Sample Section from “How I Made $66,270 in 9 Months Writing for Websites”
Ten A Day
Okay, you have developed your own Freelance Log, and now you are ready to fill it up with ten new contacts a day. If you are an experienced Web surfer, then feel free to change that number to 15 or 25 a day. However, if you are new to this whole World Wide Web thing, then 10 a day is a good goal to aim for.
With my 10 a day system, half of the e-mail contacts you make will be to respond to help wanted ads, and half will be to Web sites that you find while surfing. There are dozens of freelance writing job sites that I know of, and I have narrowed that list down to my favorite top ten. In no particular order, here they are:
1. Craigs List – http://www.craigslist.org/ – This list has been responsible for over half of the writing assignments I have landed in the last six months. When you log onto the site, you will see a category for writers and editors. Click it on, and you will be taken to a world of opportunities. It is one of the few lists that I know of that is truly updated every few hours, Monday through Friday. But don’t stop at the writers and editors category. Check out some of the others as well. Sometimes a site that is looking for a freelance health writer will advertise in the health section; or education opportunities will be listed in the education section. You get the idea.
2. AJR Newslink – http://www.newslink.org/newjoblinksearch.html – This is another super list that is also updated throughout the day. You can check categories for freelance, newspaper, online and other types of writing jobs. But I suggest going to the bottom of the page and check the box where it reads “Ads placed within…” and click on the “1” week button. That way you are getting only the current ads and won’t have to weed through ones you have already responded to.
FYI: With this Web site, you can also place a “writer available” ad free of charge. Several times a year I place an ad, and have made several editorial contacts that have turned into freelance assignments.
Bonus Info: From this Web site you can follow the links to the major newspaper sites and check their classified ads for free. Want to see some really good ads? Check the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times and dozens of other major metro newspapers on any Sunday. Visit each site, click over to the classifieds, and search by different keywords: writer, freelance writer, editor, etc. The jobs are there; and remember the early bird gets the worm.
Here’s a hint: You can view some of the ads late Friday, and respond to them right away. I once answered a “freelance writer wanted” ad that was in the Sunday Los Angeles Times newspaper. But because it was posted on Friday afternoon, and I responded immediately, I was able to contact the editor on the West Coast before they went home for the weekend. And I got the job. And the editor was able to pull the ad from the site so he wouldn’t be bombarded with other freelance writers.
Here’s another hint: I answer ads for jobs that I’m not qualified for. Technical writers, Web designers, you name it, if there is an ad that I think will help me get a freelance job, I’m on it. Say there’s an ad for a Technical Writer; I answer the ad, but in the first line I say “Please forward this message to the editor responsible for hiring freelance writers. Thank you.” Again, you would be surprised at the number of freelance jobs I have landed as a result of this approach.
3. Freelance Writing.com – http://www.freelancewriting.com/ – This site is filled with all sorts of interesting information for freelance writers. Check out the jobs that are posted, or advertise your freelance writing services. It is updated several times a day, so check often.
4. Sunoasis – http://www.sunoasis.com/ – This is a useful site and should be checked daily. In addition to job listings and links to other freelance writing jobs posted on other sites, it features writing advice and tips.
5. Editor and Publisher – http://www.editorandpublisher.com/ – This site features plenty of information of interest to freelance writers, plus plenty of staff and freelance jobs. From the link on their home page, click on the classified icon on the left, and follow it to the jobs.
6. New York New Media Association – http://www.nynma.org/careers – This site has also been very good in terms of supplying good contacts for freelance writing jobs. They have jobs listed in a variety of categories, including writing, editing, education, advertising, management, and others. It also updates every few hours, so keep an eye out for the latest up-to-date openings. Many of the dotcom recruiters use this site to find content writers for their clients.