The struggle to get freelance writing jobs is certainly a real one. Most freelance writers and independent workers would have gone through it at some point in their lives.
It can have a debilitating effect on you when starting out. You begin to wonder if the decision to become a freelance writer was the right one. It may not even stop there. The dry spell may prompt you to question your own credentials as a writer. Well, believe me, you don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.
Don’t feel disheartened; it is not all doom and gloom. With a bit of perseverance, patience and planning, you’ll succeed, you’ll get freelance writing jobs. It might sound like a hollow statement, but it really isn’t. We have a large community of freelance writers with whom we interact regularly, and most of them have the same feedback.
Head on over to our HoTC section where you can read stories of our community members.
Now, coming to what you need to do. Start by familiarizing yourself with all the different ways in which you can land freelance writing jobs. All of them may not work for you, but the key is to keep experimenting and find out what’s working for you. This is how you grow your business and land more freelance writing jobs.
1. Sign up to relevant freelance marketplaces
These are platforms where both clients and freelancers converge and get their respective objectives fulfilled. The principle is simple, clients post their requirements, and interested freelancers apply for the same. As a lead generation channel, it offers several benefits — a large collection of freelance writing jobs, project management tools, support, and legal protection.
Things you need to before joining a freelance platform:
a) Learn more about their clientele, whether they match your requirements and preferences.
b) Find out whether the freelance writing jobs posted on the platform are legit.
c) Read their reviews on websites such as Trustpilot, G2Crowd, Facebook, and so on.
d) Check whether they have a dispute redressal system.
If you are on the lookout for freelance writing jobs, definitely check out TapChief. We are a full-stack freelance platform where you can find on-going freelance content writing jobs and short-term gigs. You get to work with all types of clients — from MNCs (Unilever, Pearsons, and more) to early-stage startups. We assist you with everything from setting up contracts to ensuring that you get paid on time. This way, you can focus on completing the projects in hand, and we will take care of the rest.
As far as landing freelance writing jobs is concerned, creating a profile alone is not enough. You need to:
- Add a professional-looking picture as your display picture.
- Look for minor freelance writing jobs in the beginning.
- Make sure your profile summary and loglines are search optimised.
- Ensure your profile has a link to your online portfolio or else, add links of your work.
- Ensure the summary conveys who you are and why/how you fell in love with content writing and the type of work you want to do.
- When listing down your experience, be sure to include your core responsibilities, deliverables, measurables, and the outcome achieved.
- Always attach a project proposal along with your application, it will convey to clients that you are serious about the project.
Taking these steps will significantly improve your conversion rate. They will make your applications more formidable and less likely to be rejected.
2. Reach out to potential clients on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. And since it is meant for professional networking, you are more likely to get a response when you reach out to potential freelance writing clients.
Here’s how you should go about it:
- Complete your profile. Upload a professional-looking display picture, ensure the summary, description, and experience are impressive, add links of your work, and collect recommendations.
- Narrow down on a niche. It could be SaaS, fashion, sports, news and current affairs, e-commerce, among others.
- Do a bit of research (job boards). Find out companies in your target niche that are looking for content creators.
- Connect with them. Find the company’s page on LinkedIn, see the people that work there, and shortlist the members of the marketing team.
- Send a connection request. Use the request message to introduce yourself. If you have common connections, get them to introduce you.
- Engage with them. Build a rapport, find out their pain points, and craft your pitch around it.
3. Use Twitter to directly source potential clients
Since Twitter is a fairly open platform, posts tend to be more discoverable. You can discover freelance writing jobs from everywhere across the world.
Besides that, you can use Twitter for a wide range of things — establishing your authority, gaining referrals, and building a rapport with your target audience.
Few tips to help you get more out of Twitter:
- Share relevant content (curated and your own). Add appropriate hashtags to ensure it reaches your target audience.
- Set up search filters. Use Tweetdeck to track keywords such as “writers needed”, “looking for freelance writers”, “hiring freelance writers’’ and hashtags like #hiring, #writers, #contentwriters #freelancewritingjobs #freelancewriter.
- Let everyone know. Tweet often about your writing services, the kind of clients that you are looking to work with, and ask your followers to refer you.
- Make use of trending hashtags. In case a topic relevant to you is trending, make sure you get in on the act.
- Always be helpful. Answer questions that people have on content writing, SEO, and other topics relevant to your target audience.
- Follow relevant people (marketing managers, editors, content leads). Understand the problems they face, engage with them, help them whenever possible, build a rapport, and then, pitch your services.
- Follow your dream client. Observe the content they share — the tone and voice they use and the topics they cover — and learn from it.
4. Create an impressive Facebook Page
Well, Facebook has 2.4 billion monthly active users and over 60 million Business Pages. It is easily the largest social media network in the world. So, if you are looking to land freelance writing jobs online, creating a Facebook Page is a must-do.
Few guidelines on how you should go about it:
- Make sure the page looks professional, clearly communicates who you are, and is search optimised. For instance, your page’s description can be a freelance content writer who writes about sports and pop culture.
- Facebook Page lets you add CTAs to your page, namely, book your services, sign-up, call now, learn more about business, among others. Select it appropriately. For instance, if you have a downloadable for potential clients, use the ‘sign-up’ button and get them to sign up to your email list.
- Actively share your content on Facebook. Have a regular schedule in place. Keep A/B testing your post timings and copies.
- Encourage your ex-colleagues, professors, and clients (if any) to rate and review your Facebook Page. It builds trust and credibility.
- Engage with your followers regularly. Ask questions, have meaningful discussions with them, answer their queries, wish people on special occasions, run contests and giveaways, and so on. It shows that you are approachable, trustworthy, and capable.
5. Build your brand using Instagram
Instagram is extremely popular among young people (18-29). Moreover, the average time spent on Instagram by its users daily is 53 minutes. So, it can definitely help in terms of getting your name out there.
Few things you can do on the platform to get more freelance writing jobs:
- Repurpose your content. Turn your blog posts into infographics, slideshows, and even memes.
- Share blog summaries. Instagram caption’s character limit is 2200, so use that to give readers an overview of your blog posts.
- Optimise the bio. Ensure it clearly states the type of freelance writer you are, that you are open for work, and also, add a link to your portfolio or the latest blog post.
- Showcase images of downloadables. It could be checklists, templates, reports that would be relevant to your target audience, and then add their download link in the bio.
6. Build an impressive website
It may sound daunting, especially if you lack the necessary technical skills or you are pressed for time. But, with the emergence of drag and drop website builders, things are much easier.
Having a website allows you to do a variety of things:
- Host your portfolio that showcases work samples, case studies, a summary of your educational qualifications, the services, you offer, and more.
- Start a blog, write SEO optimised, helpful articles on relevant and trending topics that your potential clients would be searching for.
- Showcase testimonials from your ex-colleagues, professors, and clients (if any), that convey how knowledgeable, skilled, and professional you are.
- Create a pricing page, which clearly illustrates the services you offer and how much do you charge for them.
- Set-up opt-in forms to capture the interests of potential clients and turn them into leads and also, add them to your newsletter subscription list.
- Create an about you page, give your readers an insight into your journey, the type of freelance writer you are, the areas you specialise, and the values that you bring to the table.
- Set-up a contact me page with a form and links to your social media handles, it makes it easier for potential clients to get in touch with you for freelance writing jobs.
7. Turn email into a lead gen machine
Email marketing is one of the most impactful and cost-effective marketing channels out there. It is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter, and is said to have a return on investment of 3800 percent.
So, as a rookie freelance writer, emails can come in extremely handy for lead generation.
Few tips on how to use email to land freelance writing gigs:
- Gain referrals. Get former clients, ex-colleagues, alumni members, friends, and family to refer you or introduce you to relevant people in their network.
- Create a weekly newsletter series. Use it to share your content, your achievements, and the latest offers.
- Build your email list. Offer free downloadable resources to get people to subscribe to your email list.
- Cold email potential clients. Run highly targeted cold/warm email campaigns and pitch your freelance writing service to prospective companies.
8. Participate in online discussion forums
Target online forums where potential clients and other relevant stakeholders hang out. It could be Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Whatsapp Groups, or other forums such as Discourse, Flarum, Growthhackers, Indiehackers, and SaaS Alliance, depending on your target audience.
Here’s a framework that you can follow:
- Put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes and join the kind of groups that they would. For instance, if you are into B2B freelance writing, check out groups such as Connecting Startups and Creative’s Corner.
- Build a rapport with the group members. Introduce yourself, engage with them on comments, answer their questions, share your opinion, and help them with additional resources.
- Start discussions around topics relevant to your service. Follow a question and answer model or create polls — they spark conversations easily.
- Try sharing teasers of downloadable resources, and invite interested parties to sign-up to your email list to get the complete version.
- Let everyone know that you offer free consultation calls. Nothing quite works as a one-on-one conversation.
- Start pitching your services. Focus on your prospect’s pain points and how your assistance will help overcome their problems.
Be very subtle. Spamming the groups with self-promotion won’t yield any results.
9. Get networking events to work for you
A good network can significantly smoothen your entry into freelancing. Most writers get their first few freelance content writing jobs through referrals and recommendations. If leveraged correctly, it can be a consistent and dependable source of clients. Moreover, it will help you learn the ropes and stay up-to-date with the latest in the industry.
Here’s how to go about building your network as a freelance writer:
- Scan through social media profiles of editors, content leads, marketing managers, small business owners, and startup founders. Find out events that they attend — webinars, workshops, conferences, meetups, etc.
- Use apps such as EventsHigh, Eventbrite, Meetup, GroupSpaces, to track such events happening in your locality. Set up alerts for the same to ensure that you don’t miss out.
- Prepare for the event. Research about the topic of discussion and the guests, and make sure you are informed. Create a bunch of conversation starters and find out ways you can contribute to the discussion or solve their pain points.
- Make it to the event early, introduce yourself and interact with relevant stakeholders. Get to know them, understand their perspective and pain points, offer solutions/help if there’s an opportunity, and lastly, get their contact details.
- Follow-up with them within 24 hours. It could be on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email. Share an article you wrote or a resource you created that is relevant and helpful to them.
- Once you’ve built the rapport, pitch your freelance writing services.
10. Actively try to get more referrals
Referrals are one most effective ways to land freelance writing jobs. Why? Because you are being recommended by someone who is trusted by the potential client. Now that carries a lot of weight. It is much more personal and intimate.
Here are different avenues to get referrals:
- Friends and family. Let your close friends and family that you are a freelance content writer now, and if they or if someone in their circle has content needs, they can get in touch with you.
- Alumni network. They are immensely powerful. Many of the members would be running businesses or occupying senior or decision-making roles. So, get yourself added to your alumni Whatsapp and Facebook Groups and attend offline meetups. Sometimes a post on the group may be enough for you to land freelance writing jobs.
- Faculty members. Your professors would be well aware of your capabilities as a writer and your work ethic. Moreover, they would know people in the industry too. So, maintaining a good relationship might fetch you referrals.
- Ex-colleagues. A lot of writers get their first few freelance content writing jobs via their former colleagues. So, ensure you stay in touch with them and let them know that you are on the lookout for projects.
Now, these are the ten major ways you can land freelance writing jobs. Make sure you are actively using these platforms and channels. Along with these, there are a few supplementary tactics that you can use. We’ve listed them below.
11. Sign up to job boards
Although most job boards list only full-time jobs, you’ll find a few freelancing and short-term gigs among them too. Some of the most popular job boards are Naukri, Monster, Indeed, Shine, Angellist, and LinkedIn Jobs. Besides this, you can also check out job boards for content writers such as Problogger, BloggingPro, MediaBistro, and so on.
The key thing to remember — to land more freelance writing jobs on these websites, make sure your profile is complete, and your CV is up-to-date and attractive. Also, upload a cover letter that answers why you are the right fit for the project and how you will add value to the organization.
12. Cold call potential clients
The concept is straightforward. You find the phone number of your potential clients, reach out to them, and pitch your freelance writing services. This is an old-school technique, and it may not always bear fruits. People might get annoyed quickly. But, if you can pull it off, it can be very cost-effective.
The key thing to remember — record your learnings right after the call, try to imitate their language, and don’t be robotic.
13. Reach out directly using contact us forms
Most websites these days have a ‘contact us form’. It is a straightforward way to get in touch with a potential client and pitch for freelance writing jobs. Visit the website of your dream clients, find their contact us page, write an outreach message introducing yourself and your work, and the type of content can you create for them.
The key thing to remember — make sure your message can easily be understood by someone who is not familiar with content marketing.
14. Monitor the career section of websites for opportunities
Most companies these days have a dedicated ‘Careers Page’ where they advertise openings. Keep monitoring the career pages of companies that you really want to work with. If you notice that there are vacancies for content writers, get in touch with their editor or content manager.
The key thing to remember — Be sure to mention that you’ll be able to start work as quickly as possible.
15. Build credibility by guest posting
“Guest posting” means writing and publishing an article on someone else’s website or blog.
There are a lot of websites out there that accept guest posts. You need to find ones relevant to your target audience. Reach out to the editor of the site, and convey that you’d love to write an original post for them. If they agree, brainstorm with them, arrive on a topic, draft the post, and share it with them.
The key thing to remember — make sure you get the byline. It will help establish you as a thought leader, build your portfolio, provide exposure to a new audience, and lastly, get inbound leads.
16. Work from co-working spaces
They are shared-workspaces where you can work independently or collaborate with others. Typical users of these facilities include freelancers and small startup teams. Thus, it is a great place to network, meet people from the same domain as well as early-stage startup founders.
The key thing to remember — if you can be proactive and spend some time in building relationships, you might be able to convert a few into clients or at least secure referrals.
17. Join a content agency
When you are starting out, you might find it hard to attract freelance writing clients. People may not trust you enough to hand you a project. In such cases, you can partner up with a content agency. And start working for them.
The key thing to remember — most such agencies are founded by experienced content writers or someone with a lot of contacts. This means you won’t have to do the hard work of attracting clients. Instead, you can just focus on writing.
18. Reach out to local businesses
The number of local searches on Google and social media have been on an upward surge for a while now. Due to this, small business owners have started investing more in content marketing, SEO, and social media. So, as an up-and-coming freelance writer, visit local businesses in nearby areas, and offer free consultations.
The key thing to remember — advise them on how they can improve their copies, landing page content, or product descriptions and critical keywords that they should be taking advantage of.
19. Partner with other freelancers
Get in touch with freelance SEO specialists and designers that work in your niche, ask them if they or their clients need content creators. This sort of partnership is great when you are starting out.
The key thing to remember — be sure to return the favour by referring them to the clients that you are working with. Soon, it will become an on-going thing.
20. Make use of paid ads
There are numerous channels where you can run paid campaigns. The popular ones would be Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn. However, when you are starting out, this may not be the right approach. You might end up burning way too much money to land a single project.
The key things to remember — ensure you have a thorough grasp of it before you spend money on it. People tend to be apprehensive when it comes to paid ads. even though it may fetch you visibility, it reduces the trust factor.
It is not humanely possible to start using all of these channels at once. So, shortlist ones that are doable and relevant, and then, plug away.