Can you blog your way to a writing job?

Maybe… Forbes recently ran a piece on setting up your authority related to a given career with a blog.  However, the Forbes piece appears to be talking about careers outside of writing but on the flip side, this can work just as well if you do happen to want to be a FT writer or blogger. As noted in the piece:

Recruiters will always try to find out more about you… They Google you. You want to stack the deck in your favor. If you’re competing with someone who has equal skills and experience, a blog can be the tie-breaker. Having that little bit extra can tip the scales in your favor.

If you think of “recruiters” as clients, you can see how this works in your favor as a writer or blogger as well; probally even more so, because obviously, if you’re up for an online writing or blog gig, clients like to see that you know what you’re doing.

I’ve gotten gigs from my personal blogs by two different means. One, I’ve had blog clients find my blog, like it, and offer me a gig. Two, I’ve made blogging contacts with other bloggers that eventually resulted in a gig (i.e. someone recommending me for a job based on knowing me or networking with me.)

If you’re going to score any sort of a gig off your blog, you need to follow some basic rules though.

  • Update frequently or at the very least on some sort of schedule.
  • Build an attractive blog. I’ve worked with some clients with truly horrible looking blogs but in an ironic twist some of these clients will note, “We like the look of your blog – it’s so attractive – you’re hired.” Looks can matter in blogging.
  • If you’re aiming for writing and blogging gigs in the cooking realm, don’t blog pets for pete’s sake. Set yourself up as an authority in the niche you’re interested in.
  • Don’t make image and linking mistakes. Many clients want bloggers and writers who not only have writing skills, but who can also handle not only finding images, but also take care of all the image editing, image placement, linking, and other basic blog requirements. By linking mistake, I mean don’t place links that look like this: http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/10/blog-jobs-start-leadership-careers-networking.html link the actual text: Blogging Your Way Into A Job. It looks nicer and it’s more search-friendly.
  • Know something about SEO and make sure your blog incorporates some SEO qualities.

Have you ever scored a writing gig (or other job) from your blog? OR are you currently using your blog to try to snag a job?

Comments

  1. Speaking of using a tainted sugar cube to snare a fly, this is exactly what I’m trying to do with my blogging. I have not narrowed my writing to meet a certain niche and I know this is akin to shooting myself in the foot, but I still have the other foot. I’m willing to hop around on my skills to speak to a broader audience of potential clients.

  2. I got my first job as a relationship blogger based on a blog written out of frustration. I had had enough of being asked ‘relationship advice’, and I wrote it with the intention that I would just direct the next person who asked me the same thing to read it. Ironic, isn’t it? :)

  3. Hasn’t happened yet, but my blog HAS been the way someone contacted me for work. He found me on a freelance site, then hunted me down via a Google search to check writing ability and find an email address.

    That’s one thing to bear in mind: as writers, potential employers will read the blog and might assume it’s your real personality. I must remember to stop posting crap, now. :)

  4. Hmmm, that’s an interesting anecdote SpikeTheLobster. As far as I can tell, my first name/last name combination is 100% unique on the Internet. For this reason I usually conduct my personal Internet activities under a pseudonym, but maybe I should put my name on my blog. Things to ponder.

  5. Anysia: My “professional” name isn’t my real name (though it’s close). It’s my online persona version, but I use the same one everywhere, so it’s searchable. When it comes to getting paid, as long as you have the same first initial and last name, checks will still work and if you’re going through a third-party like PayPal, it’s all fine anyway. :)

  6. Interesting. Thank you for sharing that SpikeTheLobster. Must do some thinking. :-)

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