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When I first started looking for a way to make money from home back in 2015, I launched a freelance writing business. I’ve been profitable nearly every month since then.
In my opinion, freelance writing is one of the best ways for busy moms to start earning money online. Here’s why:
- You can write during Family Writing Time so your kids are engaged
- It’s easy to integrate your kids into your business
- You can use think time to start drafting the content in your head while you’re taking care of things around the house
- Writing is a quiet activity – you can work on it when the kids are sleeping without worrying about waking them up
- You can earn real money on a part-time basis
- Freelance writing can easily branch out into additional streams of income like virtual assistance and blogging
If you’re ready to start a freelance writing business of your own, I highly recommend investing in Gina Horkey’s course: 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success.
Once you launch your business, it’s time to find your first writing gigs. That’s how you make money after all!
What You Need to Find Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a freelance writing website to find gigs. I started writing for clients in July of 2015, and didn’t launch this site until late September of that year.
So don’t let not having a site (or money to pay for a site) stop you from making money writing.
Here’s what you do need:
- A computer with an internet connection (even slow satellite internet works!)
- Ideas – suggestions for things you can write about
- A solid command of the English language (don’t make your clients edit your poor grammar!)
- Belief in yourself – you really can do this!
- The ability to create content other people want to read
- An understanding of how to format blog posts (these are not academic essays and shouldn’t be written like them!)
- A professional sounding email address (I mainly use a free Gmail email)
- A way to invoice clients and receive money (I use the free Wave Financial for invoicing and PayPal for most of my payments)
- Time to write (scroll down for ideas)
- A commitment to keep your deadlines
You really can do this!
How to Find Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners
Now that you know what you need, it’s time to get started finding jobs! Here are the four different strategies I used when I first launched my writing business.
1. Free Job Boards
My very first paid gig came from the ProBlogger job board. I’ve gotten plenty of other ones from there since then.
Job boards get updated frequently, so make sure you check back regularly. Put a reminder on your phone to help you remember, because until it’s a habit you may not think of it.
Tips for actually landing gigs from a job board:
- Remember you are one of many applicants – do everything you can to rise to the top
- Follow the directions (read the WHOLE ad – sometimes there’s a weird requirement in the bottom third)
- If you need samples and don’t have them yet, create them and post on Medium or another content sharing site
- Be professional in your communication and proofread your material
- If asked for a resume, include one (tips for creating a resume as a freelancing mom)
- Never lie about your experience or lack of it
- Find gigs you know you can handle
If at first you don’t succeed, try try again! Don’t stop pitching because you don’t hear back. You will get silence and rejections more often than acceptance, but if you don’t try you won’t get anything!
If you don’t mind sorting through some scammy ads, you can find writing jobs on Craigslist. In fact, that’s how I landed the job that paid me enough to put up this website.
Tips for finding legit gigs on Craigslist:
- Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it is
- Look for gigs in the major cities (LA, New York, Boston, and San Diego are all areas I’ve found them)
- Check out the “Gigs” section. I check all gigs, since these are often tagged incorrectly. You can start with just the writing gigs section though
- Ignore postings that are full of errors – you want to work for companies who care enough to create intelligent sounding postings
- Follow the directions
- Never give too much personal information before verifying the person and company
Most of my writing work comes from people I’ve built a relationship with in Facebook Groups. Take time to join and participate in groups where your ideal clients hang out.
Don’t just pitch your services and walk w away. You will never get clients that way! Instead, answer questions. Participate in threads. Get your name out there.
You can also join writing based groups. Often people who have overloaded schedules post job opportunities inside. If you’re quick to respond, you can often land a gig without as much competition as you find on job boards.
Sites that Pay You to Write
There are tons of websites that pay freelance writers to create content, even if they’re beginners.
How to Land Your First Gig
To find sites that pay, you can Google, “(your niche) + write for us paid.” You may be surprised at what pops up.
To land a paid gig on these sites, read all of the guidelines for writers. Spend time reading content that’s already published to get a better understanding of what they’re looking for.
When it’s time to pitch, make sure you have a solid idea that works for their website. Check the site first to make sure they don’t already have a similar post.
Be professional when emailing your pitch. Keep your email short and to the point, because editors are busy! Include enough details that the editor can see where you’re going and what angle you’re taking. Also include why YOU are the best person to write this piece.
Also, it’s a good idea to sign up for email lists for sites you’d love to write for. I know many business owners (including myself) who put out a call for paid writing opportunities only via email to their subscribers.
Being subscribed is a great way to stay up to date with the content on the site and really get a feel for it.
How to Find Time to Write Once You Land a Gig
Landing your first gig is such an incredible feeling! Someone wants to pay you to write content.
But, now you have to create it. Which takes time. If you’re a busy mom, time can be a premium. Here are four different ways to make time for your new freelance writing business:
- Get up early
- Stay up late
- Implement Family Writing Time and write with your kids
- Have a daily quiet time
Those strategies will get you longer periods of time for writing. You can also do a lot with your found minutes throughout the day.
When you have a few minutes, create your outline. Then do some research. Write the content in your head. Then when you sit down, it’ll all go so much faster!
If you need more tips for making time for a business as a busy mom, check out my premier time management course, Balancing Diapers and Deadlines.
Find Your First Freelance Writing Gig
If you don’t take action, you will never get paid to write. You can read all the posts you want, but if you don’t implement the steps, your business will remain a dream.
So take a deep breathe and decide that 2019 is the year you finally take action. Use the tips in the post and find your first freelance writing gig! You can do this, I’m cheering for your.
Know someone else who’s ready to start getting paid to write? Share this post with them!