Looking for freelance writing work but not sure where to begin?
Don’t worry, as my step-by-step guide is here to help you out.
Let’s get straight to it…
Know What You Are Looking For
In all areas of life, it’s important to know what you want.
When it comes to searching for paid writing positions, you need to decide upfront on several key things:
- What’s your preferred writing style (e.g. blogging, copywriting)?
- What writing skills and experience do you have?
- What genres would you be comfortable writing in?
- How many hours a week do you have available for writing?
- How much do you expect to earn per hour from writing?
Once you’ve answered the above, you should be able to create a crystal-clear mental image of the specific writing work you would like to do. This is a critical first step in finding the perfect writing gigs.
Find out Where to Look
Knowing where to look, will make your search for work much, much easier.
There are literally thousands of sites that advertise for content writers, and if you are not careful, you can easily find yourself caught in an endless (and depressing) cycle of viewing and applying for jobs.
I suggest you save yourself time, effort and heartache but narrowing your search down to just a few of the major websites that online publications use to find writers.
From personal experience, I highly recommend the following sites:
All of the above sites allow you to subscribe to daily job alerts. You should definitely choose to receive these alerts, as the jobs then come to you, which saves you from having to search every day.
Choose the Appropriate Jobs to Apply For
Remember what I said earlier about creating a mental image of your perfect writing gig? Well, here’s where that now becomes beneficial.
You know exactly what content you like to write about. What your availability is. And your hourly earning expectations.
It’s now a simple task of reviewing the daily job alerts, and picking out any that match your preferences. To be honest, I find that suitable jobs jump right off the page!
To give you a general idea, I only apply for about 0.5% of all the writing job ads that I receive. Of course, you may want to apply for more (or less) jobs than this, depending on your personal circumstances.
Be Confident and Begin Applying
Too many writers suffer from a deadly combination of procrastination and lack of confidence. Please don’t let these negative mental states kill your chances.
If you’re confident in your ability to do an advertised role – then go ahead and apply.
In most cases, you will be asked to submit the following:
- A personalised cover letter, detailing why you are interested in the job.
- A resume that lists your education and career history.
- A checkable online portfolio that demonstrates your writing skills.
- A LinkedIn profile that confirms you are who you say you are.
If your application interests the advertiser, then you are likely to be asked to complete a written assignment.
Typically, you would be provided with a topic relevant to the organisation. The assignment would then be to write a unique blog/article of a length between 300-800 words. (Most organisations will pay you for this assignment.)
Over the years, I’ve learned something unexpected…
By completing a requested assignment, you will immediately give yourself an excellent chance of securing the role. The reason is simple. Most applicants will balk at the thought of creating an article – and consequently, won’t bother to complete this step.
Of course, you need to ensure that your submitted work is high-quality, and targets the appropriate audience. As always, keep your writing lively and informative.
Get Ready to Sign the Contract
Nowadays, most freelance writing roles are home-based. This usually means that an employer can hire you almost immediately.
However, it’s a good policy to complete the following steps before commencing any writing work:
- Connect over video for an informal meeting (e.g. Skype, WebEx).
- Have both parties sign a freelance writing contract (this should specify pay rates).
Once you are both satisfied, and the contract is signed, the first piece of work can be initiated.
Starting a new freelance writing position shouldn’t be a daunting task. If you’ve done your homework, and found a suitable role, then you should be excited to begin.