You can find freelance writing gigs in a number of places that you wouldn’t normally suspect. Finding them is an art and a science, so follow these steps and you can find some really good freelance writing gigs. If you are serious about being a freelance writer, you should probably ‘graduate’ from these writing gigs soon. However, there is no harm looking for short-term gigs that provide you with an immediate income. You might just find this freelance writing gig turn into a long-term project or may be it improves your writing portfolio or simply gives you an income boost.
1. Freelance Marketplaces
These are the easiest places to find freelance writing gigs. They usually have a good selection of gigs, which means you have variety to choose from. The most popular freelance marketplaces are oDesk and Elance but there are also alternatives if you like.
Job boards essentially provide the same features except they usually have a one-time fee as opposed to a percentage of a project’s worth and don’t handle payment, so it can mean higher risk to the freelancer.
Pros: High number of gigs, easy to apply to, variety of jobs, based on feedback system so good for long-timers, flexibility with respect to working on a project on your own terms.
Cons: High competition, quality and pay of jobs can be lower, you need to pay commission to the marketplace, hard to enter into the system (due to feedback system).
Did you cringe already? Don’t! I’ve seen surprisingly good quality and genuine job posts on Craigslist and have personally worked on a few freelance writing gigs posted on Craigslist and had a great experience. Of course, you need to be aware of potential scams, so use your best judgement. Even though it doesn’t have the best reputation, give this a try. If you don’t live in a big city, you can certainly look for other places like New York that accept remote work. These will be fewer but definitely exist.
Look for these in two sections – writing/editing section under Jobs category and writing section under Gigs category. For example, if you’re from New York, these sections would be writing jobs and writing gigs.
Pros: Can be surprisingly good quality, immediate interaction with the person or team mostly being from the same city, localized writing gigs can be highly suited and pay better (jobs that cannot be outsourced, like attending a local event and writing about it), ability to form local connections for future work, higher degree of trust in a local business with direct interaction with the business.
Cons: Not the best reputation, higher probability of a spam posting, limited variety of jobs, smaller cities don’t have as many job postings (and not all jobs can be done remotely).
3. Paying Guest Blogging
There are quite a few blogs that pay for guest posts. You need to find one in your niche and then contribute to it. For example, I have written articles for Freelance Switch in the past which has a paid guest blogging program, paying $50 per post.
Pros: No research time needed for finding the freelance writing gig, easy to build a portfolio.
Cons: High quality and well researched articles required which can take time, limited in scope, finding the blogs can be an initial hurdle.
4. Regular Blogs you Read
Always look out for opportunities. If you have any favorite blogs and websites that you visit often, chances are, you already know the style and content they expect from their writers and therefore you can easily contribute your own article. Even if these sites are not explicitly looking for a guest blogger, many will accept if you pitch a good idea to them. This is quite an under-utilized method but works very well with several blogs.
Pros: Highly specialized articles and thus better paying (usually), can create a portfolio, can lead to longer and more interesting projects, networking and building relationships in your field.
Cons: Can be hit or miss, need time researching, limited in scope of blogs and websites that you regularly read.
5. Let Them Find You!
This is actually one of the best ways you can find some really great freelance writing gigs. Just get your name out there, produce high quality content, sit back, relax and wait for the emails to come pouring in. Well, that’s too optimistic, but you get the point. If you can get your work out there, through guest posting or through your own blog and let potential employers see your work, you may be contacted directly for some freelance work or gigs.
Guest blogging is quite a powerful technique here. It is also important to have your own freelance writer website so potential employers can contact you directly. Your website should contain some samples, portfolio, and contact information at the very least. You can make it as colorful as you like.
Pros: No direct work from your side, better bargaining position with respect to pay and other details.
Cons: Need a long term strategy, less control over types of gigs.
Photo Credit: koalazmonkey