If you’re a freelance writer, the task of finding quality, well-paying gigs can be a daunting one. Where do you even start? How you can guarantee the jobs you’re looking at are legit instead of scams?
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: the Internet is chock full of people who are willing to pay pennies on the dollar for hours of your highly skilled time. (Keep reading for some words of warning about these people.)
The good news is that we’re here to help you weed out the dreck and find the sites that are actually worth your time and effort. Whether you’re a copywriter, editor, creative writer or anything in between, these sites offer the well-paying, reputable freelance writing jobs you really want.
So where should you look for freelance writing jobs online?
Here are our picks. These are some of the best places to find online writing jobs:
One of the top job boards for remote work, FlexJobs enables you to create a custom job search profile to meet your specific needs. Select your categories (there are several under “Writing”), your preferred work schedule, your experience level and more to hone your search results down to those that best fit what you’re looking for. You can also set alerts so you’re notified when new jobs matching your search criteria are posted.
2. Behance Jobs
Powered by Adobe, Behance is an online platform for creative professionals to showcase their work, find inspiration and connect with companies looking to hire. Behance allows you to upload your past projects to quickly create a visually-pleasing online portfolio, making it a great resource for writers without a website. It has its own job board which you can browse to find your next career move or freelance gig!
Be sure to check out the freelance section of the site for a wide range of jobs from industries like TV, PR/marketing, magazine and book publishing and social media — a little something for everyone.
This weekly e-newsletter provides a nice compendium of freelance writing and editing jobs of all shapes and sizes from around the Web with competitive pay rates. Save yourself the time of scouring numerous sites and let this newsletter bring the decent jobs right to your inbox.
Created by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, an authority site on blogging, you know jobs listed here will be from serious employers who have an idea what good writing is really worth. Plus, given ProBlogger’s high profile in the blogosphere, you can often find jobs posted by some big-time blogs here. They also list a healthy dose of copywriting jobs.
With exclusive job opportunities as well as posts pulled from sites like Indeed and Craigslist, this board consolidates a variety of gigs for everyone from newbie to seasoned freelancers. If you don’t want to see jobs from a certain source (Craigslist, for instance, can sometimes be sketchy), you’re free to narrow your displayed results to exclude them.
Who Pays Writers? is a crowd-sourced list of publications that pay freelance writers — and it’s a small goldmine. The list has hundreds of publications for you to explore, and not only shows you which publications are accepting submissions, but tells you how much they pay per word. These are primarily journalistic features, but there are some online blogging opportunities as well (depending on the publication). Maintained by an anonymous volunteer collective, the list is updated monthly.
Freelancer Sophie Lizard compiled a free ebook listing 45 blogs that pay $50 or more per post, broken down into sections like Writing Blogs, Food Blogs, etc. She also includes some good tips on how to approach these blogs, how to promote yourself once you’ve landed a post, and more.
If you’ve already got a LinkedIn profile (and you really should), don’t let it just sit there. Networking goes a long way in the freelance world, and LinkedIn is a great resource to do some networking through common connections.
While you’re doing that networking, check out the Jobs section and sign up for email alerts when jobs are posted that match your interests. Many will be location-based, but who’s to say you can’t approach these employers with a proposal for freelance writing services? Maybe they need someone to fill the gap in the hiring interim, or maybe the job could just as easily be done remotely but they hadn’t considered that.
If this list is helpful, you’ll get even more out of The Write Life’s ebook: 71 Ways to Earn as a Freelance Writer. We suggest dozens of different ways to earn income online as a writer, including information on how much each gig pays and tips for how to land those jobs. The bulk of the jobs we suggest are ones you can do from home. The ebook is just $19, so landing just one freelance assignment will cover the investment.
Sites to avoid if you want high-quality freelance writing gigs
Especially if you’re just starting out, it’s tempting to be lured into content mills and free-for-alls like Guru, Upwork and Fiverr, where it looks like you might stand a better chance to land something even if you don’t have the biggest portfolio yet.
Don’t fall into that trap.
While it may seem like these sites are your best best when you’re a newcomer, they’re largely a crapshoot when it comes to winning a project. These sites are a rush for the lowest bid, and you’re competing against hundreds if not thousands of other desperate freelancers prepared to sell their firstborn for the chance to write someone’s 250-page ebook. (Some writers have been able to make a decent buck on sites like Upwork, but they are often the exception rather than the rule and have usually invested huge amounts of time to make it happen.)
Even if you’re brand-spanking new to the game, no one deserves a gig that pays one cent per word. And chances are if someone is looking for the sort of writer willing to write a word a cent, they’re not going to be the best client to work for.
Don’t sell yourself short just because you’re new. Have a little patience, keep persevering, and you will find those clients who truly value you.
This post was updated in July 2019 so it’s more useful and relevant for our readers! It was originally written by Kelly Gurnett and updated by The Write Life team.
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