With the United States in quarantine, you might find yourself out of work or looking for a hobby to pick up in your spare time. I haven’t seen much of a change in my schedule, as I am used to working from home, but I will say that while other industries are tanking, I am experiencing a surge in my work.
I am really grateful for this, and thankful that I can still support myself during this crazy timeline we are in. If you are out of work, or simply wanting to get into writing, I have good news for you! In this day and age, landing a freelance writing job has never been easier.
10 different ways to land your first freelance gig
Cold pitching is the strategy of contacting your target clients and telling them what you can offer as a freelance writer. For example, you can tell them how you can help grow their business through writing. Be smart in selecting the businesses you want to contact.
I usually cold pitch health and wellness brands because that is the industry I work in! For me this looks like keeping a running list of brands that I see potential in working with, and then compiling them at the end of the month and shooting them an email.
Reach out to Family, Friends, and Workmates
Like starting a business, you can always use some help from the people around you when it comes to freelance writing (or freelance anything!). You might be surprised that you don’t need to look too far to get your first gig. There is a large possibility that they will only offer you small and easy tasks but at the end of the day, their testimonials can help you eventually land that high paying job you’re looking for.
Not only does working with family, friends, and workmates help increase your experience, but it can also help generate leads. If you do a great job, then they can refer you to others when they are looking for a writer.
When I first started writing, I exclusively worked for friends and family. It allowed me to grow my portfolio, experience a variety of industries, and build a network.
Use Your Own Website to Showcase your Work
You may already have a personal blog where you’ve been posting some of the articles you’ve created, and this is great! This can be helpful since you can use this as a reference when pitching for a position. I always make sure to link my blog at the bottom of an email, but also send my online portfolio link as well.
Over the years my website has changed but I always make sure to keep a solid portfolio so that potential clients can access it easily.
Pitch to a Job Board
There are two kinds of job boards you can visit when looking for a home-based writing position. You have free sites and paid sites. Since you are in the beginning stages it might be worth it to try your luck with the free sites. I mainly gain clients via word of mouth these days but when I first started I used to use these job boards all the time.
Here are some job boards you can pitch:
Offer to Guest Post for Free
Having your blogs published through successful websites is also a good self-marketing strategy. It is a great way to create some sample writings and showcase them on platform that aren’t yours.
So, how do you find a website which can feature your article? Don’t worry, a quick Google search will do the job for you. Be sure to decide on what you want to write about and try your luck with these websites. Once you got the opportunity, make sure to create a nice ‘author bio’. Chances are, your potential clients are visiting these sites as well.
Some sites in the health and wellness niche you can try pitching:
Join Facebook Groups
A trend that I have seen increasing over the past few years is people looking for writers on Facebook rather than job boards. Hence, there are a lot of opportunities on Facebook you can find, if you do a little digging. Try to join several entrepreneurial groups and see if some of them could use content. Be friendly and try to offer them your service. It never hurts to pitch.
Ask for Referrals
If you already have a client, it doesn’t hurt to ask for referrals, so don’t be scared to. You never know! Your current clients can help you find more gigs that help build your business.
Use a Content Agency
Content agencies are really helpful if you want to earn through writing but try and look for smaller content agencies. Larger content agencies usually pay less, and typically work you really hard. With small content agencies, you get better pay, better training, and more guidance/support.
Although Craigslist has a reputation for low quality writing jobs, it does not mean you will never find a good opportunity from it. One tip is to know the best cities which offer better gigs. Check L.A, New York, Boston, D.C, and Houston sites.
Write What You Know and What You Want to Focus On
Trying to appeal to everyone is not an easy task, and the good thing with writing is you don’t have to/shouldn’t do that. It is better to market yourself and ask for a better pay if you can offer specialized services, and writing is no different.
Before you start looking for a client, you need to evaluate your knowledge and know what your specialties are. For instance, if you have a passion for sports writing, try to stick with this niche. You will slowly build up your portfolio and your rates will increase as well.
I hope this post was informative and gave you some good ideas to get started in freelance writing! As we live in this weird period of quarantine, you might be trying to make money or learn something new — freelance writing is a great option!
Also, if you are a freelancer like me, check out this article from Money Magazine, “A Freelancer’s Guide to Managing Job Uncertainty During the Coronavirus Crisis,” — it is helpful and encouraging.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post make sure to checkout “Feeling Stuck In Your Job? Here Are 10 FREE Things You Can Do To Further Your Career,” or “How To Start Freelance Writing And Some Of My Personal Story,” or “Freelancers: Your Mental Health Matters.”