This is a guest post by seasoned freelance writer and writing coach Maya Spikes. In this post, she demystifies the process of getting all the freelance clients you want. With these tips, you’ll be getting paid for your work in no time!
You hear about other writers who are busy writing for their clients. But how did they find these clients?
Sometimes, you even ask a writer how they found out about a certain client and you get a vague answer, such as “I don’t know. I think I ran into the company’s marketing director at some party a while back.”
That doesn’t help you much, does it?
So, how do you find freelance writing jobs?
Here are seven ways to find your next freelance writing gig.
It really is about who you know.
1. Ask friends and family.
Everyone you know should know that you are a professional writer. Ask your friends and family members if they need you to write content for their company, small business or nonprofit organization.
Also, don’t forget to ask people who are a friend of a friend or a friend of your family.
I recently spoke with a longtime friend of the family, who I had not seen for years, at a family gathering. She talked about her new baking business and I told her that I was a writer.
About a month ago, she contacted me and told me she’s also starting a nonprofit educational program for kids and teens. She hired me to write donation letters to businesses for the nonprofit. She also said that she might need me to do some research reports and other documents for her in the near future.
2. Connect with other writers in your town.
You don’t have to live in a huge city like New York or Los Angeles to connect with other writers. Many small to mid-size cities also have local writers’ groups that meet regularly. You can check out sites like meetup.com to find local writing groups.
I belong to a regional writers group in North Carolina, called Triangle Area Freelancers. Through this group, I’ve discovered and worked on several paid writing assignments and even taught a writing class at my local community college, by connecting with local writers and editors.
While I’ve enjoyed working on these writing assignments, the best part about meeting other writers is the new friendships I’ve made. It’s great to have lunch or dinner with someone to celebrate getting a new client or to commiserate about writer’s block and other challenges that come with writing.
Tell your friends and family you're a writer. Click To Tweet
Get into social media.
3. Tell your Facebook friends you’re accepting new clients.
You can advertise your writing services (and other services, such as guest speaking or presentations) are for hire, in the intro section of your personal Facebook page.
Use descriptions to tell people what you do, such as content writer, blogger, author, and/or motivational speaker. You can also include a few words about any accomplishments such as over 10,000 books sold, or mention any awards you’ve won.
4. Join writing and business groups on social media.
Speaking of Facebook, there are a lot of great writers’ groups on Facebook.
If you’re taking an online writing course, be sure to join the course’s Facebook page. It’s a great way to connect with other writers and find out about writing opportunities.
I was offered the chance to do this guest post by connecting with Frank McKinley through an online course Facebook group.
Also, check to see if any groups that you meet with locally have Facebook pages.
There’s only so much information a group of people can share during one weekly or monthly meeting. These groups tend to use Facebook, Twitter, Google Groups and other platforms to share writing opportunities and offer advice about writing, finding clients, and other issues.
For example, I have learned about some writing opportunities by attending meetings with the previously mentioned writers group Triangle Area Freelancers. I have also gained more writing assignments, by following the organization’s Google group, where members post about writing opportunities.
Join writing groups on social media. Click To Tweet
Make your website (and other websites) work for you.
5. Your website should say “Hire me.”
If you have a blog or website, be sure that you have a “Hire Me” or “Services” page.
This page should start by stating any common problems, fears and frustrations, your potential clients have. For example, you could mention potential clients who want to connect with their own customers with social media, but they’re too busy to create and maintain a website or social media platforms.
Your “Hire Me” page should then describe the services you provide and how you help your clients.
Then include your contact information or a link to your website’s “Contact” page. You can also mention any (online or print) publications you’ve written for, any awards won, and other accomplishments.
If you have a blog with monthly or weekly posts, be sure that your sharing these posts (or links to these posts) on your website’s Facebook page AND on your personal Facebook page.
Remember the family friend I mentioned earlier in this post? We were already Facebook friends before my family’s recent event. She contacted me on Facebook after seeing a link on my personal Facebook page to one of my blog posts.
6. Guest post for other blogs and websites.
Consider writing about your topic or industry for other blogs and websites.
Why? Because having a guest post on a popular website means that many readers (and potential paying clients) will see your writing.
Guest posting is also a great way to build your writing portfolio.
Plus, it can bring new readers to your own website or blog. Guest posting can also help build your email list, if you’re trying to get more readers to subscribe to your blog or website.
So, how do you find guest post opportunities? One way is to simply Google “[your topic/industry] + write for us”. For example, if you write about faith, you could do a Google search for “faith + write for us”.
Then, check out the guest post suggestions and guidelines for the websites that come up in your Google search and pitch your post idea to these sites.
Guest posting is a great way to build your writing portfolio. Click To Tweet
7. Check out job board ads for writers.
Looking at certain job boards is a great way to find quality, paid writing gigs.
But not all job boards are created equal. Skip freelance marketplace sites where you bid for potential work, like Upwork and Guru.
Instead, focus on job boards where entrepreneurs, companies, and other organizations post job ads, and you pitch and/or send samples of your work in response to these ads.
These job postings might ask for your rate, or the job posting might include a starting rate, or a payment range, for work.
Do This Now
Now, you’re ready to find your next freelance writing job! Here are a few steps you can take today to make this happen.
- Phone a friend. Call a friend and tell them that you’re looking for freelance writing work
- Update your Facebook page. Write a brief description of what kind of writing you do and that you’re for hire and add this to the intro section of your personal Facebook page. If you also have a Facebook page for your website or blog, make sure that page also clearly states that your writing services are for hire.
- Visit writing job board ads. Look at websites like Contena or Problogger. Apply for a posted writing job.
Please feel free to share any success stories about finding freelance writing jobs in the comments section. If you have questions for Maya, she’s here to give you the answers you need about freelance writing jobs and other writing issues!
Maya Spikes discovered her first steady writing job during a hairstyling appointment. She is a blogger, content writer and writing coach. Her mission is to inspire writers like you to find better writing gigs and write better content using traditional, new and quirky strategies. You can start and continue your own writing journey by downloading her free guide: 4 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Writer’s Block.