I research online writing jobs daily. Do you? To keep a steady flow of income padding the bank account, seek work regularly. Fill out applications, send pitches and update your LinkedIn profile.
Then you hope. You hope your application rises to the top of the pile and your perfectly edited prose makes the cut. That’s all great and dandy, but why keep hoping? You need to think like the hiring manager of the gig you’re applying for.
Honestly, you don’t have to be the next modern-day Hemingway to land that dream online writing gig.
You need to be known. You need to have an audience. Who cares if you write the best piece of online marketing content ever to grace the web if nobody is going to read it, right?
Get Known Online
So, you’re thinking, “Great, Angela, but I’m not famous. I don’t have an audience. What now?”
You don’t need to be famous. You need to be a chatterbox.
I still remember the three-day interview I endured for my first full-time print media job. I talked and talked and talked. I shared every brilliant idea and insight I had on the world of journalism. It almost cost me my job. One of the managing editors later told me she was concerned I might be too social for the newsroom. Well, I did get the job, and learned a lot. Oh, and I probably was still too social.
Fast forward fourteen years and now I’m praising my talkative nature. Yes, really. I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone. Now, if you translate that social butterfly habit to the online world, you’ll be landing web writing jobs left and right.
Note: Hey there! I’m popping in to update this article a bit for 2019. Klout, which is mentioned in the next paragraph, is no longer in business. As you read this post, think of any software or app that measures your influence online. There are oodles of them these days, including SEMRush, Google Analytics, PeerIndex and Postrank. Or, simply study the engagement and reach data found on every social media platform’s business user’s section. Ok, read on!
Engaging in a thoughtful manner on your social media networks increases your Klout score. Klout is a fancy mathematical (read: way above my literary mind) equation that determines how engaging, active, insightful and influential you are on your social media networks.
Website owners, online marketing companies and online media outlets want to hire social media butterflies. The more you promote the things you’ve written for a company, the more exposure you give the company that’s paying you to write. They love that!
In the last few months, I’ve noticed more and more writing applications asking for links ot my social media profiles. They not only want to hire someone with savvy writing skills, they also want someone who’s going to market their brand, spread the word and be a cheerleader.
Grab Your Pompoms
So, whatever you’ve written, promote it. Share it. Tweet it. Add it to your email signature. Put yourself out there and let readers give you feedback. Start conversations. These interactions translate into that magical two-digit Klout score and boost your engagement and reach stats on social media platforms.
One application I filled out asked for writers with a minimum Klout score of 50 to be considered for the position. Your Klout score/level of online engagement really is as much of a game-changer as having a journalism degree or published clips under your belt.
Companies want to hire socialites. So, get out there and do it. If know you’re thinking, “Well, Angela, I’m already wasting too much time on Facebook, and you want me to do it more?“.
Yes, I want you to spend more time on your social media. But, make it quality time on professional business-only accounts. Clicking as many “Like” buttons as you can in an hour isn’t the goal. Instead, be insightful and intelligent. Instead of saying “Great tips!” in the comment box, leave your take on the topic presented. Write a few sentences or even a paragraph. Start a conversation with the original poster. Engage.
I’ve had social media interactions turn into guest blog posting opportunities and applications for print magazine work. You can too.
On your next pitch to a new client, include links to your professional social media network accounts. Include a mention of your social media reach. After explaining your writing qualifications, note that you love to market your work and create brand awareness for the client. Your application will move to the top of the pile.
Think about it. There are a lot of excellent wordsmiths out there. With so many people vying for the same gigs, it can be hard to stand out in the crowd. So, make that extra effort. Talk up your social media prowess. Use your social media presence to your advantage.
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Note: This blog post was last updated on January 2, 2021.