Have you made the decision to become a freelance writer and now feel lost on how to find freelance writing jobs?

Are you applying for content mill sites like Upwork thinking that it’ll lead to more pennies per word?

Do you feel like you could be more strategic about your freelance writing client search?

When I first started freelance writing, I had absolutely zero experience in the field. I landed my first client reasonably fast, and from there, I was able to build my credibility.

How did I get my first freelance writing client?

Getting Started Writing With Job Boards

Starting out as a complete beginner, this was how I got my foot in the door. Every day I would comb through several job boards looking for clients I could pitch to.

Because I was looking to gain experience and start making a decent living, I pitched to as many clients as I could, even if they weren’t in my niche or I wasn’t very knowledgeable about the topic they needed.

Some people shy away from becoming freelance writers because they feel they aren’t an expert in anything or feel like they would never know enough to write outside their niche.

But the truth is that even if a freelance writer has a specialized niche, they’ll often write about a variety of subjects, especially when first starting! It’s one of the biggest myths that you need to be an absolute expert in your field to write about it.

What freelance writers are, are expert researchers. Give us a day and an internet connection, and we’ll write credibly about any topic.

For instance, one of my first writing gigs was about landscape lighting. Folks, I knew nothing about outdoor lighting when I applied for the job. But here I am, thousands of words later—still writing for them.

So, don’t be afraid to apply to jobs outside your area of expertise or assignments you’re not familiar with. That’s the first step in getting started with writing. I always just tell myself, “I’ll figure it out” when I’m faced with the unknown.

With that in mind, these are the freelance writing job boards that helped me in getting started with writing, and the ones I was most successful with:
Others that are helpful and I look through daily include:
Some people also find success on paid jobs boards. I’ve used them before, but not for very long. I don’t think it’s worth it to pay top dollar for them when getting started with writing. Most of the jobs they list can be found on one of the job boards listed above. Here are some common ones that are pretty inexpensive:

It’s worth it to mention Contena since you are bound to come across that name when searching for paid job boards. A lot of people endorse them, but I’m still not convinced of their quality. Here’s an unaffiliated review that made me think twice about becoming a member.

Using Craigslist to Find Freelance Writing Clients

I was able to land an ongoing job as an article ghostwriter for a company through craigslist. Although I haven’t found that many freelance writing clients through there through here, it’s always worth a quick look. To maximize your chances, it’s good to look at listings in big cities and in your local area.

Something I only found out a few months in is Craigslist has two places you can look for writing jobs for each city. One is the “jobs” category and the other is “writing gigs,” so be sure to look at both places.

Here are cities I check:

Contacting Content Marketing Agencies For Freelance Writing Jobs

Content marketing agencies or digital marketing agencies are a gold mine. Businesses often need help with managing their inbound marketing, email newsletters, social media posts, ebooks, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc. to build their business.

So, they hire out to content marketing agencies who create a strategic marketing plan that will grow their audience, keep them engaged, rank on google, and propel the company forward.

Search on google for content or digital marketing agencies, and then reach out to them with a pitch that showcases your best, published samples.

Taking Advantage of Content Writer Platforms

Similar to content agencies, sites serving as content platforms allow you to create an online portfolio to house your best, published samples. Your portfolio link can be shared with prospective employers, and in most cases, they can view it without having to create an account.

But these sites also use your portfolio to match you with brands and companies that need writers. You’ll also be part of a writer marketplace where potential clients can find you.

And those clients often pay very well. I’ve had my portfolio on contently since I started freelance writing and haven’t received any offers directly, but other freelance writers in my facebook groups have.

Be sure your portfolio is marked as “visible to everyone” on Contently. I only realized after months of giving out my portfolio link that I had the wrong setting. Almost no one will go through the hassle of signing up to view your work.

I recently created an online portfolio on ClearVoice, and was contacted about a month later by the company to be set up with a client. The rate was actually more than I usually charge, so I was thrilled—to say the least. I really didn’t have much faith I’d ever get a client through there, but I was glad to be wrong. nDash is on my list of next things to try.

If anything, these types of sites are still a great place to have a digital portfolio. The three I mentioned (Contently, ClearVoice, and nDash) are some of the more popular ones.

Clients Don’t Care If You’re Just Getting Started with Writing!

When starting out, finding those first few gigs can seem like an insurmountable mountain. You feel like you have no experience, and no one will want to hire you.

But there are plenty of places you can start pitching to right away to find your first freelance writing clients, even with no prior writing history. As long as you have some published samples to show, most people won’t even realize you’re a complete newbie.

Your writing matters more than how long you’ve been in the industry. Articles that are appropriately formatted for online reading, are easy to read, and have correct grammar and spelling will make you look like a pro.

The only thing standing in your way is you! So tell your fears to step aside because it’s time to start making money.

Over to You

Where did you find your first freelance writing client? How about your highest paying gig?

(Original feature image via Pixabay)