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