Leaving Work Behind

Entry Level Writing Jobs — 5 Top Resources

Written by Tom Ewer on February 24, 2012. 29 Comments

Entry Level Writing Jobs

A reasonable proportion of the people who contact me are interested in freelance writing. And by far the most common question I get asked by those people is, “How do I find work?”

More specifically, people are often looking for entry level writing jobs. I always get excited by the prospect of showing someone how they can find clients and start earning money, as I firmly believe freelance writing to be a wonderful way of making a living online. As friends of mine such as Ruth Zive, Amy Harrison and Ali Luke have demonstrated, freelance writing can become a lucrative and successful career path.

Psychologically speaking, the first step is the hardest. Getting your foot on the ladder and securing your first client can seem like a hefty challenge. But it really isn’t. The barriers of entry to freelance writing are practically non-existent — finding entry level writing jobs is not that hard. It is an industry with great scale — from the guys and girls who are writing $8 articles for Text Broker to the copywriting experts who charge thousands of dollars for a single landing page. The real challenge is in positioning yourself according to your current skill level and experience.

So this list is a start point for anyone who feels that they are a capable writer. Once you start to take on clients and get a feel for your abilities you can scale your business by increasing your rates and hours worked. But before all that, you must make the first step.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five top resources for entry level writing jobs.

1. Freelance Brokers

By freelance brokers, I mean sites such as Elance, oDesk, and iFreelance — companies that act as a middle man between a client and vendor. I have personally not used these sites to source freelance work, but I have hired content writers from Elance and it does seem to be a relatively smooth process.

The upside to using these services is that there usually tends to be some sort of protection against non-payment and breach of contract. The downside is that these sites have a reputation amongst some for attracting bargain searchers. You of course do not want to be that bargain.

2. Craigslist

A lot of people will moan and groan at the mention of Craigslist. I should make something very clear up front — you will have to trawl through a lot of crap to find decent listings. When it comes to entry level writing jobs it is probably the place I would last advise you look. But based upon what people have told me, persistence can lead to finding some decent jobs. And best of all, it is free!

3. ProBlogger Job Board

I have a soft spot for the ProBlogger Job Board as it is where I found both of my current clients. It was in fact the first place I turned to when I started considering freelance writing as a money-making opportunity. It took me just a few days and 10-15 applications to land my first client.

Whilst it is free for you to trawl the boards, those who list job advertisements have to pay a $50 fee for the privilege. This filters out the vast majority of low-end or scammy offers that you will come across on Craigslist.

4. Freelance Switch Job Board

I recently featured Freelance Switch in my top 10 pick of the LWB 100 so you already know that I love their site. Theirs is another job board in the same vein as ProBlogger’s, and although I have not sourced work from it myself, it appears that there are some pretty good offers available. You will need to become a paid subscriber (starting at $7 per month) in order to apply for jobs.

5. Freelance Writer’s Den

I include this as the fifth and final option for two reasons:

  1. It has a “Junk Free Job Board”, featuring well-paid, genuine job offers only.
  2. It is a fantastic resource for anyone who is serious about developing a full-time freelance income.

I was a member of the Freelance Writer’s Den until only recently — I am currently not a subscriber as I am not actively seeking any additional freelance work. I got a great amount of value out of the material available on there and also a lot of great advice on rates negotiation on the forum.

If you are an entry level freelance writer but aspire to be more, I would recommend the Freelance Writer’s Den as a great option.

Where Have You Found Entry Level Writing Jobs?

So there you have it folks — five places where you can find entry level writing jobs. But for those of you who have already got their foot on the ladder, where have you found work? Let us know in the comments section!

One last thing — if you’re interested in reading more about freelance writing, click here for all of the freelancing posts I have written on LWB.
Creative Commons photo courtesy of JoelMontes

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29 Responses to “Entry Level Writing Jobs — 5 Top Resources”

  1. Jon @ ScalableIncome.com
    February 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Awesome list Tom! I might do things differently than most people here as I am my own employer and write for me as I feel it’s the best investment I can make, but the ressources listed here are all great way to get started!

    If it can help in anyway, when I am searching for a writer to complement my knowledge for a specific website I am building, I usually check for writers that have interest/knowledge in the subject I want to write about. Just like copywriters “position” themselves as expert in psychology/marketing, I think positioning yourself as an authority writer on a specific subject can be great, and if you don’t have enough work using that “angle”, complement your revenue with “average” jobs (even tough they usually pay less).

    • Tom Ewer
      February 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Hey Jon,

      You’ve hit upon a good point – most writers should look to position themselves in a specific market. People don’t want to hire “jack of all trades” writers.

      Cheers,

      Tom

  2. Spatch Merlin
    February 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I’ve heard about the first three although I never actually used them to hire people. But the last two, I haven’t heard about it much. Thanks for sharing though.

    S.Merlin
    From More Web Site Traffic Guide

  3. Samuel
    February 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I don’t know what to say, but I haven’t really gotten into the career of freelance writing. As I read from you, it could be a lucrative career.

    I don’t think I have the time right now, just because I just started my own blog, and the beginning work is so much!

    I like craigslist because there is no middleman and like you said, “It’s free”. A lot of crap on there, and gotta watch where you’re writing too.

    Anyways, Excellent Article Again, Tom! :)

  4. Josh Sarz
    February 29, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Great list, Tom. I’m found lots of good paying jobs on oDesk, but there are definitely A LOT of low-paying ones too. Freelancers can still opt to do the low-paying ones if they want to, but it’s no advisable for the long term.

  5. Sheyi | ivblogger.com
    September 30, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Tom, nice list here. I’ve been finding it hard to get a good writer for my blog and my new authority site. I do use indians and Philippians before but I need American writers now – i guess u shud write on that area. English writers or the other type… which is the best?

    Sheyi

    • Tom Ewer
      October 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Sheyi,

      I think the answer is pretty obvious — native speakers tend to be better writers and more expensive, non-natives the opposite. The lines are of course blurred somewhere in middle (you can find some great non-native writers, and crappy native writers).

      Cheers,

      Tom

  6. Joe @ How I Got Rich
    October 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Great list. Just going through your old posts as I’m trying to get started.

    I got my first two clients so far from making a simple wordpress.com and getting my e-mates to tweet the url.

    Got me two gigs and hopefully some more in the future.

    Feel free to tweet my url anyone: http://joecanwrite.wordpress.com

    @sheyi: you need to find a native English speaker living in an undeveloped country like the Philippines so they won’t charge as much as a native English speaker living at home.

    • Tom Ewer
      October 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Hi Joe,

      Looks good, but surely you shouldn’t encourage people to go through your Odesk account — won’t you have to pay a commission on any money earned?

      Cheers,

      Tom

      • Joe @ How I Got Rich
        October 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm

        Good point Tom but I’d like to try and get some feedback on ODesk as I doubt anyone will hire me without any work history or customer feed back on there, especially when my rate is so high compared to all the Filipinos and Indians.

        Ideally I’d like to avoid Odesk altogether but beggars can’t be choosers!

        • Tom Ewer
          October 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm

          Do some guest posts and get testimonials from the blog owners/editors. Mix that in with a couple of generic testimonials from friends/family, and hey presto — you’ve got clippings and recommendations.

          Although having said that, I started my freelance writing career without any work history or customer feedback, and I didn’t go anywhere near the likes of ODesk, so it’s definitely not a must.

          • Kristen
            October 31, 2014 at 2:55 am

            I have been on Elance, problogger, etc and I have not had any luck finding the smallest job. I have the skills and the talent, but I don’t have samples to show potential clients. Every job I see they want experience. A little help here?

            • Tom Ewer
              October 31, 2014 at 12:46 pm

              Hey Kristen,

              Samples are key for all but the lowest-paying jobs. I recommend that you work on getting some guest posts published and/or publishing content on your own blog. I have a huge list of paying guest posting opportunities on Paid to Blog Jobs — there are plenty out there if you have a good look!

              Cheers,

              Tom

  7. Tracy Oeser
    November 14, 2012 at 5:44 am

    I’ve been in the Freelance Writers Den for a few months now. Love Carol Tice and her group. The Den isn’t always open to new subscribers though. You have to get on her mailing list to know when openings come up.

  8. Danelle
    May 2, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i came to
    “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to enhance my site!
    I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  9. thecheekydiva
    June 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Tom, this is a great list. I found my first paid opportunity through Twitter, believe it or not, and it was a very good paying short term job. That led to another client that read my work finding me and contacting me through Twitter as well. As you well know, since we’re email pals, I’m actively pursuing any and every opportunity, but never underestimate the power of the hashtag. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful information! :-)

  10. Jacelyn Diamond
    September 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Tom…

    I came across your website while searching for guidance as I am trying to make that leap of faith into freelance writing. You seem to be forthright and genuine, and I feel I can trust you and your advice.

    Moments ago, I almost signed up with Writing Jobs Source, but stopped and decided to further check them out. My research revealed that they are listed by another name with the Better Business Bureau, and had an “F” rating (on a scale of A+ – F). I immediately abandoned that effort, and came right back to your site to Entry Level Writing Jobs – 5 Top Resources. Thank goodness!

    While my experience in writing is not entry level, my portfolio is…I have nothing that has been published. All my experience has been in the corporate world where content was proprietary. I know I can be a proficient writer, and was wondering if there are opportunities out there on a “pay if we like it” basis…meaning, is anyone willing to give me an opportunity without seeing previous work, and paying only if they like it? Do you think that is a viable (and wise) option?

    I would love to know your thoughts on this, and I thank you for all your great information you have shared!

    p.s. Your last sentence of the topic above, “With that in mind, let’s take at five top resources…” was probably meant to read, “…let’s take a look at five top resources…” Just a miss in proofing :)

  11. cedric
    June 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Good list Tom. Am a newbie, truly i would think many people would love the idea of working for themselves not the other way round. People out there look for information on online jobs – most of them are total crap only disappointments on signup . Someone would give up at this stage. As for me, i believe creating your own content or a product and selling it online should the be the major objective at mind. If as well a truly viable online job comes up, then Do it!

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