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If you enjoy writing and want the flexibility to work from home and set your own hours, then freelance writing could be for you.

While there's some upfront grind (building a portfolio and finding clients), if you're persistent you can reap big rewards in the long run.

There are plenty of quality, good-paying freelance gigs out there. Whether you've already got some experience under your belt or you've never had a paid writing job, that's ok. Even beginners can land freelance writing work.

And if you're a student, these tips are especially helpful because it means when you graduate you'll have a couple years of professional experience on your CV. And a client roster and some references under your belt.

Let's dive in on how you can start finding freelance work and make money from writing.

10 Simple Ways to Find Freelance Jobs

It can be simple to find freelance writer jobs if you go about it the right way. You need to be methodical, persistent, and realistic.

With these tips laid out, you'll absolutely be able to find some freelance writing jobs. Settle in for a quick read. Start cracking. And get your moves ready to bust a happy dance when you land that first freelance writing job.

1 | Set Up a Blog

If you don't have a blog, set up a blog now. It's the best way to showcase your freelance writing business: your work, your abilities, and your niche.

It's free to set one up on WordPress or other similar sites, so you have not set one up today. It's easy for novices to use. You can pick a free, prepackaged design template to use.

And over time, you can definitely make money from blogging.

Writing Prompts: What Should I Write About?

A lot of people get stuck here when it comes to setting up. I know I did. Write about what you know and what you enjoy writing about.

  • Travel destinations: kid-friendly places, student discounts, pets welcome, etc.
  • Family: building family, unconventional family, pet families, surviving family
  • Restaurants in your neighbourhood: food trucks, local eateries, farm to table, etc.
  • Fashion: trends of the moment, building a capsule wardrobe, finding the best deals
  • Cryptocurrency: explaining how cryptocurrency works, or how to earn Bitcoin
  • Side hustles you've tried to make money like taking online surveys for gift cards, driving for Uber, walking dogs

Write content around a couple of topical themes. When I started my own personal blog, figuring out what to write about was my biggest hurdle. So I set the goal of writing "one true sentence" – advice that Ernest Hemingway gives writers. From there, a blog naturally flowed. I write about being a slacker mom into children's clothing and Facebook buy sell groups.

Write for Yourself, Not Potential Clients

For your first dozen posts, write for yourself – not your potential clients or for what Google says is "trending" in search.

If you're writing about Harry and Meghan, that's ok. Just write. Later, you can frame your articles more academically or professionally. You could write a piece about how our fascination with the royals has evolved over the years, and how that will continue to shift. Or a treatise on why Harry and Meghan should have their own reality TV show and how it would benefit humanity.

Being tongue and cheek here, but you get the point.

Later, you can update the posts to mention fashion they're wearing and places they're travelling. Here's where you can work in affiliate links to make money. Tell readers about the amazing, mod gender neutral baby clothes that Archie and Lilibet are rocking, and link to those garments and boutiques. With that link, you'll get a commission of your reader's spend.

2 | Time to Grind: Get Out and Cold Pitch

This sounds intimidating. Ugh. Why would I want to do this? How obnoxious.

You might not know it, but cold pitching – by email – is an excellent way to land freelance writing work. Do a good job, and many of these writing projects will become recurring gigs.

To cold pitch, you'll email other bloggers, companies, and small businesses to offer to help them reach their audience or customers and grow their business through your freelance writing services.

Cold Pitching is Easy to Do and Doesn't Involve Using Your Phone

No calls required – assuming your mobile has a call app. What sort of companies are you interested in writing for? Are you into sporting goods and hunting rifles? Or where do you have some expertise or knowledge? Maybe you're not a financial advisor, but you have tried a lot of side hustles to make money like playing games or taking surveys.

Now that you've got your niche, create a spreadsheet (you can use Google Sheets for free) to create a list of businesses to reach out to. You can grind through this at a coffee shop or while you're watching Netflix.

Come up with a list of at least 50 (100 is better) businesses or blogs to reach out. You can do all the research online. Find the website, contact name, and contact email.

Then, start firing off emails. You can use the spreadsheet to keep track of when you emailed the business. Tell them who you are, how you know their company (or discovered it), why it interests you, and how you can help.

If you want to send a bulk email, that's fine. But you'll need to keep the language more general. And you'll want to use the BCC mode so you're not publishing your email send list with your send.

Here's an example of what a generic cold outreach email could sound like:

Hi there,

My name is {Insert} and I recently found your company's blog about {…}. As a {…}, your {…} resonates with me. I'd love to help you write some great content (like blog articles and social media posts) to help you reach more readers and shoppers.

Could I craft an original article for you to publish on your blog?

I'm a student at {…} and recently launched my own blog {link to your blog} about {…} I can bring a student perspective, and following, to your website.

Here are two topic ideas I could write for you:

  • Idea 1
  • Idea 2

Here's a sample to some of my work:

  • Blog Article 1
  • Blog Article 2

I would love to write an original work for your {…}. I hope to hear back soon.

Best,

Most people won't respond. And most responses will be no, but that's ok. If you keep at it, you will get some yeses.

Don't talk about pricing or rates in your original outreach email. Let the client steer the conversation. If they reply and ask how much you charge, you can offer to do the first post for 10 pounds or a discount rate. After that, if they want to re-engage you can ask for more.

3 | Find Blogs That Take Guest Posts

When you reach out with cold pitch emails, you may get a reply where they tell you there's a fee (you have to pay for your article to be featured), or that they'll accept a guest post submission.

Submitting a guest post for free (no pay) is a good deal for you in the long run. Publishing guest posts is excellent for SEO (search engine optimization) for your own website. And more you get your name out there, on quality sites, the better for your brand, your portfolio, and your job prospects. You want people to discover your articles and want to hire you.

Many blogs will charge hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds for a guest post to be featured. And there are companies who will gladly pay for it.

Build a list of blogs you're interested in guest posting for, and then check their "Contact" session. They will often publish details there about what type of guest post, if any, they will accept.

You can also just do a Google search for blog + {your topic} + "write for us" and see the results in search. This will save you some time from digging through hundreds of blogs.

4 | Look for Freelance Writing Jobs on Freelancer Sites Like Fiverr

You can find writing gigs on freelancer websites like Fiverr, UpWork, and SolidGigs.

When you get started, you're building your profile from scratch. You'll need to set low rates to start and increase them as you build up your seller profile. These job boards are crowded, flooded with new writers who offer up their services for 5 to 10 pounds.

Even though it's a noisy market, you can still find work.

  1. Advertise multiple available gigs or services for different kinds of posts you can do. (i.e. List one gig for writing an article about making money online, list another gig for writing about travel.) This will increase your coverage and you'll get more work than if you fill out one job listing saying you can write about anything and everything.
  2. Bid for available writing jobs. Bid quickly when you see new opportunities that emerge, but take the time to write a customised response. ("I can write a post for you about air purifying plants because…" vs a generic "I'm perfect for the gig, sir, please check out my perfect profile." And yes, people do submit bids like the latter.)
  3. Watch the welcome video on getting started. People often skip this, but they are chock full of helpful tips for getting the most gigs and being successful. Freelance job sites want you to succeed; they get paid their cut when you get hired.
  4. Read the site's blog. It will share tips on how to create the perfect profile (images, keywords, length) so that employers can find you.
  5. Set your rates low. This cannot be emphasised enough. While you don't need to be the cheapest writer, you should set them on the very low end to get started and attract clients. Don't increase your rates until work starts to come in regularly, and then do so in increments.
  6. Ask for work offsite. If you have a family member or friend who needs some freelance writing work done, ask them to hire you on Fiverr or FlexJobs. Ask them to hire you to edit that brochure or craft their social media post for five bucks on a freelance site. They can then leave you a review and help you build your business. Share your freelance website public profile on LinkedIn and social media.

5 | Go Old School and Break Out a Business Card

For just a few quid, you can print out a couple hundred (or more) business cards that you can drop off anywhere and everywhere you go: supermarkets, pubs, salons, and more.

A business card can quickly highlight your writing skills and provide a writing sample. (Share a link to your website or blog.) And business cards still work. People still find freelance writing and other jobs this way.

Get creative when you craft your copy and put some thought into the design layout. There are plenty of free online tools you can use to lay out a beautiful, well-laid out card.

6 | Make Friends With Other Freelancers

Other freelance writers are your friends, not your competition. While it can feel hard to break into the freelance writing world, you'll find that there's more than writers to go around. It's just a matter of the right alignment.

Connect with other freelance writers in online forums on Quora, Reddit, Warrior Forum Copywriting, Digital Nomads, Facebook groups, and local literary and writing centres.

Different writers focus on different areas. If they lack experience or expertise, they'll reach out to a fellow writer they know. Also, established freelance writers likely have too much work coming their way and would be happy to funnel some of it to noobs trying to get established.

7 | Let People Know That You're Open For Business

This is low-hanging fruit. Let your friends, family, and other contacts know what you're writer for hire. Post updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Remind your family at holiday gatherings.

Share your link to your online portfolio. (If you're a newbie, that would be writing on your free blog that you set up.) Hand out those business cards if you have them.

Some people appreciate moxie. When they see you hustling and handing out business cards, they'll want to hire you sheerly for your drive. Good things happen to those who hustle and grind.

8 | Use all the University Resources

This means tapping into alumni, career centre counsellors, and talking to your academic advisor. You're a skilled writer who can help other businesses tell their story. You have business cards, training (you've had to display proof of literacy in your courses), and a website showcasing articles you've written.

  • Can you submit a guest post to your school's newspaper or literary journal?
  • Can your advisor put you in contact with an alum who might be keen to help?
  • Can the career centre put you in contact with employers who've hired other students and graduates for writing work?
  • Can the career centre, or a different office or department, let you edit something or write a paragraph or blurb in a newsletter? Just so you can get your name out there online as a published writer? You want digital name creds.

9 | Hit Up Local Printing and Design Companies

Local graphic and print shops will know of businesses who need a freelance copywriter. It's often for smaller businesses, like moving companies, florists, or a medical office. Every gig is a good one. Who can they connect you with? Leave your business card and info. Check in weekly and follow up.

Also, they may be willing to hire you as a proofreader. We've all seen signage and brochures with misspelt words and typos. Clearly they needed someone like you and now Tada! Here you are.

10 | Be a Realist (Take Every Opportunity That Comes Your Way)

Don't take freelance writing jobs that clearly suck. (Don't write 10,000 words for a half-pence about why the earth is flat.) But when starting out, beggars can't be choosers. When you've got no experience, a good freelance writing job is a freelance writing job where a) your article gets published online on b) a decent quality website and c) you are given full authorship.

Sometimes dated looking or poorly designed websites, but don't let that scare you off. They are still considered (by Google and its search algorithm) to be a quality website. Moz and Ahrefs can let you know the domain authority score of a website. From 1 to 100, domain authority is how authoritative a website is. 10 or higher is going to be a decent score.

Be Realistic with Rates

Be realistic with rates when you start taking freelance writing jobs. Many (most) newbies shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to pricing.

You may have advanced degrees in veterinary medicine or economics, but you cannot command 25-pence or more per word when you're starting out. You'll need to grind out some 10-pound, 20-pound, and 50-pound blog articles to start out. That's the nature of the freelance beast.

Craft Content the Right Way

Also, you won't necessarily be the type of content that interests you. If you're tasked with writing about a summer trip to Scotland, a business likely doesn't want a personal-narrative form essay about the trip. You probably won't be doing academic writing either.

You need to craft content that has lots of headers, is easily skimmable (with bulleted lists and tables), and with natural inflection points for the blog to put in links to products and services. That's how the blog gets paid so that they can pay you.

Eventually, you'll be able to command higher rates, but you have to start somewhere.

Where Can I Find Paid Freelance Writing Jobs?

You can find freelance writing jobs:

  • On freelance websites like SoldGigs, Upwork, or Fiverr
  • On job boards like Indeed – look for job postings for proofreader, copywriter, copyeditor, or proposal writer
  • On blogs that accept guest posts (may be unpaid)
  • On news sites and blogs that will accept freelance submissions for pay
  • Networking at local businesses (dropping off a business card or flyer)
  • Joining freelance writer groups (online forums, Facebook groups)

What Are Some Companies Hiring Freelance Workers?

Here's a short list of some companies that will pay freelance writers for their blog posts or article submissions.

Freelance writing jobs are right there. Whether you're looking to build a full-time freelance writing career, or just get a few writing jobs under your belt, you've got this.

This article is a guest post submission by Stacy Garrels. Stacy is a Senior Marketing Manager at Prodege and contributor editor and writer for a number of sites, including Swagbucks, Upromise, Taylor & Max, My Millennial Money Guide, Finsavvy Panda, and her own blog WriteOneTrueSentence. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) with her husband and two young children.

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