If you have the skills and know-how, freelance writing can be one of the easiest home businesses to start. Very little equipment or initial investment is required. You can likely get started with the tools and technology you have available right now. Once you are ready to hit the ground running, your first obstacle is how to find freelance writing jobs. Luckily, you have several avenues and opportunities available.
There are a plethora of websites that offer writing leads. One of the most popular is Problogger’s Job Board. You will also find requests regularly on Craigslist. I even have a Work at Home Leads page and Twitter feed here on The Work at Home Wife.
Likely the easiest way to land new writing clients is to reach out to your existing or previous clients and network. These people are already familiar with your professionalism and can vouch for your work quality. They may be happy to refer new leads your way for free, or you can offer an incentive such as a discount on a future project.
Make sure your social media bio includes your new freelance writer title. You can also search for jobs on social media platforms and follow popular hashtags such as #freelance, #jobs, #hiring, #joblisting and more.
Hit up your favorite search engine when looking for freelance writing clients. Optimize your search settings to only include those results in the past 7-14 days. You should also set up Google Alerts for phrases like “freelance writer wanted” or “freelance writer needed.” Google will then send you an email whenever these phrases are published.
Guest posting can be a great way to showcase your skills to potential clients, but many go about it the wrong way. Go where your clients are, not your peers. It may be far easier to get featured on that freelance writing blog, but those are not the people looking for or requiring your skills in most cases. Seek out the sites in your preferred industries and pitch there.
Create a Website
You need somewhere to send all of these potential leads to learn more about you and what you have to offer. While you may not need a full blown website and blog, you can easily setup a simple portfolio with themes like Studiopress’ Crystal, Freelance and Epik.
No one likes making the first move, but as a budding freelancer you simply can’t sit around and wait for clients to come to you. You may wait forever! (Or at least until the bank account runs dry.) Ed Gandia is a master when it comes to lead prospecting. He’s also widely known and respected in the freelance writing community and founder of International Freelancers Academy – definitely a site to follow.
What to Look For in Potential Freelance Writing Jobs
Topics of Interest and Knowledge – As you are learning the ropes, you may want to stick with topics you already have a good deal of experience with. This will cut down on research time and allow you to produce a better product. As you learn more about the requirements of online content, you can branch out into other areas.
Experienced Clients – There is always some risk involved when bringing on board a client that has never worked with a freelancer. They may have unrealistic expectations. They may not fully understand the relationship. Until you are knowledgeable and comfortable with the new setup, you may want to stick with those who know what to expect.
Respectable Pay – Even when you are new, you still need to pay the bills.
What to Avoid
Freebie Seekers and Promise Makers – If someone wants a free sample or super cheap content under the premise of “tons of future work,” run in the other direction. They are likely pitching this promise to a dozen new freelancers each week. And never paying for content. And never providing these people with further projects. It’s a scam. Please a few samples on your website that potential clients can browse to get a feel for the type of content you produce.
Those are a few of my favorite tips and websites. How do you find freelance writing jobs?
**Photo courtesy of ouh_desire/photos.com