Where to Look for Freelance Writing Jobs
by Ruby Bayan
Ah, don't you just love the paradox of a freelance writer's life? You've spent years honing your writing skills, yet no editor will simply take your word for it; you have established a standard rate of $50 an hour, yet you just have to grab this $25/article project because there's nothing else on your desk; and, yes, you fervently believe this is the ideal career for you, yet it doesn't seem to generate a cash flow to keep you abreast with your bills. Sigh.
Well, before you throw in the towel and go back to a secure job at an assembly line, ask yourself if you've done your best hunting for freelance projects that will adequately fill your coffers. Have you looked in the right places? By far, the best place to look for freelance jobs is still the internet. Have you done your homework?
Job Sites Specializing in Writing/Freelance Postings
Editors, publishers and Web site owners need content writers as much as you need someone to write for. Most of them will openly call for freelancers with your specific qualifications - you just have to be there when they do. Bookmark the following sites and visit them often. They post want ads for freelance writers weekly, some even daily, so check frequently and respond promptly because you know what happens to the early bird!
Writer's Guidelines Databases
If you're more interested in seeing your byline and bio in glossy mags and online E-zines, then writer's markets are what you should dig into. A number of sites have taken the time and effort to put together huge databases of writer's guidelines for almost every print magazine you see on the news stands. Some of them offer search categories that will help you narrow down to the specific type of market you prefer (paying markets, right?).
Freelance Writing Newsletters and Mailing Lists
A somewhat passive way to find freelance writing jobs on the internet is to subscribe to writing newsletters and mailing lists or forums. Many writing sites offer free subscriptions to their newsletters that feature job openings and projects, along with tips and articles about the writing life. Subscribing to online mailing lists and message forums will help you get involved with co-writers, editors, and publishers -- the exchange of information often leads to job opportunities.
You may be the type of writing professional who loves to interact with others in your field. Some of the ways to "mingle" with co-writers is through chats, message boards, or forums. Here are the ones I've recently visited:
Participating in virtual communities is another way to get into writing projects. The community work itself doesn't usually pay much because most sites harp on the fact that their popularity is your best venue for exposure and experience -- which is true. So, depending on your priorities, you can join virtual communities as a paid columnist, guide or contributing editor, or as a volunteer community leader, program manager or adviser. Whichever way you go, involvement in these communities will look good on your resume' and could lead to highly profitable projects in the long run.
If up to now you still are not active in social networking sites, then you're missing much of the action. Build your social profile and network, network, network.
Do A Search
It's a verb now, so go ahead and use it. Google. Do an online search for what you want to find. Freelance writing jobs. Writing rates. Get paid for writing. Writers for hire. Content writers wanted. Part-time writers. Just type up a search and the search engines will list so many resources and countless opportunities, you wouldn't know where to start.
All I can say now is, good luck!
(I am sharing these resources because they have helped me acquire valuable experience and exposure, plus several well-paying, on-going, content-writing projects, within only three months of quitting my day job to become a full-time freelance writer. I hope to help you "take off," too!)