This article is part of our free Freelancing to Financial Freedom series which teaches moms to make a part time income on the side through FREELANCING.
You’ve made the decision to start earning money as a freelance writer, you’ve organized your schedule to clear time in your week to do freelance writing projects, and you’re ready to sit down at your computer and start writing for pay. But first, you need to use your computer to find those freelance writing jobs! We’ve listed some of the best websites for freelance writers looking for jobs and projects. Whether you’re just starting out as a writer and need shorter projects to get some experience, or you’re on your way to developing a good portfolio and client roster and want to find long-term or permanent projects and jobs, you’ll find that the websites below will help you locate the clients and contracts that will bring in that extra money you’re looking for.
(Note: Most of these websites either require a resume, or recommend that you upload or enter that information, so if you don’t have an updated resume showing your work history – whether that’s related to writing or not – then take some time to get that together before you start your job search.)
General Freelancing Sites
These are ‘all in one’ freelancing sites that connect employers with freelancers of all sorts who offer different unique skill sets. On these sites you’ll find writing work of all kinds, companies/individuals looking for virtual assistants, graphic design, webdesign, programming, etc. Basically, while there’s plenty of writing gigs you can apply for, there’s other non-writing jobs too. While there are literally dozens of these sites out there now, these are the best of the bunch. There is really no point for you to hit up two dozen freelancing sites — it’s best to focus your efforts on the top 2 or 3 and then focus specifically on your favorite one where you can build up your reputation.
The advantage of using this site is that you can bid on hundreds of jobs every week, and you have the chance to get as much work as you have time for. The disadvantage is that there are hundreds of thousands of other freelancers using this site, so you’ve got competition in those bids. Once you’ve started getting and completing jobs, you can build up a good reputation on this website with the feedback you get from clients. If you have a high rating, it will be easier for you to win more bids in the future. You can sign up for free, or pay a premium to get more access to the job listings. There’s a LOT of low quality writers on here — people who are from Africa, India, etc — who bid on every single job. This means it’s easier to stand out if you are a native-English speaker since your competition is so low. I know this well because I’ve hired a number of writers from this site myself.
This is another well-known general freelance job site, and it also offers the same advantages and disadvantages. Which one you choose really depends on how you like each site, and what types of jobs you can find. Sign up for free on this and other sites, and you’ll be able to test each of them out to see which one works best for you. Elance also has a category search that groups all of the writing jobs in one place, which makes it easier to find the projects you’re qualified for and interested in.
If you can think of a type of job that you can do on a part-time basis using a computer, a telephone, or both, then it’s probably advertised on this site. You’ll have to do some searching to find writing jobs, but these are the smaller jobs that may not show up on other websites. This isn’t a good place to look for high-paying jobs, but it might be a good resource for finding little 15-minute jobs to fit into your schedule and bring in a little cash. You can sign up for daily and weekly job alerts through their Facebook page.
People Per Hour
A website that has a good reputation for freelancer writing work. Lots of employers hiring and a busy market place. More unique and focused than freelancer. But they charge a lot of fees for their service.
A smorgasbord of different freelancer jobs, but plenty of writing jobs available here. Lots of low paid jobs though and you’ll find plenty of people from the subcontinent of India applying for your job here. oDesk is THE best place to hire a Virtual Assistant (VA), so if you are willing to hire yourself out as a VA, well oDesk is hot for that.
Another freelancing website, but unlike elance, oDesk, and People Per Hour, it charges an upfront membership fee to join — this means when you land a gig, they do not deduct a percentage however. And the money you will be paid is not secured via an escrow, so it’s risky as to whether you will get paid.
General Job Sites
Sites that you create a resume and start mass submitting. These are the websites you go to when you are trying to find a 9-5 job. But you can also use them to land freelancing writing gigs too, though it’s going to be more difficult than using a dedicated freelancing site or site catering only to writers. Still it’s worth a shot — sometimes the more glamorous, higher-paying writing job may be posted here like ads for magazine writers or technical writing for big companies, etc. If you are looking for article freelancing, there will likely be LESS of these types of jobs posted to general job sites.
Because this is a job site that combines “help wanted” ads from around the country with the employment listings of thousands of company websites, you may find it hard to locate part-time writing jobs you can do from home using Indeed. On the other hand, if you’ve already been writing for clients and you like the work, and you are thinking about changing careers, this is a great way to find entry-level writing jobs, or even higher-paying professional writing and editing work. Most of these are office jobs, however, so you’ll need to either look for jobs in your area, or be prepared to move to a different city if you’re offered work.
This is one of the original job board websites, and it’s where a lot of employers look first. When you put your resume and your personal information on this site, you can be sure that human resources managers and employment recruiters will be seeing it when they search for someone with your qualifications. You can also post links to your work, such as a longer article that you’ve had published. Even if your name isn’t on the article, if your client gave you permission to use that article in your portfolio, you can link to it as the proof of your writing qualifications. Again, this is a nationwide website, so be sure to filter the jobs by location if you don’t want to move.
For local jobs and one-time writing gigs, Craigslist can be a good resource. This site isn’t verified by anyone, though, so you need to be careful about contacting people who are advertising jobs. Not all jobs posted on Craigslist are real jobs, and some links go to spam websites. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any job listing that sounds too good to be true – because it probably is.
Dedicated Writing Sites
These are sites specifically designed to bring together people looking to hire writers and writers looking to…well write stuff. You should be checking out every single one of these if you are looking to become a freelance article writer or freelance writer of any sorts. Some of the web sites cater to the more experienced and talented writers who are given very specific (and higher paid) specialized writing jobs — expert writing jobs (where you are an expert about a topic an write detailed articles about that field — i.e. a science writer for a science website or magazine, a fitness / strength and conditioning writer for fitness, sports writer, etc.
Not only does this site help you find freelance writing jobs, it also has a large database of how-to articles written by other writers. By reading through these before you start looking for work, you’ll know what to search for – and what to avoid. They also have a library of free e-books, and videos that explain aspects of a freelance writing career. This is a good place to look for magazines and other publications who will pay freelance writers for longer articles, something you’ll be able to do once you have good references and a portfolio of work that you can show as an example.
There are several options for jobs searching on this website: you can search for blogging jobs,or jobs in the publishing industry, or editing jobs. You can search separately for jobs that allow you to work at home by telecommuting, or use the job search feature of the website that gathers all fo the “writing” category job openings from that week’s listings on Craigslist from cities around the country. This website also has helpful information on creating a freelance writing business, whether that’s full-time or part-time, with articles like “The Dos and Don’ts of a Freelance Writing Contract” and “How to Use Google Alerts to Help you Find Freelance Writing Gigs.”
This site focuses on article writing, and you’ll need to know what the terms “keyword” and “SEO” mean even before you apply to be a writer through the website. You need good English skills, but you also need to be able to write quickly on a variety of topics. The articles you write will be published on the client’s website, so it’s important that there are no errors or typos. You can pick the article projects that interest you, but you can only be working on eight projects at one time.
This is an English-language writing site based in Eastern Europe that promises to deliver well-written works of fiction or non-fiction. If you work for them, you’ll be doing research for non-fiction projects that could be articles for website publication, academic papers for students, or professional reports for people around the world. You might also be asked to write or co-author a short book, or even to develop a screenplay. While you can pick your area of interest, the jobs from this site will probably require you to spend several uninterrupted hours doing research and writing, so keep that in mind before you sign up.
If you know a lot about a particular topic, you might be able to join the team of experts at Write.com. This website expects its writers to produce high-quality work, so you’ll need to make sure your English vocabulary, grammar, and spelling skills are perfected before you apply. Because they want people who are experts in their field of interest, you might not have time to do a lot of research before writing to make the deadline, so be sure to only choose the categories you really feel confident about.
If you’re willing to start out by working for slightly lower fees, you can sign up with iWriter. They have plenty of clients looking for articles, so you’re almost guaranteed to get work. Once you build up a portfolio, you’ll be able to charge more – the site promises up to $15 per article. You can register for free, and choose the number of projects you do each week. Again, you’ll need to provide good-quality articles that are free of errors, because if you submit the article and the client rejects it, you won’t get paid for the time you spent writing it.
As the title suggests, if you are a guru about a topic, you can get paid some decent cash to write articles about that topic. A place for expert writers.
The jobs advertised on this site are ones the client’s willing to pay for. That’s because they have to pay a fee to put the job notice on the website in the first place. That also means that they’re looking for people who have excellent writing skills, so this probably isn’t a place for a first-time writer to look for work. If you’ve had some experience writing articles or other projects for clients, take a look at the job board on this site and see if there’s something that fits. Blogging jobs are generally long-term commitments, so if you apply for a job, be sure you have enough room in your schedule this week, next week, and every week afterwards to do the writing on time.
Networking and Information Sites
These are not so much designed to be direct ‘apply for a job, get hired’ type sites, but more of a community for people (and writers) to schmooze. You can build up contacts, network, and perhaps indirectly get access to a job opportunity.
Writer’s Digest (www.writersdigest.com)
Once you’re really committed to making a living as a freelance writer, you might want to explore other ways to earn money with your writing. Have you always wanted to write a book? Did you write and illustrate little stories for your children when they were younger? Do you write poetry in your spare time? At the websites run by Writer’s Digest you’ll find tips on how to submit a manuscript for publication, the best ways to format a document for e-readers, where to enter competitions for short stories and poetry, and how to turn writing into a full-time job. Many of the articles and information on these sites were written by people who started out just like you did, so there are a lot of valuable tips on many topics.
This site has job listings, but they’re almost all full-time office jobs. That makes LinkedIn a good place to post your resume if you want to make writing your career. Another great thing about this site is that you can create connections to people across the country – your friends, your family, your co-workers, people you used to go to school with, and anyone else you can “link” to. Once you do that, you have a link to all of the people they’re linked to, and to those peoples’ connections, and so on. When you’re looking for a job, it’s often very useful to have a personal contact at that company, and if you know someone who works in the same department, they can recommend you to the hiring manager. If you don’t know anyone yourself, you can look for a link through one of your contacts, and ask to be introduced. This is a professional-grade job search method, so you’ll need to have a good resume and a history of successful writing to take advantage of the LinkedIn website.
Daily Writing Tips (www.dailywritingtips.com)
Although you might not find many job opportunities through this site, it’s a great place to learn how to hone your skills as a writer. The people who run and write for the website’s blog are all published authors, and they know what it takes to make a living at writing. You can get information here on fiction writing, spelling, grammar (basic and advanced), style questions, and business writing tools. Sign up for their newsletter and you’ll find out about writing competitions that are accepting submissions, learn the “word of the day,” and get the latest news from the freelance and professional writer’s world.
If you’ve never heard of a content mill, then move along, you’re not missing much…except your sanity. I only mention these for the sake of completion, but I’m not even counting these job sources in the title count of ‘the top places’. Really, these places are like the digital version a Chinese ipod factory — the pay is dreadful and the working conditions (article topics in this case) are worse. Still if you are desperate for some cash, however little it might be, there’s always a job at one of these digital foundries.
You can cut your teeth in the content article business here and get paid for it. But expect to write a lot of sub-par, highly specific content articles about red flea repellent, best Nike shoes for off road running, and my personal favorite, ‘the Remington Electric Shaving Razor Model X 45 review’.
I divide Content Mills into two types: freelancing content mills which set you up writing articles for specific clients (i.e. Textbroker) and web content farms where you write articles for a large website that cashes on in Google traffic with keyword targeted content (ehow, about.com, livestrong.com, etc).
If this hasn’t scared you off just yet, here are some of the top content mills. Mind you there are more out there.
- Text Broker: I know this one well because I used to hire poor writers from this site to furnace my growing empire of spammy, low quality content sites (an empire that fortunately crumbled to dust a few years ago). Writers start off paid a penny a word and remain in this low wage status until their rating score (given to them by clients they write for through the textbroker interface) improves. It’s a soul crushing job, and as a person who used to
exploithire these poor folks to write for my old websites, I’m no doubt going to do a few years in purgatory for my deeds. However, having worked with poor writers writing the sorts of articles that TextBroker is famous for producing, I just say…don’t.
- Demand Studios: This used to be the big boy of content farming a few years ago, back until the panda and penguin updates cleaned out the low quality write-for-google-ranking crap that many content farms were pumping out. Demand Studious owns EHOW.com, that famous source of low quality info help crap you really don’t want to read because it’s to think to help you. BUT, if you are a writer and can prove it, Demand Studios is willing to pay you to write articles for them.
Here are a few more to look at if you really are desperate:
- Writer’s Domain
- TheContentAuthorty (thecontentauthority.com)