Pity the plight of the blogger! Blogging, particularly nature blogging, is a tough business. The challenge of standing out among the countless other blogs in your niche can be daunting. Even if you do develop a following, you’ll have to contend with stagnant readership, limited comments, technical troubles, and content doldrums. The truth is that even the most talented naturalists can have difficulty grasping the idiosyncrasies of blogging as a medium.

Of course, the picture isn’t entirely bleak. The blogosphere is very much a meritocracy where talent and effort in equal measure can make a lot happen. Without laying claim to either virtue, we at 10,000 Birds have been fortunate to surpass many of our blogging goals, even though our ambitions seem to get wilder all the time. In the interest of sharing some of the insights we’ve developed over years of blogging success (while getting some critical scutwork done) we’re going to try something a little different.

10,000 Birds is offering a SUMMER INTERNSHIP!

What does this admittedly offbeat offer entail?
Like any other internship, the exchange is service for training. We are looking for a highly motivated, blog-savvy individual who will be willing to take on certain specific blogging projects with enthusiasm, ambition, and alacrity. We won’t lie… a lot of basic coding, categorizing, and linking lies in our intern‘s promising future. But trust that there is a method to the madness. Our intern won’t be subjected to the electronic equivalent of fetching coffee. He or she will be working on aspects of our blog that we consider central to its success. Remember Daniel-san in The Karate Kid; he may not have understood how all that tiresome painting and waxing was relevant but when it was time to fight, “wax on, wax off” was exactly what he needed. We’re not promising an unstoppable fighting technique or a free vintage ride but we do believe that this assignment will have high educational value for the right candidate.

So the intern gets to work on 10,000 Birds for free. Sweet! Is there more?
Indeed there is. Our ambition is to serve as supportive mentors for our intern. Of course we’ll be available to answer questions about nature blogging and we’ll probably be asking a few back. We’ll be judging the success of this internship program mainly by the future success of our intern.

Remind me, what makes you guys so special?

Many things indeed (insert your favorite emoticon here) but here are some of the more relevant facts…

  • 10,000 Birds is one of the longest running and most popular nature blogs. Google Analytics reports that 10,000 Birds served the following in Mar-Apr2009:
    –   172,719 Pageviews (as of this writing, about 4,000 page views a day!)
    –   97,061  Visits
    –   83,013 Absolute Unique Visitors
  • 10,000 Birds has over 800 subscribers.
  • 10,000 Birds was declared one of the 100 Most Informative Blogs in the world by Carnegie Mellon University in 2007!
  • 10,000 Birds is the home of I and the Bird, the world’s longest running natural history blog carnival.
  • Speaking of blog carnivals, Mike Bergin spoke on that topic at the ScienceOnline09 science blogging conference.
  • 10,000 Birds is the world’s leading birding blog according to the Nature Blog Network (which Mike also created.)
  • 10,000 Birds is currently #1 out of 465 on the Birds Top 100 and #9 out of 1079 on the Fat Birder’s Top 500 Birding Website toplists.
  • 10,000 Birds is the first and so far only blog to be accepted as Species Champion supporting the BirdLife International Preventing Extinctions Programme.

We don’t mean to sound conceited. The message is that we enjoy a bit of success by nature blogging standards and want to share some of our strategic, tactical, and technical tips with a motivated colleague, possible even you!

So there it is. This internship we propose might not be tons of fun but it will with hope establish a foundation on which enduring blogging success might be built. The position will be entirely unpaid and uncompensated. It does not offer college credit or certification of any kind. On the bright side, it is a virtual internship which means the intern can live anywhere in the world with decent internet access.

Is this how you’d like to devote 5 or so hours a week for the next 2 months? If so, read on…

We honestly have no idea how many applicants we will receive for this position. What we know is that we can only take on one intern so we want the very best. If you’d like to be the 10,000 Birds Summer Intern, send us a statement of no more than 200 words explaining the following:

1. Who are you?
2. Why would you make an amazing blog intern?
3. What is your dream of blogging success?

Experience, ambition, and intellect will all improve a candidate’s chances. Please send all submissions to me (mike AT 10000birds DOT com) by June 8, 2009. The internship will run from June 15 until August 15, 2009. Feel free to contact me with questions or ask them in the comments section.

We wish all applicants good luck. May the best future blogging superstar win!

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.