Recently in a LinkedIN group and in two different emails to me, three people asked how to find freelance writing jobs that paid more than a pittance.
All three were feeling put upon by the number of low paying jobs they were finding and wondering if perusing a freelance writing career was worth it.
All three were looking for writing gigs through Texbroker, Elance and oDesk.
I don’t know how to say it more clearly, but if you keep working for the outfits that pay practically nothing, that’s exactly what you’ll earn – practically nothing.
If you don’t look beyond the low paying gigs you’ll never find the higher paying ones.
While there are people the low pay works for – like those who truly need only small amounts to supplement their incomest or those in countries with low cost of living, most of us want more.
So how do you get writing gigs that pay more than the bottom feeders pay?
You aim higher!
Yes, you quit looking at the low paying jobs and start looking for those that pay more. You quite haunting the bidding sites or the sites you know offer tiny amounts and you begin looking at other sites, and even more importantly, in other ways.
Here are some ways to do that:
- You only apply for jobs that pay $x amount or more and refuse to come down. In the beginning that might be $10 instead of $5, but I’d suggest you quickly move beyond that. If you can get an article published for $5 you can probably get one published for $25 if you do the market search. See the category Setting Fees for help.
- You build a website with your own domain name that highlights the kind of writing you do best. You put the web address on your business cards and on every email and anything printed… you do have business cards don’t you?
- You call your local weekly newspaper with two or three ideas and see if you can’t get an assignment or two from them. These are great credits and great ways to get known as a writer in your community. Often they pay $10 or $20. How To Get Started With Your Weekly Newspaper will help.
- You start talking to business people right in your own community to offer your services to write sales letters, brochure copy, website copy and all the other myriad writing any business needs. You find them through cold calling, or walking down the street or joining networking groups. Use The Phone Book To Find Writing Clients may help.
- You read Writer’s Market making notes about which magazines, particularly the trade magazines, you can query and get a well-paid assignment from.
- When you accept an assignment from a magazine or a business or whomever you do your darnedest to get it right and meet the deadline.
- And when you’ve got a satisfied client you ask for both a testimonial and a referral. Or, if it’s an editor, you suggest a new article and ask them what they’d like you to write next.
- If the article is online, link to it from your website… if not, post as one of your samples. (Yes, it’s nice to ask permission.)
Look, earning a living from freelance writing isn’t always a simple thing. But it also isn’t a big mystery either.
The market for good writers continues to expand. Assuming you can write reasonably well, you can grow a career at it. You will have to work at it, and you will have to move out of your comfort zone.
It’s up to you.
How are you increasing your freelance writing income?