36 Beginner-Friendly Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (2022)
If you’re a copywriter, blogger, or any type of freelance writer who wants to earn a full-time or part-time income doing what you love, this definitive, A-to-Z guide will help you do just that.
1. Create a Writing Portfolio That Kicks Butt
Further Reading: How to Create a Writing Portfolio That’ll Wow Potential Clients walks you through everything you need to craft an online portfolio of your work, from portfolio sites like Contently to using your own blog. It also offers tips for building a list of writing samples if your portfolio is a bit sparse.
2. Supercharge Your Writing Skills
3. Ask for Testimonials
Did you ask the client to give you a testimonial? A few words declaring their undying love and/or satisfaction with your work (that you can use to help you land more writing clients)?
Most writers who do freelance work, either due to ignorance or fear, don’t ask for testimonials. Our own Jon Morrow says he’s only had a small handful of writers over the years ask him for a testimonial — even though he would’ve been perfectly happy to give one to them.
Karen offers everything I look for in a freelance writer: Her work is excellent, she finishes on time (if not ahead of schedule), and her attention to detail is wonderful. I enjoyed working with her so much that, as soon as her first article was completed, I asked her if she’d like to write for us again. I happily recommend her.
Note: You can count me among the poor, unfortunate souls who missed out on Jon’s generosity. Before becoming Smart Blogger’s Editor-in-Chief, I was a freelancer. I wrote five posts for Smart Blogger as a freelance writer, which means I passed on five opportunities for Jon to say nice things about me. Don’t repeat my mistakes — ask for testimonials at every opportunity.
4. Learn How to Craft a Killer Author Bio
5. Know How to Write a Pitch
The job seekers who are willing to do it have an edge. And the ones who are good at it — and I mean really freakin’ good at it — are never more than an email or two away from snagging a new writing job.
6. Learn the Legal Side of Freelancing
The legalities can seem so scary and daunting that many freelance writers choose to stick their heads in the sand and ignore them — or, worse, give up on their freelancing dreams rather than have to deal with any of it.
Making My Income with Freelance Writing
After college, I worked in the financial services industry as a licensed broker. I was proud of everything I had learned, the skills I had gained, and the license exams I had passed. So much time and effort had gone into my career.
Obviously, something had to change. After over a year of debate and discussion, I finally made the move to quit my job in July 2019. This was extremely difficult and had us worried about losing a paycheck, but we were determined to make it work.
During the last four years, John and I have been working on a business consulting side hustle that has made some traction. We acquired skills from a previous job that make us capable of helping growing businesses with marketing like Facebook ads, social media, web design, online retail and more.
My idea was to scale this business from our side hustle to my main hustle. How did I do it? I added freelance writing to our line of services. As a result, I picked up a client that needed an array of articles written every month along with our services. This one client sent me over the edge to replacing my income in only two months, and I look forward to scaling it moving forward.
It’s funny how things work themselves out. When I was little, I loved writing! I would write short stories in my free time and even got a few published in those children’s compilation books growing up. Now, I’m using years of finance training as a freelance writer. Mind = blown!
I couldn’t be more blessed that such a stressful time in our lives turned into a positive experience. Now, not only are we able to keep up our savings rate in pursuance of financial independence and early retirement (FIRE), but I am living the life I want. I have the flexibility of working from home and making my own schedule. Because John’s job is uber flexible, we are also now able to travel when and where we want.
Skills You Need To Be a Freelance Writer
The most important thing is that you are delivering the most value possible for your clients. However, there are a few skills that you will need in order to be a successful freelance writer.
Attention to Detail
Without strong attention to detail, you’ll miss simple spelling and grammar mistakes that could easily have been caught. This could be the difference between a returning client or a one-time job.
Grammar & Spelling Skills
Plugins like Grammarly can help to take your writing to the next level. However, you’ll need to have confidence in your grammar and spelling abilities to be a successful freelance writer. Even as a beginner, your clients will be looking for high-quality work every time.
Strong Research Aptitude
If you are an expert in a particular niche, writing articles may come effortlessly to you. However, others will not and you will need to complete research through reputable sources.
You need to be able to efficiently narrow down the best sources to make your articles as accurate and comprehensive as possible. Not to mention, you need to be able to utilize this new knowledge in a completely original way.
Ability to Adapt
As a freelance writer, you will want to make sure that you are self-motivated enough to get the job done and meet deadlines. This is even more important as a beginning freelance writer so that you can build up a dependable reputation and positive references.
Confidence to Sell Yourself
Make sure that your pitches highlight how your strengths would be beneficial to the project. Even as a beginner freelance writer, you should go over your prior experience and highlight what transferable skills you have.
Also, customize your pitch to fit the needs of the job you are applying for. If you show confidence that you can complete the project, your client will have confidence in you as well.
Bonus #21: Use a Job Search Website
1. Are Freelance Writing Jobs Legit?
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.
2. What Kinds of Freelance Writing Jobs are There?
3. What do Freelance Writing Jobs Pay?
4. Can Anyone do Freelance Writing?
5. Can You Make Money Freelance Writing?
6. How Does Freelance Writing Work?
- 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?
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 are 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 800,000.
9. Do You Have to Have a Degree to Be a Freelance Writer?
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.
10. How Much Should I Charge for a 500-Word Article?
Get Serious About Freelance Writing
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About The Author
Hi I’m Elna and I’m a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.
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Wow, Elna! Your article was highly informative with a touch of inspiring! I’ve wanted to try to get in on freelance writing, but have never really committed to the pursuit. I’m going to try out your ideas, and find myself some extra income while honing my verbal skills to a fine point. If you see this, is there any extra advice you have?Reply to Justus
Hi Justus, Thank you for your compliment! That’s great you want to try freelance writing! It’s a great side gig or for when you work from home! I hope these tips can help you land your first freelance writing job!Reply to Elna
Hello Elna, Good day. I am so happy to stumble into this post. I am one of your students in Ready Set Traffic and I just learned about freelance writing a month ago as I stumbled into a local mom group in my country. I got excited and thought of giving it a try to earn some money, while slowly growing my blog. I got my first client, but she only wants 2 articles per month, and the payment is low per article (40$), but I accepted thinking that it can help build my portfolio. But after writing, I felt that it was not worth it because it took me a very long time to finish the article because I was reading a lot of resources and included a lot of resources, too. Where can I find jobs that pay a bit higher? I would like to enroll in your writing course, but I can’t afford it at the moment. Hopefully, in the future, I can finally enroll.Reply to Julai
Hi Julai! Oh, I hope you enjoyed Ready Set Blog for Traffic over on my Twins Mommy blog! As for your question, in the beginning you might have to do a little work to inch your way to higher paying clients. A lot of it depends on your client and your writing skills. Typically though, starter rates are around $.10-.12/word. My course is called Write Your Way to Your First 800k https://writeto1k.com 🙂Reply to Elna
Hi! Thank you so much for this post! I have a question for you if you don’t mind. I am a college student and I have terrible anxiety, so I have been trying to find a way to make a nice income from home. Do you know if any of these sites (referring to number 6 with guest posts) allow complete beginners to submit articles and accept them? Do you know of any sites that let complete beginners guest post, have a good acceptance ratio, and pay well? I would really like to do this and make a good income, if possible. Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you! -ConorReply to Conor
Hi Conor, Thanks for taking the time to read my post on 20 ways to find freelance writing jobs. In theory yes if the complete beginner has some social profiles and perhaps a Medium profile. Some guest sites want to know you have written online content before and will ask for some sample work. Medium is a fine platform to link to. They also may ask for you to link your social profiles too. But not all guest posting sites are like this! So do your research and try! The #6 option you are referring to is not a paid option. There are paid options for sure but the free ones are quicker to get your writing up and published and it can help build your portfolio as a brand new freelance writer.Reply to Elna
Elna, Thank you so much for your reply! I’ve been watching some of your YouTube videos and I found one talking about sites that post jobs. Is it common to find job postings on this site that are friendly to complete beginners? Do you think that is the best way for a brand new freelance writer to start making a good income quickly?Reply to Conor
Hey Conor, thank you Elna for a wonderful post it has been most helpful. I am starting out as a freelance writer hopefully, I was and still am very introverted sometimes. I thought that this made me want to be a writer, so I could survive in seclusion but I am starting to see that it is much more than that! I have no authority speaking on writing especially on how to make money doing it but there is something I would love to share Do not do a job just because of your anxiety, never let fear be the deciding factor for anything in your life! Please try and find a way to deal with this first, there are so many proven methods, have a deeper look at your own religion, study martial arts or even start an improv class Don’t let this control youReply to Shawn