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You Don’t Need Training Wheels To Apply For A Freelance Writing Job!

Hi Anne,

I’m looking for entry-level writing work and, though I have some writing experience (grant and sales proposal writing, and copy for marketing collateral) I don’t have enough to compete for most posted jobs or projects.

I’d like to find people to follow on twitter who can point me in the direction that’s most appropriate, given my experience level.

How would you suggest I get started with this as a twitter beginner?

Thank you for your time,


Hi CG,

Why do you think you don’t have “enough” experience to pursue the higher paying grant writing and copywriting for marketing collateral? How much would be ‘enough’?

I can tell you that if you’ve written one successful grant and/or written one decent sales proposal or piece of copy you should start applying for those gigs if they are the jobs you want.

I don’t know where people get the idea that, as freelancers, they need five,  10 or 20 or 100 samples or whatever number you’ve got in your head before they can apply and actually get some writing work that pays decently.

You’ve got experience that may let you avoid so-called entry-level gigs altogether. Those low pay gigs are, at best, training wheels and frankly the truly low pay writing jobs should probably be avoided altogether.

Sure, if you’ve only written one grant, for example, you won’t find it as easy to get grant writing jobs as if you’d written more, but quit belittling your experience, please. Put together your website, you list of credits and start applying. I suspect you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I’m totally mystified by your question re twitter. Although there are some jobs that appear on twitter, I’d think you’d do better joining LinkedIn and polishing your profile there and beginning to establish contacts with others in the various writing groups. Search for groups that make sense to you – perhaps grant writing and copy writing and join them. See what you can contribute. That often leads to work.

Or maybe I’m missing something. Am I wrong? Is twitter a good way to find writing jobs?


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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Compete for jobs. The worst that can happen is a rejection or no response at all. (And that’s not really so bad, is it?) The best? Use your imagination…

  • I think it can go either way, but I agree with Anne. If you have written a successful grant – ie gotten money from the proposal then apply for grant writing jobs. And if you’ve written copy for marketing materials, then apply for those jobs. I held myself back for quite a while because I thought I didn’t have enough experience to apply for writing gigs. Actually I did.
    If you don’t think you have enough experience, which is very relative by the way you can always get a gig to get more clips and raise your rates as you go. Test the waters and ask other writers, like you did here, about their experiences. Some writers won’t apply for a gig unless they have actual experience in that genre or speciality, but some professional writers will just submit a writing sample with a great query and get the gig anyway.
    Good luck!
    Edna recently posted..USDA steps in to help young farmers and ranchersMy Profile

    • Anne

      Back in my headhunting days I found I usually had to help women take credit for what they’d done… was never a problem with men. 😉

  • So far, Twitter has not been a reliable resource for me in terms of obtaining freelance work. But, I do use it from time to time, and am hopeful that I’ll yield more promising results in the future.

    As for the “training wheels” advice, sorry I would have to respectfully disagree. 🙂 Because the writing field has become increasingly competitive, with the advent of the Internet, and an uncertain economy, experience is important in the overall equation of landing good paying gigs.

    Editors and publishers are looking for the most “bang for their buck,” much like other “employers”.
    Training wheels can help savvy writers to go the distance with less detours.
    Jennifer Brown Banks recently posted..The Perils of Blogging While Bored!My Profile

    • Anne

      Jennifer, we don’t disagree that much… the questioner said they had written successful grant proposals, or at least one, and some successful copywriting – that’s not inexperienced in my view. Yes, Editors and publishers are looking for more – but my hunch is more writers are timid than bold.

  • If you follow the “right” people (those who post job ads, ha), Twitter’s a great way to find jobs; at least, it has been for me. For example, Darren Rowse regularly posts links to job ads on the problogger.net job board, as does the freelancewritinggigs.com team via @FreelanceWJ, and I’ve found gigs replying to ads posted from both of those Twitter accounts.

    Too, building relationships on Twitter can help people find jobs. I met an Internet marketer on Twitter who needed TONS of professional writing and editing done to prepare, launch, and promote a book. I worked for him for about six months. Obviously, this way isn’t as straightforward (it’s more networking than actually applying for a job), but it can work.

  • I absolutely love your response to this question. I am new to the writing world; and as a newbie can identify with CG, you have your doubts; but your response reminded me about a book I read a few years ago and had forgotten to apply the principles learned: “Feel the fear, but do it anyway”. Thanks for my kick in the pants!

    • Anne

      any time Marcia, glad you liked it. And I’ll bet you don’t need many kicks.

  • I don’t have a clue about Twitter, but I can see where “training wheels” job can be useful as a beginner. They can build confidence, especially when you are unsure of your own skills. When the only feedback you get on your writing is from people who are “obligated” to be nice to you, getting your first positive feedback from people who have no obligation whatsoever to spare your feelings is extremely validating! Of course, with grant proposals and such under the writer’s belt, this person probably already has a decent portfolio, but trying something new can still be frightening, and writing is, unfortunately, a rejection-heavy line of work. Gaining confidence will help you stand up against a sea of rejections, knowing that you do, in fact, have something someone wants.
    Amelia Ramstead recently posted..The "Go with the Flow" PhenomenonMy Profile

    • Anne

      I’m all for people taking beginning jobs to build confidence, but many spend too much time there. I want to encourage people to break out of their comfort zone – rejection for a $1000 piece is actually easier imo than one for $100.

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