Spoiler alert: there’s no set rule-book when it comes to finding 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 the work 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 to Fiverr, there are a fair few options to choose from. Personally, I found that my client base grew significantly when I worked across multiple freelance platforms at the early stages of my freelance writing journey.
Upwork, in particular, helped me to build my writing portfolio and 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.)
To see significant business growth, just make sure that you don’t accept those low-paying gigs and only go with a rate that reflects the value of your work.
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 rather competitive. (I’m talking about hundreds of applications per listing.)
However, you can combat this with a top-notch cover letter.
You’re also more likely to win the job if 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.
Why? Well, the saying “the early bird gets the worm” totally applies here!
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 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?
That sounds super scary.
I get that the idea of being rejected is not fun, but cold pitching is a great way of obtaining high-paying clients.
Why? Well, you can set your own rates and specifically target large-sized businesses that will be able to pay you the big bucks.
To do it, gather a list of companies or publications you’d love to write for beforehand and then go down your list popping each of them an email.
Just make sure you address the relevant contact. You can usually find this via the website of the company or publication (try the “About Us” or “Meet Our Team” pages) or on their LinkedIn page.
4. Social Media
Not only is social media a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, but it’s also extremely effective for sourcing freelance writing gigs.
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. I mean, 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 market yourself as a new freelance writer through the traditional offline marketing method of good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth.
One of the best ways to source paid opportunities is by talking to people about your business, products and/or services. You just never know who someone you tell will know – and it often leads to exciting and unexpected things (like referrals).
Whether they’re you’re family, friends, neighbours, your best friend’s cousin’s workout buddy, don’t be shy!
You could even get your friends to share your freelance writer website on their social media channels if they’d be so kind.
Why? Well, the more people you can reach with your services, the better! And what are friends for, eh?
Finding High-Quality Freelance Writing Gigs
It can be difficult to find and win freelance writing gigs when there’s so many other freelance writers in the world.
Plus, a lot of beginners are willing to accept lower rates than what they’re worth, which sets a very low bar for the rest of us!
(Don’t be one of those people.)
In my experience, it takes a while to secure a client who’s a dream to work with. But they are out there, so never give up hope!
Where do you find freelance writing gigs? Do you use the above methods? Let me know in the comments!