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Landing a Writing Gig on Freelancing Sites

Updated on August 23, 2010

Reasons for Freelancing

Why Do YOU Want to Be a Freelance Writer?

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Five Quick Tips

There is both an art and a science to landing a freelance writing gig (or any freelance gig for that matter). It's a combination of skills, experience, expertise, and your ability to demonstrate all three to your potential client in a way that "clicks" with their expectations and needs. While there may be any number of qualified professionals that are vying for that job, there are five things you can do to make your proposal stand out:

  1. Consider the client's perspective. While it may be tempting to lay out your accomplishments from A-Z, keep in mind that your client only really wants to know about your experience as it pertains to their needs. Make sure any qualifications you list can be directly related to the writing project in question.
  2. Do your research. Check out the company website, read a few of their blog posts (if they have any) and try to get a feel for your potential client's overall business culture. Make sure that your style of writing will fit with what the client needs, or that you can adapt your stile to mesh well. Checking out the company beforehand and mentioning relevant details you noted that pertain to the project is also a good way to make your proposal stand out.
  3. Offer concrete solutions. Don't be vague about how you will go about the writing process. Give reasonable timelines for research, interviews, revisions and any other tasks that will be required. The reason for this is two-fold: it demonstrates that you know how to go about the process professionally, and it lets your clients know how much time and effort goes into their project.
  4. Demonstrate expertise. If you've written similar content before and aren't barred by a non-disclosure agreement, point your potential client to the relevant work. Give them a sample of your style of writing. Whether you point them to samples in your portfolio, or published works (maybe a HubPage?) make sure that the examples are relevant to the project. If they are looking for someone to write whitepapers, don't show them your blog posts, and vice-versa.
  5. Invite communication. Always let any potential client know that you welcome their questions, and would be happy to provide additional information if they need it to make a decision. If there aren't a lot of bids on a project, you can follow up with the client when the bidding period closes to reiterate your interest. But avoid doing this if there are more than 10 or so bids -- chances are good that the potential client is already swamped with messages and might not appreciate a "just checking in" note.

The last piece of advice I can offer is to submit your proposal early whenever possible. Most clients on freelance writing sites get 20 or more proposals for any project. If you can complete your research and write a well-crafted proposal within a few hours of the project being posted, you stand a better chance of being chosen. People who make good impressions early on are often hired simply because the potential client doesn't have time to read through yet another 10 bids to see if anyone else is better.

Remember that getting a freelance writing gig may take time. If you don't win the first job, don't let that discourage you! Keep crafting great proposals, keep your portfolio up-to-date and you'll definitely have a great chance of landing the job.


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    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I love all this advice we all share with each other. It is a great way to learn and develop your skills