Learning how to get a job in writing isn't easy, unless you know what to do and where to look.
In a world that is increasingly driven by the Internet, jobs for writers are quite prevalent. If you are competent at writing in the English language, you can easily work full-time as a blogger or copywriter if you know where to look for freelance writing jobs. Add in the demand for social media writers, and the modern world is an ideal one for the freelancer.
Yet finding the best jobs for writers is not always easy. This guide will help you not only find freelance writing jobs, but also diversify your income as a creative.
- 1. Build A Winning Portfolio
- 2. Brush up on Your Writing Skills
- 3. Create A Freelance Writer Bio (and Make it Easy to Find)
- 4. Learn to Pitch (Headlines, That Is)
- 5. Determine the Right Type of Writing
- 6. Follow Writing Job Boards
- 7. Apply to Content Sites
- 8. Consider Self-Publishing
- 9. Know Your Worth
- Get a job in writing: The Final Word
1. Build A Winning Portfolio
Before you quit your day job to pursue a full-time career as a writer or blogger, you need a portfolio. One of the first things a new potential client will ask is for samples of your writing work. If you can’t deliver, you won’t get the job.
Your portfolio will showcase your writing skills and abilities. It should have many different styles of writing, including copywriting, marketing writing and blogging.
Once you have your portfolio, you can tackle the job boards and start applying for jobs, with a slew of effective writing to show. The time it takes to build a portfolio will be easily paid for with the jobs you can get as you launch your writing career.
2. Brush up on Your Writing Skills
There are many places to land writing jobs online, but many are very low paying. As an English writer, you can get better-paying work if you make sure your writing skills are superior. High-paying jobs that would let you build a true writing career require solid writing skills.
When discussing writing online, writing skills are about more than just grammar and punctuation. You also need to know how to optimize your work for the search engines, write engaging headlines and communicate effectively with potential clients. Brush up on your search engine optimization and content marketing skills while you’re also building your grammar and structure skills.
3. Create A Freelance Writer Bio (and Make it Easy to Find)
To find writing jobs, you need an online presence, and that starts with a killer freelance writer bio. Take some time to craft an engaging and compelling bio that will make people want to hire you. Then, post it on your social media pages, website, blog and anywhere else you might run into potential clients.
Your byline and bio need to make it clear you are available to hire as a freelancer. It can link to your professional page on LinkedIn or your website, or it can contain your intact information. You want it to say, “hire me for more great content like you just read,” but in a less direct manner.
4. Learn to Pitch (Headlines, That Is)
Pitching refers to sending an idea to a potential client for an article or blog post, and successful freelancers know how to do this. If you are reading someone’s website and have a great idea for a new article, send an email or private message to pitch the idea.
To make a pitch effective, know the person who will receive it and what motivates them. Then, send a short and sweet message to get the pitch into the hands of your potential client.
It can be scary to send “cold” pitches to potential clients, but you will get better at it the longer you work as a freelancer. Eventually, some of those pitches will turn into paying writing gigs.
5. Determine the Right Type of Writing
Freelance work can fall into many different categories. Some common types of creative writing that you can get paid for include:
Technical writing – A technical writer writes about computers, software and other types of tech.
Press releases – Today’s companies use press release to announce everything from new products to new hires, and gain backlinks through them.
Blogging – Bloggers will write conversational pieces on behalf of their clients, often businesses, to build rapport with an audience and help with overall branding.
Grant writing – Grant writers help organizations write grant applications.
Web content writing – Web content refers to the content posted on a company’s website, and because the search engines reward fresh content, there is quite a bit of writing work in this niche.
Social media marketing – Social media posts, including LinkedIn posts, Twitter tweets, Instagram captions and Facebook posts, are all writing opportunities worth exploring for today's freelance writer.
Full-time freelancers often do many of these, but you may find that one particular niche works better for you than another, so take some time to explore your options, and add portfolio items that fit.
Ghostwriting – Many freelancers are ghostwriters, which means they write part-time for someone else, who then publishes the work in their own name. Ghostwriters can write everything from basic online content and blogs to full novels and books.
6. Follow Writing Job Boards
Writing job boards provide a place for companies to post ads looking for writers. Some popular sites for your job search include:
ProBlogger – This free job board can be quite competitive, but it has a lot of different niches to explore.
FreelanceWriting.com – This is another free job board that lets you filter jobs by keyword or niche and updates daily.
OnlineWritingJobs.com – Apply as a freelancer and get curated job postings delivered to you.
7. Apply to Content Sites
Another way to build your writing skills while getting paid to write is with content writing sites. These sites leverage their well-known names to get big-ticket clients, then farm those jobs out to freelance writers in return for a percent of the profits. Writers have less marketing work to do, but can land high-paying jobs through these sites.
Some popular content sites to consider include:
8. Consider Self-Publishing
In addition to writing gigs for other people, take some time to publish your own writing work or short stories. It’s easier than ever to self-publish, especially with tools like Amazon, and your creative writing can bring in residual income to help bolster your online writing work. You can even write self-help books and ebooks to add to your income.
9. Know Your Worth
The best jobs for freelance writers are those that pay top dollar. You can always find jobs that pay just a few cents per word, but remember, there are plenty of bottom-of-the-barrel writers to take those.
You need to rise above. Hold out for the high-paying jobs.
With a strong portfolio, you can, and should, demand higher pay. Member, the writing gigs you land are an important part of the public relations side of the businesses you write for, so they should pay well for good-quality writing work.
Get a job in writing: The Final Word
Ultimately, learning how to get job in writing is hard work, but it's more than achievable. While writing a book can be a good way to earn income, you can also earn income freelancing as an online content writer.
By being selective and building a strong portfolio, you can land these jobs and build a successful career path as a writer.
What are the highest-paying writing jobs?
Public relations and scientific journal writing are among the highest-paid writing jobs. Ghostwriting books is also a high-paying writing job. However, you can build a strong, good-paying career out of online writing gigs, if you know where to look.
Can you build a full-time career out of writing?
Yes, if you have a diverse portfolio and a diverse list of clients, you can build a full-time career out of writing. Take some time to develop your skill, then launch a successful and rewarding career.
Join over 15,000 writers today
Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.