A Job board adds value to a blog and its readers. It provides a service that provides potential job seekers visiting your blog opportunities. At the same time, it can give your growing blog some additional exposure and traffic.
However, simply putting up a job board is not enough. You have to get the word out and let others know of the valuable service that you are offering on your site. You’ll want to find ways to highlight the features of your job board and give people a reason to use your job board over others. Ultimately, you need to find ways to promote your job board.
Here are a few methods that I’ve found to be effective in promoting the job board here:
First Find the Right Job Board to Install on Your Site
While this doesn’t directly promote your job board, finding the right job board with a good set of features can go a long way towards making it easier for you to encourage it’s use. Finding a free job board to install on your site is a simple matter. Finding one that stands out above the crowd is a little trickier.
There are two basic methods to putting a job board on your blog.
The first is through a plugin.
There are several that are free and a few that are paid. They essentially work the same way. After you install the plugin, it creates a page on your blog that gives others the ability to post a job listing. You can set these to charge for posting a listing, or set it up to charge potential applicants.
If you go this route, for the most part, your job board starts out blank and needs to be filled with listings. It would be wise to build up a relationship with potential employers and encourage them to post some listings on your blog. It’s a bit of work, and you really want a thriving blog with good traffic if you are going to find success with this route.
The second method is go through a job board affiliate program.
This method involves partnering up with a service that already provides job listings and setting up a job board through this partnership. These programs often provide you a plugin or you own domain for a personalized job board. You still have the ability to charge for listings and sometimes for applicants, but you do share the profit with your affiliate. The main advantage to using and affiliate job board is that they will often have a large backfill of projects to keep your job board propagated.
This way, you constantly have new content through new job postings. Overall, I like the job board affiliate program route due to the healthy amount of job listings that are always on your board. With a good amount of constantly updating postings, your job board will bring traffic to your blog as opposed to the other way around.
Here are a few of the job board affiliate programs available:
I use the Donanza Job board on this site for it’s features and ease of use. You can explore the features of each of these programs and choose the one that’s the right fit for your blog. I won’t go into all of the features of the Donanza Job board here, but you can read more about their features in my post about installing the job board on your blog.
Whichever option you chose to install a job board on your site will make a dramatic difference in the way in which you promote the board.
Give People Options to Subscribe to Your Job Board
Sometimes a reader may visit your job board, but not find the right job that fits their skills. You want to encourage them to come back. Make sure when you select your job board, that there is a way to subscribe to your job board feed.
In particular, I believe it’s important for you board to have it’s own separate rss feed. I would not install any board that does not have that option at the least. I’ll write about the benefits of having an rss feed for your board in further detail below. Trust me, it’s important.
Write About Your Job Board
So often, I see blogs that add a job board and give a simple announcement. It’s kind of like saying, “Hey, I got a job board!” But then there’s not much else. No follow up. Just silence.
Even with the greatest job board in the world, with tons of new postings, you have to let people know why they want to use your job board. Once the word get’s out, people will spread the news on their own, but in the beginning, you should promote it like any other part of your blog.
Also, keep in mind there are other blogs and other services out there that run job boards as well. You want to highlight some of the features that your blog may have over others. For example, you may want to explain how your job board has a search engine that pulls jobs from many reputable services around the web, so it saves job seekers time from having to hop from site to site to see the job postings. (hint hint)
The good news is that if you broaden your horizons on your blog to writing more about your job, you’ll find that there are tons of subjects making it much easier to create content for your blog overall.
Think about the different topics you can write about to highlight the features of your job board:
- Why job seekers should use your job board (watch my youtube video on this topic here)
- Why employers want to use our board to hire someone. (read my post about this here)
- The advantages of working freelance (if your job board is focused towards freelancers or online jobs)
- The best ways to find a job
- Ways to buff up your resume
- How to apply for a job (read my post about this here)
- The technical side of installing a job board (read my post about installing a job board here)
- The list goes on and on…
Yes, a job board will bring traffic to your blog, but first you have to start getting the word out about your service.
Take Out a Classified Listing
I think this works particularly well when you are actually advertising a service. You can take out a listing as a business of any of the popular free online classifieds. I like using Craigslist.
I like this method because you are offering an actual service to the readers. It lends itself better to a classified listings.
For Example, on Craigslist you have the option to post a free small business ad:
Write something up such as “Are you looking for Work from Home Projects? Find the right job for you on our thriving job board! We offer job listings from all over the world. Free to apply.” Then list your website.
It’s a more traditional advertising method, but it’s very targeted. You will be advertising directly to people who are looking for particular services.
Create A Banner Ad
Banner ads also work well as a way of pointing people in the right direction. You can cut and past images and create your own banner ad very easily using photoshop or even a free photo editor. Take a look at the Donanza banner that I made up in a few minutes:
If you like, feel free to copy this banner and use it as your own.
One thing you can do is put the banner right on your own site. It will catch their eye and direct people right to your job board. I find that a banner sometimes works better than just the simple navigation link in your menu. For a time, I had a banner for my job board in my header and I did get a good uptick in traffic.
I did take it out of my header as it was causing some problems with the way my blog was displaying on certain browsers. For now, I’m getting enough traffic to my job board that I can take some time to evaluate a new placement for a banner.
Route your Feed to Social Media
This is by far, one of the best ways I’m getting traffic back to my job board. Remember when I was telling you that it’s important to have an rss feed. This is the reason why.
Either use your existing blog’s account or create a new account just for job postings. I do both. I would advise writing a short profile description indicating that this is a current feed of new job listings on your project board. Then route your rss feed to twitter and facebook.
The new feed will automatically create a shortlink back to the listing so applicants can easily go to your job board and apply for the projects that interest them. This is a very powerful system that allows you to effectively use social media to generate exposure all around the internet.
Everyday, I find twitterers inquiring about listings that have been tweeted out. I also see retweets of my postings constantly. This is the best way I’ve found to get exposure to my job board.
So often, I see project boards that are devoid of listings and receive very little attention on their respective blogs. They are like the redheaded stepchild.
A project board will bring a good amount of traffic to your blog. But keep in mind that it is a service to your community and needs to be promoted as such. Once the word gets out, then it will start to promote itself.
These are some of the methods that have worked best for me. Are you running a job board on your blog? How do you promote your service? Leave a comment and offer your advice to the readers!