Welcome to part three of a four part series for those of you interested in becoming a professional blogger. Last week I gave you a guide to where to find blogging jobs, but this week it’s time to discuss how you get through the application process.

While every site has its own rules about how to apply, there are some common rules that applying to any blogging job that you should follow.

Read The Ad Twice

writingIt always amazes me how many people will miss some little thing in an advertisement for a blogging position.  If you miss one step in applying, that can quickly lead them to believe that you have a tendency to not pay attention to details in your work.

One of the biggest tips I can give you, having been on both sides of the blogger hiring process, is that you need to follow any and all directions they give you in the ad to the letter.  You are being tested whether you know it or not, and missing a simple instruction can tell a potential employer a lot about your work ethic.

There is a famous story about how Van Halen had a clause in their concert contracts that called for a bowl of M&M’s to be backstage at all shows, but it was to contain no brown ones.  The reason for this wasn’t diva-like actions, but instead it was a quick visual check for the band and its crew to see if the venue paid attention to small details.  If there were brown ones in the bowl, that immediately told the band that there might be other issues with the setup that could have easily been overlooked.

So, mind the brown M&M’s when you’re applying for a writing job because you never know what the true tests are.

Despite What You’ve Heard, Bloggers Are Professionals

Due to the word “blog” applying to personal blogs (i.e. this one) as well as professional ones, the line has become somewhat blurred on the fact that applying for a blogging job is just that: applying for a job.

The normal resume rules apply, and sending someone your complete history back to grade school and every job you had tossing fries just isn’t necessary.  Standard etiquette dictates that a resume should be one page, and two at most, but I have seen ones as long as five.  There is just no need for that much information.

No matter how big the blog is, if you are applying for an internship or a paid position, you should treat it just as seriously as you would when applying to any other job anywhere.

If They Want Samples, Triple Check Them

When sending in writing samples you have what feels like all the time in the world.  Take that time to pour over your samples for spelling, punctuation, grammar, flow and so on.

If you’ve never submitted anything for professional work before, one of the biggest tips I can give you is to read the article out loud to yourself to hear how the words “fall” on your ear.  Does it flow?  Are any of the sentences fractured?  You’ll eventually get the feeling for what works, but in the early days this step never hurts you in figuring out how things work.

You won’t have time to do all of these steps for each article if you get the job, but it doesn’t hurt to do it during the application process.

Did You Read The Ad Twice?

Yes, it really is that important.  Before you click send on the e-mail, make sure you have gone on over everything and crossed every “t”.

Coming next week folks is where I give you some advice om keeping the job once you have it.

This series originally appeared on SeanPAune.com and is reprinted here by permission.