Whether you are a beginning writer or an experienced professional going through a slow period, one of the biggest concerns is how to find freelance writing work. While the issue is the same for both types of writers, the approach may be very different.
Finding Work for the Beginner
A beginning writer must look for jobs designed for someone with no experience. Often, these jobs will be lower pay and may only be for a single project. If getting the income to start flowing is your top priority, these options will help you meet your goal.
Check out content sites, such as Textbroker, Writer Access and many others. Also known as content writing services or article writing services, you can enter a search term and see what comes up. These sites have a minimal application requirement, but once you are accepted, you can begin looking for jobs right away. As you complete a job and it is accepted by the client, you will get money added to your account.
Set up a profile on a bidding site. These sites include Upwork, Guru.com and Freelancer.com. Once you have a profile, you can begin bidding on jobs from clients. You write a proposal based on the job description given and let the client know how much you will charge. Beginning writers must start out low to compete with those who are well-established, but once you get some feedback from clients, you can increase your rates.
Look at local companies in your own city or county to see who could use your services. You will likely have to charge a lower rate, but it will probably be higher than what you will earn with either content providers or bidding sites because there is less competition. If you can sell the idea of a blog to a company, you will have steady work.
While many other ways to find freelance writing work exist, these are the ones with the best potential for beginners. I started out on Textbroker and was quickly earning $200 and more per week. Once I turned to bidding sites, my earnings increased.
Experienced Writers with the Need for More Income
It is common to go through slow periods, especially if you have been busy and haven’t had time to market. If this has happened to you, don’t worry. You can find more work and find it quickly, as well as setting up a plan to prevent future slow periods.
Getting Work Now
If you need income fast to pay the rent or the utilities or even just for a vacation that is coming up, you can always check out the same sites that many beginners use, such as Textbroker or Upwork. While the pay may not be as much as you are used to, the income often comes in fast, usually within a few days. If you already have a profile in place on these sites and keep your account active, you can find clients even faster.
When work is slow, I’ve often browsed the listings on Upwork (back when it was two separate companies – Elance and oDesk), and I’d bid on anything that didn’t seem too time-consuming. One-time projects usually pay the quickest and won’t obligate you to long-term work if you expect your current clients to pick up the pace again. Since I maintain an active profile on these sites with feedback and ratings from former clients, it is easy for me to find jobs that pay above average. It also doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day, so that you can spend more time working than marketing.
Check Out Craigslist and Other Job Sites
Craigslist has a long list of freelance writer jobs, depending on which city you look under. I prefer to check out websites such as ProBlogger.com or freelancewritinggigs.com to find a condensed version of available jobs. These sites provide lists of jobs that are available from sites like Craigslist, Indeed.com and others.
The thing to remember with these jobs is that you are competing with many other writers and the client may take some time to select a writer. While the money may not show up in your bank account tomorrow, it could be a great option for someone looking to increase their income in the next couple of weeks to a month.
Two ways to make this option work for you to find freelance writing work:
- Look for jobs where you have previous writing or non-writing experience to give you an edge over the applicants
- Submit applications to as many jobs as you can – getting freelance writing work is a numbers game and the more you apply for, the better your chance of getting hired
Long-term Writing Work
If you want to prevent another slow period from happening, you have to continue to market. You can choose whether to do inbound marketing where the clients come to you or outbound marketing where you search for new clients.
Inbound marketing – set up profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites using keywords for freelance writers, copywriter, etc. When clients search for your services, they will find you if you work to maintain your profiles. This also includes bidding sites because clients can invite you to their job if they think you qualify. This is how I find most of my new jobs.
Outbound marketing – you can search for jobs on bidding sites or check out job boards. Another option is to search for companies in your area of expertise and approach them through an email or letter and ask if they need content. If you see an outdated blog or old articles on the site with nothing recent, you might find they are looking for someone just like you.
Don’t get panicked if you see your workload decrease. Just get more active in marketing and soon you will have more work than you know what to do with. For beginning writers, don’t give up if you don’t see immediate success. Always showcase your best work and continue to apply for new jobs.