The ‘secret’ to finding freelance work is to be persistent. You keep building up your portfolio and pitching potential clients over and over again until your schedule is full.
It’s an approach that works, but if you want to scale your freelance writing business, you also need to figure out ways to have clients come to you.
In this article, I’m going to break down four tips to help you find new freelance writing clients without having to pitch them. Keep in mind, though – all of these approaches still require you to put in some work, but in different ways. Let’s get started!
1. Start a Blog that Targets the Niche You Want to Write For
Starting a blog is easy from a technical standpoint. Publishing content consistently and growing it are entirely different matters. However, there’s a reason why businesses and professionals spend so much time on content creation – it’s a potent tool for online marketing.
91% of Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers use content as a way to drum up new business. Something I always tell other freelance writers is you have to think about yourself as a business, so it makes sense to use that same approach.
By blogging for the niche you work in, you tick off several boxes including:
- Helping position yourself as an expert in that field
- The posts you write can boost your portfolio
- It helps potential clients find you more easily
In a nutshell, what you want to do is make sure you publish content that answers questions people in your niche may be looking for.
Let’s say, for example, you specialize in writing about web development (there are dozens of us, dozens!). A smart move, in that case, would be to start a blog that focuses on web development tutorials. The more content you put out, the better the chances the right people will find it, so make sure you add a Hire Me page somewhere in there.
2. Link to Potential Client Sites From Your Blog
As far as strategies to find freelance writing work go, this one is about as niche as it gets. It’s a low-risk/high-reward method, which is my favorite kind of approach when it comes to everything in life.
Most websites value backlinks dearly, so a great way to garner a potential client’s attention is simply to link to them from your blog. Do this once or twice and maybe try to interact with them on social media if possible. That will give you an icebreaker.
To give you an example, let’s say you want to find work as a video game review writer (not the easiest niche to break into). What you might do, in that case, is to start a blog where you can post all the reviews you want and try to include links to the publications you want to work for.
The key when it comes to ‘link building’ is to make sure those connections feel organic. You don’t want to stuff your blog full of links or place them where it doesn’t make sense. If you publish content often you will get the chance to include the links you need.
In several cases, a few strategic links here and there have helped me start conversations with businesses I’m interested in working with. For companies that keep track of inbound links (and there are a lot of them), that can be enough to start a conversation. From there, the ball is in your court.
3. Guest Post on Other Sites Within Your Niche
Guest posting is about as old as blogging itself. I often recommend it as one of the best ways to build traffic for your own blog, but it’s also a fantastic tactic to help you find more work.
If you’re a freelance writer, guest blogging can help you build a portfolio. In case you have a blog you use to drum up more business, it can also be an excellent way to lead more traffic back to it. All in all, it’s a win-win for everyone involved, particularly if you happen to write for one of those blogs that pay for guest submissions.
When it comes to guest blogging, you want to aim high. Look up what the most popular blogs in the niche you’re targeting are and find their contact information.
In a way, you have to pitch blogs to convince them to publish guest posts. However, a single blog post on a successful blog can be seen by thousands of people. In most cases, they will let you include your own writer’s bio, which you can use to drum up work passively.
My recommendation is if you find a popular blog in your niche that is happy to let you publish guest posts occasionally, keep that line of communication open. Even a single guest post every couple of months can be enough to boost your visibility. If it helps you land more clients, it’s well worth it.
4. Consider Joining a Freelance Writing Agency
I know that a lot of people get into freelancing precisely because they like to be their own bosses. You don’t want to have to deal with employers, working hours, sit in a cubicle, and all the other fun elements that offices entail.
Freelance writing agencies aren’t full-blown office jobs, but taking a job at one does mean you have to answer to someone else. The thing is, even if you’re a free-range freelance writer, you always have to answer to someone.
The difference in working with an agency is there’s a degree of separation between you and the final customer. Usually, the agency handles everything from finding new clients to discussing what they need. Plus, they generally pay you directly and on a schedule (if they don’t, run away).
There is, of course, a downside – working with an agency effectively caps your earnings depending on the arrangement. It is an excellent deal if you’re an excellent writer but not so good at finding and negotiating with clients. On the other hand, if you excel at negotiating, you can do a lot better on your own.
As far as where to find freelance agencies goes, there’s no shortage of them. If you hang around freelance writing job boards long enough, you’ll find plenty of offers, so all you have to do is pick whichever one pays best.
There are a lot of people that try freelance writing only to give up because they can’t find enough work. The work is out there, but it takes a lot of effort to build up a stable client base. Most of that work comes down to pitching potential clients, which is necessary, but it’s not the only way to find jobs.
If you can find ways bring in new freelance clients passively, scaling your business becomes a lot easier. Here are four tips to help you cast a net for potential work:
- Start a blog that targets the niche you want to write for.
- Link to client sites on your blog.
- Guest post on the other sites within your niche.
- Consider joining a freelance writing agency.
Do you have any questions about how to get more freelance writing clients? Let’s go over them in the comments section below!