You know, the best thing you can do for your new freelance writing biz is to network with other writers. When I first started, I reached out to a few freelance writers that I was stalking at the time! 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? 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. How easy is this? If you have a social media profile — which you should! 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.
I had no clue who this writer was, so I messaged her back and asked how my name came up in their conversation. Presto, landed a gig! Another great way to land consistent work is to contact your local printing and web design companies. These businesses have a full roster of clients that need web content. For many print journalists and writers, when they decide to go online and freelance, they stick to writing for publications and selling their stories.
All Freelance Writing has a library of publications that accept and pay for submissions. Many sites pay for your story too! For example, National Geographic pays for your travel stories. Generally you have to cold pitch your story idea first and then pitch each additional time for subsequent stories.
There is a lot of potential for writing gigs 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. It never hurts to give it a try and put yourself out there! If you put yourself out there in a Facebook group, you could very well end up with a gig that hour. I know, it can be scary! Using this tactic has generated me thousands of dollars in freelance writing income and when I have a spot open for another client, I always first approach my existing clients to see if they have someone in mind.
And since most of my clients are quality clients, I know with confidence they will refer me to another quality client.
By the way, I did end up landing that client and love writing for them. Well, I know for a fact Craigslist can be a well of quality clients. You just have to know what cities to look in.
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! Besides publications and magazines, there are hundreds of blogs that pay for your guest post. Landing a paid guest spot is a bit more challenging then landing a free guest spot. You can also go on Pinterest or search in Google for blogs that pay for guest posts.
Then you do it all over again. 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.
From here you can decide how you want to approach these businesses — use a warm pitch or a cold pitch. If you have the time to invest in building a relationship and you have clients already, I would use a warm pitch approach. But, if you are itching to land work now, go ahead and add these places to your list to cold pitch.
Instead, you want to look for smaller content agencies. Did you know these exist? 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! Jennifer Mattern of All Freelance Writing has a directory of freelance writers for hire. Reddit is another social media site where you can find potential writing gigs and post that you are a writer looking for gigs. I just showed you 20 legit ways to find freelance writing jobs.
Not just any jobs, good paying jobs. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.
Hi Elna, this was really helpful. I wanted to ask a couple questions. My degree is in politics. After uni I had a baby and have decided I want to be a stay-at -home mum. However, I am and have always been interested in writing as a career. I also feel pretty overwhelmed thinking about where to actually start. I feel I would like it to be parent related as opposed to politics. Does it need to focused on one area? You should your expertise and credibility by starting a blog and guest posting!
As for your topics, you can explore that over time! Elna, This post has been SO helpful! Thank you for all your insightful tips and tricks! I am currently in the process of starting up my own website for blogging, and when I learned about freelance writing I knew I had to try it out! So I just have one question for you, would you suggest having a blog while freelance writing?
Maybe as a way to provide a little extra work for clients to refer to as sample work from me? I was originally going to blog and go the advertising route to provide an income off the blog, but freelance writing seems much more interesting to me.
So glad you found some tips to help you get started freelance writing! You can sell your services on it, showcase your work and start a blog as a way to have samples to begin with! Thank you for the valuable information! I work as a court reporter and I would love to start doing some freelance work on the side. The information you provided will be a big help!
Thoroughly enjoyed this delightful, informative article. I am a full time paralegal with a B. How would you reccomend I transition to freelancing. I would find a way to scan those articles and upload them to Contently or some portfolio platform as proof you are a writer and have byline content.
If not, maybe transcribe the article and link to the online version of the newspaper! From there you can have a freelance writer website that promotes your business or you can just get to pitching businesses or go to job boards. I hope this helps! This past year has been a roller coaster ride for me. I want to give freelance writing a try. I did get accepted to a content mill site, but the jobs on there go so fast I can never get a chance to grab one to work on. I also do not blog anymore.
So, how can I get into freelance writing? How do I build up a portfolio or show my writing? Any tips would be great. I would try to stay away from content mills and they pay so little.
As for a portfolio the quickest way is to draft some articles and publish them on Medium or on LinkedIn. You get a live link and you can link that in your pitch emails. You can start without a blog for a bit but not sure how successful you can be! Hi Elna or any other writers who see this , Great article…but I am a little lost in the sea of advice for newer freelancers.
I am hoping to get some simple advice; here is where I am at as a freelancer:. I have been creatively writing stories, abstract ideas, short films for years. I am a stay at home mom also, to 4 kids and I would love to actually make money while I am at home and exercise my creative talents. So I started a blog 8 years ago, where I share my journey as a homeschooling christian mom.
I have found that writing can be a lonely venture, so I would like to write for other people. I have found upward and craigslist of course, but nothing that has rendered results. I also professionally review books. I read books per year, write almost every day, but I am having trouble knowing what the next steps are to building my credentials, especially without a degree, prior payed experience, or a high volume of readers to my blog.
Thanks for sharing your story. Even though you want to be more creative, if you want to get paid for your writing as a freelance writer, you need to realize this is a business. I would rely — in the beginning — with what you are good at and have expertise in. This, for you, is health and exercise science. I would form my freelance writing business around creating health content for a client. From there you need to figure you our ideal client. This post may help you out: Hi Elna, thank you so much for sharing!!!
I have recently become interested with the idea of freelance-writing. Most of the things I have written, are in story form, and have never been read by anyone out side of my close group of friends. However, I have always been told that I have a gift, and I do enjoy writing. Thank you so much for these great tips! Freelance writing is a business so your writing will help other businesses make money, attract leads and so on.
So remember that when you are thinking of your freelance writing niche. Thanks so much for this wonderfully helpful blog post. I have one question though, when you find jobs on LinkedIn, they are mostly for long term projects, as in, they make you a part of their content team, even if you work from home. Apart from job boards, how can I find short term or one time projects that will both add to my resume and build my confidence?
Thanks again though for this insightful post! The job boards I mentioned in this post do have one-time projects or recurring gigs. The best way to secure a one-off project is to do submissions. So looking for publications that are seeking submissions is your best bet! I thoroughly enjoyed the article and am waiting for my husband to get off work to discuss taking your course.
I have been struggling to find the next step in my career and I keep leaving my job searches to research free lance writing instead. You mention starting a blog is beneficial for starting out and creating content. How do I choose? Or somehow combine a couple? Thank you again for the great articles! All the information makes it much easier to really make a effective start and far less daunting.
I blog over at TwinsMommy. I talk about being a work at home mom, working at home, having twins and making money blogging. But this blog is geared towards writers. For you though, you can pick your paying niche freelance writing niche and pick a personal niche this can be a lifestyle niche where you blog about several topics.
Then you can have your lifestyle blog if you want and blog about pet life, motorcycles, personal growth etc.. This is what I do for my writer website. I link to THIS blog on my writer website even though it has nothing to do with my niche digital marketing. Every now and again I think about making money from writing and I come up with different ideas but then something else comes along that takes up my time instead.
In the past I wrote on Hubpages and published a few articles on there. Do you know if linking to some of these articles will be acceptable as samples? And you do have a portfolio online so that is awesome!
You can definitely use those posts as samples showing your credibility as a writer online! So happy you found this post helpful for you living in the UK! I was a bit bored with the day-to-day of taking care of twins…you know diaper changes a million times a day, and cleaning up messes just as much.
I needed a creative outlet so I explored work at home stuff online and my husband told me about freelance writing and being a virtual assistant. I immediately gravitated towards writing!
Im going to check out your blog for more tips on getting started! Congrats on your last year in college! So, you want to be a freelance writer eh?
You can definitely get started from scratch. By this, I am assuming you mean content that easily can be uploaded on a laptop, notebook, or iPhone? Can you offer us a great resource? I learned over time how to properly format online content! I read up on it, viewed other online content and practiced!
Hey Elna, You are such an inspiration for me. I have a few questions and if you get the chance to answer them that would be wonderful. It would be so amazing for so many reasons. So my second question is, should I first take some writing courses and build my skill or should I use freelance writing to build my skill along the way?
I have nothing, no samples. What is you advice here? Should I just write something, anything? Should I go for free writing opportunities to build my portfolio? Thanks so much for reaching out to me! It really is a great way to work at home! I would suggest though to try to wake up before you work to answer emails and pitch, even if for 30 minutes in the morning.
Instead I would do more of a freelance writing business course like mine or others. This blog also has some great resources for writing: I make a ton of spelling errors probably in this post too! I use Grammarly and I have a proofreader my hubby! And the act of writing every day will help improve your writing skill! Because of this post, I definitely plan too take some of your courses. I have a couple questions. How can I share those articles as samples?
Do you think I could be a profitable writer in those areas? So glad you are interested in learning more about freelance writing tips! Then you can add an annotation to it and upload that to your blog or Contently. As for your passions, you can skew that to more of business writing or even productivity for businesses writing tips? Hello Elna, Thank you for sharing this. It gave me a lot of ideas on how to start off.
I have always been told that my writing is very good if not excellent. But thats mostly with term papers and things of the sorts. I have also won a couple of essay contests. I also have some poetry. Do you think I could really blossom at being freelance with the little experience I have? Writing for school or university is different than online writing this post lays out some tips: But in saying that, it just takes practice and reading online content to be familiar with it!
If you have the passion and motivation you can become a freelance writer! Hi there, I was wondering if you could offer any advice. How can propose to the editor, to transition me from doing this for free, to freelancing in a paid role?
I would love to continue writing for the magazine, but equally, I would like to get paid for the many many hours of research, though synthesis and data collection I put into these articles. Any advice is kindly appreciated.
What I can tell you is use those two samples as just that — samples in your writing. It is credible and leave it at that. You can no longer accept work from them and move on! Now you have samples for your portfolio and you can search for freelance writing jobs in the health and medical niche! Congrats and how exciting! Hi Elna, I have read your article and I seriously become a fan of your writing.
It inspired me a lot. So I am confused which type of writing job I should choose. Could you please help me with this? In the beginning I took any online writing job I could find. Doing this will help you find YOUR freelance writing niche. And it did for me — digital marketing. Hey Elna, thanks for all the advice and jam-packing this article with so many resources!
Thanks for asking what I plan to do to start finding jobs! I plan to make use of all the tutorials and online courses you shared to learn me into a high paid freelance writer and will start free guest posting on blogs asap, peruse the job board sites and start making pitches. Question — does having a college degree give me an advantage and are there any avenues that I can use this to grab higher paying jobs?
As I begin to create a portfolio and resume, how can I use my instagram pages to attract clients and jobs? Please take a look and get a feel for what I have to offer links are in my bio on my rawsalvaje instagram! I have a lot to share with personal experience and speaking with passion from the heart about health and diet. I know lifestyle, health and diet topics are my niche, in particular veganism and raw foods. I have strong spiritual practices such as fasting, meditating, yoga etc and know there is a client base looking for writers on these topics.
Are you able to advise me or direct me to clients and sites focused on these topics? Here is where my creative and adventurous spirit comes alive. In my younger years I created a belief systems that one could not be a poet and get paid.
Now I release that limited thought and allow myself to express my creativity in abundance and receive in abundance. Are there any particular clients and sites to check out that focus on a need for the poetic and fantastical?
I know there are many opportunities to make money writing recipes and menus or food articles. Can you direct me to sites that are looking for this area of expertise: I want to develop a reputation as a writer who can provide full spectrum material from articles written in opulence and articles for the proletariat, easily accessible for all minds.
I want to offer works ranging from the James Joyce to the George Martin styles. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my comment and hope to hear from you! If you feel connected, it would be really great to speak through email! I appreciate your input more than you can imagine.
I graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment, and while my focus is mainly writing scripts for film and commercials, I also blog. Mostly for my own entertainment. By far this is the best and most informational site I have found thus far, I have trouble trying to narrow down my niche , I also read on another freelance writing blog, that knowing marketing strategies, and things like SEO is needed to be successful. I have noticed that the better paying jobs are copywriting, writing or starting a blog and jobs like that.
Do your course help to write better, as well as help with narrowing down a niche? Some of the information out here is so confusing. Thank you so much in advance! This post was so helpful!
I find myself coming back to it every now and again too. I really like the idea of warm pitching. Thanks for this list. It is really helpful. I recently decided to try freelance writing, and I was accepted for an online writing gig site. This acceptance has boosted my confidence to much.
Just to know they liked my writing sample and said yes means a lot to me. Now, I am sure I can apply anywhere, and even if it is a no from others, I still have my yes to hold on to that keeps me going. Excellent information as always. I have started to apply to some of the job board adverts. Hopefully it will reap some fruits. If an aspiring writer wanted a general idea of how good his blog or website was, what is the best way of getting feedback on this sort of endeavor?
I think it does a reasonable job, but would like some idea if I am going in the right direction. I was just wondering about the business aspect. Before starting so I need to set up a business license? If so what kind do you suggest? Are there any websites that can help? Im alot more at ease since reading this article, and Thank You for putting it out there for all of us who are just starting out,, Thanks Again.
Vet these writers as well like you would vet your clients. Not all writers who you connect with want to reciprocate but take advantage. Thanks for the post. Thank you so much for writing this! You are learning new freelance writing tips so there ya go!
Thank you so much for this post, it is very very helpful but also very overwhelming. It is just too much information at once. I am also going through your course for freelance writers-newbies and I am thinking how I will start to become a successful freelance writer.
Anyway, thank you very much for sharing your wisdom! I stumbled onto this article in my search and it seemed to put an ease on things. I had no idea where to even begin, but with your 20 suggestions, I feel maybe I can get started. I have only written a little poetry, so this is a new direction for me.
I am currently working on my Associates in business, so I have a little free time to try this out. Thanks for sharing this and giving insight on the subject, it is appreciated! So glad this post has given you some direction to get paid to write online! Take it one day at a time and learn as much as you can! Thank you so much for this article it has really helped me to out together a kind of plan I am a complete newbie to this!
I have wanted to work in the writing industry since I was at school I am 35 now but have ended up working in social care instead With a BA degree in that field rather than anything to do with writing but have now decided to try and follow my dream and see where it takes me! Yes, this advice is helpful for anyone online! That is such a helpful post, I am SO thankful for you taking the time to share all of this. Hii…Elna thank you for such a helping post…. Have you ever spoke with anyone else of the same mind?
What could you suggest? I appreciate all the information that you have given us. Even if this was only a part time thing for a while it would still be great to write for people. I read an article about becoming a blogger too and she suggested even starting out as a ghost writer. What are your thoughts on ghost writing?
I suggest you write for clients under your name and then you can offer ghostwriting services! Some of it seems to official and like a different ball game altogether. I know there are freelance writers that eventually became authors. Two of them are Alicia Rades and Brent Jones. Where was this post when I started freelance writing 3 months ago?
Thank you so much! My twins are 5 and in school this year. Just curious what kind of education you have that allows you to be a writer? Is a formal degree necessary? What you need is the motivation and passion and desire to learn to make it!
This was a brilliant post and it has filled me with confidence that it is possible! Thank you very much! So happy you found the confidence to find your first freelance writing job! Hi, I would really like to start freelancing but i dont have any formal writing degree or certificate, should this affect how much work i will receive.
You just need the passion, drive, motivation and tenacity to do it! And I feel like no matter how many emails and resumes I send out, I rarely get a reply. I am currently working towards breaking into the field of freelance editing and your advice has helped me immensely.
After reading this, I feel so much more at ease. Do you have any tips for students who still need to gain experience? Freelance editing is a great skills. You can even target other freelance writers than need a copyeditor! I know many do. To gain experience I would do some free jobs in return for a testimonial. Get the experience and the credibility at the same time!
Elna, thank you for this wonderful article. It is full of resources, and it has motivated me to begin work as a freelance writer. I am currently a single parent of two witty little boys, who works full time outside of the home. In reading this article, I have found a renewed strength and a bit of a push to move forward with optimism to start little by little until I am able to eventually work more time from home.
I appreciate you sharing this information. I really enjoyed reading this , and i am very interested in becoming a freelance writer, but my cash flow makes it impossible for me to buy and host a website for now. You can get started without spending lots of money!
Hosting is all you need to start in the beginning and then later you can invest in an editing tool or job board! Hi Elna, I am very impressed with this article. The depth of the information you relayed within your post is extremely helpful and easy to follow.
This is probably one of the best articles I have read on becoming a freelance writer. I thought cold mailing and job boards were the only places to find freelance writing job, and that it would be quite tough finding a job given the competition, but after going through this list, I think finding a job would be easier.
Thank you so much for sharing this! Yes, there are multiple ways to find and land freelance writing jobs! This post has a lot of great suggestions to help new writers like yourself! Thanks for writing this post. Your blog posts and tips have been motivational to say the least! I landed my first gig as a freelance writer by speaking with a contact at a local radio station. Turns out, he needs help creating fresh information for his website.
I was even able to negotiate a higher rate than may be expected for a newbie! The warmth and encouragement that come through in your writing have helped keep me going. Hi Elna, Thank you so much for the detailed information given. I no longer feel that I am in a maze and will carefully follow your advice. I live in Nigeria and I am particularly interested in Relationship issues, Abuse as well as Parenting.
Can you advice on where to look for writing opportunities in my areas of interest? Especially taking my location into consideration? If you want in on the best value in support and learning for freelance writers, sign up as soon as the doors open. We only open for new members a few times each year. Not sure if the Den is for you? You can join and try it out for a week. We will cheerfully refund your money!
Ready to Stop Starving? Site Design by Dooley. Working from home is often cited as an attractive feature of freelancing, yet research suggests working from home introduces new sets of constraints for the process of doing work, particularly for married women with families, who continue to bear the brunt of household chores and child care despite increases in their paid work time.
The Internet has opened up many freelance opportunities, expanded available markets, and has contributed to service sector growth in many economies. Much computer freelance work is being outsourced to developing countries outside the United States and Europe. Freelance marketplaces provide a marketplace for freelancers and buyers. Service providers or sellers create a profile where they include a description of the services they offer, examples of their work, and, in some cases, information about their rates.
Buyers register and complete a basic profile, and then post projects outlining their requirements. Buyers will then bid for these projects on a fixed price or hourly basis. Freelance marketplaces have globalized competition for some jobs, allowing workers in high- and low-income countries to compete with one another.
These marketplaces, including Fiverr and Lyft , have been criticized as exploiting workers. Many periodicals and newspapers offer the option of ghost signing, when a freelance writer signs with an editor but their name is not listed on the byline of their article s. This allows the writer to receive benefits while still being classified as a freelancer, and independent of any set organization. In some countries this can lead to taxation issues e. Ghost signing has little bearing on whether a writer is a freelancer or employee in the US.
Freelancers often must handle contracts, legal issues, accounting, marketing, and other business functions by themselves. If they do choose to pay for professional services, they can sometimes turn into significant out-of-pocket expenses. Working hours can extend beyond the standard working day and working week. The European Commission does not define "freelancers" in any legislative text. However, the European Commission defines a self-employed person as someone: In the exercise of such an activity, the personal element is of special importance and such exercise always involves a large measure of independence in the accomplishment of the professional activities.
The European Forum of Independent Professionals defines freelancers as: Independent professionals work on a flexible basis in a range of creative, managerial, scientific and technical occupations; they are not a homogeneous group and as such, they cannot be considered or investigated as a whole.
They are generally characterised by a large portion of autonomy, a high labour productivity, knowledge intensive performance, social commitment and a large dose of entrepreneurship and specialisation. In Europe , the perceived disadvantages of being freelance have led the European Union to research the area, producing draft papers [ citation needed ] that would, if enforced, make it illegal for companies or organizations to employ freelancers directly, unless the freelancer was entitled to benefits such as pension contributions and holiday pay.
In the UK, where the terms of integration into the EU have and are being hotly debated, this would lead to a significant reshaping of the way freelance work is dealt with and have a major impact on industry; employers would be required either to give freelancers the contractual rights of employees or employ only freelancers already being employed by agencies or other organizations granting them these rights.
However, the White Papers that recommend such moves have not yet been adopted in the EU, and the potential impact on UK employment laws is being opposed by key UK organizations lobbying the government to negotiate over the acceptance of EU legislation in such areas.
Government Accountability Office GAO  recommended that the Secretary of Labor have its Wage and Hour Division "focus on misclassification of employees as independent contractors during targeted investigations. At the same time, this increased enforcement is affecting companies whose business models are based on using non-employee workers, as well as independent professionals who have chosen to work as independent contractors.
For example, book publishing companies have traditionally outsourced certain tasks like indexing and proofreading to individuals working as independent contractors. Self-employed accountants and attorneys have traditionally hired out their services to accounting and law firms needing assistance. Internal Revenue Service  offers some guidance on what constitutes self-employment , but states have enacted stricter laws to address how independent contractors should be defined. According to this statute,  a software engineering firm cannot outsource work to a software engineering consultant, without hiring the consultant as an employee.
The firm could, however, hire an independent contractor working as an electrician, interior decorator, or painter. This raises questions about the common practice of consulting, because a company would typically hire a management consulting firm or self-employed consultant to address business-specific needs that are not "outside the usual course of business of the employer. It changed to a figurative noun around the s and was recognized as a verb in by authorities in etymology such as the Oxford English Dictionary.
Only in modern times has the term morphed from a noun a freelance into an adjective a freelance journalist , a verb a journalist who freelances and an adverb she worked freelance , as well as into the noun "freelancer". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Freelance writing takes many forms but generally is the opposite of a staff employee. Learn the benefits and disadvantages of being a freelance writer. Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and copywriter who develops blog content, ebooks, emails, lead magnets, and website copy.