I’ve hired my share of “bloggers” over the years and have received countless applications. I came across good ones, average ones, bad ones and even what I would qualify as horrible ones. Why is it so hard to apply for a blogger position? It’s only about writing!!
Here are some mistakes that I keep seeing. If you are a blogger or an aspiring blogger, avoid making these mistakes if you want to be considered seriously for the position:
Cover Letter Please!
Most bloggers apply via email. Emails are informal, which is totally fine, but don’t let this fool you. You need to write a short excerpt stating why you are interested in the position and why you would be a good blogger. Attaching your resume and an article is not enough to land you the gig.
A good cover letter can convey all three. For blogging positions, the cover letter is literally 80% of the application. Let’s look at these two scenarios:
- I receive an application from someone who shows true interest and motivation to blog, as explained in his email. He may not have the perfect resume or even a sample article. Do I really care? No. Why? I’ll give him a try and see if he can walk the talk. No big deal.
- I receive an email. There’s nothing in the text or at best there’s a “see attachment” or few generic lines. What’s attached? A resume and two writing samples. I quickly look at the resume (no more than 10 seconds). Unless I see something incredible, I won’t even bother with this candidate. Why? Because he didn’t care enough to write something decent to introduce himself. A cover letter is a letter of introduction. If you see someone in person, would you just hand him your resume without introducing yourself?
Where’s Your Passion?
Okay, you were thoughtful enough to write a short blurb about why you want to blog. But were you thoughtful enough to put the emphasis at the right place? If a blog is looking for a fashion blogger, don’t mention (or emphasize) that you’re a freelance writer and have written articles about travel, SEO, marketing or cars. What does this say about you? It says that you have no focus. There are tons of writers out there. That’s not what’s hard to find. What’s hard to find is a good writer with a passion for the right topic. So, a blog looking for a fashion blogger will look for… someone with a passion for blogging? NO! Someone with a passion for writing? NO! Someone with a passion for fashion? YES! Passion for the topic comes first. Then, the ability to communicate your passion to your readers and build an audience.
Take It Easy on the SEO
It must be fashionable to mention that you can write articles with SEO in mind. Maybe, but I personally don’t care about that. To me, the best SEO is a good article that will stand the test of time and be recognized by others as such. I don’t need an article that will repeat 5 times the same “keywords”. I want an article written for real people, that real people will enjoy reading and, therefore, that real people will refer to other real people. Yes, it’s about being real.
Oh Yes, About Good Writing Skills…
Btw, good writing skills are important, but not as much as what most people believe. I would rather edit a thoughtful article written by an average writer than not having to edit a well-written article that is just repeating what’s already on the Web. Life is hectic and time is precious. The biggest affront to a reader, aside from misleading information, is wasting the reader’s time.
by John Sylo