Once upon a time, weblogs were weird websites written by a few nerdy types. Now, blogs are everywhere. They’ve gone mainstream. People actually get paid to blog for a living. There are pros and cons to blogging-for-dollars. On the up side, you get to do something you love, in many cases you get to work from home, and you get the pleasure of seeing your ideas, interests, and opinions out there in a matter of minutes for everyone to read. On the down side, a job is a job is a job, working at home can get lonely, and the drive to keep up with the blogging Joneses can get stressful. Still, we think the pros far outweigh the cons. Here are a few basic steps you can take if being a pro blogger is the position of which you dream.
1. Start a blog. To some, this may seem obvious. To others, not so much. If you’re planning on applying for blogging jobs, you can list all your talents, gifts, and skills in a resume, but nothing speaks louder to a prospective employer than proof you can create interesting blog content for a devoted audience. Blogger‘s easy to use and free blogging platform is fast to set up, simple to customize, and you can be running your own blog in less than an hour. Think of a clever name. Pick a subject. And start churning out content so prospective employers can see you’ve got the blogging chops.
2. Pick a niche. While more and more companies are expanding their online presence, the state of the economy means increased competition for the limited number of blogging jobs out there. Ask yourself what you can do to make yourself stand out in the crowd. Most blogs that are hiring have a niche focus. What’s your niche? Make what you love your focus. Whether you’re obsessed with “American Idol,” can’t get enough of the latest fashion trends, or are working on becoming the voice of your generation’s brand of feminism, tailoring your online identity to a key, locatable persona will help you when you sit down with prospective employers, and it’s time to tell them who you are, and why you’re the best woman for the job.
3. Make a resume. Think about your resume from the position of your prospective employer. There he/she is, sitting at his/her desk, staring at a stack of resumes that reaches almost to the ceiling. How can you make picking you easier for them? Limit your resume to one polished page. Consider your talents. They may not be the ones of which you’re most proud. They may be the ones that are most important to the one hiring. Are you an expert in their niche? Do you have a track record? Can you point to previous jobs or blogging experiences that show readers love what you write and will return over and over again to read it? Remember, blogging is a business, like any other, and the bottom line, more often than not, is traffic. If you can prove that you can bring the audience, you are a cut above the rest.
4. Apply yourself. It’s not easy to find the perfect blogging job for you. They’re not a dime a dozen. Where to start? Mediabistro has lots of daily listings for jobs in the media, including blogging. Scour the Craigslist job listings in your area for the latest openings. Freelance Writing Gigs is another resource, with writing, blogging, and other media related jobs. Submit your resume to every one that may be a fit. Don’t get frustrated. Perseverance pays off.
5. Shine, shine, shine. Landed the interview? You are awesome! Now, it’s time to bring your A-game. Do as much research as possible beforehand about the company and what they want, so when you get in the room, you can explain how you’re exactly what they need. Show off your skills. If you don’t have them, learn them ahead of time. Expertise in using multiple types of content management systems, a proficiency with Photoshop, and superb writing skills means you start with the knowledge that will help make their site great. If you can show that you’re a self-starter, work well autonomously, and are well-connected enough in the blogosphere that you can add to their audience, you may enter the ranks of those elite few employed as professional bloggers. Good luck!