How to get Freelance Writing Jobs

So you want to get paid to write–Where do you start? There are plenty of online and in-person platforms out there for you to get connected with online publications and those looking to fill their content creation needs. Of course, you must hone your skills and create a portfolio first, but afterwards, these are some of the places where you can find work:

Upwork

Upwork is a great resource for freelance jobs of any kind. You can find personal assistant, blogging, or other writing jobs on here. I’ve written freelance for multiple blogs and publications through Upwork. It’s a website on which companies and individuals can post freelance job offerings. You need “connects” to apply for jobs. You can pay for these, or you are given a set amount for free. You can pitch a price or follow the employers offering. You also create a profile where you can display your portfolio and past projects. 

AngelList

AngelList is a job board, like Linkedin, for startups. You can search for freelance content creation positions on here, though there are typically more openings for tech-related jobs on here. I currently work a freelance content marketing job through this website. 

Linkedin

Though Linkedin primarily posts full-time positions, you are also able to find part time work or freelance work on the website if you are searching for the right things. 

Pitching on your own

If there is a publication that you want to write for, and they accept submissions, try going this route. Unfortunately, a lot of online publications won’t pay well or at all for submitted pieces. Try to start smaller in order to build your portfolio, then pitch to bigger companies.

Send out your info

Another way to get freelance writing work is the old-fashioned way–you can create business cards with your information and links to your portfolio on them, and leave them up in coffee shops and other local businesses. 

Creating a Portfolio

In order to gain freelance writing work, you have to get your  voice out there. This can be through a portfolio website, like clippings.me, or a personal blog. A personal blog is your best bet, as it allows you to start publishing work yourself, and maintain a carefully curated internet presence.

Do you have any experience freelance writing? Let me know.

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10 Tips for Writing Great Online Content

Writing for an online audience can be tricky. When adjusting from traditional forms of writing to content creation and blogging, there are quite a few new rules to follow and goals to aim for. Below, find a list of ten important tips to ensure you are creating readable, interesting content. Many of these were inspired by information from Hubspot Academy’s course on Business Blogging.

  1. Don’t forget about the title. Keep it short and strong. Make sure to draw in your reader with a promise or interesting premise.

2. Answer questions. Write content that educates your audience on their interests and helps improve their skills. This way, people will come to your content on their own.

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3. Don’t write about your own life, write with your audience and industry in mind. Make sure your article will be about something your audience is truly going to care about or need to improve a certain skill.

4. Small sentences and paragraphs. Don’t confuse your audience with lengthy information.

5. Don’t try to sound smarter than you are. Use words you’re comfortable with, not unnecessary jargon and heightened vocabulary. Contractions are okay!

6. Write conversationally. Utilize humor and personality to draw your reader in and create and connection.

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7. Write your introduction and conclusion last. Make sure that you have structured your main ideas before perfecting your piece.

8. Make sure to have a catchy introduction that draws in your reader with a funny anecdote or compelling promise.

9. Use strong language. No passive voice, speak directly to your reader.

10. Scissors> Pen. Edit closely to ensure that your main idea remains the focus. Don’t include any unnecessary words or information.

What other rules do you follow when writing or creating other online content? Let me know in the comments.

25 Free Tools to Improve Your Writing in 2020 — Nicholas C. Rossis

Writing tools promise to make our life easier. But first you have to choose which one to use. And God knows there are plenty of them around nowadays! I counted four posts on the subject on my blog alone, with dozens of links to promising tools. So, wouldn’t it be if someone organized that information […]

25 Free Tools to Improve Your Writing in 2020 — Nicholas C. Rossis

Want to Put your Writing Skills to Use? Learn About Content Marketing

It’s a sad misconception that humanities majors are doomed to a life of un- and underemployment. The skills learned in such degrees are highly valuable in the workplace, where clear and persuasive writing and communication are key. However, the world is changing rapidly, and there are technical and “hard” skills you can use to back up your degree in English, History, or any of the other social sciences.

One such skill is “Content Marketing”. Content Marketing refers to the use of written or visual content to attract potential customers and point them towards services that they will then pay for. Writers and editors with skills and experience in content marketing are much more likely to be hired in jobs where blogging and online content is used as a key tool to boost sales and following.

I recently completed Hubspot Academy’s online certification course in content marketing, which I was then able to advertise on Linkedin and on my resume, making my background stronger to potential employers. In this course, I completed a number of video modules, practical activities, and passed a comprehensive test. I improved my knowledge in content marketing as a means to not only boost my resume, but improve my own blog presence, as well.

Some of the most important skills I learned in this course include:

Know your Audience:

Hubspot’s course suggests compiling “buyer personas,” or fictional representations of the type of customer you are looking to attract. I thought about the type of viewer I am looking to attract on this blog, which is mainly college graduates looking to gain fill-time employment. It is important to research what this person may be interested in and to maintain connections with your real-life followers, as well. Knowing your audience is essential in gaining followers and attracting people with the right content.

Stay Organized:

This course helped me create a detailed calendar in which to organize when, where, and what content to post. It also made me think more clearly about the reason why I am posting content, and the ideal outcome I am looking for in posting. It also helped me discover new, creative ways to think of blog post ideas, and to think carefully about when to post them.

Be Social:

I learned that it is important to advertise your content on social media channels, and that these should all be personalized to the particular website. I also learned about the importance of guest blogging, and how maintaining connections with other influencers can help you to build up a following.

Learning these and other skills puts you in a place above your other humanities-major peers when it comes to looking for a writing position. Good luck with the job search!

Twitter

On Overcoming Rejection

For a recent graduate, perhaps especially one with a humanities degree, the job market can be a dismal place. Rejection is everywhere, and it seems like no matter how many positions you apply for, you are lucky if a handful respond. I have been experiencing this rejection on a regular basis—many times not even complete rejection but a total void, a lack of any sort of response to my resume sent out to so many people. 

Yet, I’ve come to appreciate rejection. In my last post, I wrote about my experience in the public speaking organization “Toastmasters,” in which I recently spoke about my experience with rejection. Another member walked up to the podium to introduce the “table topics,” a part of the meeting in which members are invited to make impromptu speeches. She spoke about her own experiences receiving a rejection letter from a publisher for a children’s book she was writing, and about learning to view that as an opportunity, and not as something to turn her away from writing completely. This spoke to me, not merely as a fellow writer, but as someone experiencing a similar form of rejection on job applications every day. 

How have I learned to view rejection as a positive? I think I would first separate the types of rejection I have experienced—which, sadly, for the most part is merely a complete lack of response. This form of rejection can be particularly disheartening, but I remind myself that this must mean that there were many other candidates for the position, or perhaps that I would not even want to work for a company that doesn’t personally connect with its candidates. 

The “better” form of rejection can perhaps be described as constructive criticism. In Toastmasters, I spoke about a detailed response I had received from someone whom I had interviewed with for an Educational Technology job with a company that I had wanted to work for for a long time. During this interview process, I had to complete a practice assignment. The interviewer told me that they had decided not to go through with me as a candidate, but explained in detail that they were pleased with my skills, though one aspect of the assignment was not up to par—the ways in which I had written about speaking to potential stakeholders in the company had not been adequately personalized. 

I found this response, though disheartening at first, to be particularly helpful, and responded that I would love to stay in touch and would learn from their advice. I took the rejection as a positive, as something to learn from that would improve my interviewing skills for future positions. I also continued to stay in touch with the interviewer, hoping that they may have future opportunities that better fit my skill set and interests. 

The best part of all of this—even though I struggle greatly with public speaking, I won best “Table Topics” speech that day—because I found it easy to speak about something so important and relatable to what I have been going through. And that’s something I can brag about in the next interview!