In my experience as a content writer, I’ve had many people reach out to me, asking how to find writing jobs online.
I’ll be honest with you — I’m not the old, all-knowing, owl. In fact, I’ve only been in this game for a little while. However, today I’m going to share with you what I’ve gathered so far, hoping you can apply it to your own budding writing business. Why? Because if you succeed and you have an overflow of work, I hope I’m the first person who comes to mind!
Without further ado, how do you start an online writing job?
Starting An Online Writing Job
Your first step is research, and if you’re reading this, you’re already well underway!
Refer to my last blog post (How to SEO Your Website — The Power of Keywords) to learn about keywords. You want to know what people are searching for and begin developing your niche in that area. Remember, write what you know and focus on a subject you’re passionate about. Otherwise, you are at risk of burning out.
Once you know your niche, write about it.
That’s a really important step, and such a simple one in finding writing jobs online. Most clients will ask for samples of your work, or experience in your niche. If you’ve got nothing to show, they’ll hire the competition. Set about writing a few thousand word pieces about your topic you’re ready to send out in an instant. Make sure these pieces are perfect. No grammatical errors, no syntax errors — check, check, check!
You can upload them to an online portfolio — such as a WordPress website — or you can sit on them until someone asks. In my experience, it doesn’t really matter. Just as long as they’re ready when a client asks.
When you’ve got a good portfolio, you’re ready to start.
Where To Find Clients
This is the part of the blog post you’ve been waiting for. Having a good portfolio is great, but it’s not much help if you don’t know where the clients are hiding, or how to find writing jobs online. Word of advice before I begin, though?
DON’T JOIN A WEBSITE YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR.
I can’t believe this is a genuine issue! Many websites — I’m looking at you Contena — talk about how they’re the number #1 writing website for professionals. Yet, pay to join?
They try to say your payment is an investment, but in most cases, they’re just aggregator websites. They search the web and compile all the jobs they find into one place. Everything they offer is already out there for free. If you know how to research, you’re throwing money to nothing. You’ve never had to pay to apply for a job in the corporate world, have you?
Yeah, so avoid those websites.
The same goes for content mills! Honestly. A mill is constantly running, right? That’s what you’ll be signing you up for. You’ll be spending all of your time writing for a little turnaround. If you want your business to be serious, avoid them. Write some fantastic samples instead!
This is the most basic way to find writing jobs online. What’s the difference between a job board and a content mill? A job board will have some serious clients, with some serious cash.
Job Board examples:
Fiverr — Fiverr is my favourite job board. You can post your gig, advertise it across all of your social medias, and wait for the clients to come for you. This is a rare job board where it works that way round. You have to pass a writing test to get acceptance, but it’s easy if you know your trade.
Freelancer — I liked this website, but it’s VERY competitive. Their vetting process isn’t great, and your bids — cover letters, if you will — are public (unless you pay a fee), so it’s easy for other users to steal them.
Upwork — Similar to Freelancer, but they have a vigorous acceptance procedure. You can’t bid on jobs unless they’ve accepted you as a member, and sometimes that can be difficult. For example, they may reject your profile just because they’ve had a large influx of submissions from other freelancers. This can demoralise, and I don’t rate them very high because of this.
Job boards are a great way to start, but they’re not my favourite. It’s in job boards where the competition really comes through, and they hold your clients hostage. You can’t give clients your external email; so if you leave the website, you lose the client.
Yep! I mean it! Social Media — Facebook in particular — is a great way to find writing jobs online. In fact, it’s where I source most of my work. I’m not saying post a Facebook status asking your friends and family to hire you, that wouldn’t work! Instead, check out Facebook groups such as Cult of Copy and Science of Copywriting. They update their job boards daily with new jobs, and you can message the clients directly to open a channel of communication with them. If you have a good portfolio, it’s a brilliant way to start out!
This is a classic way of doing it, but it works! Take a pen and paper and walk through your local area. Write the names of businesses, research them, and then email them. Tell them how you can benefit their company. Nobody wants to part with money, so you need to write an interesting pitch that promises a good turnaround. This is where your samples really shine — proof-in-the-pudding if you will.
Consider this cold calling. 99.9% of the emails you send will receive no response. However, the few that do will earn you a good profit!
…And that’s the basics of how to find writing jobs online!
- Build a strong portfolio.
- Don’t subscribe to paid aggregators.
- Avoid content mills.
- Check out online job boards.
- Look into social media groups.
- Pitch local businesses.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post. Got your own advice? Comment below! If not, be sure to subscribe via email and have my content delivered directly to your inbox!