Spoiler alert: there’s no set rule-book when it comes to locating freelance writing gigs as a newbie.
In fact, stumbling upon high-paying jobs worthy of your time and energy can be quite challenging. You have to commit to seeking them out every day if you want to build a successful and profitable business.
Needless to say, no one’s going to do it for you. (Although, sometimes we all wish they would – right?)
If you’re at the very start of your career and don’t know where on earth to look for freelance writing gigs, not to worry – I’m here to help.
1. Freelance Marketplaces
Finding freelance writing gigs for beginners 101: freelance marketplaces.
Sure, freelance marketplaces are a bit like marmite: you either love ’em or you hate ’em. However, they’re pretty handy if you’ve only just begun to carve your path in the freelancing world.
From Upwork to Guru, Freelancer and Fiverr, there are a few different options to choose from. Personally, I found that my client base grew significantly when I worked across multiple freelance platforms at the very first stage of my freelance writing journey.
Upwork, in particular, helped me generate an abundance of client leads, which then led to bigger and better things later on down the line.
However, be warned: the pay from these marketplaces can be ridiculously low. (I’m talking $15 for a 1000-word article kind of low. Ouch.)Personally, I just make sure that I don't accept those low-paying gigs and only go with a rate that reflects the value of my work. Click To Tweet
The bottom line is: freelance marketplaces are an easy place to get started and help you to find work when you’re a new freelance writer looking for your first gig – and it doesn’t hurt to give them a go as a way of building your portfolio and client base if nothing else.
2. Freelance Job Boards
Freelance writing job boards, such as ProBlogger, BloggingPro and Freelance Writing Gigs, offer higher quality postings than freelance marketplaces and also provide less competition for each job.
That said, they’re still kind of competitive. (I’m talking about hundreds of applications per listing.)
However, you can combat this with a kickass pitch.
Just make sure you’re looking for freelance writing gigs via these specialised boards at least once per day as well as applying to jobs of interest as soon as they are posted. This way, you’re more likely to win the job.
Why? Well, it’s true what they say: the early bird gets the worm. And this applies to the freelancing industries too!
3. Cold Emailing
Even though cold emailing can be fairly difficult to get your head around as a new freelance writer, its success rate speaks for itself.
What, you want me to email a business or brand I’ve never spoken to before and practically shove a cover letter in their face highlighting my experience and why I should be considered to write for them?
Dude, they don’t care about me!
Granted, a lot of companies won’t care. But there’ll be that one or two of the bunch that will.
Gather a list of companies or publications you’d love to write for beforehand, and then just simply go down your list popping each of them an email.
You should be able to find the relevant contact via the website of the company or publication (try the “About Us” or “Meet Our Team” pages). You could even check their LinkedIn page(s).
The trick is to yourself out there with cold emailing, go after those potential leads and I guarantee it will pay off when you’ve got a series of high-paying clients on board. Squee.
(Need help perfecting your pitch? Check out the exact method I use to obtain consistent, high-paying clients in The Practical Pitching Guide for New Freelance Writers.)
4. Social MediaNot only is social media a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, but it's also extremely effective for sourcing freelance gigs.Click To Tweet
Full disclosure: there are several Twitter accounts that post freelance writing gigs on their feeds daily, so be sure to follow as many as possible.
My favourites are @write_jobs and @writing_gigs as they offer a variety of listings that are updated on a regular basis. You can always find jobs to apply to via these accounts, no matter what your niche is.
LinkedIn is also a useful tool when it comes to scouting out work and potential employers you can connect with. You can even use the cold emailing technique via LinkedIn messages as a way of “warm” pitching to prospective clients.
Essentially, it’s called social media for a reason, people. Make sure you’re getting social when it comes to your freelance writing business, utilising networking opportunities and being proactive in looking for jobs – and your business will grow. Fact.
In addition to networking via social media, you can also network through the traditional offline marketing method of good ol’-fashioned word-of-mouth.
When you’re building your career as a freelance writer, make sure you tell as many people about your services as possible. Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your neighbours, tell your best friend’s cousin’s workout buddy… Seriously, no matter who they are – tell ’em!
One of the best ways you can market yourself as a writer and find great freelance writing gigs is by spreading the word about your business and skills. You just never know who someone you tell will know – and it often leads to exciting and unexpected things. Like referrals.
I mean, you can even get your friends to share your business website on their social media channels if they’d be so kind.
Why? Well, the more people you can reach with your services, then the better! And what are friends for, eh?
Finding High-Quality Freelance Writing Gigs
It can be so difficult to source high-quality freelance writing gigs when there’s so much competition amongst fellow freelancers – and a lot of beginners are willing to accept lower rates than what they’re worth.
(Don’t be one of those!)
In my experience, you have to keep hustling to find high-paying jobs, high-quality companies and low-pressure clients to work with. But they’re out there. Never give up hope!
Where do you find freelance writing gigs? Do you use the above methods? Let me know in the comments!
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