Best Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (As a Beginner) 2023: Are you interested in working from home and becoming a freelance writer? I’ve been a freelance writer for over six years now and I get asked a lot about where to find freelance writing jobs. And not just any gigs. Good quality freelance writing gigs.
I know when I first started, I was obsessed with landing my first client. I had no clue what I was doing; I was a stay-at-home mom who decided to leap into freelance writing full-force…well, part-time full forc from scratch.
If you’re just thinking about freelance writing, bookmark this post and come back to it when you’re ready to take action.
Best Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (As a Beginner) 2023
Just to let you know, these Best ways to find freelance writing jobs are the twenty ways I used when I first started out as a freelance writer.
So they are proven tactics for newbies who want to become a freelance writer and land some writing jobs online.
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Do you know cold pitching is a fabulous way to land recurring gigs? There’s much less competition and you’ll have a better chance at landing a gig when you contact clients directly.
What is cold pitching?
It’s when you contact bloggers, entrepreneurs, companies, small businesses or startups and let them know how you – a freelance writer – can help grow their business.
Yes, I know, it sounds hard (and scary) doesn’t it? Especially if you’re brand new to freelance writing. But, you know what? It’s totally easy to do.
First you need to locate businesses to cold pitch to. Maybe you noticed they don’t have a blog – but should. Or, on Twitter you see they are trying to grow their online presence and you think your content can help with that.
Once you locate these places, all you have to do is draft up a cold pitch and send it off to the right person! This can be the hardest step and takes the longest but in the end you’ll have a list of businesses and contact information to pitch to.
In your pitch make sure to include:
How you found out about them
Who you are
How you can help them
2 Pitch to a Job Board Ad
If you’re new to freelance writing and you want to find quality jobs, responding to job ads is your best bet. It’s also the main way many new writers use for finding consistent work.
And it’s something I tell my course students to do as it helps you gain confidence as a new freelance writer.
A bonus to using job boards over a freelance market place like Upwork or Guru to find a writing gig, is there isn’t any bidding. Entrepreneurs, small businesses, and start-ups post job ads to freelance writing job boards and you pitch to these ads.
Sometimes you are asked to give your rate; other times the job ad specifies a starting rate for content.
While there are paid job boards you can use, I would suggest you first start using free job boards. I was able to find my first freelance writing job writing 800-word blog posts for $100 on a free job board.
Here are the job boards to start pitching to:
Canadian Freelance Writing (you don’t need to be Canadian to apply to these jobs)
All Freelance Writing Job Board
Check out my step-by-step guide on an insanely fast way to find freelance writing jobs using job boards.
3 Follow Tweets From Job Boards
Did you know social media can be a goldmine for landing gigs? I didn’t know either until it happened to me several times. Twitter is a great place to find freelance writing jobs quickly and it’s a great way to build relationships with potential clients.
And by following certain freelance writing job boards you won’t be hard-pressed trying to land a gig during a dry spell. For example, I found this tweet recently…..
Want to know which job boards I follow:
4 Ask Friends, Family and Work
Okay, this may be a no-brainer, but you never know until you ask! Before you make your leap into freelance writing, let your friends and family know.
Doing this can help secure your first samples as a new writer. Your friend or family member may need you to edit their résumé or just write an ad for their flower shop.
When you decide to quit your 9-5 job to do freelance writing full-time, let your work and coworkers know. They may end up being your first client and can provide you with your first testimonial!
It’s also important to be ready at all times for potential writing gigs in your day-to-day life. This means creating business cards that you can quickly give to friends and family.
5 Use Your Website
The best way to attract high-paying clients is to have a professional looking website. But, if you are just starting out, this may not be an option for you right off the bat.
Maybe you have a personal blog that you’ve built during your spare time. You can definitely use your site to offer your freelance writing services…in the beginning.
Eventually, though, to really ramp up your business you’ll want to invest in a self-hosted WordPress site and
6 Guest Post (For Free)
What? How can writing for free pay off?
The quickest answer is that when you guest post on popular sites hundreds and thousands of people will see your writing.
And you can bet one of those viewers is a potential client. For me, this is how I was able to first build my portfolio and eventually land more clients.
Pitching to job ads is great, but if you don’t have a good set of samples – especially from pieces published on other people’s sites – it will be hard to land a quality client, but not impossible.
I didn’t have any published articles or samples when I landed my first quality writing gig, so it can happen, but it’s difficult.
So, where do you guest post? It’s up to you. You can do a quick Google search, “niche + write for us” and see what happens.
This is the result for, “parent blog + write for us”
7 Network With Other Freelance Writers
You know, the best thing you can do for your new freelance writing biz is to network with other writers. Remember, we are all in this together and it isn’t a competition!
When I first started, I reached out to a few freelance writers (that I was stalking at the time!) and asked them their opinion on a starting rate. While most said go with your gut, I was grateful for their interaction and their patience with my numerous questions.
A few months later, I had freelance writers refer work to me! How amazing was that? In fact, one writer introduced me to my ideal client and I can’t thank her enough!
8 Start Warm Pitching
Hold up! Didn’t I start this post by telling you to cold pitch and now I want you to start warm pitching. What gives?
Well, to maximize your chances at landing a quality writing gig, you need to work both ends – indirect and direct approaches.
While cold pitching is a direct way to land work, warm pitching, on the other hand, is a more indirect and slower way. It all centers around creating relationships with brands and business.
For example, when I find a business in my niche, I follow them and Like their Facebook fan page. That way I can keep an eye on them and engage with their posts when I can.
So, if they tweet out a post on their blog, I’ll read it and then respond in hopes of getting on a prospect’s radar:
9 Say You’re For Hire
How easy is this? If you have a social media profile – which you should! – advertise that you’re for hire. It seems obvious but many new freelance writers don’t state whether or not they are for hire.
Prospects won’t know if you have time to take on more clients so when you tell them you are for hire, it just makes it easier for them to consider you.
Also, it lets other freelance writers know that you are available for writing work.
Early on when I first started freelance writing, I was lucky enough to land a writing job from simply saying I was for hire. A prospect messaged me on LinkedIn and told me another writer had referred me to him.
10 Visit Local Printing and Design Companies
Another great way to land consistent work is to contact your local printing and web design companies. Sure, you can go to your business district and let the local dentist or local pet shop owner know that you’re a writer for hire, but this takes a lot of time out of your day.
A quick way around this is to visit only web design companies and let them know there’s a writer available. These businesses have a full roster of clients that need web content.
This is what I did early on in my freelance writing career and it’s helped with finding consistent work.
11 Pitch Your Story
For many print journalists and writers, when they decide to go online and freelance, they stick to writing for publications and selling their stories.
While this can be extremely lucrative (for publication you can get upwards to a $1 or more per word), it’s highly inconsistent and it takes months to get paid.
But, it’s still a great option for writers. All Freelance Writing has a library of publications that accept and pay for submissions.
Many sites pay for your story too! Do a Google search for “publication pay submission” or “magazine pay submission” for ideas. Generally you have to cold pitch your story idea first and then pitch each additional time for subsequent stories.
12 Join Facebook Groups
There is a lot of potential for writing gigs and online jobs on Facebook. If you know the groups to join then you should have no problem finding consistent work.
But, this approach does take time as you are building relationships with potential leads. For me, I belong to several entrepreneurial Facebook groups and I do my best to join in on the conversation.
I might also throw out a question to see if there are entrepreneurs that need help and are overworked.
For example, I might ask, “What’s the one thing you wish was easier in your business?” From here I’ll take a look at people’s answers and if content is mentioned, I’ll respond with a, “if you ever need some writing, I’m your gal!”
13 Ask for a Referral
Okay, this way means you have to have a client already, so if you don’t, then this may not be a good way for you.
However, if you’ve landed a few clients, this would be a great time to ask for a referral. I know, it can be scary! It was for me when I first started, but then I thought, the worst they can say is no or they can’t.
You can email a client and ask, or use social media like I have done in the past:
14 Try Craigslist
I’m sure you’ve seen or heard that Craigslist has low quality writing jobs and it’s not a place to score gigs. Well, I know for a fact Craigslist can be a well of quality clients.
You just have to know what cities to look in. If you want the best gigs around, check the New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Houston and Miami sites.
Businesses in big cities often have big budgets. So do a quick search in each of these cities a couple times a week and get pitching!
15 Pitch to Sites That Pay Writers
Besides publications and magazines, there are hundreds of blogs that pay for your guest post.
What? Why did I tell you earlier to guest post for free when you can get paid to guest post?
Landing a paid guest spot is a bit more challenging than landing a free guest spot. So, while you’re building your portfolio with guest posts, you can also pitch to job ads and paid guest blogs to earn some cash.
To get started, check out this post on 30 Sites that Pay Up to $700 a Post. You can also go on Pinterest or search in Google for blogs that pay for guest posts.
Personally, I never used this approach only because it’s a one-off gig. You write the piece, pitch, wait to see if it’s approved, then get paid a few weeks later. Then you do it all over again.
I’d rather pitch to guest posts for free while pitching to job boards and landing recurring gigs for more consistent pay.
16 LinkedIn Jobs
Did you know LinkedIn has a job board? I never did until recently. I have no idea why because I do spend a considerable amount of time networking on LinkedIn.
Go to their job board and all you do is put in your job (“writer”) and see what pops up.
17 Use a Content Agency
I don’t mean any content agency. The big ones usually don’t pay well and the work isn’t the greatest. Instead, you want to look for smaller content agencies.
For example, Tom Ewer of Leaving Work Behind, has a small content agency called WordCandy. They’re in the WordPress space and are always looking for writers.
The advantages to working with a small content agency is:
Usually better pay
18 Use a Freelance Writer Directory
Did you know these exist? They do! Well I only know of one but it’s a good one and you never know right?
The point is, when you’re just starting out as a freelance writer, you need to put yourself out there. So by guest posting, pitching, being on social media and in directories, you are everywhere at all times. This increases your chances of a prospect finding you and hiring you!
ProBlogger has a free Candidate Dashboard where you can create your online freelance writing resume.
Reddit is another social media site where you can find potential writing gigs and post that you are a writer looking for gigs.
20 “Wow” Your Clients and Make More Money!
I’ve talked a lot on my blog (and over on FreelancerFAQs) about wowing your clients.
If you can free up time for your clients or make them more money with your content, you’ll probably make more money too.
Well, one of my clients asked me to write for several of his other blogs not because I produce the best content, but because I also format my content for easy uploading and readability, I provide the most up-to-date stats and facts in my posts and I’m easy to work with!
I have clients telling me all the time that I’m their go-to writer. Because of this, I don’t have to pitch every day; if I wow my clients, they’ll give me more projects.
We are looking for writers with experience in:
Biology (and other Life Sciences)
Human Resources Management (HRM)
Family and consumer science
Film & Theater studies
& 50 more!
Best Freelance Writing Sites
The 15 best freelance sites for writers
4. Freelance Writing Jobs
10. Constant Content
12. Writer Access
Tips for finding freelance writing jobs online
1. Pitch and apply every day
2. Niches can be great, but you don’t need one to start
3. “Experience” isn’t necessarily a number of years
4. Freelance sites that let you create a profile are worth joining
5. Don’t forget about good ol’ fashioned networking