Have you ever wished that someone would pay you to do what you love?
For many writers, this dream is a reality. If you want to turn your passion for writing into more than a hobby and enjoy the benefits of setting your own hours, freelance writing is an excellent option for making money on the side.
Assuming that you already have the skills to take on writing jobs, you’re now faced with the same question that many writers ask when starting, “Where in the world can I find paid writing jobs?”
10 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs
If you’re ready to begin the hunt for your ideal freelance writing job, there are a few things you should know upfront:
- Opportunity is abound —Freelance writing offers you the potential to take on as much or as little work as you want, but you have to know where to search and how to market yourself.
- Perseverence is essential — If you can be proactive and persevere in the beginning, there’s potential to take it from a side gig to a lucrative, full-time profession.
- Don’t worry about your skill level — There’s opportunity for writers at every skill level. Most new writers are worried about the availability of freelance writing jobs for beginners, Honestly, stop worrying! The jobs are out there and you won’t have to go to great lengths to find them. These days freelance writing from home can be a great source of both primary and secondary income for anyone who’s willing to put in the required work.
- Practice makes perfect — The more you write, the easier it gets and the more you can charge. Once you know where to find writing jobs, you can also begin working your way up the ladder and only accept the best freelance writing opportunities.
- Build your portfolio — Be proud of your work and share it with potential clients. Over time, your portfolio will open doors for higher-paying jobs. The best part, though, is that it’s 100% free advertising.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way let’s talk about some of the different place you can start looking for new gigs. From job boards to social media, these are some of my top recommendations of where you can find jobs and start your freelance writing journey.
Responding to a job board ad is one of the most common ways for freelance newbies to get their first writing gig. The main thing to keep in mind for pitching to a job board is that you’ll have to market yourself and compete with other freelancers to get the job.
There are plenty of paid job boards out there and there is no reason why you can’t land your first gig on a free job board as well. Not only does responding to job board ads give you a chance at landing your first gigs, but those writing jobs also have the potential to turn into long-time partnerships.
Be sure to have an idea of what your rate will be in case a potential client asks you. I can’t stress enough the importance of researching rates to make sure you’re not to far out of line with your competition. You can also ask a freelancing friend or mentor how to go about creating pricing for your work. In the beginning, it may not be prudent to aim too high—your salary should be commensurate with your experience.
Some job boards use social media as a way to advertise available jobs. Don’t miss out on these opportunities and be sure to follow more than one writing job boards. You never know when or where a great opportunity might come along.
Always follow job application instructions to give yourself the best chance of landing the job.
The sooner you start pitching the ads you see on job boards, the sooner it wil become easier to land the jobs you really want. And don’t forget to share your portfolio with each pitch you send!
Finding freelance writing jobs on Google is a matter of knowing which search words to use. Once you’ve got that down, you should have no problem landing jobs. This is a tactic that I used all the time when I was writing in the WordPress space.
For example, if you add the phrase “that pay writers” to your search, the odds of finding a website that does just that will go up exponentially. Some examples of this tactic include: “fashion blogs that pay writers” or “music magazines that pay writers.” Another valuable search term is “write for us.”
Google is a double-edged sword when it comes to finding writing jobs. On the one hand, by searching “jobs that pay beginner writers” or “writers wanted,” you can get dozens of potential leads. On the other hand, you’re going to have a lot of search results to sift through. Something that takes up valuable time.
If you’ve got a few writing samples under your belt and you’re looking for niche writing job opportunities, Google can be even more useful. Let’s say you want to write in the fitness niche for a magazine like Runner’s World. Search the term “related” along with the magazine title. An example of this is “related: runnersworld.com.” You’ll get a lot of similar magazines that you can contact for writing job opportunities.
This job-hunting tactic involves contacting companies, businesses, and start-ups to sell your freelance writing services to them. Your goal is to convince them that your talents as a writer can benefit their business.
I know, it sound daunting but before you write off cold pitching as a desperate or hopeless method for getting writing jobs, you should be aware that it has a lot of unique advantages.
The best part about cold pitching is that you don’t have to compete with hundreds of other writers like you would on job boards or sites like Upwork. It may seem intimidating and a bit scary to put yourself out there, but you may land a valuable, long-term client by reaching out to them on your own.
So, how do you go about preparing your cold pitch?
- Keep your cold pitch is simple
- Tell your prospective client who you are, where you heard about them, and how their business stands to benefit you’re your writing services
- Confidence and honesty are key here, but a successful cold pitch can be a huge step in the right direction if you’re getting started as a freelance writer.
Go ahead and give cold pitching a try if you haven’t already; you have nothing to lose and so much to gain by putting yourself out there!
Content Marketing (Your Website)
Just because you’re new to the game of freelance writing doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to treat yourself like a professional. Creating your own website and using it to market yourself as a freelance writer is a great way to show clients you take your work seriously. It’s also a simple way to showcase who you are and what kind of work you have in your portfolio.
If you decide to go this route, it’s crucial that you have a professional-looking website that will draw in potential clients. In some ways, having a cheap-looking website is worse than having no website at all.
Put in the time and money yourself or hire a professional to design your website. Above all, make it easy for potential clients to find your contact information.
Having your own website sets you apart from other beginning freelancers because it adds a degree of professionalism—especially when done properly. If you’re serious about writing and you think you have what it takes, don’t cut corners in this department.
Guest posting is a long game in the job-finding process, but it can bring great results if you play your cards right. By doing an unpaid guest post for a popular website, you’ll have a much bigger audience for the content that you write. If your audience likes it and the guest post gets good reception, you may be on your way to ongoing paid work with the same client.
While the prospect of working for free may be off-putting for somebody who’s eager to get into paid work, it’s a great way to build your portfolio. It’ll be easier to land good freelance writing gigs if you have a portfolio of clips to show a potential client.
If you need to build up your portfolio and you’re willing to put in some work upfront—sweat equityas they say—guest posting may be the perfect option for you. Be sure to write an eye-catching author bio because you only have a few lines to tell people who you are and what you’re about.
Always give your best effort when guest posting, no different than if it was a highly-paid contract. Treat it as an opportunity to get your writing in front of others’ eyes while gaining valuable experience.
A word of caution: Asking for free writing samples from less experienced freelancers is a common scam on freelancing platforms. It’s one thing to show a potential client your portfolio, but you shouldn’t have to write a 500-word post on a specific subject. Guest posting should be your choice, and you shouldn’t feel pressured into it by someone who may be trying to take advantage of freelancers by getting work done for free.
Leverage Your Personal Network
When you bring together your family, friends, coworkers, and everyone else in your network, you’re bound to find someone in need of freelance writing services. Even if there are a few degrees of separation between you and the person who could use your services, leveraging your network is a timeless tactic for finding freelance work.
If you do plan to use this strategy, it helps to be ready to interact with a potential client at any time. You never know when a casual situation can turn into a conversation about a freelancing opportunity. Be ready to pitch yourself as a writer if the need should arise, and you’ll be better prepared to land jobs that come up through the people in your network.
At the very least, prepare to discuss who you are, what kind of writing experience you have, and why you’d be great for a given job. Having business cards and a professional website to show someone that you meet through your network is also a good way to show that you take yourself seriously.
You can also expand your professional network by connecting with other freelancers via the internet and through networking events. Swapping stories, tips, and resources with like-minded people is a great way to improve as a writer and land jobs.
Content agencies are an excellent springboard to get some writing experience under your belt as a beginner. The best part about writing for a content agency is that once you’ve established yourself as a dependable writer, the workflow is endless.
Agencies thrive on having established client connections and building up a team of reliable writers and editors who can meet their clients’ expectations.
What does this mean for you?
It’s a great chance to try out different kinds of writing on a lot of different subjects. You can improve your writing skills as you go, and you’ll be able to get a sense of what kind of writing you’re best suited for.
It may be tempting to jump on the first offer you get from a content agency, but be aware that some provide better work opportunities than others. Large content agencies (often referred to as “content mills”) usually don’t pay very much or offer training or support for writers. I’d avoid them at all costs.
But, if you can find an agency that is personable and willing to provide you with consistent, fairly priced work, it’s a great place to start as a budding freelancer. Personally, I worked for 2 agencies and both were a great experience overall with fairly priced work.
Over the last few years, LinkedIn has become a major social networking tool for all kinds of different professionals. This includes freelance writers who want to connect with potential clients. If you don’t have a profile or you’re letting your current one sit unused, you’re ignoring a valuable resource you could use to land freelance writing jobs.
LinkedIn is teeming with potential job offers (and the occasional scam), and you can take advantage of it as a virtual networking opportunity. Freshen up your profile, make it clear that you’re an up-and-coming professional freelance writer, and sign up for email alerts for jobs that match your work interests and location.
Keep in mind that while you’re willing to put in lots of effort towards searching for jobs, there are also other people scouring LinkedIn for eager, qualified freelancers like you. The search goes both ways, and over time, LinkedIn can even help you land jobs without you needing to search at all.
By building a professional profile that advertises who you are and what you do, you stand to receive a lot of valuable exposure to potential clients for freelance writing jobs.
Contently is a company which advertises itself as, “The world’s best enterprise content marketing platform, creative network, and content strategy services.” As you might expect, they have a subnetwork for freelancers called “The Freelancer,” which may be the answer to your writing job search prayers.
The Contently freelance platform is pretty straightforward. You create a profile and optimize it to showcase who you are and what you do. Once the site approves you, they provide you with training via a tutorial that shows you how to work with clients on their platform.
After you’re all set up, Contently can start matching you with clients based on their needs and your skills. As you do more work and prove that your writing services are dependable, you can start to take on more jobs with higher-paying clients. This is a huge time-saver because you’re matched with your clients rather than fighting to get them as you would on other freelance job sites.
Another huge perk is that payment is instantaneous on Contently. As soon as you send in your work, Contently advances the payment into your account, and you can transfer it directly to your PayPal from there. Say goodbye to waiting days, weeks, or even months for clients to pay you for your work!
Social Media (Twitter, Facebook Groups)
While it’s a fact that you can use social media to keep in touch with friends and family as well as catch up with news and entertainment, it also presents networking opportunities for freelance writers.
Although job boards and cold pitching yourself can pay off, wouldn’t it be more convenient to have jobs pop up on your newsfeed while you’re scrolling through?
Social media has made this vision a reality for aspiring freelancers. There are loads of groups on Facebook which you can use for job hunting, networking with other freelancers, and advancing yourself as a freelancer in general. For example, check out the Freelance Writing Jobs and Freelance B2B Writing (hosted by Andrea Emerson) Facebook groups.
Join a few large ones as well as some that are specific to your location, and be sure to leave on the notifications so you can stay in the loop.
As for Twitter, there are plenty of freelance writing job board accounts that you can follow with one of the best being Problogger. This can save you time and also allow you to pick out the gigs that you’re interested in. If you like a certain job, you can look into it and apply. If not, scroll on and wait until you find one that’s more your speed.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re willing to put forth the effort that it takes to become a freelance writer, there are tons of jobs up for grabs and resources to help you get them. It may feel like an uphill climb in the beginning, and there’s no guarantee that the income will be steady from week to week.
Still, the ability to work according to your own schedule and the financial freedom that comes with a successful freelance writing career definitely make the effort worth it.
If you’re considering jumping into the world of freelance writing, the best advice we can give is to go for it with everything you’ve got. Starting out, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain. By making use of social media, online resources, and the other tips I’ve mentioned here, it’s about 90% motivation and 10% luck on the path to making it as a freelance writer.