You know you have legit writing skills and you’ve wanted to work from home for so long. Is it time to quit your day job and start searching for remote writing jobs? Maybe! But there are some very important things you need to consider first.
Chances are you’re frustrated in today’s job market. Long hours for mediocre pay is more of a reality than you want to admit. As a result, you’ve thought about what it would be like if you were the master of your own time and could command how much you earned. You’re not alone in these thoughts. In fact, it’s estimated that freelancers will account for half or more of the entire job force – sooner rather than later.
And, guess what. One of the most popular freelance roles available is that of a writer. But just because people are taking on more writing jobs doesn’t mean it’s always easy to find and land one of them.
Not sure if writing is the best job for you? Check out our List of 100 Work From Home Jobs.
So, how do you find freelance and remote writing jobs? It’s a simple question with an answer that requires planning and effort.
Freelance and Remote Writing Jobs: What’s the Difference?
This is a great question. Sometimes we create separate job guides for freelance and remote jobs, but when it comes to writers, we’ve found that most take on a combination of both types of jobs in their career. So it only made sense to blend the guides together.
However, it’s still important to understand the difference in the two.
Freelance writers are not employed by their clients. They are contractors who are paid on a per project basis. They can take any project they want, but finding those projects is up to them.
Remote writers are (often full-time) employees who are paid a set salary each month. They are obligated to complete assigned projects, but they aren’t burden with searching for new jobs all the time.
Many writers choose to do a mixture of the two. They will work as a remote employee for one company, but take additional projects a freelance writer from time to time.
How to Find Remote Writing Jobs
Whether you’re looking for freelance or remote writing jobs, we suggest starting out in the same place… with people and businesses you know. Most people begin their search on freelance websites and job boards, but that’s the problem. There are too many people competing for too few jobs. And thanks to supply and demand, the jobs you do find are probably not high paying jobs.
Where should you start your search?
1. Current Employer
Consider asking your current employer if switching to a remote model could work for them. Just make sure you are prepared with suggestions and examples of what working from home would look like for you and for the company. Show them that you’ve taken this proposal seriously and you are willing to do what’s necessary to make it work. Include specifics about how other companies are thriving with this business model. You might be surprised how many businesses are catching on to the benefits of a remote staffing.
2. Local Network
If your current employer refuses, check with other businesses in your area… bonus points if you’ve worked with them in the past. Again, you’ll want to prepare some strong points and evidence one the benefits of hiring employees who work from home on a full-time or even a part-time basis.
3. Businesses You Love
A major perk of freelance and remote writing jobs is that you can work with companies all over the world. This is your chance to reach out to companies you’ve only dreamed of working with. Don’t be afraid to send them an email or… gasp… give them a phone call. Just make sure you do your homework first (more on that later).
4. Facebook Groups
There’s a ton of potential for finding jobs inside of Facebook groups. The trick is this… you have to reverse engineer your goal. For example, if your goal is find freelance writing jobs that are specifically in the real estate industry, consider the issues a real estate broker might face and find Facebook groups around that topic. Then, find ways to solve those problems as a freelance writer. If they are busy and stressed, you can save them time and energy by taking over their content marketing.
5. Companies that Hire Remote Writing Employees
There are a few really great companies that are known to hire remote employees.. including writers. We suggest preparing a cover letter for each of these companies and checking their websites every day to see if an opening pops up. It’s important to act fast. Remote jobs go quickly.
Mailerlite put together a huge list of companies that hire remote employees. Some of our favorites include… Zapier, Buffer, Dollar Flight Club, Basecamp, and Toggl.
6. Remote Job Boards
If you’ve exhausted all other avenues, check out these job boards.
- Working Nomads
Be sure to use specific search terms, like remote, remotely, telecommute, and home-based.
7. Freelance Websites
You can also find really great remote writing jobs on websites like Upwork, MediaBistro, and Freelancer. These websites are obviously catered to freelancers, but if you are willing to dig a bit, you might just find what you are looking for.
How to Find Freelance Writing Jobs
You can find freelance writing jobs the same way you’d find remote writing jobs. In fact, freelance writing jobs are a little bit easier to get because they require less of a commitment from the company that hires you.
There’s a couple of things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to change your search terms to words like freelance, freelancer and contractor. Second, you’ll need to adjust your cover letter to reflect a project-based relationship.
How to Score the Best Jobs
Now that you know where to find freelance and remote writing jobs, let’s talk about how you can ensure that you are the one picked for the job.
Do your homework. Conduct a quick search of freelance and remote writing jobs on any of the job boards and freelance websites motioned above. Take note of job titles, job descriptions, and general terminology used throughout the job postings. You’ll want to use the same style and tone when applying for jobs.
Pick a niche, but don’t feel like you have to stick with it. Anyone and everyone will tell you that ‘the riches are in the niches’ and it’s true. Claiming a specialty that you have some experience with will instantly give you more clout and allow you to charge more for jobs relating to your niche. Just remember that you do NOT have to only accept jobs within this niche and that it’s absolutely okay to change it later.
Prepare your samples. Write a well-researched, in-depth article and send it to your ideal client with a proposal. They may not be willing to hire you right away, but you’ll get some much needed practice. Plus, you will use these as samples when applying for other freelance and remote writing jobs.
Adjust your samples. Before you apply for any job, take a good look at the company’s website. Try to match your samples to their branding and style.
Write a unique and thoughtful cover letter for every job. Business owners and human resource professionals can spot a copy and pasted cover letter from a mile away. Make your cover letter personal and custom to that specific job posting and job poster.
If you want to save time (and who doesn’t?), type up a few points or even a body paragraph to include in each cover letter, but don’t copy and paste the entire thing.
Get testimonials. If you go above and beyond for your clients, securing testimonials should be a piece of cake. Positive reviews and recommendations will set you apart from newbie writers and the credibility and trust will allow you to charge a premium for your writing services.
Understanding Pay for Freelance Writing Jobs
Freelance writing often varies when it comes to compensation. Some clients pay by the word while others offer a flat fee for X amount of words. Add to that the notion that competition is heavy, and you’re often left feeling like you have to accept less pay for your work. But this isn’t necessarily true.
Some questions you should answer before accepting any gig:
- How is compensation provided/modified
- How long will it take you to provide the required word count
- Are you familiar with the topic/industry
- Do you like the topic or the paycheck
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you understand if the client is worth taking on for yourself, which will help focus your search efforts.
By now, you have a good idea of how to get started in your hunt for freelance and remote writing jobs. You’ve answered questions about yourself and know where to look for your next opportunity. Before you officially head off to get started on your writing samples, we have a final word for you.
Success in writing is defined by you. Everyone has different goals for their writing career and it’s up to you to ensure you reach your goals. Hustle, write well, and be open to opportunities when they’re available.