As a freelance writer, one of the most important elements to success is the ability to write well and in a way, that engages the reader. The second most important key to a successful freelance writing career is being able to find the clients who are looking for writers!
If you’re like other freelance writers, you’ve heard of third party freelance sites such as Upwork, Guru, and Fiverr. Low-paying content mills such as Demand Media, Textbroker, Zerys, iWriter, and others are also easy to find. Although some writers do earn some extra money working for these kinds of sites, the freelancers making big money have better ways to find clients.
Step One-Google “Write for Us”
One of the ways that you can find clients who are looking for writers is actually simple. Conduct a Google search for “Write for Us” and you will be presented with an entire list of websites who are looking for writers to create blog posts and other content for their websites.
My search results produced over 733 million writing opportunities! Some of these will be unpaid or guest blog opportunities and others will be paid writing opportunities. Don’t just dismiss unpaid opportunities. The chance to gain exposure with an established reader audience and put your name in front of thousands of potential clients can have value for newbies.
Depending on the genre of writing you want to do, you can narrow your search somewhat by adding words related to what you want. Try “write fiction for us and get paid”, or “write for us, United States”. Play with results until you get a list that looks like it suits your niche and desired outcome.
Step Two-Weed Out
Once you have your Google search results with a list of “Write for Us” opportunities, weed out the ones that are obviously not your niche or your cup of tea. If you are looking for paid opportunities, then weed out the ones who aren’t willing to pay cold hard cash to their writers.
Go through the remaining results and weed out any write for us opportunities that have broken links or inactive websites. This part of the process can be a bit time consuming, but in the end, it will save you time and be worth it. In my first page of results, at least two of the write for us opportunities had broken links at some point along the chain to the submission page.
Once you’ve narrowed your results to only active links for writing opportunities that suit your needs, put your inspector goggles on and look at each one more closely. For each company or website, do a search for reviews of that company or client. Look for patterns in the user reviews that may indicate any potential pitfalls or problems for you as a writer.
“Write for us” Examples
Layout by Flywheel (Paid Writing Opportunity)
If you have some experience in an industry such as design, development, or even writing, share your expertise. If you can impart knowledge with a positive voice you can inspire thousands of readers and with the opportunity to earn $50 per post of $700-$1200 words at Layout by Flywheel.
Writers must have excellent grammar skills and agree to meet strict deadlines. Failure to do so means your article can be rejected or your payment reduced. Payments are via PayPal within 48 hours of final edits. You can link to your article on Layout but ownership reverts to them upon submission.
International Policy Digest (Unpaid Write for Us Opportunity)
International Policy Digest is currently accepting online submissions from a variety of new and seasoned writers. International Policy Digest publishes evidence based analysis articles. Email submissions to International Policy Digest are accepted via email. See their website for specific submission criteria and be sure to follow them!
The Write Life (Bio Link or Paid)
If you excel at writing realistic and actionable advice posts for fellow writers, then check out The Write Life to see if their writing opportunity might suit your style. Their submission process is straight forward. New writers must submit a post via Google Docs and include a link in their bio in lieu of payment. The Write Life boasts 450,000 monthly page views and over 40,000 email subscribers. After a successful first article, writers can opt for the bio link or payment of $75 per post.
Horse Network (Paid)
Contributors to Horse Network can be paid as much as $50 per post of 500-750 words. For posts that receive 1,000 social media shares, Horse Network pays $100. You can include a link to your own website as well as an author bio which means you get exposure as well. See their website for specific submission guidelines and more details.
Step Four-Write and Submit
Once you’ve narrowed your search results to about five to seven different write for us opportunities that suit your talents and seem legit based on your investigation, carefully review submission guidelines. Be sure you are clear on details of article rights, simultaneous submissions, payment process, etc. for each opportunity. Gather up high-quality writing samples for clients to review. Pitch your article or submit your post idea and await a response. While you wait, do some additional research and pick out another five to seven places to submit in the coming week.
Whether you are looking for paid or unpaid write for us opportunities, it’s still vital that you thoroughly research each potential client before entering any kind of relationship. Scams are out there, they are plentiful, and the only way to prevent being caught up in one is to do your research beforehand.
As a freelance writer, it’s crucial that you put your best foot forward with every opportunity. Viral posts can happen overnight. Make sure your author website and other social media profiles are accurate and professional. The last thing you want is for your post to go viral overnight and have readers who may be potential clients visiting your half-finished webpage. The opportunities for freelance writers are out there if you know where to look for them.