Find Freelance Writing Work By Thinking Outside the Box

Find Freelance Writing Work


As a freelance writer, you have nearly unlimited opportunities to find work. After all, every business needs some kind of writing done, whether it is for their website, print campaign, e-mail marketing or even their product packaging. However, for as many opportunities as there are, there seem to be about three freelancers willing to do the work for every job that is out there.

When competition for work is so high, you have to think a little more creatively than just searching job boards to find work. You’re going to have to think outside the box a little to market yourself and to find work. Here are a few “outside the box” ideas for finding work as a freelance writer:

Tips To Find Freelance Writing Work

Cold Call Businesses

Everyone goes online to look for work, but good, old-fashioned cold calling and door-to-door selling has fallen out of favour  There is a huge potential market there for you if you’re willing to put in the work. Start with the small businesses in your community. Many of them may not even have a website yet. You can pitch your services and convince them of the need to start a website (and to hire you). You can also offer your services for their other marketing materials or even offer to lead their marketing campaign for them.

Develop a compelling pitch and get out the phone book (you know, that thing you always pick up off your driveway and throw in your pantry). Start making calls and building relationships. You’ll soon see your sales soar.

Create a Referral Program

Networking has long been the best way to make contacts and to find work. You can create an additional incentive within your network by offering referral fees to those who connect you with well-paying freelance jobs. Consider offering either a flat fee or a percentage of the job.

Advertise your offer through your personal networks, such as your own e-mail list or your social networks. Let family and friends know, as well. Of course, be sure to follow through on your offer, or don’t expect anyone to make another referral.

Create an Elevator Pitch

Find Freelance Writing Work

Image by ‘thinkpanama’

You never know who you will meet when you are out and about running errands or spending time with your family. You could run into the CEO of a local law firm at your son’s soccer game, or you could be standing in line at the grocery store with the head of marketing for a local school system. If you’re prepared, you can make small talk that has some consequence.

Develop an elevator pitch that you can give at these times, quickly explaining what you do and what businesses need to hire you. A casual chat could easily lead to new work and maybe even a long-lasting relationship.

Give Away “Review” Copies

Many popular marketing forums such as The Warrior Forum connect website owners with providers such as freelance writers. One way that you can stand out from your competitors and to attract new clients is to offer up a “review” copy of your work. This is typically a short, sample article that you write specifically for the client with their needs in mind.

When you offer review copies, you usually do so to get actual reviews of your work on the site, which will encourage others to hire you. Of course, the clients who requested the review copy may like what you provide and decide to hire you, as well.

Consider Bartering

You work for money to pay for the things you need. Why not just streamline the process and work directly for the things you need? When you barter, you can get items that you would have purchased anyway and you can attract “clients” that may not have been able to afford you otherwise.

‘Craigslist’ and other community forums are a great place to barter. You can trade for services, such as house cleaning, yard maintenance, pet sitting or even childcare. You can also trade for goods, including items like home-grown produce, furniture, musical instruments, electronics, and just about anything else you might need.

Freelance writing is a competitive field, and you have to work hard to find jobs and to stand out from your competitors. Thinking outside the box with strategies such as these can help you to land more work and to maintain a steady income while you grow your career.

What other “outside the box” strategies have you used to find freelance work? Please share them in the comments section below!

About Carmen Guzlas

Carmen is a writer and manager for Movato, where she has recently been researching homes for sale. In her spare time, Carmen enjoys gardening and making homemade soap.

  • Andi Leeman

    So true, these days it pays to get offline to find your online work. The telephone is still a powerful tool, create a list of people to contact and start ringing them up with a prepared list of skills achievements and benefits as to why someone should choose you. Not a sales pitch but give them plenty of good positive reasons and then follow up with an email.

    Over the phone ask for an email address where you can send them review copies of your work and links to sites where they can access more of your writing.

    If you want freelance work then you need to go out and get it and as you say think outside of the box!! Great post Carmen.

  • Carolyn

    Those are great tips! I was already thinking about offering to write a blog for my favorite LYS in exchange for goods, and now you’ve given me the push to do it.