Struggling to find work as a freelance writer? We've put together the ultimate list on where to find freelance writing jobs online!
Where to Find Freelance Writing Jobs Online
Writing is often described as an art and a passion. It is undoubtedly both of these things.
But writing can also be a job, something that pays the bills, and ultimately, an outlet for wordsmiths and grammar gods.
And if you have the “write” skills, it can be a lucrative career too. In fact, some of the top writers earn 6-figure salaries with their freelance writing, blogs, and “how to” courses.
When you're just starting out though, it can be difficult to know where to find those first crucial gigs. Experts tell you to pitch, pitch, and pitch some more… but sometimes they leave out the where.
Luckily, that's where we come in.
Favorite Places to Find Online Writing Jobs
Remember those experts we mentioned in our introduction?
Without fail, they all advise you to stay away from “content mills.” But they seem to forget that these sites aren't just the freelancer's equivalent of a dollar store where you expect to find everything dirt cheap.
There are clients on these sites that do, in fact, pay good money. The trick is knowing how to find them.
And that's why these content mills are some of our favorite places to find online writing jobs. With most people heeding the experts' advice by running the other way, those well-paying job postings have less competition.
Plus, even if you find that 50 other people have sent a proposal, chances are pretty high that at least 40 to 45 of those are going to be sub-standard writers trying to make a quick buck.
Set your rates high and cultivate a portfolio with between 2-5 samples, hone your pitching practices, and make the most out of these platforms.
Upwork – formerly known as Elance-oDesk – is without a doubt the biggest online platform for freelancers.
The trick to using Upwork to find well-paying clients is to filter your searches in the “Find Work” tab to only show “Expert” under the Experience Level settings.
Many people “in the know” will tell you to avoid Fiverr because they think every gig posted is for $5. But they couldn't be more wrong.
Fiverr allows you to post gigs charging up to $99. And because clients do the searching, the ones to respond will be the ones willing to pay your displayed rate.
Guru is more similar to Upwork than Fiverr, in that you'll be responding to job posts. The trick, once again, is to only approach job posts with higher rates.
Just keep in mind that while Upwork gives you 60 “Connects” (corresponding to 30 proposals) per month for free, Guru only offers 10.
Another similar platform, Freelancer.com, lets you create a profile and bid on job postings. That being said, the site does offer less opportunities than Upwork and Guru, with only 8 free bids per month (unless you upgrade to a paid membership).
This one's slightly different from the others. Boost CTR focuses entirely on Google AdSense copy. Once accepted (you'll need to pass a quiz), you can scroll through the Optimization tab to find requests by companies such as Jockey, NerdWallet, and Edmunds.
All you need to do is follow the guidelines and fill out the provided template accordingly. Boost CTR pays $2 for every ad accepted by the clients, paid out via PayPal.
Freelance Writer Jobs Boards
As good as they can be, you shouldn't rely solely on the “content mills” above.
Once you've gained more experience and have a better idea of your niche, it's a good idea to start looking at the more up-market freelance job boards. We've gathered together a list of the best ones for you.
Not only is Problogger a great resource for writing tips, but the site also has one of the best job boards for freelance writers.
It isn't updated very regularly, as companies have to pay a fairly steep fee to advertise. But the jobs you'll find here do pay top-rates. Just bear in mind that you'll be in competition with a larger number of quality writers.
Blogging Pro, on the other hand, has daily updates on their jobs board. Most of the jobs are for remote writers, but do be aware that they only include opportunities for writing blog posts. If that's your niche, however, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better platform.
If you prefer journalistic or copywriting jobs, then Journalism Jobs is the place to be. ABCnews.com, the New York Times, and Time Magazine have all been known to hire freelancers off the posting board, so be sure to take a look.
Also known as Ed's Jobs, Whisper Jobs is a members-only posting board for online, full-time, and part-time writing opportunities. It's absolutely free to join and you'll only need to check in once a week, as the board isn't updated daily.
Media Bistro curates job postings for writers from several other job boards, so you could get away with sticking to them alone. You'll be able to refine your search according to specialty, function, duration, salary range, and more. No matter what your niche, you're likely to find opportunities on Media Bistro.
Freelance Writing Jobs & Morning Coffee Newsletter
Morning Coffee Newsletter is a daily email with the 8 latest freelance writing jobs, sent by – of course – the site Freelance Writing Jobs. Monday through Friday (excluding public holidays), you'll get notified directly via your inbox. You can also take a look at their Online Writing Jobs page for more options.
All Indie Writers
Especially when starting out, you're going to appreciate job posting boards that are regularly updated. That's certainly a description that applies to All Indie Writers. They also feature their 3 top-picks prominently and let you know what the pay-rate is without having to expand the posting for more details.
EssayTown.com is an ideal site for finding writing work with a flexible schedule. Because the content produced for clients has to be on an academic level, you'll need to have a degree in order to apply. But you could easily earn up to $40k a year.
If you're adept at writing original articles, Constant Content could be a great platform for you. According to their site, some of their top writers make as much a $90k a year! Payment is made on a monthly basis via PayPal or direct deposit.
Business Directories for Cold Pitching
Cold pitching is one of the best ways to get into direct contact with potential clients. While it can be rather daunting (especially at first), this is likely how you'll find clients who will pay the best rates.
When starting out – and especially if you're not having much luck with any of our earlier suggestions – you ideally want to send about 30 cold pitches a day. Once you start getting regular work, you can scale this number down. Some experts say you can eventually stop cold pitching altogether, but this will only work if you have a website that's attracting new clients.
Obviously, you need to know where to find these clients and how to get into contact with them via email. We've put together a list of business directories to help you out.
Bonus Tip: When cold pitching, don't be afraid to follow-up on emails you don't get any responses to. Inboxes get full pretty quickly and the recipient may have missed your pitch or forgotten it. Give them a week before sending a short follow-up, especially if it's a company you'd really love to write for.
Still no response? Give them another fortnight before sending a final follow-up. Sometimes, they just need to see that you're motivated enough to do so. Other times, they're just not interested.
With over 4.6 million companies covering several niche topics, you're guaranteed to have success finding your target market on Angel List.
The site allows you to narrow down your search according to business type, location, market, and tech. Alternatively, you can scroll down to the bottom of the webpage and choose “marketing jobs > marketing content manager” to browse by job roles instead.
Okay, Google isn't exactly a business directory, but the search engine is certainly your best friend in finding successful sites to cold pitch! Simply type in your niche and take a look at the top search results. Alternatively, you can narrow it down even further by adding keywords such as “start-up” or “SaaS” to your search.
Manta is simply one of the best online business directories to use for finding clients to cold pitch.
There are several niche markets to choose from, and you'll get to see both online and off-line businesses listed. Take a look at the company websites and About pages to personalize your cold pitch. This will improve your chances of getting a positive response.
If you're interested in writing press releases, then PR Web is the business directory to check out.
The site curates lists of companies that are known to send out press releases regarding their business and services or products. You can once again search for results according to your chosen niche.
Paid Guest Posts
Getting paid to write guest posts on successful websites and blogs can become the bread-and-butter of freelance writers. It can be such a lucrative practice that some writers are known to make as much as $4,000 a month with guest posts alone!
Of course, there are other perks as well. Not only are you getting your name out there, but most sites that pay for guest posts will also allow you to include a link in your bio to direct readers to your own site. This can be a major deciding factor in getting potential clients to approach you, so that you can eventually stop cold pitching altogether.
And even if that trickle is slow at first, guest posts are still a great way to bolster your portfolio. Being able to include links in your cold pitches and proposals – and especially links to recognized sites in your niche – shows potential clients that you produce work worthy of publishing.
To help you get started finding the best websites to approach for paid guest posts, we've dedicated this final section to providing you with a list. In order to pack in as much value as possible, we've categorized them into bullet-points.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the site content and writer guidelines before pitching.
Business and Entrepreneurship
- Business Insider
- Fast Company
- GoDaddy Garage
- Harvard Business Review
- Lead Change Group
- Location Rebel
- My Customer
- Startup Bros
- A List Apart
- Apartment Therapy
- Design Milk
- Jane Friedman
- Smashing Magazine
- Webdesigner Depot
- Writers in the Storm
Gadgets and Technology
- Content Marketing Institute
- Crazy Egg
- Search Engine Land
- Social Media Week
News and Entertainment
- Get In The Hotspot
- Inspiring Travellers
- The Verge
- Thought Catalog
- Bigger Pockets
- Budgets Are Sexy
- Frugal Rules
- Get Rich Slowly
- Living Well Spending Less
- The Penny Hoarder
- Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life
- Dumb Little Man
- Finer Minds
- Pick the Brain
- Positively Positive
- The Mind Unleashed
- Tiny Buddha
Ready to get out there and start earning some money as a writer?
With all the resources we've given you here, you're sure to be off to a good start!
Remember that as a freelance writer, you create your own opportunities. Sitting back and hoping that the work will come to you is only going to leave you penniless and crawling back to your old 9-to-5 office job.
Take these resources and make the most out of them. Try, try, and try again – not every client or site you approach is going to hire you, but you will find those who will. The key is to never give up.