One of the main drawbacks of freelancing, in general, is that you may need to spend a lot of time finding work, which leaves less time to actually make money. But that’s not usually the case with freelance writing.
With millions of websites and blogs publishing new content every day, there is a great demand for writers who can create that content. And since most websites and blogs need content on a regular basis, most online freelance writing gigs provide ongoing work.
As a freelance writer, if you have a few recurring gigs that involve writing a set number of articles per week or per month for the client, you may not need to dedicate any time to find new work.
The Truth About Freelance Writing
There are a few things that need to be stated about the opportunity to work as a freelance writer. First, you may assume that you need to be a highly-accomplished writer in order to land paid writing gigs. That’s not really the case.
Of course, having some writing skills can help, but you don’t need to be an amazingly-talented writer in order to get paid to write blog posts. You do need to be thorough and write with good spelling and grammar, but writing for blogs is completely different from writing term papers in school.
The next thing that needs to be pointed out is the fact that pay rates will vary wildly for freelance writers. There are some gigs that pay very low rates, maybe even just a few dollars per article.
But there are also plenty of gigs that pay very well. Some freelance writers are able to earn six-figure amounts, so the decent paying jobs are out there as well. If you come across jobs that are very low-paying, just move on and look for something better using the methods covered in this article.
How To Find Freelance Writing Work
Now, let’s get into the specific ways that you can go about finding clients who will pay you to write.
1. Create Your Own Blog
While it may not directly lead to new clients, it’s a good idea for freelance writers to have their own blog. Your blog can serve as a way for people to contact you (be sure that your “Contact” page is easy to find), and the articles on your blog can also serve as your writing samples.
Ideally, the posts on your blog will cover the same types of topics or the same industries that you pursue as a freelance writer. When you apply for gigs or reach out to people about writing for them, you can include links to a few articles on your blog that show your writing.
Once you have created your blog, you can write and publish a few articles that you’ll use as writing samples. Since you’ll be using these articles in your quest to find work, be sure that the articles represent your best quality of work.
2. Start With Your Network
One of the best ways to find work, whether it’s freelance writing or any other type of work, is through your existing network. If you’re totally new, you may not have many contacts in the world of blogging and online business, but if you do have some existing contacts, reach out to them.
Let them know that you’re working as a freelance writer and list the topics that you cover or industries that you work in, and ask them to let you know if they have any contacts that might be in need of your services.
As you progress along your journey as a freelance writer, you’ll be continually building a stronger network. That network will become more and more valuable over time.
3. Use Job Boards
There are a number of jobs board that specialize in freelance writing, freelance work in general, or all types of remote jobs. These job boards can be a good place to start because you can quickly find opportunities.
The downside to using these sites is that a lot of other freelancers are using them too, so you may face a lot of competition. The best way to stand out is to follow any instructions that are provided in terms of how you should apply and what information you should provide. And also, having excellent writing samples will definitely help your chances.
Some of the Best Sites To Use Are:
4. Contact Sites That Use Freelance Writers
If you want to avoid some of the competition that comes with applying to jobs listed on job boards, an excellent alternative is to proactively find opportunities.
Many popular blogs hire freelance writers. Some of them have a “write for us” page or some other page on their site with details about applying to become a regular contributor. A lot of times, links to these pages will be in the footer of the site. Otherwise, you can do a Google search like “websitename.com write for us”, and if the page exists, Google will find it.
As you browse blogs in your industry, pay attention to the author bios. In many cases, freelance writers will mention something about being a freelancer in their bio. If you see a site that is publishing content from other freelance writers, you may want to contact the site to see if they are looking for new writers.
In some cases you may not be able to tell if a site/blog is hiring freelance writings, using staff writers, or simply accepting free articles. You can always reach out through a contact form and ask if they are looking for freelance writers. Your chances of success will be higher with sites that you know are hiring freelancers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to others as well.
5. See Where Other Freelance Writers Are Published
After browsing through several blogs in your industry, you’ll probably come across a few freelance writers who are covering the same topics that you want to cover. Maybe you’ve come across their articles at several different sites, or maybe their bio clearly says that they are a freelancer.
Once you’ve found a few freelancers, you can do a little bit of research to find what sites they are writing for. Each site that has hired other freelancers is a possible target for pitching your own services.
You can do a simple Google search for the freelancer’s name and you’ll probably come across articles on several different sites. You can also check the blog of the freelancer, as many will link out to their author profiles on the sites where they contribute. They may also tweet links to their freelance articles, so find their Twitter profile and scroll through recent tweets.
Sites like Muckrack and Contently can also be a goldmine for finding sites and blogs to contact. Many freelancers have profiles at these sites and they link to their articles published around the internet.
Using these methods you can easily come up with a list of websites and blogs that have hired other freelance writers. Now, you can check these sites for information about writing for them, or send a cold email if you don’t find any guidelines related to contributing articles.
6. Network With Other Freelancers
Getting to know other freelance writers in your industry can also lead to a number of opportunities. Most sites that hire freelancers work with multiple freelancers, so the sites that are paying your friends and contacts may also be interested in hiring you. You may also be able to get a direct introduction to an editor through someone in your network.
Having success with networking is not something that will happen overnight, but if you’re always looking to build your network, it will pay off in the long term.
7. Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs
Another option is to write free guest posts for other blogs without the expectation of financial compensation. After you’ve done a great job and proven yourself, you can ask if they would be interested in hiring you as a freelancer for regular contributions.
This isn’t my top recommendation because it involves doing work for free without any guarantee of a future payoff, but it can be helpful for growing your own blog (through links in your guest posts) and for increasing your name recognition.
If you have some time to spare, writing guest posts for free can turn out to be a good use of your time.
In my opinion, freelance writing is one of the best side hustle ideas to make extra money from home (or as a digital nomad) because the income potential is very good and because many of the gigs involve recurring work. However, you’ll need to put in some effort to find the clients. Using the tips covered in this article, you should be able to find your first client pretty quickly and steadily work to increase your workload.