Article by Wendy McCance
I see this question quite often, how do you find writing jobs when you are new to freelance writing? Why is it that some people can decide to become a writer and get jobs while other new writers struggle? Is there a magic solution that many people are unaware of?
Any person who decides on a freelance writing career has to start at the beginning. I mean starting out with no clips of their work, no endorsements and an uncertainty of where they are going to find an offer to write.
I’m sure you have read many stories about writers starting out and dealing with unreputable companies. You know, those websites that offer ridiculously low sums of money to write an article? You should never have to worry about writing articles along with hundreds of other people hoping your article is the one chosen and payment is made. You should never have to write an article for a few dollars for your time. You should definitely not work for a company that takes two dollars away from your payment for every mistake they find (believe it or not, such a company exists).
How then should you go about getting those first assignments? Let me tell you how I did it. I started out like everyone else with no previous articles and was basically unknown when I was offered my first writing job. Yep, I didn’t look for the job, the company came to me. The way I started out was writing this blog and making sure that several social media sites saw my work. I linked my article to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and many other social websites. The goal was to place each article where it made the most sense.
If I was writing on a parenting topic, Mommy Bloggers got a link. If I was writing about blogging itself, there were a few blogging groups on Linkedin that would see my article. In fact, it was because of those articles on Linkedin that I got my first job.
A company reached out and asked if I would be willing to write a 300-500 word article on a financial topic. My very first assignment landed me $65.00 in my pocket. I had no clips at the time, I hadn’t even been a guest writer on another website. This company saw what I was writing on a Linkedin group, saw how people in the group were interacting with what I wrote and decided I would be a good fit for them.
Of course what happened to me might just be considered a lucky break. What should you do if you aren’t being approached by others? Like I mentioned before, write as much as you can. Choose different topics to show your range of abilities. Make sure to advertise your work on relevant social sites. These are the basic things that you should be doing each day.
Once you have been writing and sending out articles for a while, your next step is to ask for the job. All of that social networking hopefully has created a strong following of readers. Take the time to write to these readers and ask if you can be of assistance to them.
What I do is look through the contacts I have built up and take a look at the company they work for and what their job title is. If they seem to be the decision maker, that person who would hire the freelance writer and more importantly, need a freelance writer, I write an email to them. In the letter I let them know what I feel I could do for their company. Maybe you can suggest writing blog articles or a press release for the company. Make sure that what you are offering makes sense to the person you are writing to.
If you have knowledge about finance and you are writing to a financial company, tell them what your background is and why you would be a great choice for writing their articles.
Other ways to look for freelance writing jobs is to go out and personally network with people in your community. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, the PTA or even a writing group through Meetup. You never know who has a need for your skills or who might have some great advice on where to look for a job.
Finally, if you feel more comfortable starting your career by going to the websites that offer writing opportunities, just make sure you go to reliable companies that offer fair wages. Below are a few companies that I have heard are pretty decent to work for. I have never used these companies so this is really second-hand information. Nevertheless, it might be worth taking a look at these sites to decide if any of them would be worth your time.
I hope the information provided helps you out in your own career. If you have any additional sites you would like to mention, or a success story on how you got started as a freelance writer, I’d love to hear from you.
For more information about writing and blogging, please check out my Facebook page. It is a wealth of knowledge and definitely worth your time. https://facebook.com/searchingforthehappiness
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]