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6 Things You Need to Successfully Apply for Freelance Writing Gigs

freelance writing gigsIf you want to land freelance writing gigs you need to do a bit of preparation. This  includes:

  1. The ability to write reasonably well.
  2. Deciding what kinds of things you want to write.
  3. A list of writing credits, portfolio, or resume.
  4. Learning to find and read job postings.
  5. Picking and choosing.
  6. Following the directions.

Write reasonably well

You don’t have to be a Hemingway, or write like Maya Angelou or any other famous author you might dream up. Like you, they weren’t born writing. They learned it by practicing, a lot.

You do, however, have to know how to construct sentences and paragraphs that follow the rules of the language you want to write in. On this blog that’s the American version of English.

If you were born and raised in the United States that may be enough, although I see lots of native writing that is pretty awful.

I’m often embarrassed to turn down guest post from people whose English is obviously their second or even third language. I usually know nothing of their language (or any but my own to tell the truth) and they get awfully close to using mine in a natural way – but in this game close isn’t enough.

Writing well enough is, for many, a learnable skill.

Decide the kinds of things you want to write

Taking your writing ability into account, decide what you want to write. This may or may not be  your niche. Think about what you know and enjoy, or what you’d like to learn. Pick two or three areas, like health, or marketing, or insurance, or – well the list is about endless.

For now, this is where you’ll get your writing chops. I got mine writing narrative classified advertising for my father. He sold land and other real estate and we tracked every ad closely. Talk about training! Many people start with small newspapers when they can find them.

Gather a list of writing credits to land freelance writing gigs

No clips? No problem! is an article I wrote ages ago that still applies. Add to that two or three articles as samples on your own website, making clear they haven’t been published elsewhere, and you’re probably all set.

Learn to find and read job postings

There’s a list of places to look for jobs right here.

13 Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs in 2018 will give you an approach to finding job  sources. Don’t limit yourself to these – experiment.

Pick and choose

Be thoughtful about the freelance writing gigs you apply for. To do a good application takes some time. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t reach high, but cherish your time.

Follow the da** directions!

It seems like very few would-be writers read the ads and follow the directions about how to apply for the freelance writing gig they think they want! There’s no excuse.

Sure, putting your resumes in a .pdf or even printing them out to snail mail can be a pain. Pasting them in the body of an email guarantees they’ll look ugly wherever they arrive. Consider, however, that when you don’t follow the directions your automatically eliminated. If you don’t want to submit the way they ask you too, skip the job posting entirely.

I need some help updating my Jobs and Gigs pages. If you’ve got a source you like that I’ve missed and you’re willing to share it by all means do so, in comments or via email. I truly appreciate the help.

Write well and often,

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