10 Online Gold Mines for Finding Paid Freelance Writing Jobs

10 Online Gold Mines for Finding Paid Freelance Writing Jobs

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. (Click to tweet this list.) 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.

Better yet? While some sites charge a monthly fee to access their job listings, all of the resources below are free.

So where can you find freelance gigs?

1. BloggingPro Job Board

Also listing a healthy dose of copywriting jobs (you can search postings by category), this board is, as the name suggests, right up a blogger’s alley. Whether you’re into health and fitness, pets, writing code or whatever else, you’ll find a steady stream of employers looking for blog writers versed in these and many other subjects.

2. Journalism Jobs

While most of the postings are (you guessed it again!) for those whose focus is journalism, you don’t necessarily have to have Lois Lane dreams to find a gig here. There are also editing positions, ad copywriting and other jobs thrown into the mix. Some are location-based, some can be done remotely.

3. MediaBistro

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.

4. FlexJobs

One of the top job boards for telecommuting, 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.

5. Morning Coffee Newsletter

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.

6. ProBlogger Job Board

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.

paid writing gigs

7. Freelance Writing

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.

8. Be a Freelance Blogger Job Board

Freelance blogger Sophie Lizard’s community forum features this board where writers and clients can share scoops on job opportunities. Each opportunity must pay at least $50 post or 10 cents a word.

9. The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs

Lizard has also 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.

10. LinkedIn Jobs

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.

Pro tip: You know that “people who’ve recently viewed your profile” notification you see when you sign into LinkedIn? If you don’t recognize some of the names, why not reach out to them and say “I see you’ve looked at my profile. I’d love to explore if there are any ways we can help each other.” Can’t hurt to try, right?

Sites to avoid

Especially if you’re just starting out, it’s tempting to be lured into content mills like Demand Studios or free-for-alls like Guru, oDesk and Elance, 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 be.

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.

Looking to get even more serious about your freelance writing. The Write Life published two e-books to help you find more paid writing gigs. Check out our shop to buy 71 Ways to Make Money as a Freelance Writer and Get Better Clients and Earn More Money.

This post originally ran in September 2013. We updated it in February 2017.

Kelly Gurnett is a freelance blogger, writer and editor; you can follow her on Twitter @CordeliaCallsIt.

Looking for freelance writing jobs? Check out The Write Life’s Job Board. Good luck!

be patient, persevere, and you will find clients who value you

Filed Under: Freelancing
Earn More Money Writing

Featured resource

Earn More Writing

Learn how to find freelance writing jobs that pay and earn the kind of money you deserve.

The Creative Class

Featured resource

Creative Class

Move from irregular client work and crappy pay to being a freelance leader in your field. Paul Jarvis, who’s been freelancing for 16+ years, shares his advice on pricing, positioning and more.

489 comments

  • Jeff Tateyama says:

    I usually agree with your comments about content mills. They have been frustrating at times. However, I wanted to mention one that I’ve had good success with. Freelanced.com has a pretty cool portfolio which I’ve used to build up a portfolio, then used their widget to display all my art elsewhere. Also, I’ve been able to land a few of the jobs I’ve applied for (which is better than I can say for some of the other job board sites).

  • Kelly Ann says:

    Hey Kelly!

    I am very happy to have run across this post! Excellent advice and resources. I started by writing my blogs and working through elance this year. I am new to freelance writing but luckily am not new to life and as such I always demand appropriate pay for my work! I find that those sites are indeed a ‘free-for-all’ with clients who have exceptionally high demands but are not willing to pay what the content and your time is worth. As such I began searching for alternative routes to finding freelance work and ran across your post. It has given me new hope in this game.

    Thanks so much! 🙂

  • Lorna says:

    Kelly, thanks for this post and to all who’ve contributed comments. I’m just dipping my toes into freelancing and registered at oDesk last week… the rates are horrifying, like a 21st century version of a Dickens novel! So, your recommendations are very much appreciated as is all of the encouragement about holding on to standards and value… I feel like I’ve escaped from a sweat shop!

  • Pat B. says:

    Don’t discount Elance entirely. While it is true that there are an awful lot of third world types out there writing for even less than a penny a word and plenty clients looking to hire them, there are also some very good clients looking for quality. I. as a newbie, locked onto a couple of them right off the bat and have had an awesome experience.

  • Khurram Shahzad says:

    I don’t agree with your views about elance or oDesk. They are equally good sites for fresh freelancers and there are never “hundreds of desparate freelancers” applying for the same job. Similarly, the employees don’t “rush for the lowest bid” as do value quality. So, if you are a good writer, you can easily land a good job on these websites as well.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Khurram. I’m glad you’ve had a good experience on Elance and oDesk! Our post is one writer’s perspective, but as other comments demonstrate, experiences and opinions differ.

      Heather
      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Matthew says:

    Hi everyone, http://www.greatcontent.com is a freelance copywriting site (the work can vary from short product descriptions to one thousand word technical guides) which has been operating in Europe for several years now and is expanding to the US.

    We have developed a pretty good reputation for treating our writers fairly, and we are currently looking to recruit new writers on a fairly large scale. Please take a look at our site and if you’re interested apply!

  • Anna Leigh says:

    Kelly – thank you for this!! I’m a coypwriter with about two years experience and briefly lived the turbulent agency life. After a few letdowns, I decided I wanted to go out on my own. I started with elance – I had some beginners luck and landed some a few good clients, but its most dried up and I was starting to freak out and wonder what my next steps were.

    Thank you for sharing this information – Ill be following your career and wishing you the best!

  • Shawn says:

    On Freelance sites like freelancer, elance and odesk yes there are many clients that pay very low pay rates; however, there are clients who pay well

    • That’s true, Shawn — as we’ve discussed earlier in the comment thread, it’s possible to find good clients on these sites, though it’s not an easy search. I’m glad you’ve had a good experience!

      Heather
      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Jazz says:

    Most of the sites are funny. You work, they return the paper to you for revision, then continue with several revisions and penalties until you remain with a debt. Finally, you work for them, they earn while you work as a donkey. Modern slavery

  • Haya says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Kelly!

    Buy what about translation and Resume writing? I’m now seeking to work as freelance Translator and also Resume/CV Writer. Can you guide me as to where I should go? Much appreciated!

    Regards,
    Haya

  • Andrew says:

    Per an earlier comment about writing for greatcontent.com, which apparently has US and UK options for native English speakers, can anyone comment on his/her experience at that site? Someone mentioned in another forum that much of the work is for writers using British English. Thank you.

  • Debra Ponte says:

    GREAT!
    Thanks for the information.
    Debra

  • Kelsey says:

    This was a great article Kelly! I never knew a lot of these sites existed. I also really enjoyed everyone’s comments and conversations, learned a lot.

    I came here for a different reason though. My company is looking for freelance writers and we’re having some trouble finding real great quality for a reasonable price and not $25,000 (yes someone did offer that to us.) If you have any tips for companies for if any of you would like to email me about writing for us, I would be very interested in having that conversation!

  • George K. says:

    Thanks for the useful information, guys! . I also want to share with you another place where you can find great Writing Gigs Online. It’s called TaskGigs. I’m using it for a while and am very satisfied. Found lots of buyers!
    http://www.taskgigs.com/

  • M.Borgarbúi says:

    Hi Kelly,

    Thank you for sharing this. You mentioned some links that I haven’t heard before. Lets see if find right gigs for me 🙂

  • Hello and thank you for this post, site, and topic!
    A few months ago I was terminated from my job as a medical transcriptionist after 15 years in that field. I am vision-impaired and considering freelance writing as a part-time profession, and am an older American 5 years from “retirement”. Would you recommend a short-term course through somewhere like Writer’s Digest University for someone endeavoring to gain entry into this profession?
    I would be happy writing the filler article on a movie, book review, local restaurant, or gain experience with some income via a non-profit. Thank you for your forthcoming response!
    David

    • Thanks for your comment, David. I’m not familiar with Writer’s Digest University courses, but what training or course will be most helpful for you depends on what aspect of writing you want to focus on — blogging, web copy and grants, for example, are quite different. Check out our Resources page for some of the options we recommend. Best of luck!

      Heather
      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Kevin Casey says:

    Hi –

    Thanks for this great post! One writing site that hasn’t got a mention here is Constant Content. I made @ $1000 per month for my very first two months there, only writing about 16 hours a week. I won’t make a career out of it (because I’ve mostly moved on to sourcing my own private clients now through LinkedIn, Chamber of Commerce networking meetings, etc.) – and that is keeping me busy enough. There is no bidding on Constant Content. Anyone interesting in making some money with them should check out the eBook “The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making Money on Constant-Content.com” which has some great advice about maximising your earnings on there. For those who find bidding for writing work a bit demeaning (like I do), it’s worth a look.

    I think I read that Odesk and Elance have merged into one company now, by the way….

  • Hello everyone,
    Kevin, thanks for your post about Constant Content, will look into that option.
    Contently, sounds like you are discontented with Craig’s list, can’t blame you!
    -I did register with both elance.com and IWriter.com which may border what has been more less termed the site mills. I did have an offer from an independent freelancer in Ireland who discovered my blog, but cannot readily use Google Docs based on my current setup; jobs are selected via google spread-sheets.
    -If anyone has thoughts or feelings about elance or IWriter, please share them if that is permissible..
    David Russell