MediaPost reports that Microsoft's MSN portal is advertising for bloggers. At first glance, this is right up my street. I've been trying to get an ongoing and secure 20 hour/week writing gig for months, with no success - i.e. I'm still at my day job! So my first thought was: is this potentially my breakthrough gig that will enable me to go full-time self-employed? Hmmm, let's look at it... here's the advert, c/o JournalismJobs.com:
Position: Bloggers Wanted
Location: Redmond, Telecommute
Job Status: Freelance
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires: July 22, 2005
Job ID: 524227
Description: Blog for MSN!
MSN is hiring freelance contributing editors to moderate, write and produce blogs in five topic areas: television, music, technology, sports and fashion/food/style.
Contributing editors will be responsible for:
*Writing and producing five-10 daily posts for their blog, drawing material from user submissions, the MSN network and the wider Web
*Reviewing user e-mail submissions and turning the best of them into posts on the blog
*Monitoring blog comments and feedback
You must be passionate about your subject area; familiar with the tools and trends in blogging; a natural writer with an inviting, engaging style; and attuned to the broad interests of MSNís huge audience. Send us five sample posts written over the course of a single day. In addition to the posts (which should reflect a variety of source links), in a paragraph or so, explain why you selected those items and how they reflect your vision for this project. Please include a list of sites you scanned to find your material and other favorite sites and blogs. Attach a rÈsumÈ or short note to tell us what youíre doing now and what youíve done in the recent past. And finally, in the subject heading of the mail specify which blog youíre applying for.
We estimate this project will require approximately 15 hoursí work per week.
Send your submission to: firstname.lastname@example.org."
OK so here are my impressions:
1) 15 hours p/week is nearly ideal for me, as I have other p/t work that will make up the other 20-25 hours/week. Sweet! And it sounds like I could do this job virtually, all the way from New Zealand. I can't see any reason why this would be an issue with Microsoft.
2) I'm sure I can fit myself into the 'Technology' topic area (one of the 5 options).
3) 5-10 posts per day - I can do that easily if I have half a day each weekday to do it (i.e. if it's my actual job to blog).
In summary, it sounds promising and I'm going to apply. I kind of wonder whether my current blogging style (on average 4-5 lengthy posts per week) is going to support my application, or whether it'll be an automatic reject. Read/Write Web is not one of those blogs that can pump out 5-10 posts per day - but that's mainly because I don't have the time (as I said, I have a day job and lots of sidelines). Also I'm wondering whether I'll be 'mainstream' enough for MSN. I'm very much a niche blogger, who writes for a niche readership. That's why y'all love me, right? :-) But on the other hand, I'm a good writer and given the time to do it - I could easily pump out 5-10 posts per day for a wider audience. That's called professional writing, so I'm up for that!
I'm going to apply and see what happens. I just hope the MSN people will be broad-minded enough to recognize that although Read/Write Web isn't MSN material (too niche, posts too lengthy and not updated frequently), as a blogger and writer I definitely have the chops to do this job.