If you’re someone who wishes to become a freelance writer, let me give you a warning- it isn’t easy as much as it seems to be.
It’s just like starting your own business and running it without getting help.
You need to be your own boss!
Be it sending pitches, managing clients, converting leads into sales and of course promoting your business, it’s all up to you.
But is freelancing really a profession?
According to a recent report from Nasdaq, 43% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2020.
Moreover, 40% of the total freelancing works worldwide are acquired by Indians only.
So this a fact that most of the people don’t get what freelancing actually is. However, if you have a skill that you think would work, you can actually pay your bills and even save for yourself just through freelancing.
What it takes to become a freelance writer?
Now that you want to become a freelance writer, here are the steps that will need to take for seeking freelance writing jobs-
- Build a portfolio.
- Find prospects.
- Pitch to them. (if needed)
- Convert them into leads.
- And finally, write it!
However, as I already mentioned, it isn’t as easy as it seems to be. The toughest step is the second one- finding prospects.
Want to know how to get the best freelance creative writing jobs?
I have curated a list of 24 tested ways.
24 Tested Ways To Get Freelance Writing Jobs-
Looking for freelance writing jobs for beginners?
Freelance marketplaces might suit you the best.
When I was just starting out as a freelance writer, I was keen to explore the best ways for beginners.
And marketplaces like Freelancer and Truelancer did help me.
Here’s what Abhijeet Kumar suggests about Upwork that is a top freelancing job board-
Freelancing is more about skills than experience. It indeed is. I didn’t have an idea about how to start, so I joined Upwork. Even though inexperienced, I got projects when the clients were looking for beginners, at low rates, however. The competition is fierce but if you have skills, you won’t be disappointed. Sharpen them, learn to sell your services and make your way up. People are looking for you.Abhijeet Kumar
Abhijeet is a top-rated freelance writer on Upwork, you can connect with him, here.
2. Leverage Your Website
When it comes to freelance writing, your website can be your biggest asset.
Your website acts like your own space that allows you to showcase your masterpieces.
Do you know that a significant number of my own clients ask me if I have any website? Also, some of my highest paying clients hired me just after they visit my previous website.
So, if you don’t have a website, plan to have one soon. And make sure it reflects your profession and expertise so that people know that you can help them in their business.
3. Guest Post For Free
If you know me, you must be aware of how big fan am I of guest posting.
While most of the freelance writers believe that guest posting for free is of no use, I feel like it my biggest asset.
Till now I have contributed to some mega publications like Entrepreneur, Business2Community, GoDaddy Garage, Thrive Global, ReadWrite, to name a few. (You can read About Me, here)
Actually, I never planned to become a freelancer but rather I just wanted to get my writings published on some big publications.
As my first writing got published on Entrepreneur, many prospects came to me directly.
And that’s how my freelance writing career took off.
With time, I started to pitch more and more publications. This also helped to boost my portfolio.
I have also written an eBook regarding how to get started with Guest Posting and write for big publications– Get it here.
4. Network With People
While most of the people who connect with you on social media sites are your friends, family, co-workers, industry- related people or some jerk looking for time pass there are also some who can be your future prospects.
These prospects are mostly those who have a business to planning to have on in future.
When you connect to them and keep in touch, you allow your name to pop up in their mind when it comes to searching freelance writer.
Here’s what Hardik Lashkari suggest,
Networking has helped me in promoting my services at zero cost. By building relationships with people, I have been able to increase the business leads 2 to 3 times easily.Hardik Lashkari
Hardik is a freelance writer and tax consultant, you can connect with him, here.
5. Ask For Referrals
While networking is important, building an image as an expert in your circle is also important.
There must a few freelance writers in your circle or list of connections. These connections can be of great help for finding freelance writing jobs for beginners in India.
When I was just starting out, I did ask a few people for referrals and some of them did help me. However, most of them didn’t. :p
6. Cold Pitching
In reality, there aren’t much high-paying freelance writing jobs for beginners and if you want one, start Cold Pitching.
In a nutshell, cold pitching means to directly contact your prospects like bloggers, entrepreneurs, small business or startups and tell them about your services.
It seems a little difficult at first but once you get started, you’ll notice an immense benefit of practising it.
For this, you first need to find potential clients, get their email address, and finally pitch them.
Also, it is advisable to keep updating your pitch with time.
7. LinkedIn- The Best Tool For Getting Freelance Writing Jobs
Here comes my favorite way- LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the most powerful weapon that I have used till now for getting the best paying freelance writing jobs.
Many startups, small business and even individuals post on LinkedIn regarding the requirement of freelance writers. You can easily follow such posts on LinkedIn and reach to them.
Moreover, if you manage to build a powerful all start LinkedIn profile, prospects will start coming to you themselves.
Here’s what Niharika Gupta suggest about using LinkedIn-
I would suggest them to leverage platforms like LinkedIn and Medium. Freelance platforms like Upwork, Peopleperhour, Fiverr, and others are already saturated with freelance writers.
Newbies will find it very difficult to get projects from these platforms. They can build their portfolio by guest blog posting on good blogs and writing on medium.
Once their portfolio is ready, they can start using the same to bag projects. Content marketing on LinkedIn will ensure that they never run out of clients.Niharika Gupta
Niharika is a freelance content writer plus strategist. You can connect with her, here.
8. LinkedIn Jobs
Did you know LinkedIn has a separate app called LinkedIn Jobs?
Yes, it has and it is primarily for people looking for jobs both full time and freelance.
It is very easy to use LinkedIn Jobs, just install the app, authenticate yourself, set your preferences and get started.
It will automatically start to send you notifications if jobs related to your preferences are added. Easy, isn’t it?
9. Join LinkedIn Groups
Yes, joining LinkedIn groups can also help you to get freelance writing jobs.
I used LinkedIn to curate the best writing minds at one place that is now known as Initium. Initium publication is a Medium publication that was started a few months back.
We also have a group where we keep posting about such requirements oftentimes.
Just like the Initium group, LinkedIn does have several other such groups.
All you need to do is find them and ask to join.
10. LinkedIn Meet Ups
Okay, enough of LinkedIn, I promise this is the last one.
Do visit LinkedIn Local Meetups. These meet ups allow you to connect with various professionals around your city.
Now when you connect directly with your prospects, you allow them to know about you and your services.
So whenever they feel like they need your services, your name strikes their mind.
11. Join Facebook Groups
There are a plethora of Facebook groups that offer freelance writing jobs.
However, the reputation of such groups in terms of rates isn’t very good yet it can be beneficial for the beginners.
Just search for such groups and join them.
Also, just takes those projects that pay at least the standard rates and not all of them because as a writer you should first value your services and then the rest will follow.
12. Content Marketing Agencies
So here’s my case, when I was going through a tough phase as a freelancer, I created a simple strategy of getting freelance writing jobs from home.
I dug the names of a few content marketing agencies in India, added on a spreadsheet and checked their websites.
Around 4 in 10, had a jobs section that asked for freelancer.
I directly pitched to them along with my portfolio and voila I got my next project within an hour in the first attempt.
I have used this one technique several times and every time, it worked like magic.
To be honest, I haven’t got many leads from Twitter but just two but yes, it does work.
For getting freelance writing jobs from Twitter, you need to make sure that your profile speaks about your profession and a little bit about your past works.
14. Freelancing Job Boards
So you are a newbie yet you wish to get good freelancing jobs, right?
Well, check this one out.
Job boards are pretty much similar to marketplaces the only benefit of jobs boards is that here you don’t need to bid.
In job boards, startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs post ads regarding the need of freelance writers and then writers like you, pitch to these ads.
Now there are two types of boards available, free and paid. As you are a newbie as of now, I suggest you use the free ones first.
Some of the popular freelance job boards are-
- Blogging Pro
15. Ask Friends and Family
Since you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t leave any chances of getting leads.
Contact your friends, and family and tell them that you’re starting your freelancing career and need their help.
Yes, the success chances aren’t great but who knows. Right?
16. Pitch To Publications That Pay
There are several publications out there that accept submissions from freelancers and pay them a hefty amount in return to it.
Here is a list of 70+ publications that accept submissions from freelancers and pay as well.
Select the publications related to your core niche and then follow the suggested steps to pitch them.
Don’t go for all because it will take a lot of time and efforts but just the ones you feel confident about.
17. Pitch To Websites That Pay
Just like the publications, there are also many websites that pay you for submission.
The process of finding is the same, just Google it and follow their guidelines while pitching to them.
Here is a list of 100+ websites that pays you for submissions of articles.
This might not be familiar to you all but Instagram can also help you to get freelance writing jobs.
Although, I haven’t tried it yet but I have read a great article regarding this.
Here is the article- How I use Instagram to Help My Freelance Writing and Reporting.
And yes, let me know if it worked for you. I will try it too. 🙂
19. Try Medium
Medium is lot more than just a blogging platform.
From blogging to curating your best content, republishing your content to getting freelancing clients, it can do wonders for a writer.
Create a profile, publish fresh posts to it or just republish your best contents, Medium’s algorithm will promote your content within its user base.
Also, don’t forget to optimize your profile and add social links so that your prospects could contact you.
Okay, I agree I am quite too lazy when it comes to being consistent on Quora. But trust me it’s one of my top items in my to-do list. :p
I have seen writers, consistently writing on Quora, building a powerful personal brand and then using it to get the highest paying freelance writing jobs at home in the industry.
However, this isn’t a quick solution, it will take both time and efforts but trust me the results will be amazing.
You didn’t read it wrong, I actually added Reddit in the list. 😉
This one of the methods that I found online while searching for freelance writing jobs for beginners in 2018. (Credit goes to Elna Clain.)
Here are a few subreddits that you can use for getting freelance writing jobs online-
22. Ask Your Existing Clients
I have put this in the latter part of the listicle because this is basically for the newbies who aren’t supposed to have previous clients.
However, when you step up and reach the second phase of your freelancing career, this can be a great method of getting new clients.
Ask your existing clients to refer you to people whom they know and believe that they need freelance writers.
As someone known to the prospects is referring your name, your chances of getting hired become more. After all, word of mouth marketing is still some of the most preferred ways of marketing.
23. Trying Out Warm Pitching
Now, what the heck is warm pitching?
Warm pitching means to find your ideal clients, nurture your relationship with them and then ask them if they need our services.
How to do it-
- Find ideal clients.
- Follow them on various social media platforms.
- Engage with their posts.
- Have a check on if they need freelancers.
- And finally, pitch to them.
This is a little slow process so don’t use this when you are at the initial phase of your freelancing career.
24. Other Social Media Platforms
Although this point is about other social media platforms that aren’t listed above, I want to advise you something.
Whatever social media platform you use, optimize it in such a way that it reflects your expertise.
Now the listed above social media websites like Pinterest, Tumblr and even YouTube, can also bring your freelance writing projects.
Just share posts, images and videos related to your services and you never know who is watching them.
Final Words About Freelance Writing Jobs For Newbies
Writing is an art but when you turn your art into your profession, it needs both creativity plus marketing skills. There are plenty of potentials clients out there but to reach them is your job.
Use these 24 tried and tested ways of getting freelance writing jobs and see how your business grows in 2019.
All the Best!
PS- Let me know in the comments if I forgot to add something. 🙂
Originally published at CharuDubey.com on 31st May.