With the rise of the need for online content, there are numerous opportunities to find writing jobs out there—and freelancers have plenty of potential reigns to make a living in this market. The trick to the process is finding enough jobs to pay the bills, but it's not always easy.
Sometimes, you're up against a whole slew of other freelancers who've already made deals with businesses. Sometimes you can find the work, but the pay rate isn't enough to make the work worthwhile. These challenges can be enough to make people trying to make a living through their writing consider going back to another profession.
However, it is possible to find writing jobs that pay. The key is in two elements. One, you need to put yourself in the right state of mind that there are writing jobs worth your effort and you can find them. You will see them, so long as you keep looking for them.
Of course, you don't want to look for work aimlessly and come up empty. From there, it's all about looking for work in the right places and with the right strategies. With these essential things in mind, you can find the writing jobs that will make earning you living a whole lot more feasible.
Look For A Niche Market
Because almost everyone online needs some form of content, you can easily find mass job boards loaded with potential work. The problem is that, while the jobs are there, they don't always have the pay you need. And if they do, thousands of other writers are using those very same job boards, meaning that even if you see a well-paying job, someone else will likely swipe it first.
Rather than searching on mass job boards, you should instead look for niche boards. These can be tricky to discover, but that's the whole point—not everyone knows about the boards, so there's less competition than on other sources. Additionally, not everyone can do these niche jobs, since they deal with specialized topics that take a bit of knowledge on your end to handle appropriately.
The good news is that, if you happen to be the person who can write that niche content, the work will likely be yours. And these unique job boards also tend to have much higher pay rates than what you'll find on generic work postings. Though it will take effort on your part to discover them, it's more than worth it to find worthwhile writing work.
To help focus your search, you should identify one or two core topic areas that you can specialize in writing. While you may not be able to do every potential job that way, you'll spend less time on research, which makes jobs more lucrative. As you continue to work, you can expand your niche range.
Have A Writer Website
When looking for clients, you'll be doing a lot of the groundwork yourself. However, clients may also be on the hunt for finding writers to hire. Additionally, a client you contact may want to see what work you've done before and what you specialize in before moving into a work agreement.
Your website doesn't need to be anything complex. Instead, you need to focus on what content your site has before thinking about the other details. At the bare minimum, a writer's website should have:
- Your background
- A portfolio of your works
- Language that speaks to your writing niche
It's critical to remember that your site is going to be representative of your writing business. You will want it to be quality and professional in appearance. However, you don't need to build your site from scratch or hire a designer (though you're more than free to do so if you have the skill or budget).
Content management systems like WordPress provide a simple and affordable way for even new freelancers to build themselves a website. These platforms' templates and design options give you plenty of flexibility to create a site that's unique while still being affordable. You should, if nothing else, at least purchase a professional account to have a custom URL.
If you're not sure what to make your site look like, scope out what other writers are doing, and integrate successful elements into your own. However, no matter what other writers do, you shouldn't set pricing on your site. The cost of a project will depend on your skills and what goals a client has. You can set a minimum worth for your work for your purposes but be ready to negotiate.
Don't Be Afraid To Cold Pitch
Pitching is an essential skill for a freelancer, as it's the precursor to getting paid work for many clients. When you pitch an article, you're trying to get a client to approve your angle or idea on the content they want or need. The process can quickly become nerve-wracking, even when you've done it before.
Cold pitching goes a little bit farther than that. Instead of presenting ideas to a client you're already working with, cold pitching involves contacting a client directly to let them know how you can help them. This process tends to include identifying a business that could use your services and reaching out to them for work.
The cold pitching process can easily be even more stressful than pitching an article. However, by contacting a potential client first, you're giving yourself an advantage. A company may be wanting to expand their online presence, but they haven't considered running a blog, or maybe they have a blog that hasn't seen new content in a while.
Since the business may not have considered hiring a writer yet, you're there first to help. If you're successful, cold pitching can even give you recurring work, too. From there, you need to produce quality writing, and you may have guaranteed writing jobs.
Your cold pitches don't need to be anything complex. You should include who you are and how you found out about them. You'll also want to emphasize how you can help them—usually by providing content that can assist in growing their business.
Write Quality Samples
Writers of every level need sample posts to display their quality of work for their clients. For some people, their blog posts will be enough to show off their skill level. Blogs may be too personal to show to a potential client, though, so you'll instead need sample pieces ready to go.
Some samples will be pre-written material. These pieces should be what you put on your writer's website as your portfolio. Even if you don't have the time to build a website, you should still have a collection of pieces ready to go. There are also websites that allow for professional writers to create an easily accessible portfolio of articles.
Samples are valuable because they give a client an idea of your skill level, even if you don't have a wide range of experience. Sometimes, a client will request a sample before deciding to hire you. If you're applying for a writing job at an existing business, you'll also need examples for part of the application process.
Your writing samples should be of the highest, polished copy you can produce. You'll also want to pay attention to the content that you include in your pieces. Ideally, most of your content will reflect the niche that you work in, as well as show off how you can write in a variety of style formats, such as social media, webpage, and blog content.
Writing jobs can seem like a highly competitive playing field—and in some instances, you will need to fight to get work. However, this doesn't mean that other writers are your enemies. Writing is a community where others can help you on the path to not only finding work but finding the right jobs. Networking groups can come in both in person and virtual forms, so you have plenty of choices.
When it comes to your local market, networking with other writers can be incredibly helpful. Who better to know what clients will pay too little or pay too late? You can have a wealth of information at the ready if you communicate with each other, and you'll save a lot of time in your job search process.
Networking can also be helpful for referrals. Since you have a niche, it's likely that other writers in your network won't work in the same specialization, which means they can let you know if they hear about job opportunities for writers that specialize in your field. Sure, your network will have some overlap, but it's still an excellent resource to have.
With the growing content market, writers are in an excellent position to find work in numerous places. However, the challenge can rest in finding the right jobs. By identifying your niche, creating a website, cold pitching to potential clients, building your portfolio, and networking, you can put yourself in a position to find the best writing jobs available.