Diana Kelly Levey

How Do Freelance Writers Get Work?

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January 16, 2018

The question of “How Do Freelance Writers Find Work” is one I often see asked of full-time freelance writers on message boards like Quora and Reddit. I’ll take a stab at some responses of how freelancers get work and paid writing gigs, but I will say that not all of these result in high-paying writing assignments. (Here are 9 Freelance Writing FAQs Freelancers like me get asked often.)

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 (solid, usually decent-paying clients).

Get repeat assignments.

This is a cost effective move if you enjoyed working with the editor, their feedback, and their pay.

Content mills.

This phrase means different things to different people and can have negative connotations. 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.

Cold pitching.

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.

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. 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.

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. (I share over 20 paying websites to search for freelance jobs when you enroll in my Freelance Writing course “Get Paid to Write” on Teachable.)

Post on social media.

Share social posts and write content for your website on the topic you 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.

 

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