So you’ve been searching for freelance writing jobs for several months or more and so far haven’t yet landed a gig. Though it’s a competitive market, good writers should still not have too many problems finding work within a couple of months. There are so many opportunities available during this time, it shouldn’t be too difficult for someone with talent and good writing samples to earn a living. Still many aspiring freelance writers are frustrated because they’re not landing any lucrative gigs, or even gigs at all.
If you’ve been job seeking for some time and you’re still not finding work, perhaps you need to rethink your strategy.
Looking for Work in All the Wrong Places
Let’s explore the places where you’re looking for work and types of work you’re seeking.
If you look at the same job board each day or the same types of jobs each day and you’re not yielding positive results, consider expanding your search or rethinking your goals. For example, if you’re a brand new writer and you’re only applying to mid- or senior- level writing opportunities, consider adding some entry level gigs as well. If anything, landing a lower payer will allow you to earn as you seek out some of the more lucrative gigs. Visit a variety of job boards. Explore the different types of opportunities.
Don’t feel you have to be married to one particular form of writing. Explore magazine writing, blogging, writing copy for websites and other opportunities. You might also consider ghostwriting, ebooks, brochures and product reviews. Your heart may be set towards one type of writing but there’s no shame in trying a cocktail of opportunities, at least to get your foot in the door.
Getting Off On the Wrong Foot
Remember that commercial from the 80’s, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression?” No? Just me then. Alrighty…
Recently I recommended a friend of mine for a job and he didn’t get the gig. This was surprising to me because he’s a very good writer. When my client mentioned the writer had great credentials but the writing sample wasn’t very strong, my friend was able to resubmit. The second sample was much better and he landed the gig. The types of samples we send in make a difference. They should be relevant and well written. Choosing any old bit of writing doesn’t always work in our favor. Be careful when choosing writing that you feel is representative of you and your voice.
First impressions matter so much. Consider your cover letter, inquiry or application. You might not be finding work because your of an error that might not be obvious to your eye. If you’re not sure if you’re making a good impression, ask another writer to give your cover letter and samples a look-see. Someone else might find something you’re missing.
Finding the “Non-Advertised” Freelance Writing Jobs
There’s a lot of competition for job board gigs, but some of the best opportunities are advertised. Do you know where to find them? You can’t always wait for the gigs to come to you. If you really want to land some terrific freelance writing jobs, sometimes you have to ask.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Contact local businesses
- Search the web for “write for us” pages
- Contact webmasters
Here’s one of my favorite tips: Go to a job board such as Indeed.com and search for “freelance writer.” Besides the freelance writing jobs, jobs containing the words “freelance writing” in the description will also turn up. These can be editing, proofreading, project management and other gigs….but guess what? These gigs tell you the companies placing the ad hire freelance writers. Reach out to those places and query about opportunities.
Consider Your Marketing Strategy
What do you mean you don’t have a marketing strategy?
See, when you market yourself as a freelance writer, you’re creating an interest around your name and your brand. For example, though not its original purpose, this blog is a great marketing tool and I’ve landed many clients who found me simply by landing here. My business cards are also marketing tools as are my speaking engagements. Anything that cements my expertise and puts me on the radar is a marketing tool. Having a heavy online presence made all the difference for me. If you’re not landing any gigs, think about how to better market yourself as a freelance writer.
Maybe the Freelance Writing Life Isn’t For You
Tough love time.
If you’ve been trying to land a gig for months and all you’re getting is rejection, consider if this is what you’re truly destined to do. If writing is hard for you, and even the simplest of freelance writing jobs bore you, maybe it’s time to re-think you’re professional goals. Not everyone is cut out for the writing life. If you’re landing work or not enjoying what you do, perhaps the freelance writing life isn’t for you.
Talk to us…
What are some of the reasons a writer’s career might not be taking off and how would you remedy that?