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Best Freelance Writing Sites: How to Approach Them

I’ve put this resource together for freelance writers looking for gigs, and opportunities. You will find here an extensive list of resources, sites, and advice to get a writing job.

To go directly to a list of sites, simply click the Table of Contents below to open it up and navigate to the Sites List.

A Word About Niches

Whether you are a beginner writer or have more experience, almost all the advice I have seen indicates that choosing a niche, or a handful of niches, is essential to success.

A niche means, in the case of freelance writing, specializing in a specific area.

So, while it may be tempting to try to cover every area of writing, the odds are you will not be very successful at it.

If you are just getting started, think of the subject matter you like to write about the most and find out if there are opportunities for writing in your area of interest. If you’ve already written for other blogs or other publications, you may already have an idea where you can write and can more easily source a freelance writing job.

Also, if you can find a technical niche or business niche in which to write, this will help you a lot as a content writer. This article, in particular, will help you with this particular aspect.

The Experience Level Required

Although as you move up the freelance writing food chain you will need to demonstrate your abilities, everyone starts from scratch!

The best way to gain some experience and get remote writing jobs is to simply write!

There are hundreds of sites out there looking for writers, and even if you do not get paid for an online writing job, you will accumulate valuable experience, and also build an impressive portfolio.

More importantly, you will learn your strengths, and your weaknesses, and be in control of your path.

Of course, sooner rather than later you will want to start earning some money for your efforts.

The two basic ways to do this are:

  • get hired on a freelance writing gig to write for someone else’s publication, including blogging jobs.
  • write for your own site, and build up an asset that over time will accrue ‘traffic’ (page views) and that you can monetize through ads and/or affiliate offers (partnering with companies to represent their products in return for a commission).

In the table, below, you’ll find a list of beginner sites and resources that can help you get a freelance job.

Remember that experience does not necessarily mean the amount of time that you have been writing: it’s entirely possible to accumulate a significant amount of experience in a short time, if diligent!

It’s important to keep your confidence and productive workflow up. Something in which this course can help you.

Related: The Content Writing Course

Content Mills

By and large, an experienced writer will tell you to stay clear as much as possible of ‘content mills’.

You will find detailed explanations of how the various content mills operate in the table towards the end of this post, but it’s worth knowing a bit about them.

Note that these sites go under various monikers: ‘content mills’, ‘content farms’ and ‘freelancing sites.’ Depending on who you are asking!

There are a series of problems with a lot of the freelance marketplace when it comes to writing gigs.

  1. Firstly, you will not be able to build up your reputation, followers, etc. by writing for them.
  2. The second reason is that most content mills pay very little. By the time you have bid for work, and responded to queries, not to mention other distractions in these sites, your hourly rate will have tumbled. Often to as low as $4 or less per hour!

Essentially, you’re competing against many thousands of writers – many of them lackluster – and people looking for content for their sites, and spending your time writing for them is time you could be spending writing for sites that pay well, and that you can build your reputation on.

Not to mention that some of the Content farms are charging the poorly-paid freelancers a commission also!

All that said, many freelance writers do get their start in this type of site, and therefore it’s worth at least being aware of them.

What you need, if you decide to go after a writing gig on these sites, is discipline to write fast, and not get distracted by the number of low-paying opportunities on these sites.

Become Comfortable With Pitching

Even if you managed to avoid the content mills, as a freelance writer you need to become accustomed to regular pitching of your profile, portfolio, and story ideas.

This is essential to your success in the industry, and if you spend the time approaching potential clients effectively, and delivering your pitch, you should find you can acquire a steady string of writing work.

Get Good at Networking

There are a huge number of networking options available for writers these days.

Forums and discussion groups on sites such as LinkedIn can prove to be a good resource for writers, helping to hone your approach on pitching, finding freelance work, etc., as well as a good way of building a network of writers who can help each other.

There is an excellent freelance writing subreddit that is full of good advice and experienced folk. It has a very informative wiki attached to it, including a list of freelance writer sites.

Don’t forget more traditional means of networking. If you get the chance to attend a business expo or conference, grab it.

It’s one of the best ways to make contacts, which leads to leads, leads to clients!

Before doing any networking, though, make sure that your profile on LinkedIn and elsewhere makes sense to prospective clients, and does not contain anything which would turn them off immediately.

Join Newsletters and Alerts Services

One of the best ways to save time is to sign up for newsletters that distribute writer opportunities.

Compared to the content mills, they level the playing field for freelance writers because you are getting access to higher-paid opportunities, and are able to pitch your work to clients directly.

There are several good free or low-cost newsletter services listed in the Sites List, below.

However, be aware that some of the job alert services that demand high fees may not be reputable.

Before shelling out money, be careful to check out their reputation in places like Reddit’s excellent Freelance Writers subreddit.

Understand the Pay Range

Don’t be lulled into thinking that all freelance writer jobs are stuck at the per-word level. Some content writing is very valuable. As a technical writer, for example, you can do very well.

By contextualizing what you are doing in the framework of your writing career, you will already be ahead of the game. See yourself as the owner of a freelance writing business, even if operating solo.

So, although you may see online writing jobs around for as little as 0.02 cents per word – for which you might have to compete on a freelance writing site! – there are thousands of magazines out there that will pay decent money for quality freelance writing.

It’s a question of building up a credible profile and portfolio, with the right writing sample to hand for any given job and networking on LinkedIn and similar places.

It’s a case of ensuring that your topic expertise and writing skill are clearly stated, with your portfolio easily accessible. Then, when a job opportunity presents itself, you will have the ammunition to persuade the client to hire you.

Use the jobs listing newsletters to target companies, blogs, and magazines that are actively seeking writers.

Sites List (Table)

How to use this list

You can sort and filter this table; plus where there are links, they take you directly to the freelance writing website or resource.

When you find one that is helpful for you, simply bookmark it in your browser.

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