Freelance Writing Jobs: How to Find Online Writing Jobs for Beginners
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If you ask me, freelance writing is the best way to make money online. Period.
Finding freelance writing jobs online isn’t always easy, but you can make it happen! Just look at me: I started writing on the side while working full-time with no experience and no writing contacts. And my tech skills? I didn’t have any of those, either.
After a year of side-hustling, I had enough freelance writing jobs under my belt to quit my 9 to 5 job…and I never looked back.
Because I know how hard it is to get started, my goal is to help people just like you launch their online writing careers. In my free webinar, “6 Keys to Freelance Writing Success,” I share some of the most important tips that have helped me grow my income to over $225,000 a year. Follow the link above to reserve your spot!
To help your new writing career gain even more traction, I’ve put together this massive list of ways to find online writing jobs.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in and jumpstart your freelance writing career!
1. Start a Blog
If you want to find online writing jobs, it makes sense that you must have an online presence. Otherwise, how will potential clients know you’re real, right? Yes, having Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all good ideas, but starting a blog is your ace in the hole.
You wouldn’t believe how many freelance writing jobs come my way just because my crazy ol’ blog exists! If you don’t already have a blog set up, start one pronto. Just remember that, if your goal is to find clients and land more jobs, it’s important to post regularly.
I mean, think about it: If you’re on the hunt to hire an online writer and notice their site is collecting cobwebs, you’d probably run the other way! Posting every day isn’t necessary, but make sure you keep your blog updated with regular content.
2. Ask Around
I know, I know – telling your family and friends you’re a freelance writer is intimidating. You’re worried they might think you’re crazy.
Let them think whatever they want. Lord knows I had my share of detractors right away. Luckily, I didn’t listen to them and neither should you. After all, we both know that freelance writing is one of the most legit work-from-home jobs there is. Plus, the more you say, “I’m a writer,” the more you’ll believe it.
So, ask around! You might just land your first few freelance writing gigs simply by asking friends and family for work. Your cousin might need help revamping his resume or your friend who runs a salon might ask you to write an ad for their website. Even the smallest jobs have the potential to turn into big leads, and those first few freelance writing jobs will make excellent pieces for your writing portfolio.
3. Think Locally
No matter what type of writing you want to do, looking for opportunities from local businesses can provide the boost you need.
If real estate excites you, go online to see what your local realtor websites look like. Chances are they’ll have a blog…and someone needs to write all that content. Why can’t it be you?
Rotary International has local chapters all over the world full of civic leaders, entrepreneurs, and business executives. Consider joining or ask a member if you could be a guest speaker at one of their meetings. Check out your Chamber of Commerce, too, since that’s another excellent spot to find local connections.
For in-person networking, having a few business cards on-hand with your name and contact information can go a long way toward landing new clients.
See Also: Recommended Resources for Freelance Writers
4. Guest Post
Finding remote freelance writing jobs is tough when nobody knows who you are. But, I know guest posting works because it’s one the techniques I used when I first started out.
The part that sucks is the fact you don’t get paid for guest posting. That aside, getting your name and an article published on a quality site builds your credibility as an online writer, and that’s an investment you’re making in your future.
Writing for free isn’t fun, and I don’t recommend you do it for very long. However, it’s okay to use guest posting as a stepping stone to build your online writing reputation.
5. Cold Pitch Articles
As a beginner, cold pitching is 100% necessary. If you don’t track down the clients you want to work with, you have no chance of writing for them. Plus, how else are you going to get clients if you don’t ask?
For beginners, the secret to scoring freelance writing jobs is to craft the perfect pitch and have a few clips in your portfolio. Narrow your targets to businesses that will pay, address the client by name, and include a link to your professional freelance writer blog.
In my course Earn More Writing, I explain in detail how to craft the perfect cold pitch. Simply put, if you can master cold pitching, you’ll have plenty of work to keep you busy.
6. Build Your Portfolio
When you’re new to freelance writing, your portfolio will be empty. That’s okay! Everyone has to start somewhere, and building your online writing portfolio isn’t as difficult as you might think.
Finding a few places that will publish guest posts is a fantastic way to launch your writing portfolio. And, don’t forget that writing content for your blog counts, too.
If that still isn’t enough, don’t fret because there’s an easy solution: Create your own samples.
Writing some sample articles about topics you love can bulk up your portfolio in a hurry. Your best bet is to target your ideal client by writing articles in that niche. Those portfolio clips will perfectly align with what that particular client is looking for, and they’ll be more likely to hire you when you pitch them.
7. Warm Pitch
As I said before, finding paid writing gigs isn’t all sunshine and roses – especially when nobody knows who you are. Warm pitching can remedy the situation and put your name in front of the A-list clients you’ve been drooling over.
Unlike a cold pitch where you send an email to unsuspecting recipients, a warm pitch has you slowly building a relationship with businesses.
If you aren’t doing it already, get on Twitter and Facebook to track down your dream clients and start reading their blogs. Take your time to leave thoughtful comments on their articles, and like and share their Twitter and Facebook posts.
As time goes on, the client you’re chasing will recognize your name. Then, when you’re ready, pitch yourself as an online freelance writer and reference your familiarity with their brand. Since your name is already familiar to them, you’re much more likely to get the gig.
If blog post writing is your focus, BloggingPro can help you land your first gig.
Keep in mind this is a job board and it likely won’t have a huge selection of high-paying jobs. Still, Blogging Pro is a fantastic option for new writers looking for freelance writing gigs to get momentum.
The listings have frequent updates, so you’ll want to bookmark this site for easy reference. Or, save yourself the hassle and sign up for their email list to have blogging jobs sent straight to your inbox.
Like Blogging Pro, the job board at ProBlogger is packed full of companies looking for freelance writers. ProBlogger even goes beyond basic blogging to include sales copy, books, and research writing.
With the variety of content options listed here, you’ll have plenty of work to sort through and are sure to find a writing job that interests you. You can even create a “job alert” with specific keywords to have the site deliver new postings to you by email.
Most places you’ll look for freelance writing jobs are 100% free to use, but FlexJobs is a membership site. As the only paid option on this list, you might not be in a place right now to fork over some cash for job postings.
Still, getting access might be worth the cost because FlexJobs screens out the junk postings, ads, and scams to help you land a legit job in less time.
Keep in mind that FlexJobs isn’t just for freelancers – you’ll find part-time and full-time work from home jobs that range from entry-level to executive roles, too. If you don’t like it, they have a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and will give you a refund if you ask.
Indeed is often one of the first places people go when looking for a new job. Did you know they have job postings for freelance writers too?
When you open the site, you see two boxes: What and where. While typing “freelance writer” or “content creator” into the first box makes sense, the trick to finding the best freelance writing jobs on Indeed is to leave the “where” box empty. You can also try typing “remote” into the second box.
These strategies work because most companies hire remote writers anyway, so they don’t care if you live on the other side of the country. As long as you provide quality, consistent content, they’ll be happy.
Okay, I get it. Craigslist doesn’t have the greatest reputation. More importantly, sifting through writing opportunities takes careful consideration to avoid getting scammed. With due diligence, however, uncovering real online writing jobs through Craigslist is possible.
While you could start with your local Craigslist page, remember that freelance writers can work from anywhere in the world. You’ll find a bigger selection of writing jobs if you visit the Craigslist pages for major cities like Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Boston.
Once you’re there, click on “writing/editing” in the jobs section to see what’s available. If nothing suits your fancy, try a different city to see what else is out there.
Upwork is a massive job board. Search for “writer” and you’ll find over 2,000 job postings, which means you’ll have no trouble finding leads. The problem is that the platform is huge and you’ll face a lot of competition each time you submit a quote.
Even though I’ve never had a lot of success with Upwork, I know several freelance writers who have.
The writers who make Upwork work for them say the key is to build your portfolio with several low-paying jobs first. Then, after you establish yourself as a trusted writer, you can go after the higher paying clients.
Another huge online marketplace to find clients is Fiverr, but the site works a little differently than Upwork.
On Fiverr, you don’t go out and look to apply for freelance writing jobs. Instead, you create a profile, and the clients will come to you. This means your profile must stand out from the crowd and be optimized to sell your skills and convince clients you’re the best writer for the job.
Despite its name, you have the chance to earn more than just $5 bucks for a writing job.
Most writers offer tiers of services ranging from basic to premium packages. Although the packages start at just $5, they often go as high as $150 or more.
If you’re looking to land your first client and make a living online, creating a profile on Fiverr isn’t a bad way to start.
15. Morning Coffee Newsletter
Waking up to a fresh set of leads in your inbox is a great way to start the day. With the Morning Coffee Newsletter from FreelanceWriting.com, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Each email will have eight writing jobs that are handpicked from around the web. The kicker is that some businesses submit writing jobs only to FreelanceWriting.com, and you get access to those leads, too.
Since each writing job is scanned and selected as a top-quality job posting, they’re almost certain to be legit. Of, you’ll likely have a lot of competition since those same eight writing jobs are sent out to the entire mailing list. Still, you never know unless you try, and throwing your hat in the ring might put some money in your pocket.
16. Take an Online Course
Although it might cost you a little cash up front, taking an online course is a great way for beginners to find freelance writing jobs! If put in the work and play your cards right, you could easily make your money back 100x over.
Online writing courses can help you build a network of writing contacts and open up job leads that are perfect for new writers. How can it do that?
I’m glad you asked.
When people take my Earn More Writing freelance course, they get access to a Facebook group full of other writers. Some are new and working on building a writing career, but others are seasoned writers that have been around the block a time or two.
In addition to some great discussions and advice, myself and other writers share job leads in this group all the time. It’s not uncommon for these leads to pay new writers 10 cents or more per word, which is a great way to get started.
Twitter is an excellent platform for remote freelance writing jobs. Whether you prefer an aggressive approach or are more passive in your search for clients, Twitter can work for you.
The first step is to set up a professional Twitter profile to attract the right clients. That means dropping the pic of you holding that big fish you caught last summer and using a clear headshot of yourself instead.
Include a few keywords in your bio like “freelance writer” or “writer for hire” so people know what you’re all about. Be sure to use appropriate hashtags in your bio, and don’t forget to include a link to your freelance writer website.
For a more aggressive approach, start following and interacting with businesses and brands you’d like to work with to warm them up before sending a pitch.
18. Use Facebook
Facebook can spice up your networking game and help you do some warm pitching. Plus, the platform has a variety of pages and groups dedicated to helping you find writing jobs no matter what your aim is.
Spend some time tweaking your profile to make it clear you’re an online freelance writer. Then, use the search bar at the top of the site to find fresh opportunities for new freelance writers. If you find a business in your niche, like their Facebook page and engage with their posts as part of your warm pitching strategy.
It also helps to join a few Facebook groups to grow your network. With the right connections, you should have no trouble at all finding a steady stream of freelance writing work.
19. Make a LinkedIn Profile
Sure, Facebook and Twitter can be great tools to help you find writing clients. To hit the motherload, though you need to go where the business people are – LinkedIn!
Build your LinkedIn profile around your freelance writing career, and you could have leads lining up for miles. Simply put yourself in your client’s shoes, and think about why they’d want to hire you. Address their goals and pain points in your “about” section.
Also, don’t neglect your headline. Remember, this is the first thing people see when viewing your profile. Consider a headline like “Freelance Writer for Hire” or specify your niche by saying you’re a small business or travel writer.
With clients like ESPN, Time Magazine, and U.S. News & World Report, JournalismJobs.com can be a goldmine for freelance writers looking to fill up their calendar.
After you create a free account, simply post a free resume on JournalismJobs.com. This will increase your visibility and help you start landing freelance writing jobs faster.
No matter what type of writing jobs you’re looking for – whether it’s writing for newspapers, startups, television, magazines, nonprofits, financial, and something else entirely – you’ll likely find it on this site.
Claiming to be the “world’s best content marketing platform,” Contently works with high-end brands like Walmart, Google, Expedia, and Microsoft.
Although you can’t actively search for jobs on Contently, the site is the perfect place to showcase your writing portfolio. When those big-name brands need a new writer, they can browse your impressive clips and select you to work with.
This is a purely passive approach to finding online freelance writing jobs. Other than updating your portfolio with some of your best work, there isn’t much you can do to help the process along.
With that said, if a client chooses you, you can bet the pay will be good. Contently’s writing opportunities are some of the best paying work you’ll find.
Normally I don’t recommend writing free test articles since that can be a huge red flag. However, Compose.ly asks new writers to complete a quick writing test and can connect you with massive amounts of writing projects if they approve your application.
Applying doesn’t cost you anything, and a steady stream of client work will come to you once your writer profile is set up.
Compose.ly gives you the freedom to choose topics you want to write about and will notify you when a new job becomes available. You’re never forced to take a project, and you can pass on the assignment if it doesn’t feel like a good fit.
The pay isn’t too bad considering your rate will fall around 10 to 14 cents per word. Getting your money is also a piece of cake. Like clockwork, Compose.ly sends your earnings to your PayPal account every two weeks.
While you aren’t likely to rack up a huge income, this isn’t a bad rate for beginner freelance writers. You’ll want to continue your search for higher paying clients, but Compose.ly can help build your portfolio and give you valuable experience.
23. Network with Other Freelance Writers
You might think connecting with other freelance writers should wait until you’re “more established.”
Don’t be shy about starting a freelance writing business. You need to get out there and make a name for yourself if you want to have success.
When you surround yourself with writers who have been there and done that, you can learn from their experiences. Seek out Facebook groups and follow other writers on Twitter. Then start interacting with their posts.
For the ultimate networking opportunity, find a conference to build connections in person. Whatever your niche is, there’s a conference out there where dozens of freelance writers are ready to meet you.
24. Partner with Another Business
Think about who needs writers on the regular…Marketing agencies and web designers, right?
A quick Google search of “marketing agencies near me” will unearth businesses in your area that could use your services. Take the time to craft a professional email, introduce yourself, and describe how your writing skills can add value. If all goes well, you might get a bite.
The same goes for web designers.
You never know when someone will get in a jam and reach out to you for help. When they do, make sure you reply to their request at lightning speed to show them you’re reliable and responsive.
25. LinkedIn Jobs
LinkedIn is often dubbed the “forgotten” social network. With everyone spending so much time on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, you might not even know LinkedIn has a job board!
Well, they do…and it’s chock-full of freelance gigs for beginners! Plus, businesses have to pay to get their job posting listed, so you’re less likely to come across scams.
For the best chance of landing new clients on LinkedIn Jobs, make sure your profile is up to snuff before applying. That means taking the time to update your profile pic, include your previous jobs and a few short lines about what you did, and establish a few connections (at least 30) to show clients you’re a real person.
26. Writer’s Market
If magazines, trade journals, and online publications are your target, Writer’s Market can connect you to thousands of freelance writing jobs from home.
Whether you use their printed book or digital database, Writer’s Market has over 9,000 listings of publishers and editors. These include submission guidelines, email addresses, topic selections, and pay rates for an array of industries.
Here’s the catch: Access to this massive collection of information isn’t free. For the book, you’ll pay between $15 and $50 depending on the version. If you want to see what it’s all about without shelling out a bunch of money, a one-month subscription for online access is only about $6.
27. Ask for Referrals
Have you thought about asking people you know for freelance work? Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll sound desperate – business people ask for referrals all the time.
If you have family or friends who own businesses or are part of community groups, that’s a good place to start. From there, take stock of your past employers to see if any of your former bosses could benefit from your writing services.
Never assume your current clients know you’re looking for more work. You should tell them you’re open to new work with them or new clients. If they’re already working with you, chances are they trust you and know you deliver quality writing.
When your writing is top-notch, your clients should have no trouble recommending you to their larger network of connections.
28. Look for Employer Openings
When looking for freelance writing jobs online, you’ll likely come across a lot of job postings from companies looking for full-time content writers. Instead of letting that discourage you, use the opportunity to your advantage.
Think about it: That company needs a writer. As we all know, the hiring processes can drag on and on, and the position could be open for a month or more…but you’re a freelancer, and you can start right away.
So hit them up. Show them you understand what skills they’re looking for, and sell the idea that they can get the help they need sooner rather than later. Plus, what’s the harm? If you finish one assignment and they find a full-time worker, they’re free to let you go – no questions asked.
You never know if the company will fall in love with the convenience and flexibility of working with a freelancer over a full-time hire. Who knows? You might even turn them into a well-paying client that’s with you for the long haul.
How to Find Freelance Writing Jobs: Final Thoughts
As a new freelance writer, finding your first few clients can seem overwhelming. The key to landing high paying clients is to spread the word far and wide that you’re starting a freelance writing business.
Hopefully, this list will help you move past the nervous butterflies you feel and boost your confidence.
So what do you say? It’s time to stop putting off your dreams and start doing the work that will land your next big freelance writing client. To help you get started, be sure to check out my FREE writing workshop here!
Thanks so much for reading and good luck!
Have any other techniques or experiences to share? Let us know in the comments!
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Thank you for all these great ideas. So helpful.
Thanks for the addition al tips.
I’m just starting out as a freelance writer and what has worked for me to get my name ‘out there’ is guest blogging. I don’t get paid, but at least I can cite where I’ve written in my online portfolio (Upwork). Plus, I can practice my skill and get to know different writing styles and techniques.
Here’s hoping I’ll get some paying clients soon !