23 ways to find freelance writing jobs (as a beginner)
If you’re wondering where all the freelance writing work is, you’re not alone. Even the most experienced freelance writers occasionally struggle to land assignments.
As a beginner, finding freelance writing work might seem impossible, but it’s not. With the right approach and attitude, you can secure plenty of well-paying writing jobs.
Below, we’re sharing 23 different ways to find freelance writing work—and breaking down what you need to do to position yourself for success.
Get organized before you search for work
Before you start firing off emails, it’s critical to get organized. Handling a few logistics ahead of time can facilitate the job search and application process, not to mention save you stress and time. Here are five steps you should take:
1. Identify your niche
Knowing your writing niche makes it easier to tailor your online profiles, search for relevant job opportunities, and target the clients most likely to respond to you. If you haven’t taken the time to choose a niche (or two or three), carve out a couple of hours to figure out what you want to write about. This is a helpful first step, especially when you're starting out as a writer.
Make a list of your various interests, skills, and areas of knowledge or expertise, then see if any of them intersect. You can narrow down your options by choosing an industry, identifying a particular field within that industry, then picking a specific topic within that field. For example: health → medicine → patient care. Or tech → marketing → data analysis.
From there, spend some time researching your niche to scope out the competition and opportunities.
2. Update your portfolio
Your writing portfolio is the single biggest asset you have when applying to freelance job opportunities. It should be organized, detailed, and easy to navigate. In addition to uploading your best, recent, and most relevant writing samples, consider including a list of the brands or outlets you’ve written for.
If you don’t have any writing samples yet, don’t worry. You can still build a great portfolio—you just have to get creative. Keeping your niche in mind, reach out to a few blogs, businesses, and non-profit organizations about taking on spec work (which is work done for free or without a contract).
You can pitch a guest blog post to a website, volunteer to write emails or website copy for a growing small business, or offer your writing services to a non-profit organization for brochures, press releases, or articles. You can even volunteer your writing services to friends and family who are building websites or launching businesses. Once you have five to 10 different samples of writing, add the links or PDFs to your portfolio.
3. Enhance your LinkedIn profile
Polishing your LinkedIn profile puts you a step ahead when applying for jobs and connecting with potential clients. Start by updating your job description to something specific and searchable, like “Freelance B2B Technical Writer” or “Health and Fitness Journalist.”
Next, update your “about” section to explain what type of writing you do, attach any relevant writing samples you have, and include a link to your portfolio. It’s also a good idea to specify that you’re available for work and share your contact information.
4. Make a new resume
If you don’t have a designated freelance writing resume, it’s time to make one. Most clients who hire freelance writers won’t ask for a resume, but it’s helpful to have one just in case.
You can use the same template and format from your last professional resume; just add a section at the top that says “Freelance Writing Work.” List the brands or outlets you’ve written for, the type of the writing you do, and your skills. You can also include information about specific writing courses you’ve taken or certifications you’ve earned.
5. Gather testimonials
Having testimonials on your website or LinkedIn profile can boost your credibility as a freelance writer. Reach out to a few different people—like an editor, former colleague, or freelance writing client—who can vouch for your writing skills and professionalism.
Send them an email asking for a brief testimonial or LinkedIn recommendation describing your writing abilities and their experience working with you. To make it easy, consider including a link to other testimonial examples or sharing a basic template your contacts can use.
23 ways to find freelance writing jobs as a beginner
Securing freelance writing work is an ongoing process that takes diligence, creativity, and determination. To get the best results, you need to be consistent and think beyond the job boards.
Ready to hit the proverbial pavement? Try as many of these 23 strategies as you can.
1. Connect with other freelance writers
One of the most effective ways to find steady freelance writing jobs is to form relationships with other writers, especially people in your writing niche. By networking and forging genuine bonds, you can learn about new writing gigs, score referrals, and get advice on how to find clients.
There are countless ways to connect with your fellow writers. Here are just a few:
- Join an online writers group. There are hundreds of online freelance writing groups that post job opportunities. You can search for a relevant writing group on Facebook or Reddit using your niche, location, or writing specialty. Think: “healthcare content writers,” “Seattle freelance writers,” or “freelance travel writers.” Keep in mind that while online groups are tempting places to lurk, you’ll get more out of the experience if you’re an active participant. Make an effort to comment on other people’s posts, ask questions, and share relevant news or job links.
- Find writers on LinkedIn. Using similar search terms, look for writers in your area or niche, then send a connection request with a note. A simple, friendly message does the trick.
- Join a LinkedIn writers group. LinkedIn groups are another great place to network, gather writing tips and intel, and find job opportunities. Consider joining The Freelance Writers’ Connection, Self Employed Leadership Group, or the Writing Professionals Group. As you get to know the group members, you may want to branch out and start an email or chat thread for writers in your niche or region.
- Email other writers. Reaching out to other writers on neutral terms is a great way to develop a positive connection. If you read a particularly profound or enlightening article, take note of the author’s name and follow the link in their bio to their Twitter handle or website. From there, you’ll usually be able to locate their email address to send a friendly message.
- Follow other writers on Twitter. Start building genuine social media connections with other writers by sharing their work or retweeting their posts. You can follow people who write for the publications and brands you admire, or search relevant hashtags in your niche to find writers who have similar specialties and passions as you.
2. Create a digital flyer advertising your writing services
Think like a marketer and try advertising your writing services. Creating and distributing a digital flyer takes strategy and creativity, but it can bring you valuable exposure and help attract potential clients.
To create a good flyer, consider which writing skills and services you want to highlight, whether it’s SEO writing, technical writing, or social media writing. Next, pinpoint your target audience and consider their needs. Writing to small business owners requires a different approach than, say, writing to the founders of tech startups.
Once you know your audience and objective, make sure your flyer has the following:
- A catchy headline
- A hook that explains the problem you’re trying to help with
- A description of the services you offer
- A background section that explains what you do, how you get results, and why someone should hire you
- A call to action inviting your audience to send you an email or visit your website
- An appealing aesthetic
You may even want to hire a graphic designer to add visuals, choose fonts and colors, and help with general formatting. Once you have a PDF copy of your digital flyer, post it to your LinkedIn account and email it to friends, family, and professional contacts.
3. Sign up for a conference or event
Attending a writing conference or industry event is a fun way to make connections within your niche, get in front of potential clients, and learn about writing gigs or opportunities.
As with a professional membership group, with conferences you have two options: 1) Attend a broad writing-centric conference or 2) Attend a conference dedicated to a topic in your niche.
The route you choose depends on your goals. If you want to break into a certain niche or meet a specific client, signing up for an industry-specific conference is a good idea. However, if your goal is to meet other writers or gather intel on general writing jobs, a writing-based conference will get the job done.
Here are a list of events and conferences to consider:
- American Society of Journalists and Authors National Conference
- Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing
- BlogHer Creators Summit
- Copywriting Conference’s International Festival of Copywriting
- ContentTech Summit
- Content Marketing Conference
- Social Media Marketing World
- Content Jam Content Marketing Conference
- Content Marketing World Conference and Expo
- MarTech Conference
- B2B Marketing Exchange
4. Search for jobs on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an excellent resource for finding freelance writing work, but because it’s such a massive platform, it’s crucial to apply to jobs early and thoroughly.
To weed through the thousands of writing-related posts, enable your settings to filter for freelance and contract writing jobs, then turn on your job notifications. It’s also smart to spend 10 minutes every morning searching for jobs by their posting date, so you can see the most recent announcements.
Here are a few other guidelines to follow when applying for LinkedIn writing jobs:
- Follow the instructions when applying.
- Include a link to your portfolio, even if they don’t ask for it.
- Write a compelling cover letter.
- Go the extra mile to message or email the hiring coordinator expressing your interest in the job.
5. Send cold emails to prospective clients
If you send relevant, tailored messages, cold emailing is one of the most effective ways to get freelance writing work. A cold email gives you the chance to sell your services directly, show off your writing skills, and demonstrate how much you know about the brand or company you’re contacting.
Depending on the type of work you do, you could email a company to offer your email copywriting services, pitch article ideas for their blog, or ask if they need help writing case studies or white papers.
Start by creating a list of people to reach out to. Search for companies or outlets within your niche, then browse their sites to get a feel for their content needs and goals. If they look like a decent client, seek out a contact. You can use LinkedIn or Twitter to search for the company’s content coordinator, marketing manager, or communications specialist. From there, you need to write a killer cold email.
Include the following elements:
- A personalized greeting
- Information about your writing background and expertise
- An explanation of the writing services you offer and how they could help the company you’re contacting
- A link to your portfolio or website
- A way to contact you
Here’s a sample cold email:
I’ve been a fan of SmartWeb for a while and wanted to reach out. I noticed the site has a comprehensive blog that covers SmartWeb’s suite of business products, but that there are no customer success stories anywhere.
Do you need a writer to help with that? I specialize in writing customer success stories that help B2B companies convert customers who are on the fence. I’m comfortable conducting interviews with customers and analyzing data. Past clients of mine include Better Business Tools and EasyTech. You can see some of my work here [link].
I’d love to discuss SmartWeb’s content needs and how I could be of service. If you have questions or would like to set up a time to talk, please feel free to get in touch.
6. Make a portfolio on a content platforms
Content platforms are designed to pair freelancers with clients who want to hire them. However, you can’t actively search for work on a content platform. Instead, you create a portfolio and wait for someone to contact you about a potential work opportunity. Depending on your experience level and areas of expertise, you could end up waiting months or years for someone to reach out.
That said, there’s no downside to creating a portfolio. Signing up for a content platform takes minimal effort and the potential upside—scoring well-paying, ongoing gigs with impressive clients—is huge. Plus, at the very least, you get a free online portfolio to showcase your work.
Here are a few content platforms to try:
7. Look for full-time writing jobs
Instead of searching for freelance writing gigs—which often have hundreds of applicants—try searching for full-time writing positions you’re qualified for. This is a clever way to reverse engineer the process of getting hired.
In addition to adjusting your LinkedIn settings to filter for full-time writing jobs and remote work, try searching Indeed.com, FlexJobs, and We Work Remotely. Look for job postings that ask for copywriters, academic writers, content writers, digital marketing writers, social media writers, SEO writers, or communications specialists. You can also Google search “[your niche] + writer” to see which types of jobs pop up on company websites.
Once you’ve gathered a list of viable job prospects, it’s time to reach out. Instead of applying to job postings as a freelancer, figure out how you can email hiring managers directly. If the job post or company website doesn’t list the name or email of the HR director, you may have to do some sleuthing to find it.
Try searching “[company name] + HR” on LinkedIn, check the profiles of different people, then scroll through their recent posts to see if they’ve shared any job posts or announced any hiring plans.
As you reach out to hiring managers and HR directors, it’s important to strike a balance between boldness and professionalism. You’ll want to follow the application guidelines as much as possible, while still selling yourself as a freelancer. Along with sending a resume and any writing samples, work on writing a stellar cover letter that explains the following:
- What you do as a freelancer: List the different types of writing you do and highlight your areas of expertise.
- Why you’re qualified for the role: Share your qualifications, including past writing jobs and other relevant brands or publications you’ve written for.
- The benefits of hiring a freelancer: Explain why it might be most cost effective to hire a freelancer or how the company could benefit from additional flexibility.
Depending on the role and its responsibilities, you may want to include a few pitches for blog posts, create a sample social media ad, or write a different version of a company email to show off your skills.
Keep in mind: your email is a writing sample in and of itself, so make your words count. Try to mirror the company’s brand voice and style (while still showcasing your personality where you can) and double check that your message is free of typos and grammatical errors.
8. Use Quora to answer questions and expand your network
If you want clients to come to you, consider developing a presence on Quora, the question and answer site. Building a profile and regularly engaging with other users accomplishes a few goals: 1) You get to demonstrate your expertise as a writer, 2) connect with potential clients in your niche, and 3) become an authority figure on certain topics.
As you build a profile, focus on advertising your writing. Choose a professional photo, create a title that accurately describes your writing work, and use the “about” section to list your credentials and areas of expertise. Don’t forget to include your contact information and a link to your website or writing portfolio, too.
From there, start answering questions. You can search for questions relevant to your niche or tackle general writing-related conundrums, like “How do you write a good bio?” or “How can I improve the SEO on my blog posts?”
Instead of submitting a two-sentence answer, take the time to respond to questions thoroughly and clearly, as if you were writing a short blog post on the topic. Include relevant background information, list actionable steps to take, and format your response so it’s logical and digestible.
And remember: your responses are an example of your writing abilities, so make sure every answer you submit is accurate, engaging, and free of errors.
9. Connect with people on LinkedIn
If you’re not already active on LinkedIn, it’s time to start participating. LinkedIn is the perfect place to connect with editors, content managers, CEOs, and small business owners in a professional, low-stakes way.
If you’re not sure where to start, try following the companies, outlets, and thought leaders you admire. From there, you can send personal connection requests to potential clients. Just be sure you add a note. Writing a few introductory lines helps you stand out from other random connections and show you’re reaching out with intention.
Depending on why you’re connecting, you can say something like:
- We’re both in [niche/field], so I wanted to connect.
- I’m a freelance writer who helps companies like yours create better content. If you want to talk, feel free to send me a message any time.
- I specialize in writing about [your company’s niche], so I wanted to connect.
- Thanks for your insightful posts. I really enjoy following you.
10. Join a professional membership group
Joining a professional membership group is a long-term investment in your writing career. Not only is it a great way to connect with writers and prospects, it’s also an excellent opportunity to find writing work. Depending on the group, you can:
- Get access to exclusive job boards and job ads
- Learn how to turn your freelance writing side hustle into a full-time job
- Meet potential clients
- Score referrals from other writers
- Join pitch sessions with editors and clients
- Ask for advice
There are countless different types of professional membership groups. You may want to join a group of writers in a specific field (like copywriting or journalism) or join an industry or niche-specific group that has professionals from all backgrounds. Keep in mind that most professional groups cost money to join, and some have requirements you may have a hard time meeting as a beginner freelance writer.
Here are a handful of groups to consider:
- The American Society of Journalists and Authors
- American Medical Writers Association
- The American Society of Professional Copywriters
- Education Writers Association
- Freelancers Union
- The Media and Content Marketing Association
- National Association of Independent Writers and Editors
- National Association of Science Writers
- Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing
- Public Relations Society of America
11. Ask your family and friends for referrals
Reaching out to extended family, close friends, and friendly acquaintances could land you a freelance writing gig or two. Start by making a list of personal contacts who’d be receptive to a message.
In your email, explain that you’re looking for freelance writing work and would appreciate any leads or introductions anyone can offer. Describe the type of writing you do, the subjects you specialize in, and which types of companies or businesses might hire you. Then include your contact information and a link to your portfolio.
Use this sample letter as inspiration:
I hope you’re doing well! As you may know, I recently started freelance writing. I’m currently doing content marketing writing and SEO writing for health companies. That means I write blog posts and articles on topics like fitness, nutrition, sleep, and wellness.
I’m looking to expand my network and connect with new job prospects. If you know of anyone who works at a company that offers services or products related to health and wellness, I’d love to connect with them.
If you’re comfortable passing along my information or setting up an email introduction, let me know. I appreciate any leads or insight you might have. Thank you!
12. Reach out to content agencies and marketing agencies
Connecting with content agencies is a great way to develop long-term client relationships, get access to steady work, and diversify your portfolio. Content agencies and marketing agencies usually work with a roster of clients who need different kinds of writing help. Some agencies have in-house writing staff, but others prefer to outsource their writing needs to reliable freelancers.
The best way to find writing work from a content agency is to reach out directly to the agencies that have clients in your niche. How do you find these agencies? Follow the below steps:
- Research content agencies, marketing agencies, and creative agencies in your region and niche. You can search for “creative agencies near me,” “best marketing agencies for [niche],” or “top [niche] content agencies.”
- Browse the agencies’ websites and client lists to see if they’re a fit for your skills.
- Check the “career” or “about” pages to see if they’re hiring freelance writers. If they are, follow their instructions for getting in touch.
- If they’re not actively hiring, search the staff or team page to find out who’s in charge of HR, marketing, or communications. If there is no staff or team page, search for specific people on LinkedIn. For example: [company name] + HR manager or [company name] + digital marketing manager.
- Find a viable email address. If you don’t see one listed on LinkedIn, revisit the company’s website and look for a general contact email address. You can use the format for that email address to try out different emails formats (think: FirstName_LastName@AgencyName.com or LastInitialFirstName@AgencyName.com).
- Send a cold email asking if the agency needs freelance writers to help with their client projects. Explain the writing you do and which subjects you specialize in, then share links to relevant writing samples.
- Follow up. If you don’t receive a response within two weeks, send a kind follow-up email to check in.
13. Sift through the postings on job boards
A job board is usually the first place beginner freelance writers look for work. Not only are there hundreds of potential writing jobs to browse, most of the jobs require little to no experience to apply. As a result, you can use the gigs from job boards to build your portfolio, gather client testimonials, or gain confidence in different niches.
Some freelance writing job boards are industry specific and cost money to look at, while others are general and free. However, the one thing every job board has in common is its massive range—in both pay and quality of job ads.
To find a decent writing gig on a job board, you have to be willing to wade through the muck. That means looking every day, filtering your search results for the most relevant opportunities, and checking to see if pay rates are listed before you apply.
Here are some helpful places to start searching for freelance writing jobs:
- Writers Weekly
- Freelance Writing Jobs
- Freelance Writers Den
14. Pitch stories and ideas
Pitching is a tried and true method of landing freelance writing work. It’s most applicable to fields like freelance journalism or blogging, where editors of magazines and websites are always looking for powerful story ideas. However, pitching is becoming more common in content marketing writing, too.
To write a successful pitch, you need to offer a compelling headline, clearly articulate your idea, and explain why it matters to your outlet’s audience. For example, is your pitch topical? Is it an original idea the site has never published, or does it offer an intriguing angle on a popular topic?
Successful pitches don’t just sell ideas, though—they also sell the writers behind them. That’s why you need to include a couple of sentences of background information that explain why you’re the best person to write this piece. Maybe you’re well versed in the subject matter, for example, or maybe you have access to interesting sources.
When you’re pitching editors and clients, take the following steps:
- Browse the site’s content. Before you pitch, you need to have a good understanding of the types of articles and stories the site publishes, so you can make sure your idea is both original and relevant.
- Look for pitch instructions. Many news sites and blogs have submissions pages or editorial guidelines that tell you how and where to pitch.
- Search for editors on Twitter or LinkedIn. If you can’t find information on a company’s or site’s pitching guidelines, try searching for the editor’s name and contact information on Twitter or LinkedIn. Some editors publish their email in their Twitter bio, while others accept pitches through LinkedIn messages.
- Craft your pitch. Include the following components: 1) A personalized greeting, 2) a compelling, thoughtful story idea, 3) an explanation of your credentials as a writer, and 4) a link to your past work.
- Follow up on your pitch. Some editors prefer a two-week window before you follow up, while others don’t expect you to wait that long. However, unless your pitch is timely or urgent, it’s a good rule of thumb to give an editor at least a week to review your pitch before reaching out again.
15. Search for writing gigs on Twitter
Twitter can be an overwhelming place, but if you know how to navigate it, you can find some incredible freelance writing opportunities. Engaging with other users and responding to Tweets can help you land gigs and initiate conversations with editors.
Here are some strategies to try:
- Follow the companies, brands, and outlets you want to write for. Look out for Tweets that share hiring announcements or ask for pitches.
- Follow the people who work at the companies you admire. These might be creative directors, editors, digital marketing experts, or content managers.
- Retweet pieces of amazing writing from the outlets and companies you follow, then tag them in your posts.
- Follow accounts that post freelance writing gigs, such as @Write_Jobs, @WhoPaysWriters, and @JJobs_tweets.
- Respond to company hiring announcements asking if the company works with freelancers.
- Search for freelance writing jobs and job ads using hashtags like: #freelancewriting, #freelancewritinggigs, #writingjobs, #writingwork, #writerswanted, #pitching, and #callforpitches.
- Respond to Tweets that mention the type of writing you do, like #copywriting, #technicalwriting, or #journalism.
- Engage in thoughtful discussion around topics in your niche.
- Email editors who ask for pitches by posting Tweets.
16. Do a guest blog post on another site
Writing a guest blog post is a good way to get in front of an audience you might not normally have access to. Unfortunately, guest posts don’t always pay, but they can help you build authority on a certain topic or connect with clients.
To find guest blog opportunities, try searching for the top websites and blogs in your niche. You can also search “websites that accept guest writers” or “best blogs for guest posting.” As you browse around, be on the lookout for one of two things: 1) A submissions page inviting guest writers to contribute or 2) evidence that the site uses a variety of different freelance writers for their posts.
When you reach out to the site manager or editor, make sure you follow pitching best practices. Keep your message concise and professional, submit an original idea, and don’t forget to list your credentials and share any relevant writing samples.
17. Apply to a digital or creative staffing agency
There are hundreds of local and national staffing agencies that connect companies with talented creatives looking for work. Some of the jobs are traditional full-time roles, while others offer part-time, contract, freelance, or remote work.
Here’s how the general process works: First, you reach out to a staffing agency and apply to be part of their roster of candidates. You’ll likely have to submit a resume and do an interview or two. If they accept you, the agency will call or email you whenever there’s a job opportunity that’s right for you. From there, you’ll have the option to apply or not.
Keep in mind that getting freelance writing jobs from a staffing agency can be hit or miss. The pay varies widely and not all the jobs will be opportunities you even want to apply to. That said, it’s still a good option to have in your back pocket.
To find staffing agencies, try searching within your area or search “best creative staffing agencies” or “best staffing agencies for freelance writers.” Here are some of the top digital and creative staffing agencies:
18. Embrace the warm connection
Warm connections can lead to consistent work and long-term client relationships. Unlike cold emailing or pitching, the only goal of warm emailing is to nurture a connection. It’s a smart practice to do with fellow freelance writers, professionals in your field, and potential clients.
Remember: warm connections should be authentic, not strategic. You’re not trying to sell or promote anything—you’re simply trying to engage. Here are a handful of tactics you can use to connect genuinely with contacts and prospects:
- Comment on their social media posts.
- Reshare their LinkedIn posts and Tweets.
- Sign up for their newsletters or mailing lists.
- Follow their company news.
- Promote their company’s products or services in your writing or on your social media profiles.
- Send direct messages on social media.
- Email them to praise their work or congratulate them on a recent award or acquisition.
19. Send follow-up emails
A majority of the freelance writing gigs you land will come from sending follow-up emails. Most people’s inboxes are cluttered with emails and updates, so it’s all too easy for your job applications and pitches to get lost in the chaos.
Following up, however, is an easy way to float your email back to the top of someone’s inbox and remind them of your message. Depending on the person you’re contacting, you may want to follow up within a week, two weeks, or a month.
Regardless of the timeline, keep your follow-up messages brief, straightforward, and polite. It’s never a good look to come across as demanding, aggressive, or entitled in your words or tone.
Here are a few examples of what to say in your follow-up emails:
1. For pitches
Did you get a chance to look over my pitch (copied below for reference)? If you have any questions or want to move forward, let me know. Thanks!
2. For cold emails
I know you probably have a full inbox, so I wanted to circle back on this. If you’re interested in talking about your company’s content needs, let me know and we can schedule a phone call.
3. For job applications
I wanted to check in on my job application. Are there any questions I can help answer? If you need more information from me to make your decision, let me know.
20. Publish an article on Medium
This is another method that falls under the “get clients to come to you” strategy. When you publish an article on Medium, you have an opportunity to show off your writing skills and knowledge and connect with prospects.
The key to making the most of a Medium post is to write about a subject that’s highly shareable, either because it’s evergreen or topical. Keeping your niche in mind, consider what you could write about with authority and accuracy.
If you write about the business side of healthcare, for example, you could write a piece explaining how medical practices can improve their patient care during a pandemic. On the other hand, if you write about food and cooking, you could do a roundup of the ultimate kitchen hacks for novice cooks.
Make sure your article has the following:
- A powerful headline and hook
- An interesting angle on a subject you know well
- An authentic voice
- A bio that describes your writing work and links to your portfolio
Above all, your Medium article should be interesting enough to pass around, either because it introduces a compelling concept, includes actionable takeaways, or shares relevant data and insights.
Once you publish your article, post it on LinkedIn and email it to a few friends or professional contacts to get some traction. You may also want to share it with brands or potential clients who would find it helpful. To do that, tag a company in a Tweet or send an email introduction with a link to your piece.
21. Reach out to former colleagues or school contacts
You may be tempted to lean only on your family and friends for referrals, but it’s also worth tapping into your larger professional network. Chances are that a former coworker or classmate of yours either works at a company you’d want to write for or knows someone who does.
Take advantage of this by going through your Facebook friends list or LinkedIn contacts. You can browse at random or filter your contacts according to school, location, or company. As you go, take note of where your contacts are working now and where they’ve worked in the past.
If anyone works at a company you want to write for—whether or not their position is related to marketing or writing—consider reaching out. You can send a connection request on LinkedIn or email them if their information is visible. Make sure your message is warm and professional.
Here’s a template you can use:
Hope you’re doing well! [Personal note or anecdote here.] I noticed you work at [company name] now. Do you know if they use freelance writers to [create content for their blog/generate customer success stories, etc.]?
I’m a [type of writer] specializing in [subject or type of content.] I was wondering if you’d be willing to introduce me to someone in the hiring or marketing department at [company name]. You can see some of my recent work here [link].
Thanks so much for considering this. Let me know if you have any questions.
22. Follow other successful freelance writers
If you’re not sure who’s hiring writers outside of job board ads, take a cue from more established freelancers and scour their portfolios.
Here’s what to do:
- Search for writers in your niche using Google or LinkedIn. Try searching by location, skill, or subject matter. For example: “Portland freelance writer,” “technical copywriter,” or “beauty and fashion blog writer.”
- Browse the portfolios and websites of these writers. Take note of the types of brands and outlets they’ve written for (whether they’re small companies or household names) as well as the type of work they’re doing, whether it’s web copy, blog posts, or a mix of formats.
- Click the portfolio links, then browse the sites where they’re published. Look for signs that the company or outlet works regularly with freelancers. The company might have a blog or resource center, for example. They could have an editorial guidelines page. Or maybe they have a section with downloadable case studies.
- Make a list of potential clients based on this research. In a spreadsheet, include the company’s name, a description of their site content and potential writing needs, and their contact information. Using LinkedIn, try searching the company’s name in combination with “marketing manager,” “content director,” or “editor” to find the right person to email.
- Send a cold email introducing yourself and pitching your writing services or blog ideas.
23. Visit local businesses
If you’re eager for some in-person networking, take an old-school approach to finding work by visiting local businesses. This strategy can work well because:
- It allows you to establish a friendly connection with a potential client.
- It gives you the chance to go straight to the source, rather than sending messages into the digital void.
- People are often impressed by a proactive approach.
Do some research on local businesses in your niche. Does it look like they need help with their web content? Could they benefit from starting a blog? Are they taking advantage of social media ads or email newsletters? As you go, take notes and brainstorm a few ways these businesses could improve their online presence, web copy, or marketing.
When you show up, wear a professional outfit and bring a stack of business cards. After you ask to speak to the manager or business owner, simply introduce yourself, say you’re a writer, and ask if they need help with any web copy, brochure writing, or marketing writing.
Depending on their response, you could leave your business card, launch into a more detailed pitch, or let them know you’d be happy to send an email with more information about your writing services and rates.
First step: jobs, next step: growth
Finding freelance writing work as a beginner may seem daunting, but it’s totally doable. The trick is to stay persistent. Focus on sending quality cold emails, building genuine connections, and following up. Before long, you’ll have a full plate of work.