Where to Find Freelance Writing Gigs Online: Updated for 2015!

Freelancing writing gigs for 2015There are plenty of good, quality freelance writing gigs online. You just have to know where to look and how to find them. It’s a popular topic too; a post on where to find freelance writing gigs online was one of the most popular on this blog in 2013.

Yes, you read that correctly – I did say 2013! Seeing as we’re at the start of 2015 now I thought it about time I offered you an updated list of where to find freelance writing gigs online.

While I stand by the notion that the best freelance writing gigs are acquired by cutting out the middle (wo)man and pitching directly to clients, there are of course exceptions to this rule.

Oh, you want to hear the exceptions? No problem:

  • Freelancing websites and job boards are especially useful if you’re just starting out, when you may not have made many contacts, nor have existing clients to vouch for you yet.
  • Because life isn’t perfect, there are also those times when you just need the odd freelance writing gig or two to tide you over.
  • Some regular, well-paying clients are also to be found on freelancing sites and job boards. I know because I’ve found them.

(If you’re starting this freelance writing online thing completely from scratch, you might want to first check out How to Build a Writing Portfolio and Get Clients.)

Where to Find Freelance Writing Gigs Online – the Updated 2015 List:

1. Elance.com/oDesk

The big (OK, big-ish) news at the tail-end of 2013/start of 2014 was the merging of two similar freelancing sites – Elance and oDesk. When I wrote the original post on where to find freelance writing gigs online, Elance and oDesk were rival platforms.

Pros:

Despite merging, the two sites are still distinguished from each other, with their own branding and individual websites. I have noticed that both sites’ designs have been updated since I last wrote, with both looking much more inviting to use.

There are so many different freelance writing gigs to choose from on these sites, ranging from content and blog writing to proofreading and translation – plus many, many more. I also hear lots of Elance and oDesk success stories from the freelancing writing community (mainly from across the pond in the States.)

Cons:

Because these sites are so popular and well-known, there is a lot of stiff competition. While you shouldn’t let this put you off, you should know that it doesFreelance writer looking for gigs tend to drive down the per-hour or per-gig rate. When I first started out as a freelance writer I pitched for a few writing gigs on Elance before giving up and deciding instead to pitch to companies that weren’t advertising directly – thereby cutting this fierce competition for jobs down to, well, about zero actually.

I suspect that the average rate for a freelance writing gig across both sites hasn’t changed much (it’s famously low in the majority of cases). Having said that, I’m far from active on these sites so if any readers can give us an update in this area, please be kind enough to do so in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

2. ProBlogger Job Board

The ProBlogger Job Board has been around for years now, and is still going strong. Exclusively for bloggers, it’s a solid and reliable job board to pick up one-off freelance writing gigs that could turn into long-term clients.

Pros:

The Problogger Job Board does exactly what it says on the tin and is updated frequently. It’s still as good as it has ever been in terms of featuring quality gigs on a regular basis, and I know some bloggers that have made a fair bit of money with regular work from it.

Cons

Although the quality of leads on the site is generally good, you do have to check out each job and do your own research as ProBlogger doesn’t endorse any of the ads personally. That’s all pretty standard stuff if you’re applying for freelance writing gigs online in this way though. (Even on the best job boards, you’ll always get the occasional advertiser who thinks it’s perfectly OK to ask writers to work for next to nothing.)

3. People Per Hour

In my 2013 post, I cited People Per Hour as my favourite freelancing website for getting quality freelance writing gigs online. Despite not using sites like this much of late, I still stand by this statement in 2015.

Pros:

On a personal level, this is the only site of its kind that has resulted in highly-paid, regular writing work for me. It’s a good-looking, user-friendly site that is well managed. What’s more, pitching for writing work isn’t half as laborious or competitive as it is on sites like Elance, and I also find that the rates for freelancers are much, much fairer.

Cons:

People Per Hour do take a pretty huge chunk out of your freelance writing wage – particularly on larger amounts. I’ve had as much as 15% taken from a £300 deposit before. That’s £45 (over $70 USD) just for hooking me up with a freelance writing gig! Having said that, I wouldn’t have found the job otherwise and they do have a business to run after all!

4. WriterInbox

WriterInbox is a paid service for freelance writers. Once signed up, you’ll receive an email a day with a list of quality freelance writing jobs, thereby cutting the amount of time you spend searching for gigs online.

Pros

I tried out WriterInbox after seeing a link to it on Twitter. I told the site owner I would try it out for a month (which anyone can do for $1) and if the quality of jobs were high enough I’d include it on this list. I’m happy to say that the jobs I received in my month-long trial certainly had plenty of potential and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I even received my list of freelance writing gigs on weekends. 🙂

Cons

Not every listing included what the fee for the gig was (as this was not always available). I mentioned this in some feedback to the site owner. They let me know that in the case of a fee not being available, whether a writing gig is included or not is based on the quality of the poster and scope of the job. They also round up the best writing jobs from Elance and oDesk on the email as a sort of bonus, and I suggested they extend that scope to People Per Hour too.

5. Paid to Blog Job

Tom Ewer launched his Paid to Blog Jobs site in 2014, using a subscribe-to model for blogging job seekers.

Pros:

If anyone can do a good job of a project like this it’s Tom. Although I’m not a member myself, I’ve heard some good feedback from the freelancing writing online community about the quality of jobs Tom and his team unearth for subscribers. (Again, any direct feedback in the comments would be much appreciated.)

Cons:

It ‘aint free! It’s priced fairly though, setting you back just $20 a month to essentially hire people to find quality freelance writing jobs so you don’t have to. It’s just I know some people won’t want to pay it. You’ve simply got to weigh up how much time you’re spending looking for quality writing jobs and decide for yourself if you think it’s worth it.


So there you have it – five different ways of finding freelance writing gigs online. Who knows, one of these sites might just unearth your biggest and best freelance writing client yet.

PS I've left the old comments from the original 2013 post below, but please feel free to add more if you think you can help a freelance writer out!

Main image courtesy of Tahir (text added). Side image courtesy of Travis Nep Smith - both via Flickr.

27 Comments

  • Diana

    Reply Reply June 22, 2013

    Nice post, Kirsty – as usual 😀

    This is the first time i hear about the problogger job board so thank you – will check it out 🙂

    I am one of those people who use Elance (and oDesk for that matter). I am sorry to hear you have given up on it (but also happy you’ve cut the middle man successfully). I am not that successful on Elance yet but from my experience with oDesk, it’s somewhat easy in the long run to stand out from the crowd as the so called competition primarily consists of not so talented contractors and once you position yourself right on the market, you get some regular clients who are looking specifically for you or the very least – for quality, which they often don’t get from the mass freelance contractors on freelance sites.

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply June 24, 2013

      That’s exactly what I found with People Per Hour too Diana. As you say, while it may take a while to build a reputation on these sites, once you have done so the work starts rolling in. Thanks for your insightful comments – as always 🙂

  • DAnthony

    Reply Reply October 9, 2013

    Hi Kirsty

    Please mention (Or perhaps I am mentioning it for you!!) that Freelance Writing Gigs is a great site and I have won a good number of jobs from this site.

    Elance may be a good option, but from what I have seen, the jobs offered here seem to be ridiculously low-paying.

    Thanks – DAnthony

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply October 10, 2013

      You’ve mentioned it DAnthony – thanks for the tip! 🙂

      Yes, I agree entirely with your thoughts on Elance. It certainly takes a lot of time to sift through all the low-paying jobs on there…

  • Raspal Seni

    Reply Reply January 5, 2014

    Hi Kirsty,

    I guess you may have read this already at BAFB, but still worth mentioning: http://beafreelanceblogger.com/job-ads-suck/

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply January 8, 2014

      Hi Raspal! I hadn’t actually seen that post so thanks! I entirely agree of course… the approach to getting writing work mentioned there is almost precisely what I teach in my freelance writers course. However, I still maintain that jobs boards are good for ‘top-up’ writing gigs and for building a portfolio when first starting out. Thanks again for the nod to this post – it’s a good one.

  • Tony

    Reply Reply January 6, 2015

    Happy New Year to you too.

    Thanks for the update. I am still getting off the starting block so maybe this will come in handy.

    Cheers

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply January 6, 2015

      Great – that’s why I updated it. 🙂

  • Phyllis Khare

    Reply Reply January 6, 2015

    I just saw an email from someone in my field suggesting Content Runner. Do you have any experience with that site?

  • Pinar Tarhan

    Reply Reply January 6, 2015

    I’ve been a member of Tom’s site for a couple of months, and I quite like it. At first it seemed like there weren’t enough well-paying jobs, but when you check regularly, you’ll definitely have some decent options. I’m also a member of Freelance Writers Den, but the jobs there are mostly copywriting, and I use the site for other benefits (like great resources, feedback opportunities, how to reach certain editors at publications…etc).

    I’m on People Per Hour, but some of the listings there can be pretty vague. Haven’t been tempted enough to apply yet.

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply January 6, 2015

      Great – thanks for your feedback Pinar! I haven’t actually spoken to anyone who is a member of Tom’s site yet, as it’s still relatively new. Thanks again.

  • Pinar Tarhan

    Reply Reply January 6, 2015

    Will do:) I have one regular gig I got through his board, and I’m in talks with another editor. I had another client from that board too, but he lost his sponsor after one post so that didn’t continue. That said, the client was lovely and I got paid promptly. 🙂

  • Kathleen Vassalli

    Reply Reply February 3, 2015

    Hi Kirsty,

    The information you have given in regards to writing has been inspirational to say the least. I just started trying to find freelance writing jobs. I am a teacher by trade but due to some health issues working as a teacher full time is not an option. My passion is writing and I look forward to having a lot of success in this industry.

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply February 3, 2015

      Hi Kathleen,

      Thank you for your kind words and I hope you have all the success you’re looking for from your writing career. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Chris

    Reply Reply March 5, 2015

    Personally the only freelance site I use is People Per Hour. I’ve tried using Elance and oDesk but I just find something very off putting about them. It’s not necessarily just the fact that the work tends to be poorly paid but the fact that they’re so popular makes it a real chore to wade through all the crap to find something worth applying for.

    The All Indie Writers job board is very good since the budgets are clearly stated up front for all the jobs posted there and they mostly tend to be well paid.

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply March 6, 2015

      I agree with you about People Per Hour Chris – and thanks for the tip about All Indie Writers.

      Good to hear from you!

  • Matt Secrist

    Reply Reply August 20, 2015

    Hey there Kirsty, just wondering if you’ve done any follow ups to this blog? I’d love to recommend BKA Content as a great place for new writers to get their feet wet in the waters on online content writing. Lots of feedback, training and help along the way to help writers improve. Let me know!

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply August 20, 2015

      Thanks Matt. Just to let you know that I’ve unlinked your website name, but thanks for the suggestion and for dropping by.

  • Linda E

    Reply Reply September 16, 2015

    Hi there,

    I have a few talented friends looking to get further into freelance writing. You mentioned when starting out that you’d pitched to companies that weren’t advertising directly. I just wondered what kinds of company you approached, and how you went about it? Would love to boost my friends’ confidence as I’m a designer and I wouldn’t be near where I am today without pushing myself to approaching more people and taking on challenges without knowing how! I’d like to share ideas for people/businesses they could approach.

    Thanks,
    Linda

    p.s. Really enjoyed the post 🙂

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply September 17, 2015

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for commenting, and glad you enjoyed the post.

      I approached a lot of travel companies when I was looking for clients in the early days. Travel is something I’m passionate about and love to write about, so this felt natural for me. I’d say to any new writers looking to pitch to clients directly to perhaps choose a niche or two first, to avoid the ‘scatter’ approach, then simply research companies they wish to work for online. Could their blogs do with improving or expanding? Are they actually looking for contributors? In time, the things to look out for when researching and pitching to new clients becomes apparent pretty quickly.

      *Shameless plug alert* I cover who to pitch to and exactly how, including email templates, in my upcoming freelance writing Udemy course. 🙂

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment and I hope that helps a few people out!

  • writing jobs

    Reply Reply September 20, 2015

    Very nice list! I will certainly try some of these sites.

  • Shaheen

    Reply Reply January 30, 2016

    Hi Kirsty,
    Thank you for compiling this great list of sites offering writing gigs.One of the best ways to get online writing gigs is to directly contact webmasters or blog site owners in your niche(s)to find out if they would be interested in your writing services.

    Some large content sites accept article submissions on a wide variety of topics through their online submission forms. They will pay immediately for any article that is approved by them. A simple search keying in the relevant search terms on Google will bring up a lot of sites that pay upfront for articles.

    Cheers :-).

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply January 31, 2016

      You’re absolutely right Shaheen. I’ve found this to be a good, proactive strategy for getting freelancing writing work. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. 🙂

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