In What is Your Ideal Dream Blog Job?, I listed some of the blogging jobs I found on the different blogger job sites, including:
- Advertising Expert Blogger
- Alternative Health Blogger
- Car and Phone Tech Blogger
- Cell Phone Blogger
- Children Issues Blogger
- Cosmetics Blogger
- Musicians Blogger
- Online Games Blogger
- Science Blogger
- Women’s Issues Blogger
- Work from Home Blogger
Many people want to turn their blogging hobby into a job, and many professional writers are finding their writing jobs drying up in the shrinking and changing economy. Finding work as a blogger is a way to make your passion for writing pay off.
Digging through the blogger job news, I realized that while the job description for these jobs is much the same as for a professional writer, there are some distinctions that put blogging in a special job category. The number one different? The art of conversation. Blogs aren’t just about writing. They are about networking and socializing.
What Are Blog Owners Looking For in Bloggers?
Here are some of the skills many companies and blog administrators are looking for in their hired bloggers.
- Quality Writing Abilities: Without a doubt, the ability to write and communicate through the written word is critical. Punctuation, spelling, grammar, creative writing ability, language comprehension, proofing, editing – bloggers must be fluent in their language skills as well as their specialization.
- Self-Motivation, Discipline, and Organization: Bloggers must be self-motivated and have strong self-discipline as they will be working with very little direction and often no editorial control. Deadlines will be set and you need to meet them consistently, without fail. Many want editorial calendars planned in advanced, with a mix of article series among individual posts. The blogger must stay on top of industry news and trends and report on them accordingly.
- Productive Production Line: Three to five posts a week is the normal blog post production requested. Typically, blog posts are 200-500 words each, though some request more indepth coverage. The average posts per month is 20, generating approximately 10,000 words per month of content.
- Able to Take Direction: Blogging continues to be a bit of a mystery to many companies. They know they have to have a blog, and a blogger, but from there, they are not sure how it all works. The blogger must work independently inline with the company’s needs, ferreting out the story ideas the company wants published. Without common ground, the employer may issue orders and directives not inline with blogging and the online world. The blogger must be able to translate the needs of the company into the needs of the blog.
- Passion and Vested Interest: While you might be the best writer in the world, if you don’t have the passion and vested interest in the subject, the ability to speak the lingo, the “been there, done that” experience, and the ability to describe the inner workings of the subject, they aren’t interested. Bloggers without children are not welcome to blog about being a work-at-home parent. If you can’t speak automotive, don’t apply for a motor trends blogging position. They are looking for people who know what they blog about. If you’ve been blogging about the subject for one to five years, they will be even more impressed, especially if you are willing to bring your audience to them.
- Community Building Expertise: Companies require bloggers to be community builders, building traffic levels over time and helping to maintain and increase consistent traffic levels. Some companies will pay bonuses based upon traffic spikes and increases, and revenue sharing for advertising click-through rates if they increase.
- Community Management Expertise: The blogger isn’t just producing content. They must also monitor comments and respond, as well as moderate the discussion while encouraging it. If the topic moves to another blog, the blogger is usually required to monitor and continue the conversation there. Scanning the blogosphere for mention of the company or related topics is usually essential, as is commenting on those blogs and encouraging the blogger and their readers to visit the company blog.
- SEO, Public Relations and Marketing Skills: Experience in Search Engine Optimization as well as public relations and marketing is required. These skills influence how the material is written and presented on the blog such as effective titles, strong keyword and search term writing, and structuring the content for the best search engine exposure and visitor conversion.
- Social Networking: Familiarity with social networking is required, and participation on such networks may be required as part of the job. This extra time and effort is often included in the pay package. Since most bloggers are paid by post, not hour, consider adding social networking participation and time into the pay per post scale.
- Web and Online Trends: Since the web is a quickly evolving beast, it is important to the companies to know that their bloggers are keeping their fingers on the pulse of technological changes, keeping their employers informed on where the web is going, and how they need to respond accordingly. Bloggers must be familiar with the industry and how to monitor trends and news.
- Creative Thinking with Perseverance: The ability to generate energized content over time is a requirement. The employer is looking for demonstrated evidence of such consistency in blogging. Finding new ideas, new perspectives, and fresh content on the same subject week after week, month after month, is a requirement. The blogger must prove they have the perseverance and creative brainstorming ability to keep producing content over the long haul.
- Diverse Writing Skills and Abilities: Bloggers with interview and produce and service review writing skills are very much in demand, but that’s not all you will need. Most companies need a variety of writing skills from technical to editorial. Writing samples must prove to the company the blogger knows how to handle an interview, review products and services, write technical manuals and articles, and present commentary and editorial content – that you are an all-in-one blogger and writer.
- Multimedia Expertise: Blogs today are not just about the words but about the images, podcasts, and video content. Experience with sound and visual creation, editing, and production is frequently requested, including working with microphones, mixers, digital cameras and videos, sound and visual production, multimedia embedding and uploading, and more.
- Attention-getting Skills: Many blog job descriptions include adjectives such as spirited, enthusiastic, passionate, vivacious, gregarious, unique, and original. What the companies want is someone who will put a vibrant and energetic face on their company. They want the attention and development of viral campaigns, along with the traffic that these brings. They want original thinkers and original writers, and as one description stated, someone to put some “omphf” into the subject. Another said, “Create a buzz about the company and raise brand awareness.” A while I ago I read that a company was looking for a blogger with a “sizzling writing technique,” whatever that is. Some want writers good at stirring up controversy, bloggers who love to make a lot of noise and attract a lot of attention.
- Social Skills: Some companies want the blogger to be not just the face and voice, but the rock star of the company. This means attending public events, conferences, conventions, and media affairs. One request described it as, “A successful candidate will have the ability to create a buzz, channel energy, read a crowd as well as possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.” While looks might not matter, strong social interaction skills and poise in a crowd will be required.
- Print Publishing Experience: If you have a history as a print published writer, it can carry a lot of weight. Some companies will use blog content in marketing and editorial publications and magazines, or request their bloggers write for magazines promoting their products and services, so experience in the editorial print world is valued.
- Geographic Location Can Matter: Some companies service a specific geographic location, thus want bloggers who live and work within that community and region. For example, there is a Mommy Bloggers group forming that is looking for bloggers only within a specific region so the group will have a chance to meet and an opportunity to trade and share things. An organic farm wants a blogger to cover their harvest, local farmers market schedule, educational and social events. Regional and metro blogs are everywhere and in constant need of contributors familiar with the area as well as the social scene.
- Education: For the most part, few blogger jobs request extensive educational history, though they do prefer someone with a four year college degree. Experience in blogging, community building, social networking, blog technology, web design, and web development are valued more highly. Three to five years experience in web technology and blogging is a typical requirement.
- Translation/Localization/Foreign Language Skills: There is a growing demand for human translators to translate blog content from one language to another. The majority of these are English to another language, often Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. Familiarity with blogging is required in addition to the translation services.
- WordPress Experience: As more and more companies are using WordPress for their CMS and blogging program, the demand for those familiar with how WordPress works, including some WordPress Theme design and coding experience, is very high.
Most of these blogging jobs would be classified in most countries as part-time jobs, not entitled to the benefits associated with a full-time job. They are excellent for part-time workers, stay-at-home parents, college students, and others looking for low paying work that they can do mostly from home in addition to full-time work and school, a way to make extra money.
There are a lot of short term blogger jobs available, some which pay high rates for only a few months, and then the job ends. A few may open up the door to more opportunities within the company, so they could be worth the risk in the short term. However, these often look for very specialized experience, skills, and work. Many involve blog coverage of an advertising campaign, celebrity tour, or is seasonal. Travel is often included.
If you want to make money blogging, diversification may be the key. You will need to make money with your own blog(s) as well as blog for several blogs in order to generate enough income directly from blogging to reach a full-time income. Blogging alone rarely brings in adequate incomes. Indirect income from books, ebooks, workshops, consultancy, and other products and services is usually the main source of income for most professional bloggers.
In the next in this series, I’ll be talking about how to apply for a blogging job and where to find them, then covering pay scales and what businesses need to know before hiring a blogger.