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Freelance Writing Jobs: Finding Work
Locating work, particularly if you are new to the business of writing for a living, can seem like a daunting, formidable task. Day in, day out hunting, hunting, hunting it seems is all we ever do. A great deal of a freelance writer's time is spent networking, promoting and trying to land that next gig. Are you up to the task of marketing yourself?
The Fundamental Tools:
Published Writing Clips- Published writing clips are samples of your work. All potential clients and employers will undoubtedly require them as proof of your writing ability and expertise. New writers will find this concept confusing at first because if you have no experience and you need clips to land writing jobs, it would seem like an impossible feat. However, that is quite the contrary. There are many ways to get your start, but don't despair. Keep trying and you'll eventually obtain those first writing samples.
Writer's Portfolio- Back in the old days of the writing business, writers would go through great pains to collect every piece of work published. This would accompany a curriculum vitae(CV) or resume and carried in a file to be viewed by those offering writing jobs. Today, writer's portfolios are now posted completely online. Resumes are not always required, but some clients prefer to see them. I decided not to host a resume on my website, but I do keep one in a file on my computer in the case it becomes necessary. While some writers opt to showcase all of their work on their webpage, others only post a few samples, which is what I currently do.
The standard writer's portfolio will include all published writing samples arranged in categories, a biography page, contact info and a resume. When someone requests to see your work, provide them with the address to your website portfolio. Be sure to include a link to your portfolio page on all of your profiles elsewhere on the internet, such as social networking websites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You can also include a link to your Hubpages profile.
Here are a few examples of writer's portfolio pages:
What to Do When Work Slows - Filling The Gaps in Income
It is an inevitable reality that you will encounter, if you're in the freelance writing world long enough and the only assurance I can offer is that you will get the hang of knowing how to weather the storm and "roll with the punches" as they say. You'll get used to dealing with slow work, low-paying work offers and no work at all. The good news is that you don't have to take it lying down as there are things you can do that will help see you through these rough patches. It is a balancing act.
First, you'll need to plan ahead by constantly looking for work and creating a budget so that you have an idea of what it takes to meet your needs each month. Set aside time each week to prospect for new writing gigs and always do way more than you need to, because you won't get all of them. When times are exceptionally slow and you need to fill in some gaps, you could accept some lower-paying work assignments just long enough to get through the rough times. You can also complete crowdsourcing tasks that you'd find on such sites as Mturk and Clowdcroud. Crowdsourcing has been quite helpful for me, but for filling in gaps only and for some extras. I would not rely on it for a full-time income. Be sure to incorporate residual income writing gigs as well. Most important of all is to diversify and plan for volume!
Advertise and Network With Other Writers
To maintain a constant business buzz and workflow, you'll need to advertise tirelessly. Places to do this would be job boards for writers which allow you to create a profile and put up a resume. Some writers say they have received good results from posting "writer-for-hire" ads up on Craigslist,. As a side note, be careful with Craigslist when responding to work ads on there, particularly if you are just starting out. For best results, try a variety of methods and see what works out best.
Get connected with other writers by participating in forums where they meet and talk "shop." Not only will you learn a lot about the business, but you'll quickly find out some real essential information like: who NOT to work for, who's looking for writers or needs help with assignments, companies who treat their writers well and who pays on time. And this is just the main topics discussed; there is so much I can't begin to cover every perk. People also come looking for writers and will frequently hire right off the forums. I've obtained several paying gigs this way. The first writer's forum I joined was the Work-At-Home Mom's Online Magazine (wahm.com), however there are plenty of them out there.
Best Places To Find Online Writing Jobs:
13. Express Writers
16. Warrior Forum
18. Write.com (part of CrowdSource.com)
*HubPages and Seekyt are residual earning sites. Earnings on both sites are based on page-views, product sales, referrals and advertising. While some residual earning writing sites offer pay based on page views, some only compensate writers from Adsense advertising alone. When deciding to write for residual earning sites, do your homework; some are worth your time and some not.
If you're interested being a contributor to residual writing websites, and would like to learn more, please see the following article: The Big List of Residual Writing Sites for Freelance Writers
Crowdsourcing companies, some writers like them and some find the work mundane. I actually like them because it tends to break up the monotony of days for me and I find it fun! It also fills in some gaps in income. There is some writing work available, most of it is writing short blurbs of text like descriptions for products, hotels or apartment rentals. You'll likely be required to take some tests to open up certain gigs or achieve a number of completed tasks. Your approval/rejection rate figures into the process as well. So for those who want to give them a try, I've added a short list below.
- Amazon Mechanical Turk
- CrowdSource.com (took over CloudCrowd)
Now a short caution: most of crowdsourcing work is NOT writing. These are mostly click and search tasks, as well as simple surveys that pay about .80-$1.00 each. And just so that you know, some Crowdsource and CrowdFlower tasks are also available on the Amazon Mechanical Turk site. As I mentioned earlier though, this type of work will not be dependable as a primary source of income, but it will provide an extra egg to add to your regular writing income if you put in the work and do the tasks on a consistent basis. For me, I can pull in about $200-$300 a month through crowdsourcing sites by devoting a couple hours daily through Amazon Mechanical Turk. More serious "turkers" do earn more than this because they devote more time and have been doing it for awhile.
I have been a member of a great forum called Turker Nation since I first started doing tasking, a couple years ago. Here you'll discover which turker companies are worth your time (and those that are not) and everything related to earning extra money doing Mturk tasks. I've learned a lot on this forum and it has been really helpful.
Find Online Writing Jobs Easily With This Simple Tip
A Helpful Resource
Sell Your Articles On Your Own Website!
When you talk to most writers, they will undoubtedly tell you that one of the best ways to earn off of your writing online is to sell your own articles. Design your own website and sell your articles via PayPal, ClickBank, Constant-Content, Warrior Forum, Digiresults or JVZOO. You can offer article bundles or a set of blog posts to be used by internet marketers and affiliate niche bloggists. This is referred to as PLR Writing - Private Label Writing. With this method, you can make money off the same articles several times over. Learning a bit about marketing and relevant keyword searching is essential, as well as writing quality content for your customers on a consistent basis.
More Writing Tips From Aunice:
Freelance Writing Tips: Getting Your First Clips - Don't get discouraged by the clip conundrum. Discover ways to get your first published writing samples!
Freelance Writing: Tips to Help You Manage Your Time Better - So little time for us writers, it seems. Learn how to structure your writing days for maximum earning potential.
Freelance Writing Tips: Content Mills to Avoid - Some companies are just not worth an ounce of a writer's time.