If you’ve decided to become a freelance writer, you want to get paid for your efforts.
Unfortunately, too many writers feel, or get told, that they have to pay their dues. That means work for free or churn out five articles per hour for content mills to make ends meet. I remember doing it, and it did me no favors.
The good news is that you don’t have to write for free forever, nor do you need to slave away at content mills.
While there’s nothing wrong with writing for free if you (a) enjoy it, or (b) want quick experience, it’s not viable if you have bills to pay or a family to support.
Too many writers feel they have to pay their dues.
Fortunately, there are lots of paying markets out there. The key is finding them, approaching them with salable ideas, and getting paid for your efforts.
Start With a Google Search
You can’t forget about Google if you want to find paying markets.
Just by entering ‘write for + pay’ in the search box, you get over 482 million results. Concentrate on just the first page and you’ll find articles that range from ’20 Sites To Get Paid For Writing and Blogging’, ‘140 Websites That Pay Writers in 2014’ and ’38 Websites and Blogs That Pay Writers $100 per Article’.
It’s a land mine of sites that are willing to pay you for the right idea and a well written article or blog post.
If you have a niche, you can get specific about the jobs you want to find. If you’re interested in writing about travel, just type in ‘travel + write for + pay’ or ‘health & fitness + write for + pay’. You get the idea. Whatever your niche, you can find markets that pay just by using a quick Google search and narrowing it with search operators.
These types of posts, however, are guest posts and usually are a one-time gig. However, if the site finds your content useful and does well on their site, they may consider hiring you for regular content.
Sign Up for an Online Workplace
Freelance writing is a location independent workplace.
It means that you can live in Taiwan and work for someone in England. You can be on vacation in Perth, Australia and completing an article for a magazine in Dubai.
UpWork (formerly oDesk) is one such place where you can find freelance work.
It’s a workplace of 9 million registered freelancers with 3 million jobs posted annually with over 1 billion worth of work getting done every year. Not all jobs are aimed at freelance writers, however, but there are still a lot of opportunity to bid for jobs and start making some money.
Freelancer.com is another option for pay freelance writing work. They have over 15 million users worldwide. Start small and slowly build up experience by bidding on jobs that match up with your talents and experience.
The truth, however, about these online workplaces are:
- The competition is fierce. Many freelance writers bid on projects.
- The compensation is real low. Since there are many writers to choose from, companies and entrepreneurs don’t value writing and end up budgeting pennies for content.
- Many of these clients won’t look good on your portfolio – if you want to attract high-paying clients.
That being said, some freelancers make these sites work for them with the right formula.
Respond to Job Ads
If you’re not interested in freelance marketplaces, another option to connect with clients is through freelance job boards. Unlike sites like UpWork, there’s no bidding on jobs, so you’re not met with a race-to-the-bottom approach. Plus, you work with the client outside the site, so the marketplace isn’t taking a cut of your pay.
Just some places to find freelance writing job listings include:
- Problogger Job Board
- All Indie Writers Job Board
- Blogging Pro Job Board
- Journalism Jobs
- Freelance Writing
- Media Bistro
- Freelance Job Openings
You don’t generally need a resume for freelance job listings like you do with a typical employee position. However, it’s a good idea to have a portfolio or website set up to direct potential clients to when responding to their ad.
Start Cold Calling
Freelance writing comes in different shapes and sizes:
- Business writing
- Articles for consumer magazines
- Informative pieces for trade magazines
- Copy writing for multinational companies
- Penning travel pieces for your local newspaper.
There’s nothing wrong with picking up your favorite publication, finding the appropriate editor on the masthead, and sending off a query with the amazing and specifically targeted idea.
If you don’t have an idea or prefer not to send any off until you are sure they accept freelancers and unsolicited ideas, you can send off a query asking about their writer’s guidelines and if they pay.
Freelance writing comes in different shapes and sizes.
If you’re interested in content marketing or copywriting, you can approach the businesses that you’d like to work with.
Think about your specialty skills and what you can offer with your experience and knowledge. If you spent the last decade working in finance, you might be just the person to write copy for a financial planning business.
Do you have a love of health and fitness? Why not try you hand at writing for a gym website or offering to blog for a company that sells fitness equipment?
Freelancing is becoming more popular and more accepted around the globe. There are a lot more people who are making a living from home, putting words to paper, which means competitions is fierce. There are a lot of writers around, but with the right idea and a good dose of perseverance, you will find the markets that are willing to pay you for your work.
Where will you start your freelance writing journey?