Whether you’re a seasoned author or someone just starting out in the freelance writing world, online writing gigs are perhaps the fastest, easiest ways to start earning money as a freelancer. The problem that most writers tend to face, however, is figuring out how to find online writing gigs that are lucrative and consistent. Knowing where to look is the first step to finding and landing a paid writing opportunity.
Here, we’ll cover six places to find paid writing jobs and then we’ll discuss ways to increase your chances of landing those gigs.
- Where to Find Online Writing Gigs
- Before You Start Looking for Freelance Writing Gigs…
Where to Find Online Writing Gigs
#1 Traditional Online Job Boards and Classifieds
Job boards are, hands down, the best places to find high-paying writing gigs. It wasn’t too long ago that employers would only put writing jobs and design jobs on gig platforms like Upwork and Guru. As the need for content and online visibility has grown, so has the need for employers to bring in long-term contractors and employees whose sole job is to create and distribute branded content like articles and books and infographics.
If you’re a writer who’s interested in creating content for the web, you can check out job posts from all kinds of companies that have posted open positions to boards like Indeed.com, Monster, Career Builder, and Zip Recruiter.
I want to make sure to also mention classified-style job listings that may live on social media platforms like Facebook and LInkedIn.
While not dedicated solely to writing jobs alone, LinkedIn is another way to find writing gigs. In fact, I’ve hired two writers who contacted me through LinkedIn. Your chances of finding writing opportunities on LinkedIn are higher when your profile is up-to-date and it showcases your expertise.
- LinkedIn Jobs
- Simply Hired
- Classifieds of local newspapers
Google does a great job of aggregating job posts by category, industry and location.
#2 Industry Job Boards
Websites such as Create & Cultivate and Pro Blogger can be gold mines when it comes to paid writing gigs. Regardless to what anyone tells you about how hard it is to find writing gigs, there’s rarely a shortage. I currently oversee content plans for four web properties. And do you know what I’m always hiring for? Writers. And especially writers who have expertise in specific areas.
And don’t be fooled – most publications are looking for long-term writers who can consistently deliver content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Heck, for two of the online properties I oversee, I’m looking for long-term contributors.
When I first started freelancing, I wrote about EVERYTHING! But over the years, I’ve gotten really good at understanding how to articulate marketing concepts, so I tend to look for writing opportunities that focus on topics related to business and marketing.
So, if you’re looking for more niche writing opportunities that will allow you to showcase and fine-tune your area of expertise, industry boards are the way to go.
- Job Pro
- Create and Cultivate
- Art Jobs
- Creative Hot List
- Workng Nomads
- We Work Remotely
#3 Seek Out Companies Directly
If you’re more of a “go-getter,” approaching companies directly might be more appealing to you. Go for it!
Now, before you decide to reach out, research the company and/or publication that you wish to pitch. That way, when you pitch your services, you can do it in a way that answers a problem or challenge the company may be facing. It’s always best to use a personalized pitch for each company that you approach to show that you’re already familiar with the brand or business and you can showcase how you can help them solve specific problems.
Assume that most company websites and blogs are in the market for contributors as well. These days, there’s a constant demand for all types of content and it takes A LOT of work for in-house marketing teams to meet those demands.
So, tiny blogs like this one and more established ones like The Shelf blog are always on the hunt for good writers who will contribute quality content on a consistent basis.
And it doesn’t have to be a weekly thing. You can contribute one article every month and keep a client for years. But you’ll have to seek them out since many times, these blogs or websites refrain from posting ads on job boards. Instead, they may publicize open positions on their websites. Or they may even just have editors on staff who keep their eyes open for good writers and invite them to contribute. A quick Google search for “writers wanted” or “bloggers wanted” is an easy way to find websites looking for seasoned contributors.
#4 Check Your Social Media Channels
Social media is a powerful tool for building your personal brand as a writer and building credibility. But social media is a conversation not a monologue. So, as much as you’re building your brand and putting out authority content, if you’re building your client roster, you should also spend a bit of time combing through recruitment-related hashtags like:
It’s also smart to pay attention to what’s going on in any niche-specific or business-related groups you follow. I’ve picked up mutiple jobs and sold articles just by posting about my services and keeping an eye on anyone in my network who wanted a recommendation for service providers.
You’ll often see posts like, “Anyone know a ghostwriter?”
Well, when those questions come up, you can be there to respond. OR if you’ve been consistent with marketing yourself, someone else will probably be there to recommend you, or at least tag you in the comments.
#5 Place an Online Ad
Placing ads on classified websites, on Google, on social media, and on job boards is a good way to stay visible with local service providers, solopreneurs, and individuals. For a lot of freelancers, this group is their bread and butter, not necessarily the bigger companies.
Online ads allow you to target your ads to be shown locally or to specific groups that have previously searched certain topics or mentioned certain things. One cool thing to remember about ads is that if you just launched a website, you can often get free Google Ad credits to run your first batch of ads.
Emphasize the main service that you offer, or better still the main result you’ll help your clients to get. For instance, one of my most effective ads was to turn a 30-minute conversation into a 50-page ebook. I got tons of great book clients from that ad.
#6 Join Gig Platforms and Bid ONLY On Jobs That Are a Perfect Match for Your Skill Set
For employers, the easiest way to look for new hires are to post to job boards like Indeed. But the easiest way to find contractors for one-off jobs or jobs with low contract value is to post jobs, projects and tasks on gig platforms like Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Guru, Freelancer, and Fiverr.
I would spend hours on Upwork and Guru looking through job postings to the ones that were the right match with my skill set and monetary needs. But when PeoplePerHour released Offers (formerly Hourlies), I was able to offer a single bundle of services for one price, and once I posted those offers, I could get consistent work without bidding on jobs all the time.
The same thing is available on Upwork as a Project.
Here’s a list of gig platforms that are great for finding and landing online writing work:
- Freelance Writing Jobs
Before You Start Looking for Freelance Writing Gigs…
Create a competitive resume and portfolio.
If you have little to no experience freelancing, your best bet is to start gaining experience to build your portfolio. When applying for writing gigs, clients want applicants to be able to prove their expertise and skills. You’ll want to be able to provide potential clients with samples of your work. You can do this by creating a blog or website that showcases your work.
Create a freelancer resume that includes all prior experience that is relevant to writing. If you worked as a grill cook for three years, you should omit it, as it has nothing to do with writing in general (unless you’re writing about culinary-related topics or the restaurant industry).
While a degree is not usually required for most online writing gigs, it’s always a good idea to have a track record for updating your skills in the form of completed courses and certifications. And you won’t have to wander the halls of your local university to do this. You can actually do most of your upskilling online, and many of these courses will be absolutely free.
Courses that teach SEO, copywriting, or journalism are great places to start. Many of these free courses offer free certification that you can add to your resume to boost your market value.
When approaching a business or applying for a gig, always remain professional in your dealings. If you’re not familiar with business emails, then read up on them to learn how to correspond in a way that’s professional and effective.
If possible, have a separate email account and phone line dedicated to your freelance work. Answer emails promptly, always submit your work in a timely manner, and never make excuses.
When it comes to freelance writing, you may not be an overnight success, but you can at least begin earning a steady stream of income. With time, patience, and dedication, you can consistently find online writing gigs. You can increase your chances of landing long-term clients that not only help you pay your bills, but also to establish your as a seasoned freelance writing professional.