’ve held. In most cases that job you had flipping burgers part-time while you were in high school won’t be relevant and they don’t have the time to read it anyway. They’ll only be interested in the experience you have that relates to their blog.
Include information that relates to your writing or blogging career: Do you have a journalism or writing degree? Do you have a blog? What other blogs or websites have your written for? If you’re like me and you’ve written for more blogs than you can remember, list only your top three or four and let the employer know you can provide more if necessary.
Include links to relevant content: If you’ve written for this nice before then it helps to include links to those relevant articles. If not, link to three of your top performers. And if you have the time and you really want this job, consider taking some time to write something fresh, new and relevant to include with your application. This shows the employer that you’re willing to go the extra mile.
Follow The Rules
Personally, I hate it when the employer says they want you to submit an article using such-and-such keyword along with your application. I generally pass these up. In my mind they’re either looking for free content or they’re inconsiderate. A good writer probably already has work on their desk and asking for a free article instead of looking at work they’ve already published is an imposition.
However, that’s not always the best attitude to have, especially if you really want that job and especially if you don’t have anything already published that’s worth linking to. So don’t be too hasty or judgmental.
Follow all the rules set forth by the blog owner. It might seem ridiculous to you that he wants you to use a certain word in the subject line of your email but he may be using that word as a filter so your email doesn’t go to spam.
Answer That Question
There may be dozens of bloggers that apply for that job so you need to make yourself stand out from the rest. The way to do that is to answer that question: What’s In It For Me?
Briefly explain any online experience you have including your experience with social networking and blog promotion. Mention a successful project you’ve worked on, either on your own blog or someone else’s. In other words, briefly toot your own horn and let that employer know what you can bring to the table that no one else can. Let him know WIIFM and you’ll definitely get his attention.