So many people I know are trying to break into the freelance job market either as writers, bloggers, or web content contributors. First, let me tell you, I wish you the best of luck– honestly I do. The more quality writers we have in the market, the better the work is, and the more money we can collectively demand.
That being said– the market is fiercely competitive, and finding and landing good clients is extremely hard. Part of the problem is that there are so many sites out there that sound so good- but in reality are a waste of time. As a freelancer, the first rule is to realize that time is money. If you’re spending more time getting the jobs, than working on the jobs– or worse yet working on dozens of low pay/no pay jobs to get exposure, your career as a freelancer will be very short lived indeed.
So with that in mind, here are a few of my absolute favorite sources for freelance work on the web. Keep in mind, no job is guaranteed, and you’re competing with sometimes thousands of other applicants– so make your pitch count.
Are you surprised? Don’t be. Besides being one of the most extensive online markets for classified ads, Craig’s List is also a fantastic freelance market. Right now approximately 40%– that’s right, nearly half of my new clients come from Craig’s List. There are pitfalls, of course- there is very little effective policing of posts, and there are plenty of scammers. So, keep the old adage in mind of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” and ALWAYS– I repeat ALWAYS insist on a contract and an up front good faith deposit. My standard is 10% of the total cost of the project.
If you’re interested in blogging for money, this is one site that just might fit your needs. Basically, this is a help wanted board connecting bloggers and the people who want them to write for them. It’s well maintained, and the pay per blog post is much closer to the industry standard of between $40-$150 per post. Keep in mind though that if you go for some of the jobs on this board that all your ducks are lined up and you are extremely professional. Do not try to fake your way into a being a blog contributor on this site. You’ll not only get eaten alive, but there are plenty of qualified people waiting in the wings to take your place. However, if you do land a job off this board, chances are you’ll have a regular client for some time to come.
Remember me saying that time is money? And that the more time you spend looking for jobs, the less time you spend actually doing them? Well, this site is one of the best out there at finding potential jobs, gathering them together and putting them in an easy to use format. It’s a veteran of the online market being around since 1997. Plus- and this is only my experience- every single job that I have landed from this site has been legit. How’s that for a track record?
If you’re a writer, and a freelancer, and you don’t sign up for the Funds for Writers email newsletter you are shooting yourself in the foot. There, I said it. This e-newsletter is vetted and put out by one of the most respected mavens of freelance writing in the market today. It is full of well-paying, legitimate opportunities from various markets- including magazines, journals, anthologies, contests, and even the occasional writer-in-residence. Not only that but this site/newsletter offers a lot of practical advice, tips and tricks that anyone- veteran or novice can use.
This is another one of those job aggregator blogs/sites that are designed to make your life as a freelance writer easier. Each Monday they list a number of decent paying jobs that you can apply for. Remember that it’s you who is applying- so be sure to check out each potential job with a critical eye.
If you’re looking to break into journalism on a freelance basis, but you don’t quite know where to look, here is a great place to start. Designed for professional freelance journalists, this site is a great place to land– or pitch that next great newspaper or magazine article. Remember that the clients on this site are looking for professionals with the right attitude and sometimes background, so apply accordingly.
Looking for a site that has nearly everything? This site might just be what you need. Over 2,500 markets, advice, tools, and resources for non-writer’s included, and a membership at $25/year it’s an investment well worth the price. Oh, and they also have a free newsletter that is simply filled with good information and opportunities to whet your freelance appetite.
Friends, Family, People On the Street, Your Current Clients
No, this isn’t a website or an email letter- but it’s still a fantastic resource for new freelance work. As a freelancer, you need to put yourself out there, giving yourself the chance to discover new opportunities. Talk with your friends, family and current clients. Let them know that you’re looking for work. If you can, also consider floating them a percentage of your first job as a finder’s fee–maybe 5%. It’s a great way to encourage them and reward them for keeping you in mind when opportunity strikes.
So get out there, keep writing, and make a difference!
© 2014 – 2017, Laura Seeber. All rights reserved.