How to Move on from Entry-Level Writing Gigs

Dear Jodee,

I’m on various freelance websites such as and I’m getting some work but the work I’m getting takes me forever to complete and it’s not very well paid. I know there are ways to make more money freelance writing, can you point me in the write direction?

Dear Acacia,

You have many options available if you want to make more money as a freelance writer. There is some great information posted here on Freelance Writing Jobs, including the job leads we post on weekdays, that can help you move toward better-paying gigs.

Along with answering job ads, you can start approaching prospective clients directly. Before you do, take some time to learn something about the client’s business and how your skills could help the client improve his or her business or solve an issue they are having with it.

Avoid contacting someone and asking, “Do you need a writer?” This approach makes it very easy for your prospect to say, “No.” Be specific. If you are going to ask a question, ask if the client could use help from someone who can provide [X] service for them that will provide [Y] benefits for them.

Online message boards are a good place to find prospective clients as well. You can look for ones specifically for writers, as well as ones for the particular market you are trying to target.

Cold calling local businesses is another way that you can move into higher-paying work. You may find yourself making several calls before you get someone who wants to learn more about what you have to offer, but you may find someone who has just recognized that they need a writer and who hasn’t started look for one yet. If you present yourself well, the client may never place an ad, and you don’t have to compete against hundreds of other applicants for the gig.

What advice would you like to add about moving on to higher-paying freelance writing gigs? Do you have a question of your own that you would like to see answered in an upcoming column? Share it in the comments section below.


4 responses
  1. Traci Avatar

    I agree with contacting prospective clients directly. Look around at the websites of companies you like. You may be a customer or just like what they do. Do a little reseach to find out the name and email or mailing address of the marketing manager or director. Then use your writing skills to land a project. Write them a letter or an email (be careful because it may end up in the spam folder). Be direct and to the point. Point out something they need and why you are THE person that will bring it to them. Don’t send your resume or writing samples, unless they ask later on. This works.


  2. Chris Avatar

    Contact SEO companies. Many of them outsource their article writing at the very least. A lot of them need web copywriters and press release writers as well. My best client is an SEO company, actually.

    Cold calling also yields surprising results if you can block off some time to get into it.

  3. Katherine Swarts Avatar

    In my experience, most online posting sites for writing jobs are dominated by high-quantity-low-pay offers. I’d immensely appreciate any hints you have on finding job boards whose mission involves *emphasizing* high-quality opportunities that pay accordingly, rather than mixing them at random among pocket-money article databases and small businesses with small budgets.

  4. Derek Thompson Avatar

    I think it helps to be clear about the kind of writing you do best (and hopefully enjoy!) as well as the subjects where you have expertise. When you know your specialisms, you can start a targeted campaign, to source work based on your strengths. I’d also recommend reviewing your resume to make sure it presents your experience in the best possible light for the kind of work you will be looking for. Good hunting!

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