5 Steps to Turning Your Blogging Hobby Into a Job
Do you blog? Maybe you chronicle your travels, report on the issues in your industry, or share your latest fashion finds with the world. Blogging can be a hobby, a way to build your brand, or a line on your resume that can help you land a job.
But did you know that it can be a job, too? While the majority of blogs are personal platforms, Technorati estimates that up to 39% of bloggers do it for money. Plus, Hubspot reports that companies are increasingly shifting marketing dollars to blogging and social media, creating more opportunities for contractors, freelancers, or full-time employees to blog for a paycheck.
So how do you go from blogger-on-the-side to blogging for someone else? Building and showing your skills through a personal blog is a great place to start. And from there, here are the five key things you’ll need to turn your hobby into a job.
1. Know Your Blog
If you haven’t already, take inventory of your own blog. What is your niche and demographic? What types of strategies have you used to get your blog noticed? How do you plan and organize your content? Keeping a record of your own successes as a blogger will help you identify what you can bring to a company’s strategy and how to craft your resume. Similarly, noting the areas where you can grow will show you where to focus as you’re improving your blogging skills.
2. Get Noticed
As you know, blogging isn’t just about writing, it’s also about getting others to read your writing. Standing out in the blogosphere takes effort—but it’s a key skill employers will be looking for. So focus on getting your personal blog out there: Network with other bloggers, participate in social networks, and attend industry or blogger events. Even if your blog is in the handmade goat cheese mini-niche, if you’re getting noticed, you’re doing something right, and that’s a great story to tell in a job interview.
In addition to writing (regularly) for your own blog, establish outside credibility by contributing to other blogs and publications, too. This will not only enhance your writing skills, it’ll get your name in the blogosphere and help you make new contacts. A lot of blogs take contributors or guest posts, so start with what you know and branch out. If you write a food blog, see if you can guest post for other food bloggers, then try pitching a kid-friendly recipe to a family blog.
4. Diversify Your Skills
The best blogs have more than just words. They include high-quality visuals, an appealing layout, creative content, and interactive features. So think about the other skills you can bring to the table aside from writing—such as photography, design, or technical capabilities. And if you don’t have any yet? Pick one and use your own blog to develop it. Try taking your own photos instead of using Creative Commons-licensed images, or try your hand at customizing a header. Developing skills from coding to graphic design to video production can give you a big boost over other blogging candidates.
Once you’ve beefed up your blogging resume, the process of finding a corporate blogging position isn't too different from finding any other new job, with a couple of exceptions. First, keep in mind that “blogger” may not always be in the position title, so make sure to check out communications, marketing, and other related keywords. (A lot of blogging jobs get posted on specialized or writing-oriented sites, so start with ProBlogger, Media Bistro, and Freelance Writing Jobs.)
Next, consider part-time blogging positions. Not all companies have the dollars to dedicate a person to a full-time blogger, but that’s OK, especially when you’re starting out. Consider getting your feet wet and some experience through a part-time or freelance position.
Finally, make sure your blog is in order (the first thing an employer will do is click that link) and that your cover letter demonstrates your creativity, passion, and writing prowess. After all, that’s exactly what your future employer is after.
Hear first-hand from a woman whose job involves running a blog for a startup! Read about Michelle Dozois from HowAboutWe on The Muse, and find out more about what she does.
Photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon.
Angeline Evans is an avid consumer and creator of all things wordy and written. A former nonprofit communications manager and magazine editor, Evans is a freelance writer and communications consultant and blogger (The New Professional) based in Miami. She likes to make things (anything) and is currently on a mission to find the perfect french fry. Follow her adventures on Twitter @angelineevans.More from this Author