Following the impact of the coronavirus, over 60% of people are looking to work from home in the long-term (HR Director). Freelance writing is a great way for those with a background in copywriting, marketing, or another related field to make money from home.
However, as I know from experience working with and hiring freelancers, finding the best freelance writing sites and job boards can be a struggle! Many are filled with people only looking to pay very low rates…
So, whether you are a seasoned freelance writer or are simply seeking a new start, this article will act as your complete guide to freelance writing sites.
Whilst Upwork has received mixed press in recent years, with some claiming that the platform devalues freelance writing (Freelance To Freedom), the truth is, if you have time to put into developing your UpWork profile, you will be rewarded with some great freelance writing work.
Upwork is one of the largest freelancing platforms out there. It allows clients to post jobs listed under certain skill sets and then requires applicants to bid to work on jobs that are relevant to them.
As a result of the scale and reputation of Upwork, there is never a shortage of writing work across a range of niches; even though you will see plenty of jobs at low rates, you can quickly sift through to find better opportunities. Once you have spent some time nailing your proposals, you’ll notice that you will start picking up more and more freelance writing projects.
What’s more, if you’re able to perfect your Upwork profile, including displaying your writing portfolio well, you’ll find yourself being invited to apply for “invite-only roles,” in which clients specifically select you for their project. More insights into perfecting your Upwork profile can be found at Freelance To Win.
The only negative aspect to Upwork is that, after a little while, you do have to pay for “connects” to apply for jobs as well as paying the (20%) service fees to the platform. Consider increasing your prices a little in order to cover these fees.
ProBlogger is a free, writing-focused job board that lists blog and content writing projects. These projects are typically US-based but allow for applications from remote candidates across the world. Because people have to pay to post jobs on ProBlogger, those clients that are looking to just pay $5 for a 500-word blog are luckily excluded!
A number of freelancers (including myself) swear by ProBlogger for finding writing work, but it can be a little more competitive when you are just starting out. If you do have a bit of experience under your belt, this is definitely one to check out! If not, why not try building up some writing experience on a platform such as Medium? This video gives some ideas of how…
One of the greatest challenges as a freelance writer is securing work that is not only well paid but long-term so as to save you those hours of scouring for new work. Contently take away some of this stress by matching you up with projects from their clients without you having to pitch. What’s more, these clients include huge brands like Coca Cola and American Express!
The only downside to using Contently is that it can be hard to get accepted through their application process and, once you are, it can take a little while to get matched up with projects. Nonetheless, there is definitely no harm in setting up your profile and having it tick over in the background. You can even use your Contently profile as a portfolio to send to clients outside of the platform. This is a very popular option among freelance writers.
When reading up around content mills (writing sites that consistently churn out projects for freelance writers) you’ll notice that reviews are mixed, to say the least… This is because many content mills pay only the lowest rates for a lot of work.
nDash is a hybrid content mill that stands out from the crowd. Founded by freelance writer, Michael Brown, nDash allows writers to set their own rates and encourages fully transparent working relationships (nDash). The only thing to be mindful of when looking into using this site is that you can only apply to write for them if your country supports Stripe online payments. A full list of which countries can access Stripe can be found here.
If you specialize in journalistic writing or PR and these content writing-focused sites aren’t quite cutting it for you, don’t worry, I’ve got your back!
Mediabistro is a job board that focuses largely on (…you guessed it) the media industry. With journalism and PR job roles from huge media companies like CNN alongside more niche writing jobs, in Mediabistro you have quick access to an incredible range of freelance writing work.
Mediabistro also boasts a range of added benefits… The design of their site is super user-friendly, they give users the ability to subscribe to receive job alerts based on keyword and industry and they deliver regularly useful content to your email inbox through their newsletter.
Whilst all these services are free, they have also launched a paid service called MB Unlimited which gives freelancers access to the contact details of relevant editors and editorial calendars. You can read more about that here.
If you are a freelance journalist, you’ll know the struggle of trying to price your writing. A lack of pay transparency in the industry is part of the reason why rates vary so much and, through organizations such as the National Union of Journalists aim to even this out, it can be really useful to have a writing site like Who Pays Writers in order to directly compare publication rates.
Who Pays Writers is a very comprehensive list of publications that you can pitch to as a freelance writer. Not only are they organized by a rate per word but Who Pays Writers also includes information from freelance journalists on how quickly they were paid.
7. Write Jobs
Though the Write Jobs site, at first glance, does not seem as user-friendly a site as some of the others on our list, don’t be fooled! This is actually one of the best sites out there for freelance writing jobs…
Projects on the Write Jobs board are clearly organized by niche and rate of pay which makes it super easy to scan down the page and find relevant opportunities for you.
For full access to the jobs posted by Write Jobs, you can subscribe to their mailing list which delivers around 8-12 jobs to your inbox every single weekday. Being early to send pitches and apply for jobs can really be the difference between landing the project and not landing it. Unlike on larger sites like Upwork, where there are over 12 million registered freelancers competing for work (Website Builder), being part of a more exclusive mailing list can really set you apart.
What’s more, Write Jobs spend time looking on sites where you wouldn’t normally expect to find freelance writing work in order to find those hidden gems. I’ve found a lot of great work on Reddit, for example, as a result of Write Jobs’ emails.
The All Freelance Writing jobs board not only contains a range of writing types-from ghostwriting to content writing to journalism- but it also boasts its own writer’s directory. This is a really useful feature that allows you to post your own website, contact details, and so on in order to attract higher paying clients.
Placing yourself on writer’s directories is so key when marketing yourself as a freelance writer, especially when you are starting out. If you don’t yet have a website to refer prospective clients to, you can simply link them to a portfolio containing samples of your work.
What’s more, if you use a feed reader, like Feedly, you can even incorporate the All Freelance Writing job board into that for more seamless reading.
We Work Remotely is the largest remote job board, mainly focusing on tech roles. Whilst you might have to search for a while in order to find writing opportunities, when you do they are sure to be of really high quality. Not only does We Work Remotely charge just under $300 for a job post, thus ensuring no low-paid work, but they also tend to attract the highest caliber of tech clients. Some of their past clients include Google, Amazon, and Basecamp.
So, whether you’re a technical writer, copywriter, or content writer, you never know which client you could land next with We Work Remotely!
If you’re a strong content writer and you’re looking to write SEO-driven content for small businesses and startups looking to scale online, Publoft is a great site to check out.
Once you’re accepted into the platform, Publoft not only generates tonnes of great writing opportunities for you but they manage your cash flow by ensuring no late payments! Rates are fairly high and, the longer you work with them, the more your pay increases. Publoft is a relatively new platform but it’s only going to get bigger so it’s definitely worth putting some time into your application and proficiency test now.
Another site with an impressive history of posting opportunities from top clients, Jobspresso is an amazing job board to check for freelance writing work.
Including jobs from top companies around the globe, Jobspresso handpicks jobs to ensure that they can be done completely remotely. In the past, Jobspresso has posted roles from companies including Microsoft and Github and, as a result, Jobspresso has certainly attracted a large following. However, since it is free and easy to use, it’s definitely a good idea to check back on the board and try your luck.
Jobspresso also offers the opportunity to upload your CV so that clients can find you rather than you searching for them.
One type of writing that I have not yet touched upon in this article is academic writing. Academic writing (non-fiction, University-standard work) can be extremely lucrative and, don’t worry, you most often don’t need a recently completed University degree in order to do it. Just ensure that you stay up to date on the rules of academic writing by reading guides such as Skills You Need.
Writerbay is a great site for academic writing, connecting freelancers with opportunities across a number of fields. To register, you simply need to fill out a form and send proof of your education.
As a creative, you’ll understand the joy of being able to collaborate with other creatives on projects. Textbroker is great because it not only offers the standard job board and opportunities to attract inbound orders from companies, but it allows you to collaborate with other freelance writers through Team Orders. The Team Orders feature, combined with the easy application process, makes the site really great for those just starting out on their freelance writing journeys.
However, you should be aware before signing up that rates of pay on Textbroker are lower than many of the other sites on this list. Earnings are tiered based on your experience levels and those just starting out may only make $0.70 per word for very few words a month.
Freelance Writing Gigs is a website that does exactly what it says on the tin… It provides great freelance writing gigs that are organized by type, from blogging to proofreading to technical writing and more. Most of the opportunities on there are remote but bear in mind that some are US based and will not accept applicants from other countries.
To access the job listings on Freelance Writing Gigs, you can go to the blog and read through each entry to find the most recent opportunities or simply check the full job board.
The Writer Finder works a little differently to many of the freelance writing sites included on this list… Created by Growth Machine, The Writer Finder is pretty selective about who they work with. You sign up and submit your details and they then send you relevant writing opportunities in particular niches.
From there, you fill out the Google Form with relevant samples and you wait to hear back. The quality of pay from jobs generated by The Writer Finder is generally high and, because of this, it is worth the time it takes to fill out the Google Forms.
Being a part of The Writer Finder job site also allows you access to the Slack group in which you can connect with other freelancers and view the sites that your written work is published on. Since almost 50% of freelancers find their work-life “lonely” (Small Business), the benefits of a site that allows you to connect with other freelance writers are multifaceted.
Though not strictly a freelance writing job board, I had to throw Indeed into this article due to the sheer number of amazing freelance projects that I have found on there.
You do have to be quite specific with your searches (and you do probably need to have your email notifications turned off so that Indeed don’t send you jobs every two minutes) but putting some time into searching through Indeed once a week definitely pays off.
A few tips for you if you decide to use Indeed… Firstly, make sure to select “remote” when searching! Secondly, if the job post you are interested in has been posted by a recruitment agency, try to find the recruiter on LinkedIn or via their website.
Recruiters often post positions on a number of sites and can sometimes be overwhelmed by responses. By following up elsewhere, you are more likely to secure the project. Their details will normally be listed at the bottom of the job position on Indeed.
I hope you’ve found this list helpful. I’m willing to bet that you have 16 tabs open on your laptop right now!
Finding the best freelance writing sites and job boards is vital to succeeding in your freelance writing career but it can take up time that you want to spend actually writing… This is why it’s incredibly important to me to spread the word about the sites with high-quality projects on.
Whether you have previous experience or you’re just starting out, don’t forget to bookmark this article for future reference as well as sharing with fellow freelance writers!