When I first started looking for freelance writing gigs, the lifestyle cast a daunting outlook initially. Why? Lots of jobs came up on searches on sites like Indeed and even on freelance sites like Peopleperhour. But, a big ‘but’ showed up – the competition and bidding wars.
I realised that I was finding authentic jobs but competing against lower paying freelancers all the time. Are you struggling to get your preferred writing rates accepted?
Be the writer who wants to be found. The answer is to approach finding work in a different way. Before I list my 7 ways to finding freelance writing gigs, here are the 7 usual methods:
1. Do a telecommuting search on Craigslist for writing jobs.
2. Go to elance or odesk and look for writing projects.
3. Check job sites like Monster and Reed for writing jobs.
4. Check daily on indeed.com for writer roles showing up.
5. Sign up to subscription sites like Freelanceswitch.
6. Blast untargeted emails at local firms whom you have never spoken to offering writing services for their blogs.
7. Tell yourself that will all do and to just wait…
See yourself in there, do you do these tasks each week? Now, that is how I once ran my daily hunt for gigs. And, yes, it does work – to an extent. The problem with the approach is
EVERYONE IS DOING IT
You become a statistic amongst a myriad of other statistics fighting for the prize so you can pay your bills and not lose your head – hope my Highlander plug worked.
You get me right? How many bids are there on those projects on Elance or Peopleperhour? Too many at the best of times for each project.
Now I am not saying stop doing the usual, but do not make it more than 50% of your time which should be used to PITCH for clients using my 7 methods.
I sell SEO copywriting services, and also write fiction under an alias name. I use similar techniques for finding freelance fiction work from a range of publishers. I can cover fiction separately for finding work. The tips here are for content writers wanting specific freelance writing gigs including SEO copywriting jobs, and blog writing jobs:
1. Look for firms possibly needing help as they handle large orders. SEO Copywriters can capture 100s of SEO agencies and Web Design agencies just off a Google search. Look for SEO firms actively seeking new recruits, those with Career pages. Connect with them via your twitter account, tell them why you followed. Look for design firms who are not offering content writing services and pitch them with your content services for their clients. Many agencies will have a lot of clients, you can get a windfall of work in no time. Many web design firms do not offer the content writing as well.
2. Use Topsy to look for questions on how to sell online. Many companies will be asking all kinds of questions on SEO and ranking on Google. The solution is content: for their blog and for their campaigns on PPC, press releases, articles, and social media. Offer tips, offer a free guide (just a quick 10 points in a PDF) on the benefits of content marketing. Try and be specific to the prospective client’s niche e.g. your fishing equipment site could be linked from a useful fishing tips blog I found at… Offer to guest post for those asking about content marketing and doing business online. Be useful and be friendly, not salesy. Don’t promote until a tip has been offered by you and they are thankful for the tip. Be active on social media and offer advice before your services.
3. Make use of searches on Google and the ability there to look for results in the last 24 hours. Type ‘freelance writing job’ and some variations, and select to search the last 24 hours from the search tools dropdown menus. This effectively gets you viewing ads as they are posted. And you can be first at the door, results can be pulled from any number of sites. One good searching phrase is simply ‘write for us’ in the box.
4. Start a Facebook and/or a LinkedIn group to talk about the benefits of freelance writing services for web sites. Make it useful, with tips on how to write content, how to optimise the content for Google, and mention your services and what you can do. But keep promotion of your services to a minimum amount as the idea is to get businesses in the group interested in your tips first. This can lead to long term clients if you are seen as an authority on content marketing.
5. Make use of business meeting events on social media and in your local community. LinkedIn plays host to a number of business events where 1000s of businesses meet and discuss their issues and all things marketing. At events, a freelance writer with content writing services can talk about the benefits of the service to prospective clients. Usually, events on LinkedIn and Facebook are named by specific city names and can be found easily.
6. Make use of forums to send visitors to your web site. Your homepage should be set up with a form to gather email addresses and your services benefits should be clear on the page – this should be done before any of the above. Find forums aimed at business and marketing, and niches you want to target where you can share tips. And not just on your content writing services. If you are writing for law firms, what forums visited by law firms could use a tip on the latest software helping lawyers stay organised, as an example. get it! You are being helpful, and people who help others get rewarded. While true to say that large numbers of writers market their writing services this way, the trick is to be the most trusted source of information. This means being the one who gives tips that resonate e.g. how to find traffic for your site, how to set up a Facebook page for business, how to write useful content able to keep your target audience reading your site.
7. Do not accept article orders paying just a few quid per article. Enough said, as that is pretty straightforward. Get valued for your time. You are better than $1 per article. Authentic jobs pay more than a few dollars and even at the outset of your career, up to $50 or more for 400 words.
Now, you have some different ways to go looking for freelance writing gigs, and long term work. So, all the best.