The Very Best Place Online for Freelance Writers

Carol Tice

Freelance Writers Marketing LensEarlier this week, I wrote about the many ways being fully booked helps your writing business. Obviously, I had a decent stable of clients…but I wasn’t at capacity. Finding a few new clients put me there.

Several readers asked if I could discuss the marketing strategies I used to help fill up my schedule. I’m happy to do so. I think many writers are wondering what the best marketing methods are, particularly what Web sites and online strategies are really useful.

So I will now reveal the single best place online for freelance writers.

First, the raw data: Below is a look at how I got each of the new clients I’ve landed over the past six months or so, which led to my being fully booked.

1.  Major TV network’s business blog — I found this gig through my weekly Gorkana alert, which offers job listings for a few specific areas in business, including finance and healthcare.

2.  Agency through which I blog and develop Web content for lawyers — I answered a Craigslist ad… I don’t exactly recall where, but I must have either seen it on About Freelance Writing (thanks Anne!) or on Writer’s Weekly (thanks Angela!).

3. Two small-business blog clients, both in business finance niches — These both found me through reading my blog for Entrepreneur magazine.

4. Fortune 500 company — They found me on a Google search for “Seattle freelance writer.”

There you have it. Have you guessed what the best place is to be for freelance writers? That’s right — it’s everywhere. As many places as you can be. Each place you are, each strategy you use, increases your odds of success.

Niche job lists are good sources of leads for specialized writing jobs.

Craigslist is full of junk, but if you keep scanning those ads, every once in a while you can find a very solid client.

Your great bylined work online is out there, marketing your business, 24/7.

Companies are finding writers through natural search on Google.

If I hadn’t had a broad-spectrum approach to marketing online — checking a lot of places, and really making the effort to make all my current online clients’ work shine — I wouldn’t have found all these clients. Just one important caveat: Be a skimmer, and don’t spend all day poking around the Internet looking for leads. I try not to spend more than 2-3 hours a week looking for job leads online.

I’d also make the observation that four out of five of these clients are on the copywriting side. My observation is that while publications are still tough to break into right now, copywriting is booming…so it’s not just where you’re looking online, but what you’re looking for, that’s important. Keep an open mind. Try new types of clients — you may find whole new areas of writing you discover you really like. That’s definitely my story.

Where are you finding good writing-job leads? Leave a comment and let me know. I’m sure I haven’t found all the great ways to market online yet!

Photo via Flickr user jared

9 Comments

  1. Irene

    I've had a few very solid, very well-paying clients, and I don't even know where they came from! They just contacted me out of the blue and I felt a bit embarrassed to ask. Had to be this natural search thing. I look forward to more of the same! 🙂

    Thanks a lot!

  2. Kimberly

    That's so true, Carol. I recently ghost wrote a large ebook for an Internet marketing firm providing online and offiline marketing tips for small businesses. Their content outline covered free advertising sites like Craigslist, so I don't think we can afford to count them out just yet. Checking back and sifting through the ruble from time to time can certainly get tedious at times though. Lol

  3. Carol Tice

    I wish they could pass some kind of law where real, legit companies were barred from using Craigslist! Would save us freelance writers a lot of time. But very solid companies are experimenting with using it…so we gotta keep checking.

    I'm still very selective on which Craigslist ads I'd take the time to answer. I used to advise writers to ignore all Craigslist ads …but had to soften my stance on that, as I discovered you can occasionally score something real there.

  4. Kimberly

    Carol, I really love that you mention how you were able to pull some sparkling gems from the usual junk overrunning Cragigslist.org and many job boards. Many writers have completely given up on these job sources, and I get frustrated with them at times too; but I won't give up on them entirely because I've uncovered some very good clients from those sources as well. Thanks so much for sharing your tips.

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