This guest post is by Jane of Runaway Jane.
I recently secured the position of Resident Blogger at PLUS Hostels, a large hostel and camp site chain based in Europe.
I’d spent more than two years blogging on my independent travel blog RunawayJane.com, and that experience undoubtedly led to me securing this position.
But it wasn’t the only factor.
I thought it would be useful to illustrate exactly what led me to land this job so that if you’re looking to secure a freelance position like this, you’ll have a head-start on your competition.
Initiative is key
I approached PLUS about becoming their Resident Blogger. This was an idea that I pitched to them.
I had looked at their social media output and saw that they were very active. They also had a very cool, well-designed site targeted at a young audience.
So I was surprised that they didn’t already have an active blog, and I took it upon myself to email them and ask if it was something they’d be interested in doing.
My first email was short, to the point, and didn’t waste anybody’s time. I simply asked if it was something they’d be interested in. I decided to wait for their response before I’d go into more detail about how we could potentially partner.
Timing and a bit of luck
As it happened, my timing was spot-on: PLUS was already looking at implementing a blog sometime over the coming months when they received my email.
However, before I approached them, I was not on their radar as someone who could help—in fact, they were considering approaching other people. I was told in my interview with them that one of the reasons I was chosen above other candidates was because I approached them. They knew I was keen.
I guess you can guarantee that someone who’s approaching you is more likely to work hard for you, because they obviously have an interest in working with you that goes beyond just monetary value (although of course money is important!).
I initially approached PLUS around January or February 2012. I remembered they’d said they would be considering bloggers in April, and would get back to me then.
So I sent them a follow-up email in mid-April to ask whether they had considered my proposal, as I hadn’t head anything from them.
This was another key factor in me securing the position, as it meant I was not forgotten, and, again, that I appeared keen and interested.
Previous blogging matters
There is no doubt that if I hadn’t been blogging as Runaway Jane for some time, I would not have been considered for this position.
As soon as I got in touch with PLUS they were able to go onto my blog, and access hundreds of blog posts I’d written. They could see the quality and style of work that I was producing, and assess whether or not it would fit their blog.
They could also see I was active on social media channels, and already had a following. This proved that I understood the demands of blogging (as opposed to straight-up travel writing), and had demonstrated the self motivation over two years to create my own standing within the blogging world.
They could see that I updated my blog regularly, was interactive with my readers, and could write the types of content that engaged an audience. That audience also happened to fit their target market.
I was asked by quite a few other bloggers whether or not I was getting paid by PLUS for this position.
These questions surprised me. To me, the matter of getting paid was obvious—of course I was getting paid! It was a freelance blogging position that I was going to be putting a lot of time and effort into, so payment was only fair.
That said, PLUS are also putting a lot of effort into promoting me, my brand, my Twitter handle, and my site. I took this into consideration when I was quoting them a price for my services—after all, not everything is about immediate monetary gain.
For me, long-term value is more important, and securing this position was more important than an extra hundred dollars a month or so.
If you’re trying to build a brand and a long-term future in blogging, it’s important to be able to seek opportunities that allow you to promote yourself, further your experience, and create case studies that help to prove your abilities for future opportunities.
It’s also something which I hope will grow to become a long-term partnership, rather than something short lived.
With all that said, I’d be lying if I said I was an expert on quoting a price for such services. Blogging is such a new industry, and a new way to earn a living. Even now, people still look puzzled when I explain to them I make a living from blogging.
Prices and expectations change all the time, and you have to weigh up factors such as earning a living now against the long-term gains and opportunities for building a career. Then there is the fact the the value of bloggers is now starting to be realised by big companies in almost every industry. I predict more positions will open up like this in the future…
Create your own job
I hope that if you try to create a Resident Blogger position like I have, you’ll find some success using these tips.
Overall, the key is to go out and create your own opportunities (although what I did involved luck in terms of timing). All this would never have happened had I not approached PLUS myself.
To be a successful blogger you really need to seek out and create as many opportunities for yourself as you can. Offers that land on your doorstep are great, but I wouldn’t plan on that happening!
Jane has been blogging from her travel blog www.RunawayJane.com since early 2010. She has been making a full-time income from blogging since 2011, and travels the world full-time as she goes, living a location independent blogging lifestyle.