Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
I use a simple tip for finding online freelance writing jobs.
This tip works for writers no matter why you’re looking for work.
For instance, you may want to get paying gigs. Or maybe you’re looking for guest posting opportunities so you can become recognized as an authority in your niche or drive traffic to your site. Or you may be looking for online writing jobs to establish your writing credentials and get publishing clips.
Regardless of your motivation, this tip works. And it is so basic that it’s almost embarrassing to write about. But I’m sharing it here because this tip has opened the doors to plenty of online freelance writing jobs for me.
The tip is this: just type “Write for us + ____” into your search bar.
And fill in the blank with the topic you’d like to write about.
For instance, when you type, “Write for us + canoeing” in the search bar, a nice list pops up in the results page.
There are listings soliciting blog writers who are interested in outdoor products … women writers who love kayaking … contributors who can write for outdoor adventure magazines.
And of course, you’ll see the usual entries for canoeing information sites and canoeing vendors.
In many cases you’ll uncover an embarrassment of options. Take your time as you study the search results. In fact, it’s a good idea to start a spreadsheet or a document with a table and record the publisher, website, type of content accepted for publication, and requirements.
Don’t simply look at the search results, either. Look at the ads that pop up. Publishers looking for quality content are not afraid to spend some bucks to get it.
And try different kinds of wording. Searches for “Write for us + parenting” and “Write for us + raising girls” will return different results.
Your “Write for us + ___” query gives you a ready list of opportunities fast. But the results open the door to plenty of additional online freelance writing jobs beyond the initial list of vendors.
Study the individual publications and vendors that pop up in your search results. Then, make note of other writing contributors to that vendor.
Follow their links and you’ll find other places those writers and bloggers have posted content. Voila! You have a list of additional publications and vendors that use content from freelancers.
As you scroll through the sites in your search results, look at the types of articles they publish. How can you structure yours to follow the same format?
Maybe they publish lots of list articles: “6 canoe trips to try this Labor Day weekend” or “5 things to look for in a new paddle.”
Or perhaps they offer reviews or profile articles or personal experience pieces.
What ideas spring up from studying what you see on the site? Take notes about content you want to flesh out for submission, whether for this publication or others.
All of those publishers need a steady stream of written content for their sites. But they also need images and video. Where possible, publishers like to use original photography rather than stock images.
If you flex your creative juices behind a camera or in a graphics program (like PicMonkey or Canva) – or if you have experience making videos – then you can offer those pieces of creative content to publisher in return for an inbound link or a payday.
I found one online market after a bit of digging and submitted regularly to it for a year, accumulating credits on the site. One day, an email popped up in my box: “We’re inviting a selected group of writers to become columnists. Interested?”
Yes! My persistence had turned into a regular gig. Plus, as a columnist, I can now sidestep the usual submission process and send my content directly to the editor – which saves time.
That’s what my simple search can do for you, too, when you know what to look for. Just type in “Write for us + ___” and see what pops up.
Then follow the trail to plenty of online freelance writing jobs.
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