16 Tips to Find the Best Freelance Writing Jobs


16 Tips to Find the Best Freelance Writing Jobs

Are you looking for effective ways to make money, or even a living, as a freelance writer? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Actually, do worry (a little), because this means that there are tons of writers online who are looking for the same gigs. Some have years of experience working with big brand names, while others are earning pennies for their words. As long as you find your spot somewhere in the middle, you’ll be good to grow.


Your main focus here is growing into a quality freelance writer. I use the word “growing” rather than “becoming” because building up your reputation is a process. Any excellent freelance writer has a strong online presence, a variety of work samples, and most importantly, a very simple rule of thumb that they all stick to: Don’t settle.


Don’t settle for abusively low paying jobs. Don’t settle for sketchy clients you can’t trust. And don’t settle for publishing work you’re not proud of.


Below, you’ll find a list of proven strategies you can implement to find the best freelance writing jobs - and start making money out of your passion:


  1. Create a website

  2. Build an online presence

  3. Ask for feedback or referrals

  4. Browse freelance platforms

  5. Always be networking

  6. Make social media your best friend

  7. Visit local businesses

  8. Check job boards

  9. Follow other freelance writers

  10. Take advantage of website flipping marketplaces

  11. Reach out to previous employers and classmates

  12. Write guest articles on popular platforms (yes, even for free)

  13. Take care of good clients

  14. Start cold pitching

  15. Attend relevant events and meetups

  16. Pitch your story to online publications


Follow these tips carefully, and pretty soon, you may find yourself with more clients than time. You’ll have the flexibility to work from home, travel the world as a digital nomad, or spend more time with your loved ones. Are you ready?



01. Create a website


Having your own professional online portfolio is an absolute must. First, because it sets you apart from all the other freelance writers who don’t have one. Second, your website serves as a portal from which potential clients can learn everything they need before hiring you (samples, past projects, social media accounts, etc.). Finally, because it’s the only place you’re fully in control of, from the design to the content you include - effectively reflecting who you are in the online world.


If you’re looking for a quick win, Wix ADI, the first artificial intelligence software for website creation, helps you build a fully functional portfolio in minutes! You can also browse dozens of gorgeous (and free) online portfolios templates. Designed by professionals for professionals, they already include all the pages a freelancer needs to start online.


Of course, you want your website to be visible, and for that, you’ll need to spend a bit of time working on your SEO strategy. Luckily, most website builders have built-in wizards that make it super comfortable to set up your SEO, so that your portfolio is more discoverable on Google.


Blogging is another great way to strengthen your SEO organically. Make sure to publish quality content regularly to keep your followers engaged and search engines happy.




02. Build an online presence


Whatever the personality you’re bringing to the table looks like, it should also be reflected online. Your personal interests, past jobs and what you post on social channels hint at the kind of freelancer you’ll be.


You never know where a potential client is going to look for a freelance writer, so the best strategy is to have your name popping up in all the right places.


  • LinkedIn is where you keep it professional. Your LinkedIn is essentially a longer version of your CV or resume, where you can include details such as skills, endorsements and recommendations. Forget about the one-page CV rule; here you can actually go into detail about roles you’ve held in the past. As someone looking for writing jobs, everything you add to your profile should be flawlessly written.


  • Twitter is all about sharing and spreading information. Staying up to date with trends is a valuable way to understand what kinds of industries and companies are looking for freelance writers. For example, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a great moment to reach out to small news outlets with creative story ideas on that topic. If you’re writing about trending topics, make sure to add the relevant hashtags to your tweets for higher visibility, and therefore more followers.


  • Reddit is one big community of forums, where you can ask and answer questions and join discussion boards (known as subreddits) on all your favorite topics. Good or helpful content gets voted up and becomes more visible, so essentially every single post has a “score.” The more you participate in Reddit, the more karma points you get. In order to join subreddits on freelance writing topics, you’ll need to create an account, which is free and only takes a couple of minutes.


  • Facebook is the most famous social media platform, where you can share your latest posts and interests with friends. Keep in mind that unlike LinkedIn and Twitter, your posts are usually only visible to groups you belong to or people you are friends with. However, if you’re on the hunt for a new project, Facebook’s countless groups can be a great source of valuable opportunities.


  • Whether you’re looking for motivation or support, there are some great online writing communities to help you grow as a professional writer. Make sure to research what these groups are and join the ones you need to be part of.



03. Ask for feedback or referrals


Add your new role as a freelance writer to every conversation you have - with your friends, your family, and even your favorite delivery guy. This way, you’ll naturally come to peoples’ mind when they hear about a writing opportunity. You’d be surprised to know that most of your past clients are willing to refer you to other opportunities if they’re happy with your work. But you need to reach out.


After completing a project with a client, send a follow-up email and mention that you’re available for other opportunities - with them as well as with other companies. Here’s a good template to use as a follow-up email. In general, you’re going to be sending lots of emails in this business, so make sure you check out these great follow-up email tips.


Email example ask for referral

If you have LinkedIn, you can ask for recommendations, which can really boost up your profile. If you have a personal website (and you definitely should), you can include them there as well. Here’s a review a past client posted on my profile recently:


Recommendation for freelance writing jobs


04. Browse freelance platforms


Freelance platforms are dedicated to matching freelancers with clients as seamlessly as possible. The truth is, the internet is full of great writing opportunities, and other not so appealing ones. You need to be careful and keep in mind that not all resources are born equal (especially if they sell something too good to be true). There are countless scams out there, not to mention websites that, albeit legit, take advantage of freelance writers in need of a gig to impose unfair conditions.


Here are my top picks:


Fiverr


This platform is free to use and very secure. It has an entire section dedicated to writing and translation opportunities, divided into several categories so you can focus your search more easily. Fiverr includes plenty of friendly tutorials to lay the foundations of your business and learn how to become a “seller” of your services. Due to the high commission rate, it’s a great place to get started as a freelancer, but in the long run, you’re better off with a website of your own.


Cost: Free. 20% of earnings go to Fiverr.


Freelancer


This platform is easy-to-use, flexible and reliable, which explains why it’s so popular. But because of its large user base, Freelancer.com is also very competitive, making it hard to stand out from the crowd. Still, it’s never a bad idea to have your profile up on several freelance platforms. You never know when someone will need exactly the type of writing you can provide.


Cost: Free trial for the first month. Several plans ranging from $0.99 to $59.95 per month.


Flexjobs


This freelance platform is not free, but use it right and it will be worth every dollar. Flexjobs has been around for over ten years, and its offerings are curated by expert researchers who screen the best remote and flexible writing jobs. Start out by creating a custom job search and include as many details as possible for better results. You can select all sorts of filters, such as your work schedule, your level of experience and whether you want to receive notifications for new jobs.

Cost: $14.95 per month.


SolidGigs


This company curates a weekly newsletter that gathers freelance opportunities from dozens of sources, saving you hours of endless browsing through job boards and platforms. With a subscription, you’ll also gain access to freelancing lessons and interviews with other successful writers.

Cost: $2 for a one month trial, $19 per month.


Contena


A pricey choice when compared to other competitors, but there are plenty of good reasons for that. First off, this platform focuses exclusively on freelance writing gigs. Contena also provides plenty of useful resources to teach you how to market yourself as a freelance writer. Note that you’ll need to join a waitlist before being accepted as a freelancer on this exclusive platform.

Cost: $497 for course content, $997 to hire a personal Contenta coach.


Upwork


To get started, all you’ll need to do is create a profile. You’ll be asked for all kinds of information, from your education level, to past jobs, to your hourly rate. Make sure to fill out your profile meticulously for optimal results. Due to the company’s popularity, it can be hard to be noticed, but it’s definitely worth it to have a profile here. Below, you’ll find an example of an email notification I got from Upwork, after a recruiter visited my profile.

Cost: 20% of earnings for first $500 with a single client, and 10% of earnings afterwards.


Upwork freelance writing job


05. Always be networking


When you decide to become a freelance writer, you should open up your eyes to the fact that opportunities are everywhere.


I found one of my first freelance opportunities at a meetup, where a marketing manager was talking about his digital marketing startup. I introduced myself and offered to help out with any writing they might need. At first, my rates were low, but with time, I gained the company’s trust and it proved to be one of my best clients.


Once clients, friends and your family know about your role, you’ll come to mind the next time an opportunity arises. Especially if they can vouch for your work. Recently, I helped a friend of a friend proofread a few business plans. It was super fun and very lucrative.


Finding new writing jobs should be at the top of your list, wherever you are. With this new mindset, you’ll start to find opportunities in the most unexpected places.



06. Make social media your best friend

Employers are increasingly turning to platforms such as Twitter, Reddit and Facebook to find remote or freelance writers. Social media lets you highlight different aspects of your life, so make sure to use each platform appropriately.


Twitter


This platform is all about following the right people so you can get exposed to the right content. Start building your community by following your clients and leads. You’ll also want to follow specific handles that filter freelance job opportunities and other topics of interest. Here are a few to get you started:



Here’s an example of the opportunities posted by @writing_jobs, at the time when this post was written:


Finding freelance writing job on Twitter

You can use hashtags to search for relevant content on Twitter that will lead you to other writers in your field. It will help you learn about your competition and grow your community online. Some of the most popular hashtags for writers are:



As you become a seasoned freelance writer, you might begin to claim some areas of specialization. Whether you want to focus your writing on plants, fitness or sports, make sure to follow the big names in the industries you specialize in.


Reddit


The really cool thing about this platform is how much it levels the playing field. Forget about the middlemen when searching for jobs here, you’ll probably be in touch directly with the individual or company looking for a writer.


Due to its high popularity, posts on Reddit often get viewed by lots of people. And with its upvoting and downvoting feature, it’s easy to weed out the bad posts and focus on the good ones. Even if you don’t find jobs posted on Reddit, you’ll still get plenty of advice and feedback from other writers, and meet active freelancers in your field.


Make sure to browse a bit and get familiar with each subreddit before posting, since each community has its own rules and guidelines.


Here are some great subreddits for freelancers:



Find freelance writing job on Reddit

Facebook


Depending on where you live, Facebook can be a great tool for finding writing projects. I live in Tel Aviv, and with a few exceptions, Facebook is how I’ve found most of my writing opportunities, both freelance and fulltime.