Freelance writing jobs for beginners [17 proven tactics to get started]

Freelance writing jobs for beginners [17 proven tactics to get started]

Are you interested in working from home and becoming a freelance writer?

If you read to the end, you will learn

How do I become a content writer with no experience?

I know when I first started, I was obsessed with landing my first client. I had no clue what I was doing; I was a stay-at-home, who decided to leap into freelance writing full-force…well, part-time full force…from scratch.

So, you know what I ended up doing? I stalked other freelance writers. I went to their websites, looked at where they were writing, read blog post after blog post, made a ton of mistakes along the way, but eventually found how to attract high-paying clients.

But, you don’t have to do that. I’ve found 17 ways a beginner can land freelance writing work. And good writing work too! I’ll go through each of them in detail for you today!

If you’re just thinking about freelance writing, bookmark this post and come back to it when you’re ready to take action.

freelance writing jobs for beginners

Freelance Writing Jobs – 17 Simple Ways to Get Started

Just to let you know, these 17 ways to find freelance writing jobs are the seventeen ways I tested and used when I first started out as a freelance writer.

So they are proven tactics for newbies with no experience who want to become a freelance writer and land some writing jobs online.

1. Start Cold Pitching

cold-pitch

Do you know cold pitching is a great way to land recurring gigs? There’s much less competition and you’ll have a better chance at landing a gig when you contact clients directly.

What is cold pitching?

It’s when you contact bloggers, entrepreneurs, companies, small businesses, or startups and let them know how you – a freelance writer – can help grow their business.

Yes, I know, it sounds hard (and scary) doesn’t it? Especially if you’re brand new to freelance writing. But, you know what? It’s totally easy to do.

First, you need to locate businesses to cold pitch to. Maybe you noticed they don’t have a blog – but should. Or, on Twitter, you see they are trying to grow their online presence and you think your content can help with that.

Once you locate these places, all you have to do is draft up a cold pitch and send it off to the right person! This can be the hardest step and takes the longest but in the end, you’ll have a list of businesses and contact information to pitch to.

In your pitch make sure to include these:

  • How you found out about them
  • Who you are
  • How you can help them
Use the pitching Formular.

2. Pitch to a Job Board Ad

job-boards

If you’re new to freelance writing and you want to find quality jobs, responding to job ads is your best bet. It’s also the main way many new writers use for finding consistent work.

And it’s something I will encourage you to keep doing as a new freelance writer.

A bonus to using job boards over a freelance marketplace like Oziconnect, you can get a freelance writing job fast without much competition.

Entrepreneurs, small businesses, and start-ups post job ads to freelance writing job boards and you pitch to these ads.

Sometimes you are asked to give your rate; other times the job ad specifies a starting rate for content.

While there are paid job boards you can use, I would suggest you first start using free job boards.

3. Follow Tweets From Job Boards

follow-me

Did you know social media can be a goldmine for landing gigs? I didn’t know either until it happened to me several times. Twitter is a great place to find freelance writing jobs quickly and it’s a great way to build relationships with potential clients.

And by following certain freelance writing job boards you won’t be hard-pressed trying to land a gig during a dry spell. For example, I found this tweet recently:

tweet-job

In fact,

this method has driven more points to get more freelance writing jobs fast.

4. Ask Friends, Family, and Work

Okay, this may be a no-brainer, but you never know until you ask! Right? Before you make your leap into freelance writing, let your friends and family know.

Doing this can help secure your first samples as a new writer. Your friend or family member may need you to edit their résumé or just write an ad for their small business online shop.

When you decide to quit your 9-5 job to do freelance writing full-time, let your work and coworkers know. They may end up being your first client and can provide you with your first testimonial!

It’s also important to be ready at all times for potential writing gigs in your day-to-day life. This means creating business cards that you can quickly give to friends and family.

5 Use Your Website

your-website

The best way to attract high-paying clients is to have a professional-looking website. But, if you are just starting out, this may not be an option for you right off.

Maybe you have a personal blog that you’ve built during your spare time. You can definitely use your site to offer your freelance writing services…in the beginning.

Eventually, though, to really ramp up your business you’ll want to invest in a self-hosted WordPress site and create a professional-looking writer website.

Examples;

kate-website

 

raymonda-site

 

rali-site

 

 

6. Guest Post (For Free!)

guest-post

What? How can writing for free pay off?

The quickest answer is that when you guest post on popular sites hundreds and thousands of people will see your writing.

And you can bet one of those viewers is a potential client. For me, this is how I was able to first build my portfolio and eventually land more clients.

Pitching to job ads is great, but if you don’t have a good set of samples – especially from pieces published on other people’s sites – it will be hard to land a quality client, but not impossible.

I didn’t have any published articles or samples when I landed my first quality writing gig, so it can happen, but it’s difficult.

So, where do you guest post? It’s up to you. You can do a quick Google search, “niche + write for us” and see what happens.

7. Network With Other Freelance Writers

network

You know, the best thing you can do for your new freelance writing biz is to network with other writers. Remember, we are all in this together and it isn’t a competition!

 

8. Start Warm Pitching

warmp-pitch

Hold up! Didn’t I start this post by telling you to cold pitch and now I want you to start warm pitching. What gives?

Well, to maximize your chances at landing a quality writing gig, you need to work both ends – indirect and direct approaches.

While cold pitching is a direct way to land work, warm pitching, on the other hand, is a more indirect and slower way. It all centers around creating relationships with brands and businesses.

 

9. Say You’re For Hire

for-hire

How easy is this? If you have a social media profile – which you should! – advertise that you’re for hire. It seems obvious but many new freelance writers don’t state whether or not they are for hire.

Prospects won’t know if you have time to take on more clients so when you tell them you are for hire, it just makes it easier for them to consider you.

10 Visit Local Printing and Design Companies

local-biz

Another great way to land consistent work is to contact your local printing and web design companies. Sure, you can go to your business district and let the local dentist or local pet shop owner know that you’re a writer for hire, but this takes a lot of time out of your day.

A quick way around this is to visit only web design companies and let them know there’s a writer available. These businesses have a full roster of clients that need web content.

 

11 Pitch Your Story

pitch-story

For many print journalists and writers, when they decide to go online and freelance, they stick to writing for publications and selling their stories.

While this can be extremely lucrative (for publication you can get upwards of $1 or more per word), it’s highly inconsistent and it takes months to get paid.

But, it’s still a great option for writers.

Many sites pay for your story too! Do a Google search for “publication pay submission” or “magazine pay submission” for ideas. Generally, you have to cold pitch your story idea first and then pitch each additional time for subsequent stories.

12 Join Facebook Groups

groups

There is a lot of potential for writing gigs and online jobs on Facebook. If you know the groups to join then you should have no problem finding consistent work.

But, this approach does take time as you are building relationships with potential leads. For me, I belong to several entrepreneurial Facebook groups and I do my best to join in on the conversation.

I might also throw out a question to see if there are entrepreneurs that need help and are overworked.

For example, I might ask, “What’s the one thing you wish was easier in your business?” From here I’ll take a look at people’s answers and if the content is mentioned, I’ll respond with a, “if you ever need some writing, I’m your guy!”

Some Facebook groups to join are:

It never hurts cto give it a try and put yourself out there! Many entrepreneurs aren’t aware of job boards or just don’t have the time to sift through hundreds of pitches.

If you put yourself out there in a Facebook group, you could very well end up with a gig that hour.

13 Ask for a Referral

get-referral

Okay, this way means you have to have a client already, so if you don’t, then this may not be a good way for you.

However, if you’ve landed a few clients, this would be a great time to ask for a referral. I know, it can be scary! It was for me when I first started, but then I thought, the worst they can say is no or they can’t.

You can email a client and ask, or use social media like I have done in the past:

 

14. Pitch to Sites That Pay Writers

sites-pay

Besides publications and magazines, there are hundreds of blogs that pay for your guest post.

What? Why did I tell you earlier to guest post for free when you can get paid to guest post?

Landing a paid guest spot is a bit more challenging than landing a free guest spot. So, while you’re building your portfolio with guest posts, you can also pitch to job ads and paid guest blogs to earn some cash.

To get started, check out this post on 30 Sites that Pay Up to $700 a Post. You can also go on Pinterest or search in Google for blogs that pay for guest posts.

Personally, I never used this approach only because it’s a one-off gig. You write the piece, pitch, wait to see if it’s approved, then get paid a few weeks later. Then you do it all over again.

I’d rather pitch to guest posts for free while pitching to job boards and landing recurring gigs for more consistent pay.

15. LinkedIn Jobs

linkedin

Did you know LinkedIn has a job board? I never did until recently. I have no idea why because I do spend a considerable amount of time networking on LinkedIn.

Go to their job board and all you do is put in your job (“writer”) and see what pops up.

linkedin-jobs

From here you can decide how you want to approach these businesses – use a warm pitch or a cold pitch. If you have the time to invest in building a relationship and you have clients already, I would use a warm pitch approach. But, if you are itching to land work now, go ahead and add these places to your list to cold pitch.

Guess what? There’s another way you can use LinkedIn to find more freelance writing jobs? Want to know what it is? It’s using your header image for your profile! Check out this video to see exactly what I mean (and subscribe to my YouTube channel when you have a chance!)

16. Reddit

reddit

Reddit is another social media site where you can find potential writing gigs and post that you are a writer looking for gigs.

And don’t think you’ll only find low-paying gigs on Reddit. I recently saw this on their subreddit /r/HireAWriter.

reddit

Other subreddits to pay attention to:

  • /r/ForHire – a place for companies and entrepreneurs who are hiring. This isn’t specific to freelance writing so you’ll have to sort through the postings. You can also advertise your services in this subreddit.
  • /r/WritingOpportunities – is where you can find publications that pay writers for submissions.

17. “Wow” Your Clients and Make More Money!

wow

If you can free up time for your clients or make them more money with your content, you’ll probably make more money too.

How?

See this below

“Well, one of my clients asked me to write for several of his other blogs not because I produce the best content, but because I also format my content for easy uploading and readability, I provide the most up-to-date stats and facts in my posts and I’m easy to work with!”

I have clients telling me all the time that I’m their go-to writer. Because of this, I don’t have to pitch every day; if I wow my clients, they’ll give me more projects.

Common Freelance Writing Jobs Questions

Still unsure if freelance writing or landing a freelance writing job is for you? Check out these common questions and answers about freelance writing and online jobs to help you decide!

1. Are Freelance Writing Jobs Legit?

I’m not going to lie here – but, there are job scams out there as well as sucky clients.

Common red flags to look out for include a job ad wanting bulk writing projects or want you to write like an influencer or popular person in the industry.

  • These types of freelance writing jobs don’t pay well and the client doesn’t value your worth as a writer. They see you as a commodity instead of a value perspective.
  • Another red flag that an online writing job is a scam is if they want you to write a free sample.
  • This can be their way of gathering unique content for free. If a job ad asks for a unique sample (not one you already have), ensure they pay for it or you write one that is under 500 words.

But, overall, the majority of writing jobs out there are legit! In all the years of freelance writing, I’ve never run into a scam or client that never paid.

2. What Kinds of Freelance Writing Jobs are There?

There are many types of writing jobs out there and that is a good thing for you!

Some popular types of freelance writing jobs are:

  • Ghostwriting – these types of writing jobs are credited to another person. These can prove to be highly lucrative writing gigs.
  • Blogging jobs – blogging jobs are the easiest and most recurring type of writing job there is.
  • Copywriting jobs – write sales pages, landing page copy, or a company’s next marketing campaign.

3. What do Freelance Writing Jobs Pay?

Freelance writing jobs are so varied in the type of work that’s being asked, so the pay for article writing varies drastically.

Typical blogging gigs run anywhere from $50-$1,000 a post.

Email writing jobs average a few hundred per email.

Ghostwriting an eBook can start at $15,000.

The higher the rate, the more established you are to command that type of freelance rate.

4 Can Anyone do Freelance Writing?

I believe most people can be freelance writers. Of course, if you hate writing or you struggle with writing, then freelance writing isn’t for you.

But, if you’ve always enjoyed writing, are creative, and are able to work on your own and be your own boss, then you can definitely be a freelance writer.

5. Can You Make Money Freelance Writing?

Yes! you can make a lot of money within months of starting and after years of doing this.

6. How Does Freelance Writing Work?

Typically the process of landing your first freelance writing job goes like this:

  • You pitch to a job ad
  • The marketer responsible emails you back and asks for more information (like your rate and if you two could chat)
  • You negotiate a good rate for yourself and either accept the gig or give them a service agreement (some writers also ask for half their pay upfront for each project).
  • You’re given a deadline and either a topic idea (or one you have to come up with) and you get writing!
  • When done you proofread it, use an editing tool like Grammarly, proofread it a bunch of times, properly format it and send it off (or upload your piece to your client’s WordPress website).
  • You email your client that you submitted your piece and ask for feedback and let them know you will invoice them.
  • You invoice them and get paid!

7. Who Pays for Freelance Writing?

Many types of businesses and people hire freelance writers.

The most common are small business owners and big brands.

My main type of client is a small business person or solopreneur. Many of my clients own multiple sites as well.

Some freelance writers only work with coaches, while others only work with credit card companies or brands.

8. What are the Highest Paying Jobs For Someone Who Loves Writing?

If you’re interested in freelance writing jobs online, the highest-paid writing is ones that are specialized forms of writing or need specialized skills to write on those topics.

For example, copywriting is a high-paying freelance writing job, but you have to learn the art of selling and write compelling, but also, conversational writing for businesses. Companies hire copywriters to write landing pages, email funnels, sales pages, brochures, press releases, and more.

But, you can learn how to write specialized forms of writing and you know what? I can help you with that on my blog. Here are some beginner posts on how to write white papers, case studies, and press releases. All of these freelance writing jobs are high paying and can start at $1,000.

9. Do You Have to Have a Degree to Be a Freelance Writer?

Nope.

I know college students who are already freelance writing as well as adults with only a high school diploma as successful freelance writers.

Look –

Businesses hire writers because THEY can’t write.

They don’t know how to write effective copy to connect with their audience. So they hire a freelance writer – you – as the expert.

And, being an expert in something doesn’t mean you have to have a degree in it! With new titles like Youtuber or Influencer, there are plenty of ways to have a side hustle without having to have a degree.

Get Serious About Freelance Writing

I just showed you 17 legit ways to find freelance writing jobs. Not just any jobs, good-paying jobs.

Are you ready to take action and kick some butt?

If you enjoyed this post and found it super helpful, please make sure to Pin it! 🙂

Over to you – tell me which ways you’re going to start finding freelance writing jobs?

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