One of my jobs as the editor of CraftsUnleashed.com was to assemble a top-notch design team. That means I have to find crafty bloggers who are 1) good a making crafty stuff and 2) want to make stuff out of the items sold at ConsumerCrafts.com.
Recently, I put out an open call for designers and got about 20 applicants. Unfortunately, SO MANY were just not a good fit. So I thought I’d give you all some handy pointers so that if you ever want to be part of an on-line design team, you’ll be a fabulous candidate!
- Know who/what you’re applying for. No, really, I’m not kidding. Take a look at the blog/company looking for a designer and ask yourself: “Are these products I’d like to work with?” “Is this the kind of blog/company I want to be affiliated with?” I was shocked to find digital scrapbookers applying for positions on a design team for a company that sells consumable craft supplies.Â Another applicant has a coupon blog– no crafts in sight. Really, just not a good fit!
- Have a blog and keep it active. If a company is looking for a designer to make crafts and blog for them, you can guess that blogging (and photographing your projects) are going to be a pretty chunk of that.Â Â That means that you should already be familiar with blogging and have an ACTIVE blog. If you are not maintaining your own blog regularly, then it doesn’t demonstrate that you have the motivation to blog regularly for the team. Also, telling me “I love to craft but don’t have any on my blog” doesn’t really “sell” you, if you know what I mean.
- Show me the crafts. When looking for a designer, I want to see what you have MADE. While I love looking at your family photos on your blog/site (I’m being sarcastic here), I’m really looking for how many original crafts you have created. You can also increase your chances by writing a post called “My original crafty creations” or something of the like, and share photos/links to those individual posts. It really saves the editor (me) from having to scroll all over the place. Or better yet, create a tab called “Crafts” and send me THAT link. You get the idea– don’t make me hunt for it.
- Be a good writer. No one is asking for a Pulitzer-prize winning article, but you DO need to demonstrate that you can write an engaging article in your particular voice. It is also beneficial if I see at least a few step-by-step direction-type posts on your blog/site. That lets the editor know that you can break projects down, writing clear instructions. Oh, and YES, punctuation and spelling do figure into the equation, too.
- Take decent photos. Again, I’m not looking for spectacular– just decent. Are the photos well lit? Did you take the time to eliminate distracting items in the background? Are the pics in focus? Did you take photos of the step-outs?? If the answers to those questions are “yes,” then I know that I’ve found a good blogger and your chances of being selected for the team go up exponentially.
- Follow directions. Oh, gentle readers, if you only knew! When the call asks you to post a comment, or a link, please post it where they are ASKING you to! I’ve gotten submissions on a FB page, my personal blog….ugh. It’s my feeling that if you aren’t reading carefully and following the submission guidelines, then you might not be a good fit for me on the team.
- Suck up a little. OK, that sounds bad. But what I mean is when the editor visits your blog, it’s nice to see the “fan” badge or widget in your sidebar, or at the very least a link in your blogroll. One of the reasons companies even have bloggers on design teams is for the exposure to a new audience and link-love. So when it’s already there, it’s kind of like saying, “Yeah, I’m already into you. See?” Also “liking” the companies Facebook page or following on twitter helps, too.
So there you have it, future design team members! Feel free to comment if you have had a relevant experience…and remember:
“If at first you are not chosen, apply, apply again! “
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