The Best Places for Writers to Find Paid Work
If you know what type of writing specialty you’d like to focus on, the next step is to connect with paying clients.
On one hand, potential clients are virtually everywhere. Pretty much any business or service provider needs written copy to market their products and services. The trick comes in finding the right match for your expertise.
Writer Job Boards
We don’t generally recommend writer job boards because a lot of the clients who post listings are looking for the lowest bidder. Not all, but a fair number. A site like Elance.com isn’t a bad place to get your feet wet or produce some pieces you can use as samples. But generally, you’re not going to make a lot of money from it.
The one exception is AWAI’s DirectResponseJobs.com job board. This site is reserved for AWAI members actively working through one of AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting Program. New jobs are added to the site on a regular basis, and the marketers who post there understand and appreciate the value of good copy — and are willing to pay for it.
So if you’re going through the Accelerated Program, take advantage of that site.
If you’re not enrolled in the program, there are scores of other ways to connect with clients without resorting to dirt-cheap fees (and that’s really not the goal of Barefoot Living, is it?!).
Remember — working for dirt cheap is not our goal here. Besides, your time, expertise, and the value you can bring a potential client is worth a legitimate fee. So, make it your top priority to tap sources where highly-trained writers are sought.
Some Roads To Your First Client …
Let’s go over a few common ways to land your first client.
We’ll start with live events. Attending conferences filled with direct-response marketers is practically a sure-fire way to connect with the type of client who will value your skills. The Wealthy Web Writer’s annual Web Intensive and AWAI’s annual Bootcamp are both excellent places to tap the power of direct marketing.
Attending AWAI’s annual Bootcamp is a particularly effective way to land clients, thanks to the Job Fair that takes place during the conference. Attendees gain automatic entrance into the venue where they can connect with as many as 50 marketers actively seeking freelancers with web-writing skills.
Another way to land clients is through spec assignments. When you write something “on spec,” it means you’re writing it with the goal of impressing a potential client enough for him or her to want to use the copy. If the copy is used, you get paid.
Writing on spec means no risk for a client since they only pay for what they use. It’s a good way for you to get your foot in the door with your dream client, and you get to practice web writing for an actual product or service.
Another approach to getting assignments is to ask for referrals. And, yes — this is something every new writer can do. Even if you feel like you don’t know someone who runs a business and needs copy, chances are you at least have a neighbor or a dentist or a friend who does.
Get in the habit of talking about your writing business to friends, family members, people in your community, service providers, and neighbors. You never know who they might know who could use some quality copy.
Believe You’re Good and Go Forward with Confidence!
The important thing is that you take care not to give up. Keep at your goal, and you’ll get there. A reliable way to eventually land work is simply to follow up on any opportunities that come your way. Turn those opportunities into paid writing gigs by laying out a plan for polite, professional, and consistent follow-up.
In fact, did you know it often takes between five and 10 interactions or exposures to your business before someone is ready to hire you for writing services? That means you can’t let yourself get discouraged if nothing happens after your first try. Take multiple approaches with potential clients — maybe start with an email, then send a postcard, and then make a phone call. Spread these efforts out over a period time and your chances of landing work will increase exponentially.