Freelancers have a range of opinions on where and how to find work. Full-time writers have their own strategies, and many suggest that you reach out and develop long-term relationships with clients. Constantly market yourself, maintain a website, write regularly, cold-call (or email) businesses and publications you’d like to work with, etc.
|The reality of working at home with kids.|
I have scoured craigslist for hours looking for jobs that fit my criteria (I work on my own time, 10-15 hours a week, and ideally, $20+ an hour). Needless to say, jobs that fit my criteria were few and far between (but they do exist!). I’d spend about 30 minutes applying to one job. I got 3 jobs that way over the years and kept one long-term. The highest paying was $40 for 800 words.
Then I discovered freelance article writing sites, which seem to have exploded in the past few years. These sites are fantastic for working moms or part-time freelancers.
Freelance Article Writing Sites
You can find an excellent, extensive list of them at Freelancewriting.com. I have accounts with at least 7 of these sites, but I only do work for two, and I’ll share my experience with those.
I can’t say enough good things about Skyword. This is the bulk of my business. Skyword recruits clients, then matches the client's needs with writers in their database. For example, my niche is healthcare, so my clients are all related to the medical field in some way, mostly health systems.
In some cases, I get to work directly with the client; in others, I work with a Skyword account manager. Regardless, I’ve had great two-way communication, which helps me grow as a writer and maintain strong relationships.
The pay rates have been mid to high range for the current market, and the rates are reasonable for the article length, depth, and level of expertise required. Most clients approve content pretty quickly, and you get paid twice a month through PayPal.
Another great benefit from Skyword is that it saves me time on marketing. I have a portfolio through the site that automatically gets updated when clients publish my work. Skyword account managers use the portfolio to match me with potential programs. I can use the link on LinkedIn, my own blog, or on job applications.
I highly recommend looking into this site. It is best for people who already have an established niche, but it is possible to expand your specialty. Remember to be patient. I have been working with Skyword for 2 years. It took 4 months after I was accepted as a writer to be invited to the first program.
This is the other site I use, but much less frequently. This is good if you’re the type of writer who can write about anything. Because I’m pretty specialized in healthcare, relevant jobs don’t come up as often.
Pay is a little lower here, but still fair and well above content mills. They’ve also recently updated the site to allow writers to name their price. You can maintain a simple profile with three article samples, and clients can choose to assign jobs to you directly.
The main drawback here is that every writer is given a score in different specialties. Writers with higher scores get first access to jobs. The only way to raise your score is to complete jobs and get good reviews from clients. That puts you in a frustrating loop. Scripted will let you pitch topics, which is the best way to get work. It’s inconsistent but a nice supplement.
To get started writing for these sites, check out these tips.