For some freelance writers, finding work is a daily struggle.
A lot of clients pop in at any time with a writing assignment to discuss. If they have nothing planned, freelancers like us wait in silence for their next email or chat – burning daylight.
That’s bad for business.
While normal, such arrangements are problematic, especially if freelancing is your only source of income.
Remember, your bills won’t wait for you to receive your freelance earnings.
Let me help you turn things around.
In this post, I’ll teach you the art of getting clients for your freelance business.By diversifying your client base, you’re building yourself a safety net against slow and dry days. Click To Tweet
Let’s dive right in.
How to Earn Money as a Full-Time Freelance Writer
The first step is to look for trusted platforms potential clients use to hire freelancers.
I worked with content writing and marketing expert, Christopher Jan Benitez, to create this master list.
Don’t forget to check out his website for articles on SEO, content writing, freelancing, and everything in between.
1. Online job boards
Here’s a fun fact.
Back in the day, I used to be a community manager for a US-based job board known as “Bloggerjobs.biz.”
My task was simple: compile a list of job openings for freelancers and blog content writers.
I did it every day for a good whole year.
For a while, I also managed the job board for FreelanceWritingGigs.com, which is owned by the same company.
Although BloggerJobs.biz went offline, job boards like FreelanceWritingGigs.com continue to help freelancers find work to this day.
To look for potential clients, the fastest way is to read their daily freelance writing jobs list.
You should see a concise description of each opportunity along with the rate and location.
Naturally, you need to look for jobs labeled as “Remote.” These are long-term opportunities that allow you to work from home.
Didn’t find a job you like?
Don’t forget to look at the website’s official job board.
That’s where companies actually pay to be seen by aspiring writers.
A job board helps you to comb through the listings by:
- Entering a keyword
- Picking a specific writing job category
- Specifying a work location
Again, remember to set the location to “Remote” if you need work-from-home opportunities.
ProBlogger is a popular alternative to FreelanceWritingGigs.com that we have firsthand experience with.
Just head on straight to the “Jobs” page to view the job board.
2. Freelancing marketplaces
When hearing the word “freelancing marketplace,” some seasoned freelancers automatically think of Upwork.
Full disclosure: as of writing this post, I personally haven’t found clients through Upwork myself.
However, I’m close to people who did. More importantly, I was directly involved with tasks like researching clients, submitting proposals, and writing cover letters.
Upwork is a freelancing marketplace that connects businesses and entrepreneurs with talented freelancers.
As you can imagine, it’s a competitive platform.
You need to put your best foot forward if you want to turn heads.
For the sake of this post, I recently created my own Upwork profile.
Here’s a quick look:
The first three things that require your attention are:
- Your Title – Upwork suggests using a specific title to stand out. One way to do this is to mention experiences, be it WordPress development, graphic design, SEO, and so on.
- Expertise Description – Next, you need to write a compelling profile description that mentions your strengths. Be specific and get straight to the value you can offer potential employers.
- Languages and Education – Just below your profile image, you can inform prospects about your known languages and educational background. These two are among the things would-be clients look at before hiring.
Upwork also allows freelancers to highlight their skills, work history, certifications, and portfolio. If you do a good job, it’s only a matter of time before you start collecting positive testimonials from past clients as well.
All of these things help improve your chances of being considered or hired through Upwork.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about finding clients.
You can either use the search bar or click “Find Work” to browse job listings.
Just be sure to click ‘Jobs’ in the drop-down menu when using the search feature.
Clicking “Find Work” takes you to your feed, which compiles all relevant job postings in real time.
I do, however, recommend using the search feature.
Because it lets you filter the results according to experience level, job type, client history, and more.
That’s about it.
The next thing you need to do is submit proposals to offers that match your expertise, experience, and desired rate.
Now, it may take some time before you get a favorable response. Just be patient and persistent – it’s all part of the process.
You can increase your chances of getting hired by leveraging multiple freelancing marketplaces.
Here are a few Upwork alternatives you can use:
3. Social media
Yes – you read that right.
You can find freelance clients on social media.
The cool thing about that is, I don’t need to write a quick guide on how to use social networks. After all, you probably use Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis.
We do, however, need to discuss where exactly on social media these elusive freelance clients hang out.
Let’s start with Facebook.
If you’ve been freelancing for a while, there’s a good chance you’re already a member of freelance writing groups.
I, myself, am a member of Freelance Writers Philippines.
It’s a place where freelancers, clients, and aspiring writers come together to learn and get things done.
You can find questions, useful tips, and users who just want to make friends.
Most importantly, you’ll find job postings from all types of clients – local and international.
There are a couple of upsides to using Facebook groups for client hunting:
- Avoid bad clients – Members see to it that bad clients are hindered from hiring other freelancers. They either post warnings or leave comments on new job postings published by such clients.
- Gauge the competition – Looking at other group members as competitors may seem unhealthy to the community. But as professionals, you must identify your competitive edge by observing other people’s portfolios, especially when applying for similar jobs.
- Get help – Being a Facebook group member lets you capitalize on the wisdom of the crowd to make decisions. This applies to all Facebook groups – not just those related to freelance writing.
Other than Freelance Writers Philippines, here are other Facebook groups you can join to find potential clients:
For our international readers, below is a list of Facebook groups you can join. Of course, Filipino freelancers are also welcome.
- Content Writers Needed
- Freelance Academic Writers
- Freelance Writers Online
- Freelance Copywriter Collective
Yes – a lot of employers use Twitter to hire freelance content writers.
You just need to search for the right keywords to find their tweets.
One example you can use is “looking for freelance writers.”
Just remember to switch to the ‘Latest’ tab to find the most recent tweets.
The fact that you can find freelance clients this easily is totally bonkers.
The downside is, you need to be extremely careful when applying for jobs through Twitter.
If a profile looks sketchy and scammy, take their tweets with a grain of salt.
In case you didn’t know, LinkedIn has a job search platform baked into the site.
You can get started by clicking the ‘Jobs’ tab.
You should be able to figure out what to do next by yourself.
Simply type in a skill, title, or company and click ‘Search.’
By default, LinkedIn will show you job postings in your country.
Here’s a tip:
If you want to look for potential foreign employers, enter “Remote” as your desired job location.
This will instantly refresh the page with a fresh batch of job postings.
You should now see jobs posted from other countries.
One last thing: remember to read the job description thoroughly.
LinkedIn job postings can be very particular.
Some jobs require a degree while others specifically look for writers who live in a certain location.
Craigslist is a classified ads website for just about anything.
You can find posts about communities, services, items for sale, housing – you name it.
Of course, some employers use Craigslist to post job offers as well. That includes freelance writing and various work-from-home gigs.
To look for clients, simply use the built-in search engine using a relevant keyword.
For instance, if you type “content writer,” here are the results you’ll get:
Just bear in mind that Craigslist accepts posts from just about anyone.
Exercise caution when applying for job postings. As a rule of thumb, use Google to verify the companies or websites that create them.
5. Paid article submissions
At this point, you have more than enough information to land freelance writing gigs.
While waiting for responses, you can use Google to search for companies that directly pay writers for submissions.
Going with the keyword “write for us,” you’ll get a list of websites that accept contributions.
Just remember to enclose the query in quotations so Google searches for pages that have them in the exact order.
I took the liberty of searching for websites that pay for article submissions.
I’m in no way affiliated with any of these websites. Be sure to read their guidelines carefully, make sure you’re the right fit.
- Craft Your Content
- Today I Found Out
- Make a Living Writing
- Pixlr Blog
- Introvert, Dear
- Food Tank
Sure, doing this isn’t technically the same as finding freelance clients.
Still, you’re getting paid to write while working from home – and that’s what counts.
How to Find Clients: Important Tips
Ready to search for your first freelance client?
Don’t forget the following tips to maximize your chances of getting hired:
- Cast a wide net – Freelancing is sometimes a crapshoot. It’s best to cast a wide net and apply to as many jobs as you can when starting out.
- Research, research, research – You can never be too safe when accepting job offers online. When in doubt, ask your favorite Facebook group for their thoughts.
- Don’t sell yourself short – Whether you like it or not, the freelancing industry is filled with low ballers. Again, check a Facebook group to get an idea of how much you should be paid.
- Nurture long-term relationships – Personally, I still think referrals are the best way to source clients. Build your professional network and don’t be afraid to ask everyone, including past clients, for referrals.
- Build your portfolio – Keeping track of your work history is a surefire way to improve your employability in the future. You can build your portfolio on platforms like Upwork or a self-hosted website.
Finding clients requires patience, persistence, and the right approach.
With the strategies above, you’re well on your way to landing your first freelance writing gig.
If you have questions, feedback, or suggestions for future posts, let me know in the comments below.