David Peralty asked his readers the other day if they thought blogging jobs were slowing down and noted that many bloggers had talked about the decreasing number and per job rate of blogging and web related positions. I’ve actually noticed this myself in the last few weeks. I added a Looking to Hire room in the Blogging Forums recently though I don’t expect it to be a busy room for a while because of this slow down. Even the Performancing Jobs Board has got extremely quiet and that used to have a few new jobs posted every week.
What’s causing this slowdown?
There are a few reasons for this slowdown however I believe the main reason is that blog owners are not getting a good return for their money. Sometimes this is because the blogger which was hired is not writing good quality posts but sometimes this is because the blog owner is not making a lot of money from the visitors the blogger helps bring to the site. The latter is of course no fault of the writer.
Difficulty in finding good writers
It can be incredibly hard to find a great writer for your blog. I went through 3 or 4 writers for my joke blog and 2 or 3 with my tech blog and none of them worked out. It seems that this is not uncommon.
Darren Rowse yesterday talked about how someone who advertised on the ProBlogger Job Board contacted him to tell him about the poor quality of applications he received. I advertised on the ProBlogger Job Boards a year or so ago and experienced the same thing. I got a huge amount of applications but the majority were just not good enough. Many had no experience, some had a poor grasp of english and most put no effort into the application itself. This was not true for all applications and I did find a few good writers (though none worked out long term).
Of course, this is not a sleight on the ProBlogger Boards, which gave me the highest volume of applications from a job ad, this is an indication of the nature of the industry in general. I would assume that job boards attract a higher volume of new bloggers than experienced ones. Writers with more experience will likely have writing gigs already so will check less plus more experienced writers tend to find new blogging jobs through word of mouth or through their reputation.
Perhaps this is one reason why there are less blogging jobs being advertised ie. perhaps blog owners are not finding good writers though job boards so they are contacting experienced bloggers directly.
Making money from content
Content driven websites usually make money directly through affiliate ads and direct advertising sales (i.e instead of selling a product directly or charging for subscription). Larger sites are able to sell advertising to networks on a CPM basis due to the high volume of traffic they receive. Recently many large content driven sites like About.com have reduced the rates which they pay to writers, clearly they have been feeling the pinch and have had to cut down costs accordingly.
I think a lot of content driven sites, particularly blogs, are struggling to make as much money as they once did so this is reducing the number of blogging jobs available.
Good writers not getting paid enough
Yuwanda wrote a post yesterday advising readers how they charge up to $100 an article. In the article she explained that she can charge more because her posts are of a higher quality and that she does a lot of research for each post. In general, this is true ie. the better your articles are the more you can charge for them.
However, in many types of blogs there comes a point where the blog owner will struggle to justify the rate he pays. I have experienced this myself. I have parted ways with a lot of great writers because they were charging double the rate at which many other bloggers were willing to work for. Their posts were excellent and I was very happy with them however if you start paying your authors more money, you need to start seeing an increase in revenue from your blog and at the time I wasn’t so I had to part ways with them.
I hope that I greatly increase the money I make from my blogs so that I can pay writers more money. Great writers generally charge more per article and as long as the site is making money I am happy to pay, particularly if the success of the site depends a lot on the content which is published on it. The reality is that I am not in that position yet which is why I had to part ways with writers who were doing a great job.
At the other side of the coin, some writers are getting a terribly poor deal. Yuwanda spoke yesterday about how a fellow writer had been offered $3 for 250 articles. Who knows how anyone can live off of that.
In that respect it’s kind of a vicious circle. If a blog owner is struggling to turn a profit from his blog then they might drop their rates. If their rates are dropped then the quality of posts from authors will likely drop too.
I think the decrease in blogging jobs has been caused by a number of factors, including some of which I discussed in this post.
What do you think? Do you think this has been caused simply by advertising revenues going down or do you think there are more factors which have contributed to this slowdown in blogging jobs.