Congratulations! You’ve only gone and done it. You’ve mustered up the strength, courage and energy it requires to take the plunge into freelance writing. And what a ride it is so far, eh?
There’s no set rule-book when it comes to freelance writing. You have to figure a lot of it out for yourself. And it might be cliche, but you tend to learn more as you go along. I know I’m still learning, several months later.
I bet that’s not what you wanted to hear, right? Sheesh, sorry.
Don’t worry, it helps massively that you’ve got Google at your disposal, and the wisdom and knowledge of older, more experienced freelance writers, who are always so kind and willing to share what they’ve learned.
But, finding those writing gigs can be quite challenging at times. And you have to go out and find them yourself, if you’re going to make a success of this. No one’s going to do it for you, or hold your hand every step of the way. (Although we wish they would!)
If you’re really struggling to locate those gigs – it’s okay, I’ve got you covered!
Read on for how to find work as a freelance writer.
1. Freelance marketplaces.
Freelance marketplaces are a bit like marmite: you either love ’em or you hate ’em!
Some freelance writers swear by them, claiming that they’ve earned thousands and thousands of dollars by using them. But, I’m not sure. If I’m honest, I’m still kinda figuring them out.
I do find that my client base has grown significantly thanks to sites like Upwork and Guru. Upwork is great for discovering client leads, which can result in bigger and better things. But it’s true that the pay from these marketplaces can be ridiculously low.
I’m talking $15 for a 1000-word article. 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 you started and find work as a freelance writer when you’re a newbie looking for your first lot of gigs – and there are some intriguing clients on there. Each to their own!
2. Freelance job boards.
Freelance writing job boards – such as ProBlogger, BloggingPro and Freelance Writing Gigs – offer higher quality postings than freelance marketplaces. As a result, the quantity of jobs is lower and there’s so much more competition for each job.
However, you can still submit a kick-ass application using these job boards and win the job over all the competition. I’ve done it before – more than once, in fact! If I can do it, then you can do it too.
It’s all about perfecting your pitch.
Oh, and make sure you’re checking these boards at least once per day to find work as a freelance writer, as well as applying to jobs of interest as soon as they are listed. That way, you’re more likely to be considered.
“The early bird gets the worm” and all that jazz!
3. Cold emailing.
This one can be fairly difficult to get your head around as a new freelance writer.
What, you want me to email a company 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.
And then you get those that pretend not to care, only to reach out to you a few months later requiring your services.
Gather a list of businesses and/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 their email addresses easily on their websites. You should also be able to find the person you need to address the email to on the company’s “about us” page or “meet our team” page – or something to that effect!
Put yourself out there, go after those leads, and I guarantee it will pay off when you’ve got a series of high-paying clients on board who you found from cold pitching.
Get ’em, tiger.
4. Social media.
Ah, social media. What would we do without it these days?Not only is social media a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, but it's also extremely effective for business generation.Click To Tweet
There are several Twitter accounts that post freelance writing jobs 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 and contact. You can even use the “cold emailing” technique via LinkedIn messages as a way of marketing yourself to prospective clients.
It’s called social media for a reason, people – so make sure you’re using it to get social when it comes to your freelance writing business!
By “networking”, I’m referring to the traditional offline methods, like good ol’-fashioned word-of-mouth.
When you’re building your career as a freelance writer, make sure you tell as many people 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 freelance writer is by spreading the word about yourself and your skills. You never know who someone you tell will know. They might know the editor of one of your favourite magazines, or a content marketing agency manager, both looking for new writers to add to their team! (In this case – win, win!)
Also, get your friends to share your business website on their social media channels. The more people you can reach with your services, then the better! What are friends for?
These are just five of the key ways to obtain work as a freelance writer. I’m sure that there are many other methods out there; however, in my experience, these methods actually work! So whether you already know them all, or you’ve learned a new method by reading this post, either way – keep on hustlin’, fellow freelance writer!
Oh, and if you’ve got another method of finding and landing work that’s sh*t hot and you want to share it with us all, be a doll and write it in the comments yeah?