When you first start freelancing, it can be hard to get your foot in the door. All the jobs seem to be taken as soon as you hit “Apply” and you still have to scour the Internet trying to find other opportunities. By learning when sites refresh or when new jobs are posted, you have a better chance of being one of the first applicants, and a better chance of landing the job.
LinkedIn is a great source for keeping in touch with former colleagues but may not be the best for job searches. Since its popularity has grown and virtually every college grad is on the website, applying for a job posting is often frustrating. LinkedIn has a small notification at the bottom of their job postings that tells you how popular the posting has been. If it is “On Fire!” there are many applicants and it is unlikely you will be picked. While that application to the WWE PR person may be tempting, the job is probably taken. Applying to smaller companies will often mean less competition. Be sure to look for local business owners and keep updated on any new positions they may offer. Once you see an opening, apply for it immediately. Hiring managers will often hire one of the earliest applicants.
To search for freelance writing jobs at LinkedIn, click on the “Jobs” link (at the top). This will take you to the “Search for Jobs” screen. Select “Writing and Editing” under Functions. You can decide to enter a keyword, such as “freelance” or “contract” and/or a zip code.
Freelance Writing Gigs
FreelanceWritingGigs.com is a great site to check early and often. This site refreshes daily with new contract jobs and writing opportunities. The website breaks categories into blogging, writing, editing, proofreading, copywriting, etc. If you’re a night owl it is a good idea to check this site at midnight. That is when the site refreshes with new jobs. Otherwise it is good to check while you’re having your morning coffee. I have had a lot of luck with the site. As long as you apply quickly and check the site often, you may have similar luck. oDesk.com can be a great resource for work depending on your dedication to the site. Since oDesk.com is available in every country, you have a large amount of inexpensive competition—to get a job you need to make sure you have a compelling profile. To be competitive, look at this site in the morning along with FreelanceWritingGigs.com. That way you will be on the same schedule as your desired employers. You should also consider taking oDesk’s series of skills tests. The more tests you pass, the more likely employers will look at your profile and you will be able to apply to more jobs. If you decide to sign up for oDesk.com, set aside a whole afternoon to take a few tests.
oDesk.com is a crowdsourcing marketplace that matches freelancers with clients. You will need to register first before you can apply to any projects. To view current freelance writing jobs, click on “Find Work” (1), then click on “Writing & Translations” (2) and (optional) a sub-category (3). On this day oDesk.com had over 4,000 open projects to bid on.
Many people consider looking at Craigslist job postings as scraping at the bottom of the barrel. For freelance writing, nothing could be further from the truth. Many postings I have applied to have actually linked me to Craigslist. Check the website daily. Unlike the other websites, CraigsList does not refresh with new jobs. Instead, the site posts job opportunities as soon as the employers write and submit them. Once you find a position that interests you, apply to it immediately. As with applying to all job websites, make sure you are one of the first to apply. The closer you are to the date the job was posted, the better.
Online Writing Jobs
Online-Writing-Jobs.com is another popular job site where you can search through new freelance jobs in several categories like copywriting, blogging, article writing, proofreading, and more. The site refreshes with new jobs twice daily: once in the morning before 11 a.m. and once in the afternoon around 6 p.m. The moderators research and select writing gigs from other larger job sites like Indeed.com, JournalismJobs.com, CraigsList.org, MediaBistro.com, Monster.com, an so on. If you only want to browse new jobs for the day, simply click on the site’s “View Today’s Online Writing Jobs” and this will list all new jobs.
Problogger.net, an active website for all things related to blogging, offers a “Jobs” section where you can find classified-style ads seeking freelance and contract bloggers for upcoming projects. Job ads appear as soon as job posters submit their ads. The best time to visit this site is twice a day: once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. Because the site only has 3-5 new jobs each day, you do not need to visit more than a couple times per day. The same is true with other niche job sites like JournalismJobs.com, FreelanceJobOpenings.com, MediaBistro.com, and Ed2010.com, which provide only a few freelance gigs per day.
To find regular calls for submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, then peruse the announcements at Writing Career, a free editorial round-up of what editors and publishers are currently seeking from freelance writers. The site posts 3-6 new writing opportunities throughout the day. This is a fabulous website to find paying markets for your literary works as well as to find book publishers and literary agents who are in need of writers and authors.
Being punctual and responsible can mean more work from the same employer later. Be sure to give them resources and have a portfolio ready when you apply for the job. This will make you look more professional and organized as a freelancer.
Starting a blog, creating an online portfolio, and putting your resume on your blog are great ways to keep your work interesting and current as you apply for more and more work. Freelance writing takes a large amount of focus, organization and discipline. As you use more and more job sites, you will become knowledgeable about how often they refresh with new jobs and can create your own schedule when to visit each site.
About the author:
Molly Sams is a Kutztown University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing. She lives on a small farm with her family in Lancaster Pennsylvania where she freelances and helps the family manage a herbal magazine, The Essential Herbal, a soap business, and Christmas tree farm. Visit Molly’s blog at http://talesfroma20something.wordpress.com