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When you decide you want to become a freelance writer, one of the biggest questions you’re probably asking yourself is where exactly you can find freelance writing jobs to actually apply to.
Sure, you could stroll into a few local shops and maybe one will take a chance on you – but that’s definitely not the only way, and certainly not the most effective!
Not to mention, if you want to build a freelance business that’s completely location independent, getting online is the only option to go for.
If you really want to make it as a freelance writer, you want good quality writing jobs. Not just the ones that offer to pay you $10 for a 500-word post.
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When I first started freelancing, I was all over the place. I had no idea where was the best place to find freelance writing jobs. Sometimes, I’d land a job for $15 – and then I’d land another for $60.
In all honesty, I had no idea what would be deemed as a good quality job, how to set my rates, and how to really build this thing.
Now, with over three years under my belt, I’m finally on the right path.
I’ve got a steady stream of freelance work, I get approached by clients directly for work, and best of all: I never have to consider taking a low-paying job again.
And neither should you.
How to become a freelance writer?
So, finding freelance writing jobs is an essential part of learning how to get into freelance writing, but it’s just one part of many branches you need to learn about in order to successfully become a freelance writer.
Read my full guide on launching your freelance writing business to see a full step-by-step breakdown, including finding your niche, getting your name ‘out there’, building a portfolio, and how to send a good pitch.
How to find freelance writing jobs for beginners?
As a beginner freelance writer, you might feel intimidated reading the list of freelance writing jobs below. It’s overwhelming knowing where or how to start.
My top recommendation for finding paying freelance writing jobs for beginners is:
Upwork. That’s how I got started – sifting through inauthentic job postings to find the legitimate gems that wanted a genuine writer with less experience (therefore: a lower rate).
Upwork doesn’t tend to generate great rates, but it’s a fantastic starting point because of the number of jobs posted there and the opportunity to find jobs that don’t want a highly experienced writer.
How to make money freelance writing?
Making money online as a freelance writer works the same as any other service in the gig-economy: you get paid to write articles, web copy, technical writing, or some other kind of writing.
Rates can vary depending on your experience, the size of the job, the client hiring you, and your location (or the client’s location), so knowing your worth is a really important part of being a successful freelancer.
How to find freelance writing jobs online:
Here, I’ve compiled all the ways you can find genuine, quality freelance writing jobs online.
If you’re just starting out, check out the steps you should be taking to reach this point first and come back to this post.
1. Job Boards
Job boards are a great place to find freelance writing jobs, especially if you’re just starting out.
Some of my favourite job boards include:
- Blogging Pro
- All Freelance Writing Board
All of these job boards are free to use, which is definitely the best method when you’re first starting out.
A few things to remember when applying to job board ads is that other freelancers will be too, so you need to make your pitch really stand out. I cover some key ways to nail your pitches here.
You may also be asked to give your rate for the job advertised, so be sure you’ve estimated your own rates before applying.
2. Freelance Markets
I’ve seen some freelance writers absolutely shun freelance markets such as Upwork and Fiverr, and I’ll be honest, I do see why.
It is often flooded with ingenuine job postings and companies expecting to pay $5 for a great quality 1,000-word post. In other words, a lot of the jobs posted there aren’t worth your time.
That can be a huge turn-off for people looking to quickly take on clients and build up a sustainable freelance business.
However – and there is a however – if you are willing to sort through the b*****t, there are some serious gems to be found on Upwork.
I know a lot of writers completely shun the site alotgehter, and I do think that’s a mistake.
I landed my first ever long-term client on Upwork, paying me $500 every month for about 15 hours of work. The client was completely legitimate and great to work with – they just didn’t know where else to post their ad!
I’d never tell you to overlook Upwork or other freelance markets altogether because you can land great quality jobs and make long-term relationships with your clients on those platforms.
Finding genuine jobs on Upwork does take a little more time, but with experience, it is easy to spot a genuine posting from a poor-quality one.
Just know that you do need to put in the effort to find these genuine job postings and make your pitch the one that stands out the most.
If you need to find a great builder, who do you ask? Possibly a friend or family member who recently had an amazing bit of work done of their house for a recommendation, right?
Well, freelancing works the same way.
Make use of the contacts your friends, family, and friends of the family might have and ask for work.
It can feel terrifying to put yourself out there when you’re first starting out.
As an introverted person, I hated the idea of telling everyone about what I was trying to do.
But I did it.
And one of my longest clients came from a referral from a friend.
Put your name out there, tell people about the services you’re offering, and ask that they remember you if they know anyone in need of some work.
Clients are infinitely more trusting and willing to pay you better rates when you have a recommendation from someone they trust to prove your credibility.
LinkedIn is another great spot to find freelance writing jobs.
It may not be a platform that you spend a lot of time on right now, but for professional purposes, you should definitely change that.
Connect with recruiters and other freelancers, and update your profile to show that you’re a freelance writer.
I get emails all the time from recruiters contacting me directly after seeing my LinkedIn profile. Plus, the LinkedIn job board is always packed with great quality job postings from companies looking to hire someone.
This is also a great platform to connect with potential clients and start reaching out to them directly in a warm pitch.
5. Paid Guest Posts
Some blogs and websites will pay you to guest post on their site.
This fantastic post from Make a Living Writing lists over 100 publications that will pay you for writing on their website.
You’ll see that there are so many websites from a huge range of different niches that are willing to pay good rates for quality writing. The key thing to remember here is that they want quality writing.
Choose one niche to really hone in on (for example, you might already have a fair bit of experience from building your portfolio on finance), and target those publications with super well-researched pitches.
It can be a timely process and it might take a while for you to actually get paid, but there is real money in this if you take the time to really think about what that publication would want from you.
6. Guest Posting
Guest posting for free is another great tactic to eventually win more freelance writing jobs.
No, you won’t get any money from writing for a well-established website for free, but you will get your name in front of potentially thousands of people.
And those people might have businesses that are looking for a quality freelance writer – or they might know someone who is.
Guest posting is your chance to really impress people. Your chance to show that you are a top expert in your field, that you really know what you’re talking about, and that anyone who is looking for that kind of writing on their own site should come straight to you.
If you have your own blog or website, guest posting is also a great way to get backlinks to your site and improve your ranking in search engines.
7. Cold Pitching
Ugh, the dreaded cold pitching.
It can feel utterly terrifying to even think about picking up the phone and calling a business to pitch your service out of the blue – let alone actually doing it!
However, cold pitching can be a really effective way of winning great freelance writing jobs if you do it right.
First, you need to find a business to pitch to. You could look locally at businesses in your nearby area and see if they have a blog or even a website, or you could also look online at businesses in your specific niche. Twitter and LinkedIn can be great places to search.
Then, you simply need to send them a well-crafted email that covers these main points:
- Who you are and how you found them
- Why you think you could be of use
- A brief proposal of how you could help them
- Your contact information
That’s it. Some companies will never reply to you, and that’s fine. If you think they’re worth pursuing, go for it. Others will be looking for someone exactly like you – and you could be right on track to land a great quality client.
8. Your Own Website
Having your own website as a freelance writer is, in my opinion, an absolute must.
A professional website that advertises your services, more about you, your portfolio, and some client testimonials instantly makes you a thousand times more credible in any potential employers eyes.
If someone mentions your name to a potential client, you can bet that the first thing they’ll do is look you up online, and not having a website to meet those clients could lose you a lot of potential freelancing writing jobs.
Check out my guide to starting a website or blog of your own.
Likewise, blogging is a brilliant way to find more freelance writing jobs.
Not only is my blog a great portfolio in itself with hundreds of samples of my writing style, it’s also a great way for me to advertise my freelance writing services to potential clients.
After growing my blog for a year, it reached a point where I would receive over 100,000 page views every month and you know that some of those readers were business owners in need of a writer, or at least knew someone who was.
I added a ‘Hire Me’ page to my blog for any visitors to check out, and I also mention my vocation fairly frequently throughout my posts as part of the narrative.
I’ve received many freelance writing jobs as a result of blogging – and jobs aside, I love doing it!
Check out my step-by-step guide to setting up your own blog via the link in the point above and get on track to becoming a blogger yourself.
10. Networking/ Collaborations
Networking with other freelancers can be an invaluable way to find more freelance writing jobs.
Some more experienced freelancers may have so much on their plates that they’re actually turning down work, and in these cases, if you’ve earned their trust and respect they might actually refer those clients to you.
Another way of finding freelance jobs through other freelancers is to collaborate with people who do different things. For example, you could team up with a graphic designer and a web designer and frequently recommend one another to your clients – after all, a lot of companies need all three for a lot of projects.
Collaborating with a team is a great way of securing long-term work and potentially even raising your rates for the added convenience of providing a one-stop package to your clients.
11. Advertise Your Availability
The old age saying that if you don’t ask, you don’t get could never be more applicable here.
People won’t know that you’re actively looking to take on more freelance writing jobs unless you tell them!
If you have an email list from your website, use it to send out catchy emails advertising your availability. Likewise, a simple tweet or post on your social media channels could be all it takes for someone to reach out to you with a job prospect.
12. Warm Pitch
Warm pitching involves reaching out to businesses that you’ve already connected with in some way.
In many ways, this is a lot less intimidating than cold pitching because you’ve already put some groundwork into building a relationship with the business you are pitching and you definitely have less to prove.
Companies you might consider warm pitching are the ones that you have connected with on LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, and perhaps had a bit of a back and forth with online – whether that’s commenting on a few of their posts and engaging in a thread on social media with them.
This is a great tactic if you are especially targetting smaller business run by one or just a few people, as they are far more likely to remember engaging with you in the past.
Twitter is actually a great platform for finding online work.
A few accounts you should be following for good quality job listings include:
It’s also worth checking out writing-related hashtags such as #WriterWednesday, #WriteChat and #BloggersWanted (if you’re a blogger) for any opportunities and to find people worth connecting with.
14. Facebook Groups
I rarely use Facebook for anything other than the groups these days.
Some Facebook groups are so valuable, whether you need advice on improving as a freelance writer or are looking for new opportunities for freelance writing jobs.
For frequently posted freelance jobs, you might want to check out:
Build Your Rebellion
Digital Nomad Girls (Girls only – sorry guys! I’m yet to find a mixed group that matches up)
Freelance Writers Online
15. Ask Your Existing Clients!
Why not try asking your existing clients if they know any other businesses they could refer you to?
Business owners within the same industry often network together and having an existing client recommend you to others can be a huge boost to your freelance writing business.
Craft a polite email to your existing clients and see what they come back with – the worst case is that they’ll say they don’t know anyone suitable for you!
16. Freelancer Directories
Join a freelancer directory to advertise your services and availability as a freelance writer.
Two great ones include:
All Freelance Writing Directory
17. Land Long-Term Contracts
You won’t have to spend so much time searching for freelance writing jobs if you have long-term clients that provide guaranteed work every single month.
Yes, those clients are out there and no, it’s not impossible to find them!
One of the best ways to get long-term contracts is to approach the people you have worked for in the past and pitch repeat work to them.
For example, if you’ve been hired to write a few blog posts for a company, there is no reason they wouldn’t need you in the future to do the same thing.
Likewise, if you have provided some web copy for a company and notice that the copy on the rest of their website needs updating, as well as their blog, pitch these ideas to them.
If you’ve cultivated the right relationship with your clients they’ll be thankful for your suggestions and happy to take on someone they trust rather than a new freelancer every single time.
18. Online Forums
Join online forums for advice on improving your freelance business and to stay up to date on any new freelance writing jobs posted there.
A few good ones include:
19. Contact Agencies
Digital marketing and content agencies will have an existing roster of clients already in place that they work with on a regular basis.
To cut out some of the time involved in finding individual companies that need your services, you could contact these agencies and ask if they ever work with freelance writers.
This may mean losing a percentage of your fees to the agency for acting as a middle-man, but it is an effective way of finding guaranteed work on a regular basis with businesses who have already been briefed on the processes involved.
Just don’t try to poach any of these businesses from the agency – no one wants to be that guy.
20. Join Newsletters
Some websites will send out their latest job opportunities to members of their mailing lists, so signing up to these newsletters can be a great idea if you want to ensure you’re amongst the first to see new job postings.
A few newsletters that can be really helpful for newer freelance writers include:
Be a Freelance Blogger
Morning Coffee Newsletter
Digital Nomad Girls
Online Writing Jobs
21. Blogger Job Boards
Some bloggers have now evolved into their own job boards. These are slightly different than the bigger job boards and often feature listings from smaller businesses or bloggers themselves – but this can be a great option for newer freelance writers.
Some great blogger job boards include Be a Freelance Blogger, and Digital Nomad Girls.
22. Your Email List
You might already be an established blogger, or you might just be starting out.
Either way, growing your email list is something you should be focusing on from day one. The bigger community you build, the more people you reach – and there is an extremely high percentage that someone on your list will need some content at some point, or will be happy to recommend you to someone if asked for a referral.
I use MailerLite for my email list and love their services, and their plans are very affordable.
Get $20 bonus credit if you sign up with my link.
When you set up your freelance website or blog, it’s a good idea to start optimising it for search engines as soon as possible.
That means targetting keywords such as ‘freelance writer’ + your location so that your website pops up when local businesses are looking to hire someone.
Likewise, if you have a niche already determined, targetting that niche with your SEO strategy is a great way to bring freelance writing jobs directly to your door.