Finding the Best Freelance Writing Jobs for Graduates

Let’s be real.  We all know why you are here.  There is no need to beat around the bush.  For the last several years, you’ve poured out thousands of dollars for your college education.  You want to start recouping some of that cash – finally. So, you’ve arrived at this article because you want to know where to find freelance writing jobs.  Ok.  Here you go. These sites offer a wide variety of freelance writing jobs.  Happy hunting!

Now, let’s talk about something even more important than finding a good job.  You didn’t come here for this information, but I’m going to give it to you anyways.  Because the advice I have to offer is way more valuable that the information you thought you wanted. Instead of elaborating more on how to find a good job, I’m going to tell you how to avoid the bad jobs.

Don’t Walk Away…Run!

Not all writing jobs are created equally.  Some clients are top-notch and will pay good money.  Some clients will prey on your vulnerability (after all, everyone enjoys eating) and naivety. Let’s prevent that from happening, shall we?

Know Your Worth

In the beginning, you’ll probably need to take a few low paying jobs to get the ball rolling.  However, you really shouldn’t stay at that low rate for long. When I first started as a freelance writer, I really had no idea what I was doing.  Writing a 500-word article for $5 seemed reasonable; I could bang them out pretty quickly.  It wasn’t long, though, until I realized I was worth way more than that.  After building up my portfolio, I could demand between $20 and $50 per writing assignment.  On occasion, I’ve brought in significantly more.  The last three articles I’ve written earned over $100 each. After you’ve paid your dues and stocked your portfolio, don’t be afraid to start asking for more money.  There are plenty of writing jobs out there; if you’re good, you’ll find people to compensate you properly. While searching for jobs, don’t be lured in by promises of future fortune.  If the starting pay is too low, walk away.  A lot of clients will promise a raise if your quality of work is good.  However, there is no guarantee or a measure of what is “quality” enough to warrant a raise. Meanwhile, be cautious of jobs that offer too much money.  As I’ve already mentioned, there are plenty of clients who pay top dollar.  However, those clients don’t usually have to advertise their openings.  If you come across some John Doe who is offering $50 for 500 words, be on alert.  Ask for a contract and an upfront payment (say, 20% of the total).

Don’t Give it Away

Have you heard the expression: “Why buy the cow when you can get milk for free?”  You are the cow. Sometimes, a prospective client will ask you to write a full sample as part of the job application.  The client would give you specifics and you’d write a full article – just so he can “get an idea of your writing style.”  Don’t do it!  Your milk is worth money! Refer the client to your portfolio.  If that doesn’t cut it, tell the client no deal.  There is a very (very) good chance the client would take your full sample and run away, never to be heard from again.

Vague is not In Vogue

During your job search, you’ll come across the occasional job posting that is super vague.  One of two things is probably happening. First, there is a real possibility the client doesn’t know what the job will entail.  Maybe he is new to the freelance world.  Maybe he doesn’t know what he wants.  Or maybe he isn’t being honest (with himself or you) about all the responsibilities the job will entail.  Either way, this client will be a headache – a headache you don’t need. Secondly, there is a change the client is deliberately being sketchy.  Signs of suspicious behavior include being vague about the company’s specifics.  In a perfect world, the client would provide a physical address.  At the very least, the client shouldn’t try to hide the business name or the city/state where they are located.  If the client can’t even give you a website as proof of existence, the mysterious behavior could be signs of a scam.

Rebelling Against the Authorities

Google pretty much rules the world now.  At the very least, they rule the world of online content.  If a client proposes writing tactics that don’t jive with Google’s rules, it’s probably a pretty good sign of a bad business deal. Google says no spun content.  So, if the job description contains the words “spinner” or “spin,” just say no.

Turning the Tables

I am ashamed to admit this to you.  I fell for this scam big time.  However, I’ll repress my embarrassment and humiliation to make you a better freelancer. Early in my freelancing career, I applied to be a mystery shopper.  Before I could start earning money, I had to pay a small fee for “training.”  Oh, how foolish I was!  I fell for their gimmick!  I paid for their “training” only to learn I wasn’t qualified.  I paid them $100 and never earned a penny in return. Do not ever, under any circumstances, pay any amount of money to secure a job.  Clients pay you – not the other way around!  Heck, these days, I don’t even pay for memberships to freelance job boards.  We work hard enough for our money; don’t frivolously give it away to people who don’t deserve it. Good luck with your job search.  I sincerely wish you all the best.  While hunting for the perfect job, be mindful of the prospects that will never be fruitful.

steve-aedy

 

Steve Aedy is a staff writer and content manager for Fresh Essays. He focuses on editing and writing of papers on history, education and college survival. Follow Steve on his Google+ page.

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