When it comes to freelancing, most people head straight to the most popular platforms, such as Upwork and Freelancer.com. There’s plenty of work there, but the competition is also fierce. In many cases, it can be smarter to wander off the beaten path to find freelance writing jobs you wouldn’t otherwise come across.
The internet is a big place, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise there are a lot more options for finding work beyond freelancing platforms. For example, you can subscribe to newsletters that will send you job offers periodically, so all you have to do is keep an eye on your inbox.
In this article, we’ll talk about four unorthodox places to find freelance writing jobs and which ones you should focus on. Let’s get to it!
1. Cold-Pitch Online Publications
Not once in my life have I been happy about getting a cold call trying to sell me something. However, email is a different matter altogether. Most sites have contact emails for visitors to get in touch with the team behind it and possibly talk about contributions.
If you follow any type of blog or publication that publishes new content often, chances are they might be interested in contributions, even if they don’t advertise it.
What I like to do is look for popular blogs on niches I’m interested in writing in. Once I identify them, I read a bit through their archives and check out if they have any information about guest posts or contributions. If they do, then I know I can try getting an article published there anytime I want.
However, a lot of websites don’t advertise the fact they’re looking for contributors. For those cases, if they have a contact email, I might still send them a message with a brief pitch explaining what I like about their content and why I’d be a good fit. You should, of course, include a link to your portfolio in there and don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back – at least you tried!
2. Look Through Job Boards
When it comes to online writing, the two most bountiful sources of work opportunities are freelance platforms and job boards. The former is where most new freelancer writers cut their teeth. Some people achieve great success on freelancing platforms, but in my experience, they’re an anomaly.
The problem with freelance writing platforms is there’s a race to the bottom in terms of rates. There will always be a supply of hungry and talented writers willing to work for very little and they all gravitate to freelancing platforms.
Job boards, on the other hand, often don’t require you to set up an account. All you do is read through the postings, send a message to the email they have for applications, and that’s it.
Usually, the freelancers that gravitate towards writing job boards will be much more professional. You have people with great portfolios who aren’t afraid of using contracts and don’t need to rely on freelance platform intermediaries to handle all the business stuff for them.
If you’re relying solely on freelance platforms for work, then it’s time to broaden your net. There are a lot of free job boards full of writing opportunities, including two of my favorites, ProBlogger and BloggingPro.
3. Sign Up for Writing Job Newsletters
Newsletters are not the first, second, or even twelfth place most people think of when it comes to freelancing jobs. However, there’s quite a surprising number of niche newsletters focused around helping freelancers find great job offers.
The catch, as you might imagine, is most of the best newsletters are pay-to-subscribe. There is someone on the other end who goes through job boards and classifieds to find the most promising work opportunities, bundles them together, and submits it to their list.
There are, however, plenty of free newsletters also worth your time. Freelance Writing, for example, posts new offers pretty frequently and sends them to your email as well:
As for paid newsletters, my favorite one is called Opportunities of the Week, and you can subscribe to it via Patreon:
Keep in mind – these are personal suggestions and your mileage may vary. There are plenty of great job offers and postings you can access for free all throughout the web, so I recommend paid services if you’re strapped for time to sort through them and find the best ones.
4. Use Facebook Groups and Twitter
The concept of using social media to find work is nothing new. When you boil it down, LinkedIn is basically a social media platform – it just happens to be the only one built entirely around employment.
LinkedIn, however, is not that great when it comes to freelance work. If you’re in that boat, your best friends are going to be Facebook and, surprisingly, Twitter.
With Facebook, there are a lot of groups for freelance writers. Within then, you’ll find tons of advice, networking opportunities and, of course, job listings:
A quick search for ‘freelance writing’ reveals a lot of opportunities on Facebook alone. For better results, focus on the groups that don’t have as many members. Some of them number in the millions of users, which means there’s a lot of background noise and not a lot of useful finds.
As far as Twitter goes, it’s a great place to find more traditional publications looking for freelance writers. Online and print magazines, for example, will often post about writing jobs or open calls for submissions. Some accounts, such as @weischoice, will re-tweet these often:
Another one of my favorite accounts to follow for writing jobs updates is @WhoPaysWriters. They share information about publications that pay their writers above-average rates, so they’re a must on your follow list:
There are a lot more useful accounts you can follow on Twitter as a freelance writer. However, that will mostly depend on what niche you write in. My advice is take the time to look around and follow any publications you want to work with on social media. Often, that’s how you’ll find out about writing opportunities, so it pays to keep an eye on their pulse.
Finding well-paid writing gigs is a lot of work. For almost any listing you see, there’ll be dozens of applicants, so it’s important you stand out with a professional portfolio and a solid pitch. Beyond that, I recommend not focusing all your efforts on freelancing platforms alone. Also, remember to look outside of them and cast a wide net.
Some great places to find freelance writing jobs include:
- Cold-pitching your favorite online publications
- Looking through job boards
- Signing up for freelance work newsletters
- Using Facebook groups and Twitter
What’s your favorite way to find freelance writing gigs? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.