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The Ultimate Guide to Finding Online Writing Jobs for Beginners

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Do you want to make money by building a freelance writing career? Getting it all together as a beginner can be a daunting task. Whether you plan to work from home as a part-time hustle or write as a full-time gig, you first need to find these freelance writer jobs.

Arguably, most skilled beginners don’t get what they deserve because they don’t know how to market and position their skills. This article compiles the top 10 different ways to find freelance writing jobs for beginners.

1. Look for Gigs on Job Boards

Freelance websites like Upwork, Fiverr, ProBlogger, among others, connect clients with freelancers. Once you have created and optimized your profile, prospective clients can find you. As a member of these job boards, you will have access to view and apply to different types of freelance writer jobs.

A couple things to note:

  • There’s stiff competition. You are not alone in the race to find jobs, so it may be hard to gain traction. However, if you do it right, competition won’t be an obstacle. The best way to beat the competition is by creating a professionally attractive profile ready to impress clients.
  • The pay varies. You may find clients trying to stick to a tight budget and paying low. Some clients pay well. However, some of these sites, for example, Upwork, tend to take a percentage of your earning as a fee.

In a nutshell, some of the job boards you can check out are:

The upside of applying for freelance writing gigs on job boards is that it’s a warm pitch, unlike cold pitching. The key is to stand out from the competition if you want to get high-paying jobs.

Hand icon clicking on the words "dream job" over a keyboard
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

2. Cold Pitch to Brands and Companies

Cold pitching is when you contact a website owner, company, or blogger about your services without solicitation. There’s a good chance that your target clients do not need any writers. However, most writers, even beginners, who have tried this method for landing online writing jobs can attest to its success.

A well-crafted pitch can land you a writing gig, even though it is a numbers game. You may need to do a lot of outreach to get any response. To increase your odds of your cold pitch being successful, here are a few best practices:

  • Research the publication or website extensively. Familiarize yourself with the client’s content type and flow.
  • Connect and engage with the prospective client on social media before sending a pitch. They may recognize you when you decide to get professional and cold pitch via email.
  • Offer them a fresh angle on what they already have.
  • Keep the pitch snappy.
  • Follow up on your pitches.
  • Ensure you personalize your email.

The more you cold pitch, the higher your chances of landing lots of freelance writer jobs.

3. Build a Website

You will need a website to get more serious as a professional writer in 2021. Prospective clients tend to assess your website before agreeing to work with you. As such, you will need key pages to impress clients and convince them to hire you.

Luckily, creating a website is not expensive or complicated. You can build a professional website with a clear niche and specific landing pages for just a few dollars. Key pages you can add to make the website appear more professional include:

  • Contact – Have a contact page, plus visible contact info on your homepage.
  • About Us – Cover who you are, your expertise, and how you can help your clients.
  • Services – List the services you provide.
  • Portfolio – You can include links to your previous work.

Building a professional-looking website is a great first step. But you’ll also need to find ways to drive traffic to your site. Write really good content, promote your site and your services on social media, start a newsletter, whatever it takes to show up in search results and get more viewers.

Illustration of hand holding a sign that reads "looking for a job"
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

4. Tell Everyone You Are Available for Hire

It may sound obvious, but you should make it clear that your skills are for hire. Potential clients won’t know to hire you unless they see that you provide these services. Therefore, any chance you get, proclaim your expertise and availability.

You can do this by promoting your business on social media and having a clear “available for hire” or “hire me” sign.

Other avenues where you can advertise your skills include:

  • In your email signature
  • On your website
  • In online groups and forums
  • In your social media bios and posts

To land more writing work, you should frequent online spaces where prospective clients like to hang out and start networking.

One way to let prospective clients know that you are for hire is by publishing on LinkedIn. It is a world-class home to professionals offering different job opportunities. At the end of every high-quality publication, you can direct readers to hire you. But remember, don’t make hiring you the central theme to avoid sounding spammy.

5. Ask for Recommendations

There is power in networking and asking for recommendations. Surprisingly, you may have a potential client or two in your circle. Most beginning writers often overlook friends, family, and colleagues since the assumption is they don’t want the writer’s services.

The best approach is to let the people in your circle know your interest in freelancing. They may not directly offer you writing jobs but may surprise you with a referral or two. Tapping into your existing circle only takes a moment and could potentially jumpstart your freelance writing career.

Alternatively, you can network with other freelance writers. Befriending fellow freelancers may sound counterintuitive, but there’s really a helpful community there. While some freelancers are not open to collaborations, some may see its value and want to genuinely help. This is also great for beginners who want to understand the industry more as well as find writing jobs.

You can find these freelancers by browsing social media platforms, such as Facebook Groups, Twitter, or searching on Google. Try and build rapport before asking for job recommendations or writing advice.

6. Partner with Web and Graphics Designers

Writers’ and graphic or web designers’ skills often complement each other. Most designers lack the time and talent to create engaging content, which provides an opportunity for writers. On the other hand, writers need to maintain their online presence without worrying about the technicalities.

By collaborating with a designer, you can help each other out. You can refer clients their way and vice versa.

Networking and collaborating with others is a great way to find writing jobs for beginners
Image by John Hain from Pixabay

7. Connect with Content Agencies

Content agencies often have big brand agencies and small businesses that need written content, which is where you come in. Writing or generally working for a content agency means you won’t have to search for individual gigs independently.

An editor will give you assignments, and you will likely write for different clients in different niches. However, these agencies are usually the intermediaries between you and the direct clients. This means that these agencies may pay you less after cutting their share of the client’s fee. Regardless, it is an ideal place to jumpstart your freelancing writing clear as you build your portfolio.

8. Build Your Portfolio

Your portfolio serves as your freelance resume and contains your writing samples. It helps you demonstrate your credibility and expertise to potential clients. However, if you are a beginning freelance writer, you may not have a lot to put in, which is understandable.

Most freelance writers begin their careers by writing their own blogs, which is a viable option for you too. Select a popular niche or any niche you are familiar with. Publish several thoughtful posts to show your mastery of the topic and your ability to create awesome content.

These posts will become an integral part of your portfolio that you can leverage to get freelance writer jobs anywhere. On the bright side, consistent blogging is a great way to drive visitors or traffic to your website.

9. Pitch a Story to an Online Publication or Magazine

Online magazines and publications are a great way to land potential clients. If you don’t have a specific publication in mind that you love, you can always sift through Medium to find one related to your niche. Medium is one of the largest sites and online publications with millions of daily readers and subscribers.

You can pitch a story or an article for publication. Once your story or article goes live, millions of readers will have access to your writing. Therefore, ensure you create engaging content that piques readers’ interest. The more readers read your content, the higher chances prospective clients will reach out to hire you for their projects.

Woman sitting on floor looking for writing jobs for beginners on laptop with magazines surrounding her
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

10. Try Guest Blogging

Guest blogging means writing posts for another blog. They are usually not paid (with exceptions). However, you get something out of the deal. For example, the blog owner may link back to your website, potentially increasing traffic and chances of landing online writing jobs.

And you may get more than just a link. If the blog is well-read, you may get lots of eyeballs on your content. This translates to potential clients looking for freelance writers. Your portfolio will expand and gradually unlock better freelance writer jobs and opportunities.

To start, you need to search for blogs in your niches that allow guest posting. Identify with the blog owners, search their handles on social media to connect with them, and begin interacting. Comment on posts thoughtfully and possibly share their work on your platforms.

Once you have built rapport, contact them and offer to write a guest blog for their website. Be mildly extra and suggest topics that they have not covered and offer to cover them. Ensure you follow any guest post pitching guidelines posted on their site.

Once you have guest blogged once or twice, you are in a better position to move on to paid gigs.

Finding the Best Writing Jobs for Beginners

As a beginner freelance writer looking to work from home, landing your first writing gigs may be a little discouraging. This is often the case, especially if you are misinformed or lack the proper motivation. A good chance of landing freelance writer jobs depends on your willingness to try out every possible avenue.

You can try out each of these methods or combine two or more to increase your chances of getting gigs. Most importantly, ensure you practice your writing to impress clients. The more clients you impress, the more online writing jobs you will unlock.

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