I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993, and one of the most often-asked questions I receive is how to find online writing gigs that pay well. If you are completely new to freelancing, following are three pieces of advice to help you do just that.
I. Stay off Job Boards
While job boards may offer a lot of writing gigs for freelancers, many of them are very low-paying and the competition is fierce.
In my opinion, this is the probably among the top mistakes many newbies make when starting their freelance writing career. Why? Because when you start out getting paid such low rates, it can be hard to build your confidence to the point where you think you deserve to be paid more.
It can also be all too easy to get stuck in a never-ending cycle of low-paying gigs. This sucks not only your time and energy, but it can shake your confidence.
Right about now you might be thinking, “But how do I find writing jobs online if I don’t look on job boards?” Well I’m glad you asked. This brings us to my second piece of advice, which is to go directly to the source.
II. Contact Companies Directly
Practically every business that is online needs some type of content, eg, blog posts, newsletter material, updated web content, etc. So contact businesses directly. They’re easy to find online via their social media profiles and, their websites. Not only will you be cutting out the middle man (eg, job boards), you will be cutting down on your competition too.
This is how I’ve gotten about 80 to 90 percent of the freelance writing jobs I’ve landed. The other 15 to 20 percent come by way of referral as I’ve been doing this so long.
Another advantage of contacting companies directly is that you can usually charge more. The reason is, businesses care about their brand. And many realize that they need to “invest” in content to make their brand believable, useful and trustworthy. So they don’ t want to hire freelancers who’ll write for $5 per article; they wouldn’t trust the quality.
These business owners look for professional freelance writers they can add to their “team” – and are willing to pay decent rates for this privilege.
This is the type of client base you want to cultivate; NOT ones who post assignments on job boards offering to pay $3 for a 500-word article. Understand?
III. Specialize in a Niche
The reason I advise this is that you can not only charge more, it can be easier to land clients because your marketing will be more focused.
Also, when clients view you as a “specialist” in a certain niche, it’s easy for you to become their “go to” writer. And, they’ll likely refer others to you as well.
There are good-paying freelance writing jobs out there, so don’t think aren’t. Where many newbies get stuck is figuring out how to find them – and having the guts to set their freelance writing rates high enough to make a living wage. Don’t!
Content marketing is all the rage now. It’s how companies are building their brands online. And they’re not about to invest in a $5 per article writer; far from it. They want quality – and are willing to pay for it. So if you’re thinking that bottom-of-the-barrel rates are what they’re looking for, you’ve got it all wrong. In fact, you can actually lose clients as a freelance writer by charging too little.
If you follow the advice here, you’ll be well on your way to landing higher-paying online writing jobs – and to starting a successful, home-based freelance business.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black has been a freelance writer since 1993. She heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company she founded in 2008. She’s also the author of over 50 ebooks, which cover topics such as freelance writing, SEO / online writing, self-publishing and online / affiliate marketing. They can all be found on InkwellEditorial.com, her website devoted to helping others start successful, home-based, freelance writing careers.
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