A blogger generates original and engaging content to be placed on a website. A great blogger can create traffic, build interest and ultimately drive sales for an organization
Bloggers research relevant topics, coming up with interesting topics to write about that will interest and engage potential customers. They will look at what other information is available in that area, creating well-written and exciting pieces.
Bloggers are usually also responsible for marketing and promoting their work, using different media to get new readers involved. Bloggers utilize mailing lists as well as social media platforms, paid adverts, and guest blogging spots.
In this article, we will discuss the specific skills and abilities that a great blogger should have, and the best way to test for these competencies when you are hiring.
What should a blogger be able to do?
A blogger works in several distinct stages. Firstly, they need to come up with interesting ideas to write about, bearing in mind the needs of the business and what needs to be promoted. These ideas will need to be discussed with the editor or marketing manager.
Once an idea is discovered, the blogger will then conduct research to learn more about the topic. This research can take the form of seeing what else is 'out there' on the topic, what people are asking about the topic, and general information like statistics.
The blogger will write the content, using good spelling and grammar as well as creative but professional language. They will need to perform any edits of the piece, including proofreading and changing certain sentences as directed by the editorial team.
Throughout this process, they will need to communicate with clients, editors and publishers to ensure that the right message is being shared and any relevant details are included.
Most of the time, the blogger will be responsible for marketing their work - sharing links on social media, creating paid advertising, using existing email subscriptions and other methods to get more readers with the aim of getting more customers too.
Bloggers will sometimes be expected to attend events and write about their experience, use different products and provide honest reviews and feedback, and take advantage of any networking opportunities to promote their blog.
Skills to look for in a blogger
Bloggers need certain skills to be successful, and some of these might be achieved through some sort of qualification, perhaps in English or journalism. Below are some of the other skills you should look for in a potential candidate for a blogger position:
Office Suite: bloggers use word processing software daily in their tasks, and the Office Suite is still one of the most used programs in the workplace. Bloggers need to be confident in using the different facets of the software.
Writing: it might be obvious, but a blogger needs to have excellent writing skills - both in terms of structure and in terms of spelling and grammar. They might have taken a relevant degree, but you want to know that they are able to write well, with the right tone of voice and with an eye for detail.
Reading Comprehension: the blogger needs to be able to read and understand different written sources, and comprehension skills are important to get the important details from the research they are completing.
Critical Thinking: great bloggers are able to use their critical thinking skills to not only come up with the right ideas for an article, but also to decide which sources to use for research, and what point of view they want to highlight in the piece.
Judgment and Decision Making: along with critical thinking, the blogger must be able to use good judgment to decide how to write their article, what spin (if any) they want to put on it, and how best to approach the task itself.
Useful abilities for a blogger
The abilities you might want to look for in a blogger are a little less simple to assess from qualifications or experience, and they are often referred to as 'soft skills'. Below are some of the most important abilities you will want to find in your potential blogger:
Written Comprehension and Expression: bloggers need to be comfortable with their ability to understand the written word, and confident in their ability to express themselves properly through writing. This is not just about writing and reading as a skill, but the ability to craft their words to suit the audience and the subject.
Fluency of Ideas: bloggers need to have a wellspring of ideas to be able to refer to, things that could make excellent sources of content for the business they are writing for. Fluency of ideas doesn't necessarily mean having the best ideas, more that there are plenty of ideas available.
Originality: this is an ability that is really important for a blogger - not only coming up with lots of ideas, but finding original and interesting ways of writing about them. The best bloggers are not concerned with committing plagiarism because they have a unique point of view.
Inductive and Deductive Reasoning: logical thinking helps a blogger in many ways, from structuring their content in the best way to choosing how to create the right argument. Both inductive logic and deductive logic feed into this ability and help the blogger make the right decisions.
Information Ordering: with all the research that a blogger will do for one piece, putting it all in the best order to be understood and make the right points in the article they are writing comes from the ability to order the information logically.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a blogger?
As previously mentioned, soft skills are not usually easy to assess in a candidate because they are not something that can be quantified through education, qualification or experience.
Gauging the level of proficiency a candidate has in a certain soft skill is much easier when you can test it and produce actionable data - which is why the soft skills tests below will help:
Project Management: it makes sense to consider each blog post or article as a complete project, so project management skills will help the blogger to manage not only their time but also the necessary input from other sources such as research, or information from the client and editor.
Adaptability: a marketing department is usually the home of the blogger, and this can be a fast-moving part of the business. The blogger needs to be confident enough to change direction when needed and adapt to changes in the workplace.
Communication: this soft skill is one of the most important in almost every role - and bloggers need to be able to communicate efficiently in writing and orally. Bloggers usually have to work closely with an editorial team and communicate with potential customers as well as their colleagues.
Decision Making: for the blogger, making decisions on what structure to use in the post, what sentences can be cut, and other editorial choices are only part of the decision making process. Bloggers need to decide on a subject for their work, decide on the right sources to use, and decide on the best way to get their message across.
Time Management: working to deadlines is usual for a blogger, and this means that they have to be proficient in managing their time. This is especially relevant if they are working on several projects at the same time.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a blogger?
Technical skills are something that it is important to test, especially for a role that is based on computer skills.
Aptitude testing provides the recruitment team with quantifiable data about the suitability of a candidate based on their inherent abilities and skills, and the below tests are particularly useful for hiring a blogger:
Microsoft Word: as previously mentioned, the Microsoft Office suite of programs is probably the widest used in offices even now, and Word is a good, reliable word processing software that the blogger needs to be confident in navigating.
Verbal Reasoning: it goes without saying that the blogger will need to be able to quickly read and understand written information, but actually using that information to make reasoned decisions is the next step in comprehension.
Abstract Reasoning: abstract reasoning assessments are used to assess a candidate on their ability to find the relationships between different pieces of information - finding a general rule.
Logical Reasoning: although emotive ideas might be the subject of the written piece a blogger is created, they need to remain logical when completing the writing. The logical reasoning assessment demonstrates that the blogger can make rational decisions using all the available information.
Error Checking: any type of writer should have a good eye for detail, and be prepared to pick up spelling errors and grammatical mistakes that are not caught by the built-in spell check software of their word processor.
Our recommended test battery for a blogger
Asking a prospective employee to complete all ten of the tests named above would be unreasonable - too much work for them and too much data to use for the recruitment team.
Below is a suggested battery of tests that we feel will help you choose the right candidate for your open blogger position.
Microsoft Word: this is a hands-on project-based assessment that challenges candidates to complete basic tasks and demonstrates their ability to navigate the Microsoft Word software confidently.
Communication: the communication assessment consists of work-related scenario questions with several different courses of action. You need to choose the right course of action to solve the problem in the given scenario.
Project Management: in the project management assessment, the candidate is given different work-based problems to solve using their project management skills. It is a multiple-choice assessment.
Verbal Reasoning: in the verbal reasoning assessment, the candidate is provided with a passage or paragraph of text, which they must quickly read, understand and analyze to answer the provided multiple choice question.
As bloggers (like other content writers) need some very specific skills and attributes, you might want to consider assessing them using our content writer test, which is built specifically to help recruiters find the right content writer for their business.