36 Beginner-Friendly Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (2022)
If you’re a copywriter, blogger, or any type of freelance writer who wants to earn a full-time or part-time income doing what you love, this definitive, A-to-Z guide will help you do just that.
1. Create a Writing Portfolio That Kicks Butt
Further Reading: How to Create a Writing Portfolio That’ll Wow Potential Clients walks you through everything you need to craft an online portfolio of your work, from portfolio sites like Contently to using your own blog. It also offers tips for building a list of writing samples if your portfolio is a bit sparse.
2. Supercharge Your Writing Skills
3. Ask for Testimonials
Did you ask the client to give you a testimonial? A few words declaring their undying love and/or satisfaction with your work (that you can use to help you land more writing clients)?
Most writers who do freelance work, either due to ignorance or fear, don’t ask for testimonials. Our own Jon Morrow says he’s only had a small handful of writers over the years ask him for a testimonial — even though he would’ve been perfectly happy to give one to them.
Karen offers everything I look for in a freelance writer: Her work is excellent, she finishes on time (if not ahead of schedule), and her attention to detail is wonderful. I enjoyed working with her so much that, as soon as her first article was completed, I asked her if she’d like to write for us again. I happily recommend her.
Note: You can count me among the poor, unfortunate souls who missed out on Jon’s generosity. Before becoming Smart Blogger’s Editor-in-Chief, I was a freelancer. I wrote five posts for Smart Blogger as a freelance writer, which means I passed on five opportunities for Jon to say nice things about me. Don’t repeat my mistakes — ask for testimonials at every opportunity.
4. Learn How to Craft a Killer Author Bio
5. Know How to Write a Pitch
The job seekers who are willing to do it have an edge. And the ones who are good at it — and I mean really freakin’ good at it — are never more than an email or two away from snagging a new writing job.
6. Learn the Legal Side of Freelancing
The legalities can seem so scary and daunting that many freelance writers choose to stick their heads in the sand and ignore them — or, worse, give up on their freelancing dreams rather than have to deal with any of it.
Chapter Two: 16 Hacks for Finding Under-the-Radar Writing Opportunities
I kept the search simple, but I could’ve also searched by language (native English, Spanish, etc.), hashtags, date range, and more. The more options you choose, the more refined your search results.
Some of the results will be scams, but most will be legitimate. Many will be for remote writing jobs, but some will be location-specific (usually New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Washington D.C., Dallas, Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Portland, Oklahoma City, Greenville, Atlanta, and other major cities in the United States). Just skip over the ones that don’t apply to you.
Want to find guest blogging opportunities (since many websites these days pay for guest posts)? Enter “guest post” into the “this exact phrase” option and you’ll see every tweet written by someone looking to promote their latest guest blogging masterpiece.
That’ll give you a list of websites that accept guest posts, which you can later whittle down (after you’ve done a little more research) into a list of sites that pay guest writers.
2. Follow Leads on Social Media
3. Check Out Agency Job Postings
One of the best potential clients is agencies because they usually have an ongoing need for writers. Instead of only getting paid once, you can develop a relationship with a few and get new freelance blogging gigs for months or even years into the future.
How to Become a Freelance Writer, Starting from Scratch
4. Find (and Woo) Clients on Their Turf
Most members of these groups are looking to be hired, not looking to hire writers. And when someone wanting to hire a writer does come along, the person who raises their hand first is usually the one who gets the job.
Skip the Facebook Groups. Go Straight to the Sources.
In 2014, I didn’t know Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard. But I joined his mailing list and, lo and behold, a “welcome” email with his address arrived in my inbox. I responded, he wrote me back, and a friendship was born.
After reading one of her posts and admiring her writing style, I connected with Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing through a humble blog comment. The same was true with Syed Balkhi. I connected with Pamela Wilson via Twitter. For Jon Morrow, the man who would one day hire me at Smart Blogger, I got on his radar by becoming a student in one of his online courses.
When you’re their student, an influencer is invested in your future. Your success is their success. You’re a walking, talking testimonial. So many — not all, but many — will do everything they can to help you succeed.
5. Pitch to Software Company Blogs
You want to work with businesses that have money to spend on marketing. Chances are, those companies are subscribed to various apps for email marketing, analytics, and so on. Most software companies in the marketing space (like HubSpot, Sumo, PayPal, Ahrefs, etc.) also publish a great deal of content. So, who better to write for? You’re instantly getting in front of thousands of the right clients. Many of these blogs will also pay you to write for them, so in many cases, you can get your first client while also prospecting for clients.
e-Commerce companies with blogs tend to publish a lot of content. After all, every article they publish tends to pay for itself (and then some) thanks to the traffic it brings to the website — traffic that often leads to sales of their product.