10 Online Gold Mines for Finding Paid Freelance Writing Jobs

10 Online Gold Mines for Finding Paid Freelance Writing Jobs

Editor’s note: Looking for more resources to find well-paying freelance writing gigs? Check out The Write Life’s ebook Earn More Money as a Freelance Writer: 9 Strategies to Increase Your Income written by successful freelance writer Nicole Dieker. This guide will help you ditch your entry-level writing jobs and land higher-paying clients.

If you’re a freelance writer, the task of finding quality, well-paying gigs can be a daunting one. Where do you even start? How you can guarantee the jobs you’re looking at are legit instead of scams?

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: the Internet is chock full of people who are willing to pay pennies on the dollar for hours of your highly skilled time. (Keep reading for some words of warning about these people.)

The good news is that we’re here to help you weed out the dreck and find the sites that are actually worth your time and effort. () Whether you’re a copywriter, editor, creative writer or anything in between, these sites offer the well-paying, reputable freelance writing jobs you really want.

Better yet? While some sites charge a monthly fee to access their job listings, all of the resources below are free.

So where can you find freelance gigs?

1.

Also listing a healthy dose of copywriting jobs (you can search postings by category), this board is, as the name suggests, right up a blogger’s alley. Whether you’re into health and fitness, pets, writing code or whatever else, you’ll find a steady stream of employers looking for blog writers versed in these and many other subjects.

2.

While most of the postings are (you guessed it again!) for those whose focus is journalism, you don’t necessarily have to have Lois Lane dreams to find a gig here. There are also editing positions, ad copywriting and other jobs thrown into the mix. Some are location-based, some can be done remotely.

3.

Check out the freelance section of the site for a wide range of jobs from industries like TV, PR/marketing, magazine and book publishing and social media — a little something for everyone.

4.

One of the top job boards for telecommuting, FlexJobs enables you to create a custom job search profile to meet your specific needs. Select your categories (there are several under “Writing”), your preferred work schedule, your experience level and more to hone your search results down to those that best fit what you’re looking for. You can also set alerts so you’re notified when new jobs matching your search criteria are posted.

5.

This weekly e-newsletter provides a nice compendium of freelance writing and editing jobs of all shapes and sizes from around the Web with competitive pay rates. Save yourself the time of scouring numerous sites and let this newsletter bring the decent jobs right to your inbox.

6.

Created by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, an authority site on blogging, you know jobs listed here will be from serious employers who have an idea what good writing is really worth. Plus, given ProBlogger’s high profile in the blogosphere, you can often find jobs posted by some big-time blogs here.

paid writing gigs

7.

With exclusive job opportunities as well as posts pulled from sites like Indeed and Craigslist, this board consolidates a variety of gigs for everyone from newbie to seasoned freelancers. If you don’t want to see jobs from a certain source (Craigslist, for instance, can sometimes be sketchy), you’re free to narrow your displayed results to exclude them.

8.

Freelance blogger Sophie Lizard’s community forum features this board where writers and clients can share scoops on job opportunities. Each opportunity must pay at least $50 post or 10 cents a word.

9.

Lizard has also compiled a free ebook listing 45 blogs that pay $50 or more per post, broken down into sections like Writing Blogs, Food Blogs, etc. She also includes some good tips on how to approach these blogs, how to promote yourself once you’ve landed a post, and more.

10.

If you’ve already got a LinkedIn profile (and you really should), don’t let it just sit there. Networking goes a long way in the freelance world, and LinkedIn is a great resource to do some networking through common connections.

While you’re doing that networking, check out the Jobs section and sign up for email alerts when jobs are posted that match your interests. Many will be location-based, but who’s to say you can’t approach these employers with a proposal for freelance writing services? Maybe they need someone to fill the gap in the hiring interim, or maybe the job could just as easily be done remotely but they hadn’t considered that.

Pro tip: You know that “people who’ve recently viewed your profile” notification you see when you sign into LinkedIn? If you don’t recognize some of the names, why not reach out to them and say “I see you’ve looked at my profile. I’d love to explore if there are any ways we can help each other.” Can’t hurt to try, right?

Sites to avoid

Especially if you’re just starting out, it’s tempting to be lured into content mills like or free-for-alls like , and , where it looks like you might stand a better chance to land something even if you don’t have the biggest portfolio yet.

Don’t be.

While it may seem like these sites are your best best when you’re a newcomer, they’re largely a crapshoot when it comes to winning a project. These sites are a rush for the lowest bid, and you’re competing against hundreds if not thousands of other desperate freelancers prepared to sell their firstborn for the chance to write someone’s 250-page ebook. (Some writers have been able to make a decent buck on sites like Upwork, but they are often the exception rather than the rule and have usually invested huge amounts of time to make it happen.)

Even if you’re brand-spanking new to the game, no one deserves a gig that pays one cent per word. And chances are if someone is looking for the sort of writer willing to write a word a cent, they’re not going to be the best client to work for. Don’t sell yourself short just because you’re new. Have a little patience, keep persevering, and you will find those clients who truly value you.

This post originally ran in September 2013. We updated it in February 2017.

Filed Under: Freelancing

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509 comments

  • mosherii says:

    Hi, thank you for your list it is has made me view things from a different angle. As much as to some point I agree with you about sites like Odesk, there are people who have made it through those sites, so do not be quick to brush them away.

  • Sandie lee says:

    This is a great list and I have already applied for a couple of jobs within your list. However, I have to disagree with you on Elance. I have worked on Elance for a couple of years and although, yes you do compete for lower paying jobs, I have met many great clients that have treated me well. I think it’s a great place to gain some experience in all types of writing, while waiting for that higher paying job to come around 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Sandie, and I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with Elance!

      Heather
      TWL Assistant Editor

      • Hello Heather, Sandy and others,
        Not trying to steal the thunder but posts raise some questions as I approach freelance writing either as article content, guest blogger, or academics.
        First,
        I discovered that for vision-impaired screen reader users, elance does not work well with Internet Explorer or Firefox. Odesk is a bit more user friendly for this population.
        Secondly, The freelance company mentioned earlier in several posts by one member, require testing,g and that the applicant to be familiar with APA Style, MLA Style and the Chicago Manual of Style. Hence, Sandy’s point better pay comes with experience.
        The companies requiring testing though would be interested in placing applicants where they may excel. Is it safe then to conclude fewer the outstanding skills, the greater one’s competition?
        Given that and the need for steady income, where would one be best advised to start?
        Or, how soon could one start to work if going from no income to some income is a more immediate reality, if using sites that require bidding or others that may not but pay lower until sufficient experience is gained?
        David

        • I’m not sure about different sites’ compatibility with screen readers, but it’s great to hear that Odesk works well.

          Your point about “the fewer outstanding skills, the greater one’s competition” makes sense — a writer new to the game will need to prove his skills before he can stand out from the crowd and command higher rates. There’s no one path to success, unfortunately; it’s hard to predict how soon you’ll earn an income. I’d recommend starting small and building your skills and experience. Complete a few projects on your platform of choice (Odesk or others listed in this post) and build a list of satisfied customers and a portfolio of work. Then you can level up from there, as suggested in this post.

          Best of luck!

  • Brook Ganesan says:

    Some really great advice here! I have to say, I grew very tired of writing for content mills. I came across very many clients who had extremely high expectations but were willing to pay very little for the amount of effort I put into my writing.

    That being said, I wasn’t aware of the lucrative writing opportunities that existed outside of these content mills until I took a writing course offered by (free writing e-course, by the way!) Raymond Bellevue, the course instructor, opened my eyes to the endless money making opportunities out there for freelance writers. Immediately after completing the freelance writing ecourse, I parted ways with content mills and started promoting my writing services to higher paying clients (SEO firms, online marketing agencies, website designers, etc.)

    For those of you looking to make more money as a writer, don’t simply limit yourself to writing for content mills. There are literally thousands of companies out there who are dying to find good writers – and pay very handsomely! Get out there and market your skills to these companies. It’s worth the time and effort, trust me!

    • David Russell says:

      Hello Brook and others,
      For the moment, The Right Life is my networking community into the world of freelance writing, and about to start work with a “content mill” but hope to see it as a entry level experience, not a be all end all experience. I am somewhat baffled by the frequently heard claim about writers being exploited, even if the order description has a word length parameter to supposedly minimize exploitation. Evidently some have found ways around that, just speculating.
      Thank you for the link to the writing career course, will check it out.
      -For the grammar-minded, I mentioned the Purdue Online Writing Lab previously, but also augment that with dailygrammar.com. The lesson archives are user friendly.
      Best to you and others,
      David

    • Jitendra Rathod says:

      Hi Brook,
      On your suggestion, I did eLearn Careers and enrolled in the course. Every day, for 7 days, I got an assignment and I submitted all of them on the same day. But more than a month has passed and I haven’t heard from the elusive Mr. Bellevue. Is he for real? Are YOU for real, Ms. Ganesan?

  • Hi. Great site. What would you recommend for a seasoned writer (Emmy and Writers Guild nominee, articles, books — relationships, syndicated advice, humor, Jewish culture.
    Thanks.

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying the site, Marnie. Where to look depends what kind of writing work you’re looking for — freelance content writing, blogging, copywriting, ghostwriting… the sky’s the limit! Kelly outlined some great options, and readers have suggested many more in the comments. Best of luck!

      Heather
      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Ryan says:

    Hey, some great advice on here. It is indeed hard to find a good gig if you’re starting out. I have found that unless it is a technical subject like finance, for example, there is too much competition.

    And absolutely – avoid the freelancing websites like the plague. THEY ARE BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH! You will end up bidding on a huge number of gigs to land one job which will pay you an amount which you won’t want to spend because you’ll feel so bad about cheating yourself into working for less than minimum wage. DON’T DO IT!

    All the best to everyone on here – keep looking and soon you shall find clients who value what you do and are willing to pay you good $ for it! Keep going, keep moving!

  • Ryan J says:

    Thank you for posting this article, I find it very helpful. What advice do you have for someone such as myself who has a strong passion for writing but does not have a specific box that I fit into as far as content? I mainly write poetry/spoken word, but I also write on various subjects and issues that many people deal with.

    • Thanks for commenting, Ryan. It depends — are you hoping to write for clients, or do you write more for yourself or another poet to perform, or to help others facing similar issues to ones you’ve experienced? What’s the end goal of your writing — to solve a problem for a client, to entertain, to inform?

      Heather
      TWL Assistant Editor

      • Ryan J says:

        The majority of my writing falls within the lines of life experiences, and speaking on issues that others may be facing. With that being said it’s safe to say that I generally like to inform readers of information that will influence them in a positive way. I am also trying to become more flexible when it comes to writing, such as entertaining readers as well. Thank you for responding, and sorry for the confusion, I know I am all over the place.

  • Zahara Jade says:

    Awesome list, this is just what I have been searching for. I’ve been writing professionally for nearly two years now mostly by default and I’m well into my own book at this point. I enjoy doing freelance work and would like to move more into the market but I am not one to sell myself short on compensation. Thank you for sharing this list. I will pass it on!

  • Therese says:

    This is a decent list for people who are starting out as freelance writers. I’m an experienced copywriter and wrote for some of the content mills when I first start. Demand Studios is horrific. Your recommendation to steer clear of DS was great advice. Their editors are worthless. I have a degree in journalism and I know more about editing and writing than their editors. Their screening process for editors at DS must be lax because they are terrible. Most of the content mills are just out to make a quick buck on desperate writers so stay far away from the mills!

  • Tamika says:

    I just have to say that I feel like I hit a gold mine on this post. I am a newbie freelancer and made nothing yet. I just posted several articles on WordPress, hubpages (which is only ad content) and Guru, which seems like dead ends. I am learning patience but I have seen what Guru pays their writers and it’s ludicrous to think as writers this is what we are worth to the clients. I know this and I haven’t even made money yet! Shame on them. It is the writers that breathe life into clients’ businesses and drive potential consumers to their businesses. Without us writers it will be like selling ice to the devil. I know my worth as a writer and I am patient enough to search for a viable freelancing site that will respect me as a writer, but better yet, as a person. Thank you so much for this post.

  • Rene says:

    Some gold advice on here Kelly. Many thanks!
    Best 🙂

  • Leona Reber says:

    I am a retired journalist with MANY years of experience in print (magazine and newspaper). I am looking for a few writing jobs to make some extra funds. Have never tried blogging, but am sure I could learn…it just isn’t true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks guys! Any suggestions for getting my feet wet? Thanks in advance!

  • Chantelle says:

    Thanks, wow, I really needed this today.

  • Cyndi S. says:

    Proxy Ponder User Submitted News is looking for freelance writers! Write about anything, we have many categories to choose! Advertise your videos, blog, website, anything!

  • Stacey says:

    This is a great list! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Sadly, I got sucked in by the content mills and it sucked for a long time. It took a tweet from someone I’d never spoken to before for me to find other job boards. It’s been good ever since. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for this helpful post! I’m pinning it so that I can refer back to it later.

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