Making the shift from traditional 9-5 work to freelance life can be exhilarating and nerve-racking at the same time. You’ll wonder if you’re making the right move getting out of the corporate world — which can offer the stability most people want. You’ll quickly see that learning how to find freelance writing jobs, so you can better control your income, is crucial in maintaining a steady business.
So that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about.
Freelance writers are often surprised to find that writing is the easy part. It’s getting new clients that can be incredibly frustrating.
However, when you become a freelance writer, you also become a business owner. This means there are new responsibilities you’ll have to take on — like learning how to find freelance writing jobs and pitch and sell your services.
Here are five ways to do it.
How to Find Freelance Writing Jobs in 2019: 5 Methods
1. Send Cold Emails to Businesses
This is the first method I always recommend because, put simply, it’s brought me the most business, hands down.
A cold email is like a less intrusive version of a cold call. It’s when you send an email to a person who’s not yet familiarized with you to discuss your product or service. That’s why we say that person is “cold.” They don’t know you yet.
Just to clarify, a cold email is very different from a spam email.
Spam emails are those sent to people without doing the initial (necessary) investigation. A cold email, on the other hand, is an email sent to a prospective client.
This means you need to do your research first to determine if that person could make use of your services and if their requirements fit your niche, before sending them an email to pitch your service.
Do not blindly send emails to as many people as you can. This won’t work. They need to be targeted!
Yes, cold emailing itself takes time — but so does anything worthwhile. Many leads will ignore or reject you, but this method can also land you high-paying clients very quickly.
When sending cold emails, it’s imperative to create a subject line that’s relevant and at the same time catchy so the person on the receiving end will click on it. Make the message short, respectful, personal, and direct, and always double check your email to ensure that there aren’t any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.
Many writers want to know how quickly they can expect results. How many emails do you need to send before you land a client? There’s no set number, but after spending a lot of time finding what works for me, I can send 12-15 emails and will usually close a client.
If you’re interested in cold emailing, check out this video for more information.
2. Contact Marketing Agencies Who Provide Blog Content for Their Own Clients
Oftentimes, marketing agencies outsource some of the work they provide for their own clients to outside freelancers. This often ends up being a more cost-effective way for them to get the content they need, than if they were to hire a writer in-house.
The great thing about this option is that there are so many opportunities. Every city in the country (and you can even go outside the country) has countless marketing and advertising agencies.
I can say from experience this can be really good for your business.
You can reach out to them using cold emailing, and I’ve also had good luck with messaging them on Facebook and asking who the best person is to contact regarding blog content.
When you contact them, be clear about what you’re looking for. You’re offering their services to them for their clients. This is why you can get so much work from them.
This has been a steady source of income for me for about three years. It’s an excellent relationship to build and something you can maintain for many years.
3. Join Online Job Boards
There are some huge caveats here, but I’m going to start with the pros.
Online job boards are websites where businesses post projects and assignments they need writers to complete. They’re great because instead of having to hunt jobs down, the jobs are already listed and you just have to apply.
Clients who post on online job boards may specify their rate beforehand so you’ll know how much to expect — and you can determine if it’s worth your time to even pursue.
Others may ask you for your rate to check if it’s within their price range.
There are a few drawbacks, though. First, there’s typically a lot of competition, making it hard for you to stand out.
And secondly, because it’s so competitive, you can bet there are writers willing to work for very cheap, which means it can be difficult to make what you’re worth.
Sometimes, you can spend hours and hours applying for jobs and not land a single one.
So, if you’re just starting out, it’s worth taking a look at job boards (start with ProBlogger), but do not rely on this as a big source of business, and don’t spend a ton of time on it. It’s just not efficient.
Side note: Job boards are one thing, but I would avoid “bidding sites,” where you literally bid on jobs and propose a pay rate. People go here to hire writers because they know they can get them for rock bottom prices.
4. Network in Facebook Groups for Freelance Writers
Facebook is a helpful platform for freelance writers. First, it can help you network with other freelancers who work in the field. You’ll be able to learn more about the trade through the experiences of people who have been in the business far longer than you.
Second, it’s an excellent source of freelance writing jobs. You will occasionally see people searching for freelancers to collaborate on a project, and a number of established freelancers will also sometimes outsource their own tasks to others.
It’s a great place to find potential clients.
Even if you’re in a group where no one seems to be posting job opportunities, make a point to introduce yourself. Tell people what your niche is and what you’re able to write. If you’re brand spanking new to the biz, offer to do it for a reduced rate, just to build some momentum in your business.
Work won’t often fall into your lap. You have to go out and get it.
5. Network With People in Related Industries Who Can Refer Clients to You
Networking is crucial and for good reason: it’s one of the ingredients of success — whether you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, or an office employee. It opens doors! You have to constantly be on the lookout for new opportunities, and knowing people — especially those who work in industries related to your area of expertise — can help ease your way.
For example, graphic designers, editors, web designers, SEO experts, email marketing experts, public relations professionals, and digital marketers are all excellent people to know.
They could very well have clients with content needs, who they can then send your way.
Start thinking outside the [freelance writing] box!
Learning how to find freelance writing jobs at the start can be a bit of a challenge. There’ll be rejections, and that’s normal. There might be instances where you get difficult clients, and there will even be times when you’ll question if you’ve made the right decision quitting your 9-5 work.
Becoming a freelancer isn’t always a walk in the park, so learn what you can from others and always make decisions you can live by. It’s a process, but the results are more than worth it.
Another great tool I absolutely LOVE is LinkedIn. By optimizing your LinkedIn page, you can attract high-paying clients. That’s what I did, and it landed me one of my biggest clients, whom I’ve been working with for over a year now.
I created a *free* guide on how to optimize your LinkedIn page, so you can start using it to grow your business. Fill out the info below and you’ll receive the guide by email.
If you haven’t already, go join my private Facebook group for writers!