As many of you know, I quit my job in April and started working as a full-time freelance writer in May. And, even though I’ve been writing for a long time, I really only started making money at the beginning of this year. Before then, I was getting sporadic jobs here and there but not nearly enough to quit my job. However, in January of this year, I started getting job after job after job. So many jobs, in fact, that I could barely complete them on top of my 9-5 job. And, since I’m a known workaholic who often teeters on the edge of insanity, my life started to suck. Anyways, as I said before, I was finally able to quit my job in April this year. And so far, it’s gone better than I could’ve ever imagined.
When I left my job, my goal was to gross at least 4K per month. I came up with this number because I wanted to fully replace my old income, which was about 38K, and add a little more to make up for the employer-paid benefits that I lost. Since I left my job in May, I’ve blown my income goals out of the water and enjoyed a much better lifestyle in general. In case you’ve missed it, here are my income posts from this summer:
Since I’ve done pretty well at securing so many writing jobs, I often get emails from people asking me how to get freelance writing jobs. So, instead of repeating myself over and over, I wrote those post. So, without further adieu, here are some ways that YOU can get freelance writing jobs of your own:
Write For Free
I know, I know. No one wants to do this. And, it sucks. However, most of the high-paying writing jobs I have now were secured by sending a multitude of free guest posts ahead of time. So, while you may not want to write for free in the long-term, this strategy really can work. Start by finding sites that you want to write for. Then, send them some awesome posts that haven’t been published elsewhere. Make sure to ask them for a definitive answer so that you don’t lose that post if they choose not to run it. Most big sites will be nice enough to respond and let you know either way. And, if you aren’t having much luck, keep trying! Sometimes it takes a while to find someone who is interested.
I don’t do a lot of guest posting anymore, but I used to guest post a lot. Hands down, guest posting is one of the easiest ways to get your writing skillz noticed. And, since you’re typically not getting paid to guest post, you can just consider it an investment in your freelance writing future. Am I right?
After you start emailing websites in an effort to get freelance writing jobs, you’ll notice that some of them will respond. Answering those emails prompty will put you in the front of their minds and make it more likely that they’ll give you a shot. Trust me, no matter how amazing you are, no one wants to wait three days to hear back from you. Freelance writers are a dime a dozen. You have to be quick!
I used to share specific details about my writing jobs on my blog, and I know for a fact that some of my fellow bloggers turned around and tried to get the exact same writing jobs. (You know who you are) And since they were unsuccessful at stealing any of my jobs, I think this is HI-LAR-I-OUS. Can’t. Stop. Laughing.
But, in all seriousness, the truth is that freelance writing is super competitive. If people know that you’re writing for someone, they won’t think twice about trying to steal your writing jobs. It’s happened to me, and it can happen to you, too. So, I no longer share many specifics about who I write for. I worked hard for all of my freelance writing jobs, and I think you need to work hard for yours too.
Use Your Personality
A lot of my freelance writing jobs are totally boring. However, some of the jobs I do require that I infuse them with my amazing personality and/or hilarious anecdotes. And, in a sea of other writers competing for the same jobs, it doesn’t hurt to let your individual characteristics shine. Just be yourself. Or, better yet, be a more interesting version of yourself. Trust me….it helps!
Apply for Jobs on Job Boards…Or Not
A lot of people apply for freelance writing jobs at Elance.com or BloggingPro.com and that may be a good way to get started. However, from my experience, the jobs posted are low-paying. Plus, a million people instantly apply for every job that’s posted, making it increasingly difficult to get your foot in the door. Although I personally don’t apply for jobs on job boards, I do think that it couldn’t hurt if you’re just getting started. At the same time, don’t get your hopes up.
Start a Blog
Having your own blog is an excellent way to showcase your writing skillz. You simply would not believe how many writing jobs I have gotten just because this crazy ol’ blog exists. However, if you do decide to start a blog to get freelance writing jobs, it’s important to post frequently. If someone finds your blog and notices that you haven’t posted in a month, they will not be impressed. Although I post almost every day, posting 2-3 times a week is enough to be considered “up to date.” And, if you make the topic of your blog broad enough, that shouldn’t be a problem.
If you don’t have a blog and are thinking about starting one, make sure to read my blog post on the topic: Quit Your Day Job: How to Start a Blog. And, if you use any of my affiliate links and have questions, please feel free to email us! We’ve learned a little from our experiences and may be able to help!
So, there it is, my post on how to get freelance writing jobs. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.
How have YOU gotten most of your freelance writing jobs? Which of these strategies have worked for you? And, which ones haven’t worked?