When it comes to freelancing and building an online writing career, most beginners have tons of questions. The first one that probably comes to mind is, “Where the hell do I start?” While it may seem a bit overwhelming in the beginning, it’s not as difficult as you’d think. To get you started, I’ll share a couple of websites you can peruse for legitimate writing opportunities.

Of course, there are scammers all over the Internet, but I’ll include a few tips so you’ll know what types of listings to avoid.

Great Job Boards:

ProBlogger:

ProBlogger is a writing community that consists of more than 300,000 freelance writers all over the world. Joining the site’s Facebook group would be an awesome way to connect with other writers and soak up knowledge about the freelance writing world. The site all features an excellent job board with tons of writing opportunities from companies all over the country. If you’re looking to work from home, make sure you check the location requirements.

MediaBistro:

MediaBistro is another website/writing community with substantial opportunities. The site not only includes a job board with premium postings from reputable companies but also tons of eCourses you can take to learn more skills you can apply to your writing career. While eCourses are not a requirement for jobs listed on MediaBistro, they can be beneficial for knowledge purposes. However, it’s important to note that the eCourses are not free. Courses range from $29 up to $129 but it’s not a bad investment considering what you could gain from taking a few.

Online Writing Jobs:

Online writing jobs is another job board that features freelance opportunities for many different areas of writing and editing. Like ProBlogger and MediaBistro, the site is updated daily with new opportunities.

Marketplaces are another place where you can look for writing opportunities. However, there’s a distinct difference between marketplaces and job boards. Marketplaces usually feature industry-specific, project-based assignments that are often contracted, temporary opportunities. But, it’s important to remember every little bit helps. Check out my full breakdown of Marketplaces v. Job Boards: Which Should You Focus On.

Watch Out For: 

Scammers: Of course, there are companies that have ill intentions. If the job post is vague about the employment description and role but asks for a  full original “sample” with specific instructions, there’s a possibility it’s not part of the application. The request will be made under the guise of evaluating your writing skills but that may not be the case. You could be freely giving the company the assignment they’re actually looking for. Refrain from, writing full samples for prospective companies.

There Shouldn’t Be A Cost: If you have to pay ANYTHING upfront, it’s likely a scam.

Be Selective w/ Craigslist: While Craigslist does feature legitimate writing opportunities, scammers also lurk on the site.

Paid Job Listings: If you have to pay to see the site’s job listings, it’s likely just a scam to peddle you for cash. Some sites like Contena charge a membership to view job listings, but you’re actually covering the cost of the Contena Academy, which teaches writers how to not only write quality content but how to conduct business as an independent contractor. The investment includes more than just viewing job postings.

Content Mills:

For those who have no clue what content mills are, they are media outlets or online companies that pay flat rates for articles. (Ex. $20.00 for 300 to 400-word articles.) To beginners, this may seem like a decent deal because the pay is guaranteed, but sometimes it’s not as cut and dry as it seems. You may have to jump through lots of hoops to get that $20.00. The big issue here is the time management factor. You have to ask yourself, “Is this $20.00 really worth my time?” If it takes you several hours to write the article, it’s definitely not worth it. There are also times when editors can be complete assholes and you realize after investing so much time that the pay wasn’t worth the headache. Granted, if you’re a beginner, this may be a way to gain experience while getting paid, but it’s not something I would suggest for longterm employment unless it’s worth your time.

Performance-Based Writing: 

Performance-based writing is another side of the blogging world. As with anything else, there are pros and cons when it comes to sites that pay based on viewership. While this can be relatively lucrative, it may not be the best way to start a writing career if you’re looking for consistency.

Over the years, I’ve gained extensive SEO knowledge so the vast majority of my content performs relatively well on search engines. This is widely due to strategic planning, writing structure, and alignment with the voice of the brand I’m writing for.

From experience, I’ve had really great weeks, months, and years, and really scary months. (Ex. Going from $2k/week for just 20 hours of work to $2k/month, which forced me to explore other options.)

Here’s a quick recap of a really great period and an example of the drastic drop. In Image 1, the weekly average was more than 250,000 views. Months later, Image 2 showed a weekly average of a meager 64,000, which projects the average would only be a quarter of the pageviews shown in Image 1. 

Despite the ups and downs, I learned valuable techniques and extensive knowledge to advance my career. With the constant algorithmic changes to social media networks and search engines, it’s important to have an open mind when it comes to learning new concepts. With content management, SEO, and analytics, I’m always studying and applying new techniques to enhance my writing. If you’re like me and you value consistency, you’ll do everything in your power to produce the best results possible. In life, we’ll all run into roadblocks from time to time, but performance-based sites can be discouraging for new writers. My advice: start slow and don’t give up! Set small goals!

Join The Mailing List:

Another great way to receive weekly, premium job postings is by subscribing to my mailing list. On Monday mornings, the lists will be emailed so you can get a jumpstart on applying for new positions.

Categories: Writing Tips

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