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How can I land a freelance writing job?

stop, look, listenHi Anne,

How can I land a freelance writing job?

I have experience and samples.

Thank you.

(No name given.)

Hi No Name,

I always wonder when an email like this comes in. Has the sender set up some sort of email blast to all writing sites? Have they spent any time at all even looking at the menu on mine? No matter, the question is a worthy one.

This particular question came in from an email address that is mostly numbers. So my first suggestion is to get an email address that isn’t so strange, that doesn’t look so spam-like. Potential employers will eliminate anything that is even a bit odd in a return email address.

Next, if you’re seriously asking about how to find a freelance writing job why the heck wouldn’t you sign the email with your name and your contact information? Make it easy for a prospective employer to contact you – if you don’t you can be sure they won’t bother to try and find you.

Finally, take a closer look at this website and any others you’re considering approaching. On this writing blog one of the navigational menu items is “Jobs.” It leads to places you might find jobs and to a whole series of articles about how to land a freelance writing job.

Over on the right, down a ways, in the category drop down you’ll find a link to the same group of articles – each one aimed at helping freelance writers land writing gigs. There is all sorts of information there that will be helpful. Not all of it will, of course, apply to you, but enough will to warrant spending a few minutes with the list and a few more with at least several of the articles.

The process is roughly the same for any writing job you’re applying for. You briefly tell the prospective employer/publisher what you can do, why you’re the best and list or attach or direct them to your credits. Do this thoughtfully and often – even daily.

If you want to write for magazines, send queries – one a day isn’t too many.

It’s all part of marketing yourself.

If you don’t have a website or blog that shows off your skills make that a top priority – because publishers and employers are looking online for the writers they need.

Successful freelance writers spend significant time marketing themselves – it’s a major component of their success.

Get a series of articles about Freelance Writing Jobs – it’s FREE; all you need to do to get it is sign up.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman freelance writer




Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Dudley Carr

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Christopher

    Yes. I love comments where people say that we should always rely on all of the other information that has already been laid out. It is as if the world has become stagnant and suddenly there is a notion that nothing has, or ever will change.

  • co

    None of you are helpful.

    • What kind of help are you looking for? I doubt if there’s anyone here who hires writers – but many here have gotten writing jobs from the tips here and on other blogs. We can’t do it for you, only share what our experience has been.

      • I’m actually surprised you responded to that comment; I’d have probably just killed it as spam. Overall I like that you found inspiration to write an entire post based on what could have been a standard bit of fancy spam, saying and asking nothing specific. In general it’s not a bad question, but it’s one that you’ve answered on this blog before, which shows that if it was real then the person didn’t even attempt to go back through your blog to do any reading on the subject.
        Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Bad Comments/Spam The Same?My Profile

        • lol, Mitch… just shows you what a real hack I am… can turn anything into a blog post. 😉

  • Great teachable moment, Anne. I get a few of those myself. I especially dislike the ones that say ‘where should I start?’ because I’ve got a menu item that says ‘start here’. 😉 I don’t mind being helpful, but I wish people would also try to help themselves.

    • Start here… maybe newbies start here? I don’t have a start here button; it’s a good thought.

      • Not sure my nav bar will stretch to another word, but adding ‘newbies’ is a good thought, Anne. I’ll have to do some tweaking.

        • Yeah, our nav bars to have some limitations – I’ve looked at mine and have the same problem…

  • Carrie’s right that the question isn’t stupid. It’s lazy.

    When I receive an open-ended question like that, it tells me the asker isn’t really interested in learning. There’s a high level of “Take me by the hand and help me” in the question, but that has little “I really want to learn so I can be successful” in it.

    I would find “Where should I start?” questions easier to deal with because now you have someone who’s engaged in their own career. It’s still a tough question, but there’s an undercurrent of wanting to do something for themselves with just a little guidance.
    Lori recently posted..When There’s No More Demand…My Profile

    • Agreed – all I did was use their laziness to post about landing jobs for those who aren’t. I was also interested that they claimed to have credits. BTW I emailed a link to the article and so far haven’t heard anything.

  • I also get e-mails from people who haven’t bothered to be professional at all. At least the person addressed you by name.

    I often get people asking me to promote their new book or new website, and it’s obvious that it’s a mass mailing: I’m not addressed by name, nor is my website mentioned.
    John Soares recently posted..Why I Updated My Freelance Writer ResumeMy Profile

    • Yeah, I’m considering a post on spam and spam comments… not today… but soon.

  • Julie

    Really great tips to find some freelance jobs, thanks for sharing it! YOu are totally right, without on own blog, there isn’t any reference to get a good job, I don’t think if there were any only-guest bloggers.
    Julie recently posted..wisdom teethMy Profile

    • You’re on the right track Julie… what’s your native language?

  • We all have to start somewhere and there are no stupid questions. That said, there is still a responsibility to do some, much, of our own digging for information and answers when we embark on a new career.

    I’m sorry, but questions like the one in your lede frustrate me. Anne, you are so generous with your information and your site has so many answers. The answers here and on a few other well-known sites are there for the taking. It doesn’t take much effort to lift the spoon to mouth.

    I had someone tell me she wanted to publish her book. “Where do I begin?” she asked. I started to give her a basic outline of the work required until she interrupted me, “Do I have to do all that? Can’t I just send it in to X?” Uh, sure. Go ahead. And I’ll save my breath.

    Thanks for what you do, Anne.
    Carrie Schmeck recently posted..How’s Business? and why I hate this questionMy Profile

    • I get frustrated too, Carrie which explains the tone maybe.

  • Now when I first started reading this one I thought you were headed towards a lesson on how to make a professional email address and signature for yourself. I remember you explaining that one to me awhile ago. Generic email addresses don’t land even a blind response.

    But you’re right, it sounds like they didn’t bother to read through the site or look at the offerings. And most writers who run blogs would have answered in the same fashion since you’ve all covered this very topic more than you may like.
    Bill Swan recently posted..How Your Food Planning Ensures Stability in Financial DisastersMy Profile

    • Anything for some page views Bill – seriously, I think the person who emailed is confused at best… but others who come here aren’t.

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