Finding a freelance writing job isn’t as scary as you might think it is—if you know where to look. Check out our top 20 ways for getting started with freelance writing.
Use Job Boards
The ProBlogger job boards contain well-paying and high-quality writing and editing gigs. Potential clients intentionally go to ProBlogger for seeking out writers that will solve their needs. The platform allows you to create a Candidate Dashboard (like an online resume) and showcase your skills, experience, and the niche topics you write in.
BloggingPro is an easy-to-use free website that places blogging job opportunities into categories—freelance, full-time, part-time, internship, etc. Find a job you like and apply. You will typically just need a resume and a reference.
With iWriter, you start with a writing test. Once you pass, you have access for different writing opportunities. As you receive positive reviews, your level increases and you’ll garner the attention of more clients.
4. Freelance Writing Jobs
You can get paid for writing all kinds of content through this platform, also known as Freelance Writing Gigs—journalism, short story writing, freelance copywriting, etc. The job listings are updated daily and there are a variety of opportunities for every kind of freelance writer.
Upwork is likely the most famous online job board for freelancers and remote workers. You can find freelance writing jobs ranging from medical writing to celebrity blog posts. But while there’s variety in the opportunities, there’s also competition, making it difficult for landing high-paying gigs when starting out. I recommend following Upwork’s profile best practices and ensure that you stand out early on.
6. Freelance Writers Den
This is a freelance writing community built by well-known blogger Carol Tice. Tice is committed to helping good writers make good money. With over 1,500 members and 24/7 help from online forums, it’s a great place to learn from other freelancers and garner new writing jobs. Join the waiting list now to get a spot in the Den.
MediaBistro is a fantastic site for people seeking media-related writing jobs (HBO, Penguin Random House, CNN, etc.). You can go directly to job postings or opt in for a membership to take advantage of online courses, tools, and the ability to network with other freelancers.
8. LinkedIn Jobs
LinkedIn is the world’s leading job search platform, but it’s also a great resource for finding freelance work. Most freelance writing jobs can be done remotely—especially given the COVID-19 pandemic—and a quick search on LinkedIn will give you access to thousands of potential opportunities.
9. All Freelance Writing
This is a great resource for new freelance writers because each job posting includes pay rate, as well as what that rate corresponds to in terms of ability or experience (low pay, semi-pro, pro- rate), making it easy for you to find jobs that fit your profile.
If you’re a beginner, it’s advisable not to quit your full-time job and dive straight into freelancing all at once. Seek a few side gigs and build your profile before making the switch. FlexJobs is a great place for finding part-time work because, as the name implies, the platform caters to those in need of job flexibility.
Leverage Your Existing Community
11. Friends, Family, and Colleagues
Networking is one powerful way to get connected to potential jobs and clients because the element of trust is already there. Reach out to the people you already know and tell them you’re seeking freelance writing opportunities—chances are that they might be able to help you out.
12. Post on LinkedIn
Again, your network. Let your professional community know that you’re a freelancer writer available for business. No one will be able to give you a job if they don’t know you’re looking for one. Start with LinkedIn.
Expand Your Community
13. Join Facebook Groups
Though Facebook’s popularity has dwindled with the younger generation, Facebook groups are a massively powerful networking tool for connecting with like-minded people—personally and professionally. Check out this list of 12 different freelance writing Facebook groups you could join today.
14. Enable LinkedIn “Providing Services” Features
Last year, LinkedIn launched a new feature that enables users to show they are “open for business”. By enabling this feature, you can exhibit what services you provide—writing articles, blogging, tech writing, etc.—for recruiters seeking those services to find you.
Note: This feature isn’t automatically available for everyone yet, but if you don’t have it, you can add yourself to the waitlist here.
15. Network with Other Freelancers
There are so many question marks when starting out—what should you write about, what to charge, how to apply to jobs. Who better to ask about this stuff than another freelance writer? Most people are happy to help out others who have less experience. If you’ve been following a particular freelancer, reach out and ask questions! One day, you can return the favor towards somebody else starting out.
16. Ask for Referrals
Owning a freelance business means that you’re constantly responsible for finding new clients and obtaining new projects—but be smart about this. If you’ve had clients you’ve been working with for a little while, don’t be afraid to ask them if they know of anybody else who might benefit from your services. Asking for referrals is the best way to build your sustainable client base.
Build Your Profile
17. Guest Post
Guest posting is writing a piece of content (usually a 500-word blog post) for another company’s website. Many websites use guest writers to post as a piece of their content/inbound marketing strategy, so it’s a perfect opportunity for new writers to dive into the industry they want to write in and begin building their topic authority.
18. Create a Website (with blog posts)
This is a good place for you to build a few writing samples if you don’t have any yet. No one is going to hire you if you don’t have any previous work. But if you have nothing published yet, don’t worry! Building a website and starting a blog is a great way to demonstrate your writing ability. Choose a few topics in the area you want to write about and publish two or three articles of your own to send to future prospective clients.
19. Cold Emailing
Now, this sounds scary, but I promise it’s easier than you think. Identify an organization you would like to write for. I recommend starting small and/or local, so that you have a stronger chance of receiving a positive response. Ultimately, putting together a strong pitch in an email requires four elements:
- How you found out about the organization
- Who you are
- How can you help them
- Link your previous work
For a more comprehensive guide for writing cold emails, check out our best tips here.
20. Nurture Relationships
Cold emailing is one direct way to obtain new work. Nurturing is the slow and steady way. Perhaps there’s a particular writer, business owner, or influencer you’re connecting with on LinkedIn.
Like their content. Leave comments on their posts. Engage. Over time, you can become more relevant to this person and build a professional relationship. And one day, you’ll be able to send a message, formally introduce yourself, and inquire about a writing gig. Business is all about building strong relationships—this is no different with freelance writing.
Building Your Freelance Writing Career
Freelance writing can be highly rewarding and an enjoyable career. But getting started can be tricky.
Follow these steps as a reference guide as you begin building your career in the freelance writing world. A comprehensive plan and the right resources will ensure that you crush it