Last weekend I posted an ad for a blogger. The requirements were simple and I didn’t ask applicants to bend over backwards or turn over their first borns. This isn’t the first time I hired a blogger and knew the more rules and regs posted in my ad, the less likely I was to receive what I asked for. So I made it simple this time.
The requirements were:
- Know how to blog
- Make me laugh
- Samples of your writing
- Tell me some of your ideas for this blog
Maybe half of the people who applied provided the above. Some bloggers provided a paragraph about themselves and that was it, while others invited me to Google them. A few even told me they had no clue about how to blog. I ask you, would you tell a potential client you don’t know how to do the job? Not a very good strategy.
This isn’t the first time I’ve placed ads for bloggers or writers. Each time I do, I’m surprised at how many applicants either didn’t read the directions or didn’t choose to follow. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of qualified candidates to choose from. I just wish others cared enough about the opportunity to provide what was requested.
There’s a reason we ask for what we do.
I know so many bloggers and writers don’t want to give rate quotes because they’re afraid of either bidding too low and not getting what the job is worth, or bidding too high and risk losing the job because it doesn’t match the client’s budget. The reason many employers ask for rates isn’t because they’re looking for the low bid, it’s because they want to pay a fair price. By not knowing what a blogger charges, they risk insulting him by not presenting a fair offer. Plus the Internet is filled with low payng gigs, they can look at these and think they’re the norm.
When a potential client asks for writing samples, it’s because she wants to be sure your writing style matches her vision. She also wants to see that you can string together a sentence without too many errors and that you know a little bit about the subject matter. Unless this client asks for previously published samples, you can send in something you wrote that wasn’t published. Just make sure the topic is relevant. Sending in samples about grilling burgers to someone with a blog for vegans probably isn’t a smart idea.
Some blog gigs are entry level. Many networks have everything already set up for their bloggers and aren’t necessarily looking for experience as much as they’re looking to pay a low wage. Corporate clients and businesses and individuals who hire bloggers tend to be more generous with the pay. They expect to know your stuff in return. Not too many clients want to hold a blogger’s hand while he learns how to use the platform. They’re hiring bloggers to build traffic and create buzz and community. Bloggers who can’t do this for them are useless.
Read. Apply. Repeat
Before applying for any blogging opportunity take the time to read the ad all the way through. Make sure you’re truly a good fit. Blogs are personal and your potential client doesn’t want a generic, cookie cutter blogger. Don’t hit the send button before making sure you followed all the instructions, samples are attached and your copy is clean and error free.
If you ever wondered why you didn’t get a gig you felt was perfect for you, it could be in the application. Follow directions, give the employer what he asks for, and watch your client list grow.