The goal of every freelance writer is to find places that pay for their writing. For beginners with no published clips and very little knowledge about where to go, this can be a difficult challenge. However, it is possible to find clients who will pay for what you write even if you have no previous writing experience. Here is how to find freelance writing jobs online even if you are a beginner.
Start with Content Providers
To get your feet wet in the world of freelance writing, you can sign up at one of the many online content providers. One of the easiest places to get started is TextBroker.com. That is where I made my first money online. All you have to do is sign up and submit a few pieces of writing that they ask for. Your work will be evaluated, and if you are a decent writer, you will be approved. How much you make depends on what level you are assigned, but you can work your way up. WriterAccess is another similar site.
With these sites, you are often able to find work on a regular basis. You take a project and are given a deadline for submission. Once the client reviews the work and accepts it, you receive pay. While the pay isn’t a lot, it can be a great start for someone who has never been paid for their writing. In fact, I started out making about $200 per week from Textbroker.
As you gain some experience, you can try other sites that pay better, such as Scripted and GetaCopywriter.com. These sites are stricter and it is tougher to pass the test, so don’t start out with them until you get used to writing online. However, the pay there is much better with many blog posts going for $30 or more for only 400 words.
The other place to start making money with freelance writing jobs online is through bidding sites. Elance and oDesk were the two top sites, and they have merged into Upwork. You can also try Guru.com and Freelancer.com.
These sites work by allowing you to create a profile and bid on jobs from clients who are looking for writers. The projects may be a one-time deal or they may be for ongoing work. The key to making these sites work for you is to create a complete, compelling profile and include pieces for your portfolio. Even if you don’t already have anything, sit down and write three or four 500-word articles about your favorite subjects. Your portfolio showcases your tone and grammar skills for potential clients.
You also have to be persistent in bidding on jobs. Bid only on jobs where you have knowledge of the subject to start out. Sell yourself by explaining why you are the perfect fit for the job. Since you are new to writing, you can rely on non-writing experience to prove why you can write on the topic.
You may have to start out on a few low-paying jobs until you have a job history with feedback from the client. This provides reassurance to other clients to encourage them to hire you. While many jobs on these sites are for extremely low pay, it is possible to find jobs that pay $50 or more per hour once you are established. In time, you won’t even need to look for jobs because they clients will send you invites to their projects.
Job Boards and Listings
Craigslist is another place where you can find all kinds of writing jobs. In addition, many online job search sites, such as Monster and Indeed.com include listings for freelance writers. You can spend time perusing these sites to find work, or you can follow job listing sites that do the work for you.
Sites such as freelancewritinggigs.com list jobs daily for freelance writers that have been compiled from Craigslist, Monster and other places. This saves you time from hunting for the ads yourself so you can focus on submitting applications and cover letters.
These jobs are highly competitive, especially those that offer steady work or higher pay. To have a chance against veteran freelancers, choose jobs where you have significant non-writing experience. For example, if you worked as a legal assistant before starting your freelance writing career, look for jobs where attorneys need a writer for the blog posts. Because you have “insider knowledge” you will stand out from everyone else. This is the best way to compensate for your lack of writing experience and land more jobs.
Don’t forget to focus on non-work experience. For instance, if you are an avid gardener or you love to travel, you can find clients looking for those topics. Just make sure you tell them why you would be the right person for the project, instead of just saying “I love to travel.”
Another place to find work online for the beginning freelance writer is through online magazines. Many print magazines have online versions where they need unique content. In fact, it is often easier to break into a magazine with online content than in the print version. Those who have an article or story printed online may find it easier to be approved for a print article in the future.
Before submitting a piece, look for the writer’s guidelines on the site or email an editor and ask about them. This ensures that you follow their directions for the best chance at having your piece accepted.
Becoming a successful freelance writer takes work and time. However, you can begin making money with your writing a lot sooner with these valuable resources. You won’t get rich overnight, but they will encourage you to keep working at your dream and enable you to help pay the bills as you work towards your ultimate goal.