So, you want to be a freelance writer? It can be a hugely rewarding career for those who have a way with words. It’s also highly competitive so success will be determined by persistence. Of course, it helps to have an education in writing and some experience but it’s possible to get started without a degree or portfolio. So, here are 10 ways to find writing jobs that pay.
The ‘Cold’ Pitch
This approach involves contacting bloggers, entrepreneurs, companies, small and businesses directly to introduce yourself and let them know you’re writer for hire.
It’s an advantage if you have an interest or background in the company’s products or services. This way you can begin by explaining why you’d be the perfect writer for their print or online communications. As an example, if you’re a yoga enthusiast you might contact alternative health practitioners.
The main benefit of finding writing work via cold pitching is that you eliminate competition and if you pitch and write well you could find yourself a repeat client.
Start by searching online for businesses that don’t have a blog but, in your opinion, need one. Tell them how your writing can enhance and increase their online presence.
If you have some experience or a small portfolio as a writer this is a great way to make connections and grow your business. Register with a content marketplace, such as Prozely, for the chance to pitch for quality, high-paying writing jobs from clients across a broad range of industries.
Social Media Finds (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
If you don’t use social media to promote yourself as a writer then it’s a good idea to sign-up right away. You can find many leads for freelance writing through advertising your services this way and by connecting with those who may require your services.
Twitter is an excellent platform to find freelance writing jobs and it’s a great way to build relationships with potential clients. Simply follow freelance writing job boards and connect with businesses advertising for writing services.
If you have a Facebook account, now’s the time to create your business Page. This way you can create a mini online presence and ask your ‘Friends’ to like and ‘Share’ your page.
If you don’t have LinkedIn, sign up today. It’s the ultimate social media hangout for finding work and networking with like-minded professionals. LinkedIn also has a Job Board so make sure you check for any writing gigs being advertised.
Create a Website
It’s not as difficult as you might think. Sites like WordPress and Blogger make it relatively easy for the amateur to create a website. This makes your business appear professional and is a platform to advertise your writing services. It’s also an opportunity to start your own blog so you can showcase your writing style to potential clients.
Family, Friends & Acquaintances
If you think you don’t know anyone who needs writing services, you could be pleasantly surprised. Have you heard of the six degrees of separation? Ask your family, friends and acquaintances if they know of a business that might value your services.
Guest Post (Write for Free)
It’s never a good (or professional) look to offer your services for free but there are exceptions, especially for a beginning freelance writer. When you don’t have a portfolio this is the quickest way to create one. Plus, when you guest post on popular websites your audience could be in the thousands! One of those people could become your future client. Think about what makes you passionate. Do a Google search “your interest + write for us” and see what comes up. Make sure your post is attributed to you with a writer’s bio-line that connects to your website or social media profile.
Pitch a Story
If you have an idea for a story pitch it to a magazine for the chance to be a featured journalist. This is the ‘holy grail’ of freelance writing as it pays well with the added bonus of having your bi-line in a major magazine or newspaper. It helps if you are personally connected to the story so you can write from an expert perspective. Think about your life experiences, interests and education to come up with an interesting story then find a publication that’s a good fit for your topic.
Network with Other Writers
One of the most important things you can do as a beginner freelance writer is to network with other writers. There are plenty of writing projects for dedicated writers and sometimes too many opportunities! It’s not unheard of for writers to refer their clients to other writers when they can’t handle the workload. So follow other writers on social networks and reach out to them.
Visit Design/Print Agencies
Your local printing and web design companies may be excellent sources of freelance writing work. These businesses service clients that outsource their printing and web design, so it makes sense to use the ‘middle (wo)man’ to sell your writing services. Hopefully, if you make a good impression, these businesses will refer their clients to you. This could lead to repeat business without having to pitch for every job.
Enrol in a Professional Writing Course
If you want to hone your writing skills enrol in an online writing course, such as the Certificate of Freelance Writing and the Certificate of Professional Writing and Editing. These professional development short courses offered by Australian Online Courses will give you the confidence to start your freelance writing business.