How to Find Freelance Writing Work Every Day
The reason you want to become a freelance writer is probably because you want to make money while being at home. So the main goal here is to make money.
That means don’t go to Upwork or Fiverr or anywhere else that is considered a content mill. You may be able to find paying work at these kinds of places, but it won’t be worth your time. You might think you’ll just do this for quick cash and then move on, but the problem is, you get sucked in.
You’re much better off focusing on marketing yourself and seeking out work than you are writing for less than $0.02/word.
So what should you be doing instead?
Glad you asked.
It takes a while for work to find you whether that’s from your website, referrals or social media. Once it does, you’ll still want to do some of these things on a regular basis to keep the momentum going.
Here Are 3 Different Ways I Find Freelance Writing Work.
I look for companies to cold email. Since I know my niche is the automotive industry, I can quickly make a list of aftermarket companies who might be prospects for me. I’ll find new companies from doing a Google search, looking at my contacts on LinkedIn or even from a car magazine.
Once I have about five or ten on my list, I’ll start looking for contacts for that company. If the company website doesn’t have a list of names, I’ll go to LinkedIn. You can search the company and then look at all of the current employees.
I look for someone with the title of marketing manager, Internet marketing manager, content manager or something along those lines. That is who is probably in charge of hiring freelance writers. I’ll write down their name and email address if I can find it.
Now I go to that company’s website and check it out. I’ll look for obvious things that I can use as a reason to contact them and offer my writing services.
The easiest thing to look for is a blog that hasn’t been updated in a while. When I send them an email I’ll say something like, “I saw some great info on your company blog, but I noticed the blog hasn’t been updated in quite a while. I’d be happy to write more posts for you…..” and go on to add just a line or two about your experience and why you’d be a good choice to write for them.
I like writing product descriptions, so I usually take a look at those. A lot of times, product descriptions are bland, corporate-sounding junk that came straight from the manufacturer. Or worse, there are no descriptions, only prices and part numbers. I love it when this happens because I know that I can create some really great unique descriptions, including SEO, and bring more business to them.
In this situation, I’ll send an email and mention that I know a way I could easily get them more customers through their site. I don’t go on and on, but I mention my experience in the industry (your niche) and how I know I can help.
Don’t oversell it on this initial email.
You’re only in their inbox to let them know you are a qualified source of great content and you are ready with suggestions on how to improve their business content.
Being pushy or salesy is NOT the goal here. That’s a turn-off and a quick way for them to trash your email and never respond.
And another thing about cold emails: it’s a numbers game. You aren’t going to get a response from every person you send an email to. You won’t get a response from most of them. A lot comes down to your market, how you word your email, your experience and several other factors.
Don’t be crushed or upset if you only get 1-2 responses out of every 10 or 20 cold emails you send, especially at first. Just keep writing and sending.
You will get better at it.
I send warm emails to contacts I already have. I’ll take a few minutes to return emails from prospects that I’ve previously sent cold emails to. The dialogue for these emails really depends on what the prospect is asking for. Most of the time they will ask what I had in mind for a topic, what could I do for their product descriptions, etc.
I respond to them, without being salesy or pushy, but letting them know how I could help and ask if they want to get started on a project. The goal is to make it easy for them to say yes.
I’ll also send emails to clients I’ve done work for in the past to see if they have any upcoming needs.
For this kind of email, I don’t just send out a mass email asking if anyone needs anything. I create a reason for sending the email. I’ll check out their site or LinkedIn profile and see if they’re doing anything new and mention that.
Sending out a vacation or event email to previous clients is a good reason to contact them. You can send an email saying you’re taking a 2-week vacation/break for whatever reason (don’t get too personal). Mention that you’re lining up your work calendar and reaching out to see if they have any urgent writing needs that you can take care of before your break, or if they have a future project in mind and want to get on your calendar so you can get started when you get back.
This is a very low-pressure way to maintain contact with clients.
Not to be confused with content mills. I look at a few sites to see if anything interests me. This means I look at a few select job boards and see if there are any gigs or even jobs that may be open to freelancers. I honestly don’t look at anything unless it’s in the automotive industry. You can do the same for your niche.
This is a good way to pick up a few quick clients because they are already actively looking for someone like you.
The best places I’ve found to look for these types of jobs are Contena, Problogger and even Craigslist.
Contena is my favorite because they let you know up front if the gig pays well or not. You can search the site several different ways or just look at the latest posts every few days.
They are a paid site, which means you have to pay a monthly fee to see the jobs on the site, but it’s not much and just one job every few months from here would more than pay for the service for a whole year.
The ProBlogger job board is good too, and it’s free. These jobs aren’t as scrutinized as the ones on Contena, so you’ll have to make sure it’s a good fit with decent pay. They do try to make sure no scams are posted, so that’s reassuring.
Craigslist is very hit or miss, but if you can search all of Craigslist for your specific niche, you may come up with a few gigs every once in a while. Definitely don’t try to make this your only way of finding work, because it won’t work.
I only look here once every few months, but when I do, I use a keyword phrase like “automotive copywriter”, “automotive content writer”, or something along those lines.
Just doing a search for a blog writer or copywriter will have you wading through junk for days.
Not worth your time.
So there you go. A few ways to continuously find work and fill your pipeline with prospects. Just keep at it even when you have plenty of work. Set aside a few minutes each day or a few hours each week to look for work for the future.
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