October 8, 2020
The question of “How Do Freelance Writers Find Writing Jobs” is one I often see asked of full-time freelance writers on message boards like Quora and Reddit.
It’s an important question because if you start looking in the wrong places for freelance work, you might be underpaid and find yourself working on freelance projects that you aren’t passionate about.
Here are some freelance writing tips to get freelance writing jobs, freelance journalism jobs and find part-time freelance writing jobs, but not all of these result in higher-paying clients and writing assignments that pay well.
(Here are 9 Freelance Writing FAQs that freelancers like me get asked often.)
1. Use your network.
Many of my full-time freelance writing friends leveraged previous employers and coworkers who moved around in the industry in order to kick-start their first anchor client. I’d say about 60 percent of my freelance writing revenue has come from people I know, former colleagues, or referrals. You don’t have to know someone in the publishing and media business to find work. Every website and brand needs content!
2. Secure repeat freelance assignments.
This is a cost-effective move if you enjoyed working with an editor, their feedback, and their pay. It’s one of the secrets of successful freelancers who earn six figures working from home. (And if you’re wondering how many hours freelancers work, here’s what you need to know.)
3. Research content mills.
This phrase “content mills” means different things to different people and can have negative connotations for freelancers. Beware sites that only give an assignment to the lowest bidder and pay pennies. You ultimately won’t win when you only “win” the lowest-paying gigs all the time. Personally, I enjoy working for higher-paying content marketing websites and reputable brands through those platforms, like Contently, Skyword, ClearVoice, and a few others. Search for freelance journalism jobs if you’re interested in doing more reporting with your freelance work.
4. Try cold pitching editors.
This is the one many wannabe freelancers don’t always want to do because it can be tough, you can (and will often) get rejected or passed over, and it’s more time consuming to research the perfect outlet for your idea and tailor your freelance editorial pitch for that client. But, when you want to work with certain clients and don’t know anyone there, this is probably the best way to do this. (Looking for magazine article pitch examples? Find them here.)
Ready to find your first freelance clients and send a well-written pitch? Enroll in my freelance writing weekend jumpstart ecourse on Teachable. You’ll also get a list of 30+ paying freelance writing job websites as a bonus!
5. Start a blog.
You could write your own blog on a topic you want to get paid to write about and share the links with potential clients, showing the type of work you could do for them. A blog is a great way for beginner freelancers to showcase their writing skills to potential clients. Think beyond basic magazine content: it could be about crafting with kids, healthy snacks, fishing, hiking, pet advice, or something else that interests you.
Some people make money this way through advertising dollars while others leverage it to show clients their writing style and experience. I will admit that this is a slower freelance revenue stream because it takes a lot of effort and time to build up a great audience and following. If you want to find freelance writing jobs faster or make money working from home quickly, you’re better off looking for freelance clients and writing jobs. (Psst, here’s how to come up with article ideas)
6. Scour job boards.
There are a lot of freelance writing jobs out there…you just need to spend time looking through the ones that interest you and would be worth your time. Look to freelance writing specific job boards, sign up for bloggers who share this information in weekly posts, and look to standard job boards and LinkedIn for freelance writing jobs.
7. Post often on social media.
Freelancers should share social posts and write content for their website on the topic they would ideally like to get hired for. I’ve heard of freelancers having editors and brands follow them because of what they’re sharing on social, and some people get approached for assignments and paid freelance work by posting on social media. Here are more tips freelancers can follow in order to get ahead using social media.
How do you find freelance clients?
Diana can help with:
Email Diana about opportunities: Diana(at)DianaKelly.com.