When I first started as a freelance writer way back in 2012, I had zero knowledge of how to land freelance writing jobs online. What I just wanted back then was just to have a side hustle, a part-time work I can spend a couple of hours with at my boarding house. But little did I know that freelancing can be so rewarding and fulfilling. It does not just pay well after years of experience, but it can give you the freedom to have a work-life balance.
So if you clicked on this article because you are you looking for a side hustle while working-from-home or you finally would like to try your luck on freelancing, this article is just the right resource for you.
I have compiled nine basic ways on how to land freelance writing jobs. Just a disclaimer, I believe many bloggers and writers around the world have already written about this in hundreds of web articles. But this is just my take, in my own words, and from my own experiences.
Build a Portfolio
Just like any career, one wants to try, having experience is one step closer to achieving your dream job. For freelancers, having a portfolio that is ready for the world to see is a must.
Whether you are a writer, a graphic designer, or a photographer, you can build your professional website where you can showcase your works and put on your contact details. If you do not have the budget yet to have your hosting and domain, you can try free WordPress blog and other platforms like Wix.
You can also create a LinkedIn account which makes it easier for clients to look for you (as head hunters are mostly there) and your credentials. You can even make a Facebook page for your writing works!
TIP: Don’t have experience yet? Let’s say you want to try out freelance writing, you can gather your old works, ask friends if you can write about their business profiles and many others. You can also start by having a daily writing challenge or a blog for yourself and write an article about a certain topic. It can be your previous travel experience, and event you recently attended, or a restaurant or movie review. You not only get to brush up on your writing skills but you can also gather your best ones and put it in your portfolio.
Know Your Niche
Before you even start applying for freelance writing jobs, you need to know what type of writing you excel the most. Are you good at travel logs? You can contribute travel articles to some online publications. Are you into writing horror stories or romantic novels? You can start writing ebooks and sell them! You may even land a ghost-writing work. Or are you the type of writer who makes clear and concise emails, landing pages, and press releases? Marketing and advertising agencies are always on the lookout for fresh talents. Have a knack on academic writing? You can write a thesis and research papers!
Learn to know where you excel and is comfortable with it. You can try other forms of writing of course, but it is better to start with the ones you are comfortable in writing, especially if you are a beginner.
Let the World Know
With a website or a LinkedIn profile, you can share these with your social media platforms. Let your friends and colleagues know that you are now accepting freelance writing jobs. There is no harm in letting other people know your new venture. Putting your services out there also brings possibilities of referrals from your friends. Who knows, your first client might be one of them. And if your colleagues might not have a job for you, they can refer you to the people they know simply because they recalled your post.
Nope, this isn’t the usual networking-business-crap we always avoid. What I mean is your network and connect with other people. Attend events and engage with people. Half of my big-time freelance writing works came from people I met in events. Always prepare your business card (or e-card) with you. Always let them know that you are a freelance writer and they can contact you anytime if they have writing projects in mind.
Join freelance writing jobs board and groups
Look for your community. Find out people who have the same interest as yours. You can find them easily on social media and other social networking sites. And while you’re on Facebook, look for freelance groups that cater to your service. You can check out Freelance Writers Guild of the Philippines for writers, Independent Creative and Advertising Professionals, and many others.
Set your rates
One of the struggles of beginners in the freelancing world is dealing with the rates. Many beginners may think that they can settle with $3 for a 1,000-word article when in fact, it should not be the case. I am not sure if other freelancers can agree with me on this but this is my take: Not because you are a newbie freelancer, you are not entitled to express your rate. Many newbie freelance writer starts with 1 peso per word. I, for one, started with this rate and through the years, I managed to increase my rate. Ask your peers in your community the standard rates. FWGP has guidelines for freelancers in terms of writing rates from newbies to experienced.
TIP: Remember to never accept projects that do not have an agreement. Demand for a contract or you can prepare your agreement. Ask for their signatories and contact numbers as well. This protects both you and the client. Legitimate clients—or those who are not scammers—should be able to provide this, or will not have any problem with this.
Upgrade your skills
As you join groups and exchange conversations with your freelance colleagues, also look for opportunities to upgrade your skill. If you are an aspiring freelance writer, you can list down the skills you want to venture into in the future. For me, I started with feature and news writing and it was just last year when I tried studying copywriting. I joined groups on copywriting, such as Copy Writing Dojo where I learned a lot and got first dibs on free online courses. As you upgrade your skill, you can also offer diverse services other than writing. You can now accept freelance works such as copywriting, digital marketing, and social media management, thus increasing your freelance revenues.
For some, newbie freelancers avail of mentorship from coaches. But as for me, I never enrolled in these paid courses. I just signed up for various free online courses, joined groups that give out free information from the get-go, and never asked for payment, and followed successful freelancers worldwide. Freelance star Neil Patel has been the content of my inbox. I also followed Writers in Charge and many other websites on freelance writings jobs. Of course, I do not exclude the fact that you can learn more about freelancing if you’ll have exclusive mentorships programs.
Start looking for freelance writing jobs
After you advertise your services, you may now start looking for writing jobs. The most common job boards are Upwork and OnlineJobs.ph. Do not forget mostly known job finding websites such as Jobstreet and Indeed. There are many other websites too and one of the latest platforms I found out was CrewBloom and Connected Women.
Facebook groups can also be a nice source of writing jobs. Always be in the lookout of new posts from members who are either recruiters or fellow freelance writers who need other freelancers for a project. Always turn on notifications from these groups if you want to land more freelance writing jobs.
Work on what you can deliver
Lastly, one of the advice I would like to relay is this: Accept jobs you can work on. Do not put too much food on your plate. Freelancing, at the onset, can be so exciting and overwhelming especially if projects keep on coming at your doorstep. But remember to only accept what you can only deliver—depending on the scope of work and the deadline. If you accept too many job offers and fail to deliver on time or produce low quality work, chances are clients will no longer entertain the idea of working with you again. Just take it easy, deliver quality work, and do not overpromise.
I hope these nine ways to get freelance writing jobs in the Philippines can help you on your journey to being a freelance writer.