I usually check the board once or twice a week to see if any new interesting blogging jobs have been advertised. Over the last six months I have noticed a clear drop in the quality of jobs being published. I used to check the board and see new blogging jobs I would be interested in every week. Unfortunately, I have struggled to see any good jobs advertised in the last few months.
Quality of Blogging Jobs Dropping
New ads continue to be promoted every week, however the quality of those ads have dropped considerably. Firstly, there is has been a large increase in blogs advertising for guest bloggers. I realise this presents a good opportunity for some bloggers to get noticed and build up a portfolio, but if your main income is generated through blogging, you need to get paid. The websites that are advertising guest posts are very poor too. Low pr, low traffic and low readership is not tempting for any blogger; even someone who is new to blogging. What exactly do they get from writing articles for free for a blog with no readers?
Secondly, there is a lot of advertisements that are getting published on the job board again, again and again. Guest blogging websites such as PostJoint and Guest Crew are posting ads every thirty days to ensure that their website is always listed on the board. Low paying content agencies such as Demand Studios are using this tactic too. As soon as their ad drops out of the job board, they purchase another advertisement for $50 and shoot to the top of the list.
Another type of advertisement that is very common on the job board is for guest posters to help with a guest posting campaign across the internet. These jobs normally pay between $30 and $50 per guest post on PR 5 and PR 6 websites. The website owner wants you to find all of the blogs to submit guest posts too. They usually accept an article on your own website too if your blog has a good PageRank.
A lot of the other jobs being published as very low paying. It is not uncommon to see some jobs advertised at $5 or $10 an article. I have even come across jobs where the blogger is only paid if the article gets a certain number of shares on Twitter and Facebook. Or they are paid 50% of any generated revenue. Excuse my French but that is complete bullshit. We cannot pay bills on a promise of income. And who is to say the website owner is going to honestly and accurately track traffic and revenue.
Some website owners annoyingly leave their rates out of the advertisement or state that rates are dependent on experience. Yet, when I have emailed them and explained that I have years of experience blogging, I am usually advised that the job only pays $10 per article. Or to put it another way: The job was not dependent on experience. They simply did not want to publish their terrible rate as they knew that the quality of authors that would apply for the job would be terribly low.
What Can Be Done About a Rise in Low Quality Blogging Jobs Being Advertised?
I do not believe that ProBlogger has caused this situation directly. I have advertised for bloggers on ProBlogger before and my ads were always accepted right away. It is clear that there is no moderation of jobs and I can see many benefits to doing this. The drop in quality at the ProBlogger job board is more of a reflection of the market than anything else. The changes by Google has meant that more websites are looking to increase incoming links through guest blogging. This explains why there are so many guest posting opportunities being published.
A quick look at the number of jobs posted on ProBlogger so far this month suggests that there are around 45 to 50 jobs being published there every month. At a cost of $50 an advertisement for 30 days, this means the job board earns around $2,500 every month. Not a bad little earner :)
ProBlogger does not take any commissions from blogging positions that are filled. They charge a flat rate of $50 for every advertisement that is published. So ProBlogger will earn more money if they publish more job advertisements. From a business point of view, it makes sense for them to accept all job advertisements.
Quality control in a situation like this is difficult. I can see the argument that it is not up to ProBlogger to decide what is a good job and what is not. However, I cannot help but think that if the quality of jobs being published continues to be low, good bloggers are not going to check the job board any more. That means that when a good blog advertises a blogging position that pays well, the response to their advertisement is going to be poor. They are going to be inundated with applications with bloggers with no experience. This, in turn, discourages them from posting an advertisement on ProBlogger again in the future. Over time, this could inadvertently turn the ProBlogger job board into a place where you can only find low paying blogging jobs.
As I mentioned, the ProBlogger job board has not changed since launch. Seven years is a long time online to stand still so it could be time for them to introduce some small changes.
I do not believe moderating is the answer as it would affect their bottom line, but a better layout could help. Here’s an idea that could improve quality. At the moment, all jobs are listed on the home page. This could remain, however jobs could also be categorised at the top of the job board under different tabs. These tabs could list all jobs, jobs that pay well, low paying jobs, guest posting positions that pay, guest posting positions that do not pay etc. This would make it much easier for bloggers to find the type of job they are looking for.
Currently, you need to scroll down the whole page and examine every job that is posted. If things were categorised a little better, experienced bloggers could focus solely on the higher paying jobs. The website owners would not have to disclose rates if they did not want to. They could just advise ProBlogger if the job they were advertising was within a specific pay range and advertise in the appropriate category. It would not be in their interests to advertise in the wrong category. If they were not paying a good rate yet advertised in the high paying jobs section, they would get lots of applications from bloggers who are just going to turn the job. They would get a better return by advertising in the low paying category.
The irony is that the board currently uses categories. Every job that is advertised is categorised into one of the following categories: Corporate/Business, Blog Networks, Co-blogging, Podcasting and Miscellaneous. Perhaps these categories were useful in the past, however I cannot see how these categories help website owners or bloggers today. Categorising jobs by the rate that is paid and separating non-paying guest post opportunities would be much more useful.
Over to You
I know a lot of you are actively seeking work as a blogger too so I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Have you seen a drop in quality on other job boards too?
A quick check at some other blogging job boards such as BloggingPro suggests that ProBlogger is more affected by this rise in guest posts advertisements. This is to be expected since the ProBlogger job board much more traffic. Maybe the market is ready for a blogging job board that focuses on higher quality jobs. Maybe the market will change again for the better over the next six months. Only time will tell.
Thanks for reading,