Are you wondering what are the fastest and easiest ways to start getting freelance writing jobs for beginners or even professionals?
In this article, we’ll go over the best ways for new writers to get started earning a real income by freelance writing. We’ll also talk about how existing freelance writers can grow their writing businesses by thinking outside the box.
But first, let’s talk for just a minute about why freelance writing is a great side-hustle in 2022. I’ll also share how I got started and worked my way up to making over $40,000 as a freelance writer while working part-time while traveling the world.
Table of Contents
- My life before freelance writing
- Freelance writing in 2022
- How to get writing jobs #1 – Upwork.com
- How to get writing jobs #2 – iWriter.com
- How to get writing jobs #3 – Cold pitch businesses
- How to get writing jobs #4 – Network with everyone you meet
- How to get writing jobs #5 – Create your own professional writing website
- How to get writing jobs #6 – WriteJobs.info
- How to get writing jobs #7 – Follow job board tweets
- How to get writing jobs #8 – Answer questions on Quora and Reddit
- How to get writing jobs #9 – Visit local businesses
- How to get writing jobs #10 – Guest post on blogs
- Places to avoid as a freelance writer:
My life before freelance writing
A few years ago I was in a real slump. I was depressed about my career and had gone back to college but wasn’t happy or clear about the direction my life was going.
I knew I had to make a change, and I was looking into many different possible career paths that might be the winning answer for me.
I thought I might start an online business, so I learned everything I could about e-commerce, and then I actually launched a mildly successful online dropshipping store selling electronic gadgets.
I sold over $12,000 worth of gear in just my first 3 months…
But, it wasn’t that simple. After learning the hard way about running a real-life online store – like dealing with credit card fraud which caused my bank account to be negative $5,000 for almost 2 weeks, or dealing with a Chinese supplier who around Christmas time increased their average shipping time from 3 days to 30 days without warning me in advance… Let’s just say the real world of e-commerce and dropshipping wasn’t quite as rosy as it’s often depicted.
Learning to code
So, then I thought I would change my focus and go after the coding/programming route.
I invested in some more online courses, books, and just dove headfirst into learning all I could about the topic. And, I practiced what I learned. I started building websites and bits of code that could perform useful functions.
But, the more I thought about it… The more I felt that coding, although a truly great career path for many people, wasn’t what I wanted to be doing for 8 hours each and every day.
Writing code was mentally stimulating to me, and I knew it could be used to create amazing websites, software, and more, but my heart just wasn’t 100% into it.
And, so I kept searching.
The crystallizing moment
Eventually, I kept hearing more and more about becoming a digital nomad and also about this concept of freelance writing.
And, so, the two ideas merged into one. Become a freelance writer and travel the world.
And, that’s what I did!
Long story short, I’ve now been earning my living as a freelance writer while traveling to over 11 countries and counting. I work when and where I want, and typically don’t work more than 25 hours a week. I set my own rates and don’t take on clients or jobs unless I want to. It’s truly been awesome!
But, enough about me. Let’s talk about how this can help you.
Freelance writing in 2022
Freelancing is the future.
I take that back. Freelancing is the NOW!
The economy has changed and many people are now choosing to freelance. This is either as a side hustle or to fully replace their jobs and become their own bosses.
And freelance writing is one of the very best ways to earn a living as a freelancer.
This is because the internet has revolutionized:
– how the economy works
– how businesses market their products and services
– how people buy stuff
– how people are entertained
– and, so on…
And, because of Google and other search engines, the way that all these different businesses, stores, and content, in general, get found is through words typed onto electronic pages. And, those pages full of writing get ranked and shown to end-users, like you and me.
Writing is what moves business on the internet. And, that was just kind of one aspect of why writing is so important. There are countless others!!
Let’s just get to the list then. You’ve made it through my very long introduction! And, I thank you for that! 😉
Here are the fastest ways to get freelancing jobs for beginners and professionals alike.
How to get writing jobs #1 – Upwork.com
Upwork has been my #1 pick for getting started with working online and making a real living off of freelance writing. I started Upwork in 2016 and while it was a bit of a struggle at first, it just got better and better as my experience and profile grew.
When I just started on the platform I took whatever low-hanging jobs I could find. Something for $5 here, something else for $10 there. I did what I could to build up my ratings and references on the platform. Fast forward a couple of months and I was earning enough money to sustain myself while I traveled and lived as a digital nomad in Mexico and South America.
I kept finding better jobs and raising the rate that I would work for and things kept getting better. I was now earning as much as I needed and could turn down most of the offers sent my way. I only worked about 20 hours a week but still earned $1500 per month or more, which was more than enough to live comfortably in the countries I was in.
Achieving success on Upwork doesn’t have to be that difficult. Start small and work to build up your ratings, your portfolio, and your expertise. Many people have awful things to say about Upwork – that there are only low-paying shitty jobs on the platform. And, while I agree that those definitely do exist, there also plenty of very high paying gigs to be found. But, you have to market yourself properly.
Don’t believe me? Just browse the site for other writers and see all the freelancers charging $50-$100 an hour who’ve earned $50-$100k, or more in the past couple years from writing…
How to get writing jobs #2 – iWriter.com
iWriter.com has a reputation in the website building community for being the #1 place to get quality content quickly and for a fair price. The reason being is that iWriter has different levels of writing skills available to hire for writing assignments.
The way this works for writers is that after you sign up, you start as a Standard writer, which doesn’t pay that much. But, by turning in great writing on a consistent basis, you move up the ranks until you get to be an Elite Plus writer.
This is when you can start earning much more per article or content piece. You may also then get more repeat work by clients. This consistent work makes your life easier and helps you earn that much more.
How to get writing jobs #3 – Cold pitch businesses
Cold pitching businesses is a great way to land great writing jobs. The way this works is that you, as a professional writer, will research real businesses that exist in a certain market, or multiple markets, and then after finding their contact email address, will send them a pitch to write great content for their business.
Many people fear this method of getting business because it involves stepping out of their comfort zone. People are afraid of putting themselves out there and dealing with actual clients on their own. And, I understand that this can seem a little daunting at first. But, if you can get over your fears, you’ll be able to take greater control over your writing income by getting more work and charging a premium for it.
To really succeed at cold pitching, you’ll need some basic understanding when it comes to writing a good sales pitch, or proposal. You’ll also strongly benefit from having a professional writing website set up and optimized to convert those business leads into paying customers. I talk about how to set up your own professional writing website in this article.
How to get writing jobs #4 – Network with everyone you meet
As a professional writer or someone who is moving toward becoming one, you will benefit from networking. Just as professionals from every discipline on earth network in order to grow their business, you will benefit from networking to grow your writing business.
What is networking? It’s just talking to people and letting them know that you are a writer and you’re accepting new clients.
We may have all known someone who was a real estate agent, or similar profession, and this person always made it known to everyone that they were in that line of work. It may have seemed somewhat awkward or annoying at times, but I guarantee that the agent found more business than other agents who kept to themselves and were more private about their profession.
Why? It’s simple, real estate professionals find work by networking with everyone they meet. Everyone needs a home, or they know of someone who does or will at some time. And, so the agent increases their list of clients by spreading the word about their business, far and wide.
And, as a writer, you should do this too. Let your network of family, friends, colleagues, associates, and strangers know that you’re a freelance writer who writes compelling content for businesses (or whatever your writing niche is).
You never know who may need new website copy, or SEO writing, or any number of other writing services performed.
How to get writing jobs #5 – Create your own professional writing website
Having your own professional writing website is crucial to climbing the ranks as a professional freelance writer. Especially, if you want to cold pitch to businesses or websites, but really for many reasons.
Having a professional website to either display your writing portfolio or to market yourself as your own writing business, can help you gain customers and charge higher rates, as well.
If you cold email a business with an offer to write content for them but then they click your link to your website and it’s a crappy free website that looks like it was made in 10 minutes while eating some pizza and watching Ellen…
My point is to get a proper website and learn how to make it look professional. Include some references from past clients and a call to action that leads them to purchase your services.
Even if you’re just using job boards like Upwork or iWriter, it’s better to have a professional writing portfolio to send prospective clients to. That’s one of the reasons I’ve done well with Upwork. I’ve come across as a professional.
How to get writing jobs #6 – WriteJobs.info
I wasn’t very familiar with WriteJobs.info until recently, but it looks like a great source of all sorts of writing jobs. There doesn’t seem to be a catch or trick to this site – just writing job listings and links directly back to the companies doing the hiring.
To be honest, this website looks as old as dirt. But I’ll be trying it out and will report back on my experience here.
If you’ve used WriteJobs.info and have anything to share, please leave something in the comments below!
How to get writing jobs #7 – Follow job board tweets
Following the tweets of job boards such as @write_jobs is a great way to stay on top of new writing gigs as they’re posted. Follow a number of job boards and quickly apply for new job posts that appeal to you.
I haven’t always been a big user of Twitter, but this is a compelling reason to use the platform on a regular basis.
How to get writing jobs #8 – Answer questions on Quora and Reddit
Some time ago, I posted a few answers to questions on Quora, not even to try and promote myself, but just because I was kind of bored and it seemed fun. Well, wouldn’t you know, I started getting the occasional email asking if I’m available to help someone with their business needs. I wasn’t even trying(i) to get work and it was coming my way!
So, as a freelance writer, you should find questions that relate to business or writing and provide answers that are super helpful and make people view you as an authority in that topic. End your post with a subtle hint to check out your writing website. You may just start getting new work from your efforts.
How to get writing jobs #9 – Visit local businesses
Local shops and businesses are just like businesses elsewhere: they can all benefit from having professional and compelling writing.
All businesses need customers and you can help local businesses increase their reach by writing blog content for them. Or, they may have a poorly constructed and written website that can be totally improved with some great new copy.
Either way, find some time to go around to a number of local businesses. Stop in, introduce yourself and hand them a card or flyer advertising your writing business. You’d be surprised at how responsive they may be to hiring you.
*As a side note, small businesses may be especially apt to consider bartering for your writing services. So, if you fancy a certain bakery or another local shop, perhaps you’d be willing to do some writing in exchange for free pastries for a month or two. It’s up to you, though.
How to get writing jobs #10 – Guest post on blogs
Guest posting on blogs is a great way to get your name out there and build your writing portfolio at the same time.
Even though you may not be getting paid for this, you can benefit in the short and long-term.
In the short-term, you will be getting your name out there as a writer who knows their stuff about topic “X”. People may find you and hire you based off of that.
In the long-term, all that exposure will continue to be out there for likely many years. And, all those guest posts can feature a link back to your website in the signature section.
As an example, you can end your article with something like: “John (or Jane) A. Writer loves to garden and write about great recipes. He/she can be reached at xyz.com (link to your site).”
Quality backlinks are, of course, great for your website’s domain authority and ranking in search.
Well, there you have my TOP recommendations for the fast ways to get freelance writing jobs as a beginner or professional writer.
I’m going to leave you with some more places to look for writing jobs, and some places to avoid when looking for work as a writer.
More places to find freelance writing jobs:
Places to avoid as a freelance writer:
I strongly urge you to avoid caution around websites like Contena.com if you’re a new freelance writer. Contena sells expensive memberships in exchange for receiving exclusive coaching and secret job listings.
If you want to read an insightful review on why the only people online saying good things about Contena are affiliates for that company (i.e. they get paid if you sign up), check out this brilliant Contena review.
By the way, the founder of Contena seems to have a reputation for threatening to sue anyone who posts a negative review of his company. Therefore, take my advice as just that – my personal opinion. I haven’t tried using Contena because there are just far too many red flags for me.
I hope you found this article to be helpful! Whether you’re a veteran writer, a newbie, or anywhere in between, it helps to expand your job-finding efforts in order to increase your income and financial security. Please leave a comment below if you’ve had success or failure with these methods, or if you have suggestions for the list!
Best wishes in your writing business!