Since replacing my part-time job with paid blogging, people frequently ask me “How do I get into blogging?” Well the answer is clearly a complicated one, but hopefully I can give you a few tips to get you going in the right direction.
First of all, remember that like any job, blogging requires your time and talent. It can be really tough and it can also be really rewarding. There are a few prerequisites you need to have in place before beginning even a small freelance writing job on the blogosphere:
- Do you enjoy writing? Can you say what you want to say in a reasonable number of words?
- Do you have a voice? Do you have a distinctive writing style? If your writing sounds like a press-release, you might want to experiment with new types of writing.
- Can you get yourself to write regularly? If you’re not sure, try making a blog on Blogger or WordPress and play around with regular posting.
In fact, this last point outlines how I started out in the freelancing world. The best resume is experience and a personal blog can be a testament to that experience. Long ago, I ran a personal blog that was more or less commentary on the things I did in my everyday life. Exactly 5 people in the world actually read that blog. If you want your own blog to have a little wider reach and even serve you in getting a future job, you’ll need to make the content a little more compelling.
The change came for me well over a year ago when I began to blog in earnest about technology news. At the time, I was doing it in collaboration with my university’s news website and I even had an editor to nag me. Contrary to what you might think, editors can be wonderful people. While some of them can be penny-pinching blog owners, most just want to help you produce the best content you possibly can. Anyway, after a year of forcing myself to go out and find new and interesting things to write about, I had a pretty stable blog.
Regardless of whether you do this last bit, once you have the prerequisites, you’re ready to start job hunting. Where should you go? Well now I’m going to share with you my top four favorite places to find blogger jobs (keep them in your RSS reader). 80% of the blogging opportunities I have had came from these sources:
- – A general job aggregator that probably won’t get you many decent opportunities, but sometimes wacky stuff pops up.
(2) ProBlogger Job Board – Slightly better than Simply Hired, but often they have the same kinds of opportunities. Even so, the clientele is usually slightly more blog-oriented.
(3) Freelance Switch – Often has a number of good opportunities but the site is pay-oriented. To get the contact info you usually need to pay. Fortunately many employers list their link in the ad and you can simply use the contact form.
(4) BloggerJobs.biz – The cream of the crop in my opinion. Not only are some great jobs listed on this site, but if you request it, they’ll put up your bio so others can contact you directly (definitely worth the time it takes to write up a personal bio).
Another great place to look for jobs is right on your very own feed or list of favorite blogs. Don’t underestimate yourself. Most low to medium level blogs are more likely to risk a few articles on you than potentially miss out on a great new addition to their team. Unlike the “real world,” the internet really levels the playing field. As long as you have a decent writing sample or two (especially if those pages have gotten popular anywhere), you have enough to get in with a lot of great blogs.
Case in point, MakeUseOf is almost ALWAYS looking for talented new bloggers to fill the ranks of our contributors. I can tell you for a fact that this is one of the best sites I’ve ever blogged for in my short but varied career as a freelance writer. If you feel you’re already up to speed with some of the points in the first part of this article, I strongly encourage you to apply.
Next week I’ll go over the important aspects of picking which blogs to write for and how to avoid some common blogger downfalls. In the meantime, why don’t you share some of the sources where you’ve managed to find your blogging opportunities? How did YOU get started?
[Cartoon from Blaugh]