As a freelance writer, one of the greatest challenges you’ll face is landing those writing gigs. If you’re new to the game it might take some time for you to figure the ins and outs of the game. For me it was trial and error and a couple of years of mistakes before I would learn how to cipher through the ads on Craigslist, weeding out the good from the bad. There was no one to tell me how to do this -I was on my own. But eventually, I learned and today 9 times out of 10 I can tell the good from the bad.
There’s no need for you to pull your hair out or look like this lady in the pic below. I’m going to give you a few basic tips that will save you time, money, and headaches.
1.) BEWARE! If it looks too good to be true chances are….it isn’t
2.) Follow your gut instincts—they’re usually right
3.) Even if you’re new at freelance writing it doesn’t mean you have to work for less than minimum wage. Do some research to find out what a fair wage is and take nothing less.
4.) Create a code of business ethics and stand by it! You’ll feel better in the long run and your clients will respect you for it.
5.) Do not expect to make tons of money…always have two or three eggs in your basket. I usually try to have two or three clients at all times. Even If you can find one client that has tons of work for you…keep the small jobs going. You never know when or if that client doesn’t need your services anymore.
6.) Think positive! You will be pounding the keyboard looking for work and it might take some time. Eventually, your persistence will pay off!
7.) I highly recommend creating a website to showcase your skills. If you don’t have the cash to pay a website designer, no worries. You can create a basic website for free using Wix or a nice looking website using WordPress ( WordPress only costs $18.00 per year-very affordable). These are fairly easy to design even for a beginner. I designed my website and I’m certainly not a website designer by trade. Creating a website is beneficial as it will be your one stop shop to showcase your writing skills and work you have done for clients. This will be your resume!
8.) Once you’ve created your website it’s time to advertise on Craigslist.
9.) If you don’t have a website, you can search for writing jobs on Craigslist. Although I find it much easier to advertise for my services, I also realize others may not have a website up and running yet. If this is you and you want to get your foot in the door, there are MANY SCAMS on CL. Here are some tips :
A.) I ALWAYS bypass the ad if it’s more than one paragraph long. Most of the long ads are for in-home jobs or they are scams.
B.) Do not reply to any ad that asks you to pay. Why would you pay to work?
C.) If the ad is for writing from home and they will train chances are it’s for a home based business…move on!
D.) I ALWAYS speak to the person via phone. If they aren’t reachable toss that gig immediately!
E.) If the potential client sends you a vague e-mail with no way to contact them toss them too!
F.) And lastly: NEVER accept a gig or even contemplate writing for the client unless they pay either half up front or all of the money in advance. If they need your services bad enough they will adhere to these rules! Never give out your bank account information at first. Always use Pay Pal or other reputable apps such as Venmo.
G.) Always hand in quality work, you want to perform in a timely fashion but if you Rush your work it will show. I never rush my work- I take great pride in everything I write and guess what? It shows!
Now…what are you waiting for? There are writing jobs out there waiting for you to put your creative juices to the test. It’s time to get cracking because you will have to be first in line for the best writing gigs!
Good Luck & Happy Writing!