It can be tough and time consuming to find paid freelance writing jobs, particuarly when you’re starting out. So I’ve pulled together a list of the best job boards, agencies, websites etc. to help you out.
I’ve tried to cover a range of places where you’ll find freelance writing work at different price points, from generic blog writer jobs through to more specialized higher paying jobs.
Whilst I’d still urge you to use long-term methods for landing the best most reliable clients and building your freelance writing business, there are definately times when these places can be invaluable for finding freelance writing jobs and some of them are used by some very high-end, well paying clients so they are not just for writers starting out.
- Freelance Writer Marketplaces and Job Boards
- Agencies & Content Mills
- Email Job Lists and Newsletters
Freelance Writer Marketplaces and Job Boards
Writer marketplaces are pages where clients advertise projects directly on the website. Job boards are lists of available freelance projects compiled from all over the internet.
One of the most popular marketplaces for all types of freelancers is Upwork.
Clients post short-term and long-term projects for which freelancers submit proposals. Writers can decide the terms of the project directly with a client on the site, allowing for hourly, per word, or per project payment.
New freelancers have a harder time finding jobs on the site. Projects receive dozens of proposals and clients usually opt for freelancers with more experience and more extensive portfolios. The site has an average of 3 million job postings per year, though, so if you submit enough proposals you’re bound to land a gig or two.
However, each proposal requires anywhere from one to six “Connects” (website currency) which cost $0.15 each. If you do get a job from your proposal, there’s also a 20% fee on the first $500 you earn from any project.
Where Upwork puts the burden of finding work on writers, Contena aims to alleviate it.
The site scans the web for the best freelance writing jobs available and collects them for easy review. They’ll also send email alerts about projects fitting your pay rate, niche, and other preferences.
Contena offers many other useful tools for beginner freelancer writers, such as training courses, a portfolio builder, and coaching from successful freelancers.
The only real downside is the cost of these extra features. Contena charges $497 for a 1-year membership with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
FlexJobs is another freelancer job board that posts various types of job opportunities.
The site offers many of the standard resources for job seekers, like training courses and tailored career advice. If you’re looking to improve your resume’s appeal, they also offer a resume review.
The biggest draw of FlexJobs, though, is that all postings are screened beforehand. You won’t have to worry about scams or bottom-of-the-barrel offers. While this does make it harder for beginner freelancers to find work, it ultimately benefits writers of all experience levels by weeding out unreliable and underpaying jobs.
FlexJobs charges a monthly subscription of $14.95, which is costly, but cheaper than most other marketplaces. The benefits of your membership are definitely worth the price.
iWriter is a free freelance writing marketplace. The barrier to entry is low, but it comes with quite a few downsides.
To join, all you have to do is submit two 250 word pieces based on writing prompts and fill out a form. Afterward, you can begin applying for available job posts immediately.
However, “requesters” (clients) can turn you down for any reason and leave harmful reviews hurting your chances of securing future projects. Payment is based on your “writer level”. You can only reach higher ones by completing large numbers of highly rated jobs, which again isn’t guaranteed.
There are fast-track programs you can pay for, but iWriter is otherwise free to use. This makes it a great option for beginners with little experience. However, I would not recommend it for pros since they’ll likely find higher-paying options elsewhere.
ProBlogger is a job board largely focused on, you guessed it, blogging.
There is an occasional copywriting job offered, but most posts are looking for blog content writing. High-quality freelance, part-time, and full-time blogging jobs appear on this board.
Most posts call for writers with a few years of experience, so beginners may have some trouble landing gigs, but ProBlogger is free to use so it won’t hurt to look around.
The site has less traffic than others, though. There are generally only about 2-6 new jobs a day. There is also no screening process in place to weed out scams.
BloggingPro is another free-to-use job board. While it also has the word “blog” in its name, it has very little bearing on the types of jobs available.
You can find anything from freelance copywriting to full-time content writing jobs. Applying is done off-site, meaning you may have to spend some extra time personalizing your application materials every time. There’s also no screening done by BloggingPro, so be careful when providing information to avoid scams.
BloggingPro also offers a few tools and insights for beginners, including some helpful WordPress tips for bloggers.
The FreelanceWriting.com job board has been around as long as I have, searching and compiling freelance writing gigs from all over the web.
It is a free site with a wide selection of copywriting, content writing, blogging, and journalism jobs available. The effective search system lets you filter for date added, keywords, job source, type of writing, and location.
FreelanceWriting.com offers guides, free e-books, and articles to help beginner writers improve and grow their businesses. They also have a list of writing contests where beginners can gain experience and get an opportunity to earn cash prizes.
Like other job boards, the process for applying to jobs is still off-site only, which can be a hassle.
You can search and find just about any type of job on LinkedIn, which makes it a good place to look for freelance gigs.
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, you should highly consider making one. Not only is it a great place to make connections, but it also lets potential clients easily find your portfolio. However, you don’t need a LinkedIn account to find freelance projects through the site.
LinkedIn’s job search feature helps you find freelance, part-time, and full-time writing opportunities. You can also sign up to receive email alerts for any new job postings which meet your requirements.
It likely won’t have as many relevant jobs as job boards dedicated to writing, but it is an essential tool in increasing your freelancing business’s visibility.
Reddit – r/hireawriter
While it is a lesser-known marketplace for writing jobs, the r/hireawriter subreddit can lead to some surprising job opportunities.
Clients looking for writers can post job requests, but writers can also post their availability for work, skillsets, and portfolios. You’ll need a free Reddit account to post and reply.
The minimum rate allowed for any project advertised is 5 cents per word. This is meant to prevent writers from taking exploitative gigs. However, outside of a few other rules, there is no screening or oversight.
Anyone can answer posts directly and immediately, but making your own post will generally yield better results than replying to one. Writers must wait a full week before submitting a new post advertising their availability, which isn’t great for those seeking fast work.
Freelance Writing Jobs
Freelance Writing Jobs, originally styled Freelance Writing Gigs, is a job board offering some of the best freelance writing jobs.
Unlike other job boards, each list is posted once per day without continual updates. You’ll have to check the site early to get first dibs.
Because they don’t constantly upload new opportunities, Freelance Writing Jobs can cherrypick the best ones out there. You should still always double-check the projects on your own, but this will save time and help you avoid scams and exploitative clients.
The site offers helpful advice for freelance writers of any experience level as well as an extensive archive of places to submit your work.
While they aren’t focused on writing jobs specifically, MediaJobBoard.com isn’t a bad site to hunt for freelance projects on.
MediaJobBoard.com is smaller than most other job boards on this list and not all of their jobs will be relevant to freelance writers. However, keeping them in your back pocket as a source for job opportunities won’t hurt.
They offer a few job boards for different areas of media employment. There is a general part-time board, but they have plenty of other full-time options, including journalism, graphic design, and legal support.
PublicMediaJobs.org, like the last option, isn’t centered around freelance writing gigs, but they have plenty of journalism and other news media job offers.
You can filter your job search based on keywords and location to find the best options near you. They also feature a few of the best opportunities on their main page.
The biggest downside of PublicMediaJobs.org is largely the specificity of their market. Unless you’re a writer with education or experience in journalism or public media, finding a job fitting your skillset will be difficult.
However, they also offer some resources to get you started in the industry, such as career planning and resume assistance. If you’re interested in a public media career, considered making a free account on their site.
Another great job board for public media is JournalismNext.com.
The site is meant for minority journalists. This makes it a standout option for minority freelance writers who have had trouble finding work in person or on other sites.
Along with the basic features of other job boards, JournalismNext.com allows you to post resumes directly on the site. This gives employers the ability to find freelance journalists who best fit their needs as well as increasing your odds of getting hired.
JournalismJobs.com is probably the biggest journalism job board out there.
Along with classic public media, you can filter your search for nonprofit, academic, and other niche avenues. You can also narrow your search by state to find local positions and projects.
The site offers helpful resources for writers at any stage of a career in public media. This includes lists of available fellowships, top universities for journalism, and contests currently accepting submissions. You’ll also find plenty of posts with advice on managing a freelance business and selling yourself to clients.
If you’re specifically after jobs with major media companies, Mediabistro should be the first place you look.
Job opportunities from HBO, CNN, Penguin Random House, etc. regularly show up on Mediabistro. However, because they focus on opportunities with massive companies, there are fewer job offerings than other sites.
Mediabistro offers a membership for $14.99 a month providing access to professional courses and guides for pitching yourself to clients. You’ll also receive discounts on industry events and a free LinkedIn evaluation.
While all of those benefits are great, beginner freelancers will find it harder to land jobs on Mediabistro.
Agencies & Content Mills
Agencies and content mills take on projects from clients, then allow qualified freelancers to claim them.
The term ‘content mill’ has become somewhat pejorative over the years and many have a reputation for poor pay & treating their writers badly but there are actually some good ones out there particularly at the higher end of the market.
I have tried to cover a range in terms of pay scales as each of us will be different in terms of the fees we can realistically command, but do tread carefully with the ones at the lower end of the market and make sure you work out if you are going to earn enough writing for them.
Textbroker is a freelance writing agency offering all kinds of writing gigs.
Getting started on the site requires verifying your U.S. citizenship and submitting a writing sample. Afterward, you’ll be given access to available projects based on your sample’s rating (anywhere from 2 to 5).
The available jobs are submitted by clients to Textbroker, which then posts them as first come, first serve opportunities. However, most of these projects are low-paying. Only writers with high ratings will be able to pick up the more expensive gigs.
On the opposite end of the agency spectrum is Contently.
Contently works to connect larger brands with talented, high-quality freelance writers. This requires a lot of vetting, which means beginners without solid portfolios won’t get as many job offers.
However, because of these requirements, experienced freelancers can connect with massive companies they might otherwise have been unable to reach. Most of the projects are high-paying as well.
Creating a profile on Contently is free. Even if your portfolio isn’t currently impressive, you can continue to add to it and may end up landing big gigs from the site in the future.
Another one at the higher end of the market is Scripted. They offer access to some big well paying clients.
Joining Scripted as a writer is free but they do have quite strict vetting requirements.
Constant Content is a free site for freelancers to take on writing projects requested by clients.
Writers can set their own pricing and choose projects based on their scheduling needs. Creating an account is free and you can get to work quickly, which is great for beginners. However, this site won’t be a good option for experienced writers or those looking to make a living from full-time freelancing.
Any submitted work must go through a reviewer and then be accepted by the client for payment, which means you’ll be writing full articles and posts without a guarantee of payment. On top of that, most of the work accepted are projects of only $10-$20, which become even less after the 35% fee.
Writer Access is another agency where freelance writers can claim projects based on a quality ranking.
Currently, only writers from these countries can join Writer Access:
- United States
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
You’ll also need to pass a writing test to join the site, which will determine your initial ranking, which ranges from 2-6 stars. The type of projects you can take as well as payment for them is based on your rank. 2-star jobs pay around 2 cents per word, while 6-star ones have a minimum of 7 cents.
You can improve your ranking by receiving stellar reviews from clients. However, you’ll likely start out working for very little pay, without a guarantee of moving on to higher ranks.
The Writer Finder
For copywriters, one of the best online agencies is The Writer Finder.
Its parent company, Growth Machine, is an SEO and marketing agency which means they understand the value of good copywriting. Writers without much experience in it will also have a chance to learn some SEO skills.
You’ll need to answer a short questionnaire and provide examples of your work when applying. If you’re accepted, The Writer Finder will begin emailing you job opportunities across a wide variety of writing niches.
This is slightly unlike other agencies where you can search for ideal projects. These emailed offers won’t always fit your skillset, but this method can save time if you don’t mind a more passive job hunt.
Email Job Lists and Newsletters
Email job lists or newsletters are great ways for beginners to get their foot in the freelance door. These highlight marketplaces, contests, grants, and other places writers can potentially make money and build their portfolios.
Sonia Weiser and Her Opportunities of the Week
Sonia Weiser offers a twice-weekly newsletter of pitching opportunities to new and experienced writers.
To do so, she scours social media for anywhere freelance writers can pitch themselves. Sonia admits she doesn’t attempt to weed out the good options from the bad, so always do your due diligence in researching offers and clients.
You can join the newsletter for $3 a month or you can opt to “pay what you can” instead.
The Writer’s Job Newsletter
The Writer’s Job Newsletter is a free weekly email list helping freelancers find the newest available writing jobs.
Signing up is easy and fast. No matter when you join you’ll be emailed a link to the latest newsletter so you can begin your job hunt.
The opportunities can vary from a list of editor emails to links for recent Reddit posts. There is also a small anecdote from the newsletter manager detailing their struggles with freelancing as well as helpful advice.
Run by author C. Hope Clark, the FundsForWriters newsletter is a carefully curated weekly list of clients and markets.
Each edition includes 24-30 writing opportunities in the form of contests, grants, freelance gigs, publishers, and agents. They ensure each market meets their payment minimums of $200 per project or $0.10 per word. There is also an editorial from C. Hope Clark providing advice and a piece from a guest author.
Signing up for the newsletter is free. The site also has plenty of other opportunities and resources for freelance writers, such as recommended books, an insightful blog, and paid advertising.
Ann Friedman Weekly
Another good email list to sign-up for is Ann Friedman Weekly.
Though this newsletter doesn’t have as many job offerings as others, there are still a few gems in each issue. You’ll find these in the few classifieds towards the bottom of each edition.
The meat of each newsletter is endorsements by their author, Ann Friedman, whether they be for books, articles, podcasts, or other types of content. There are also short journal-like entries about Fredman’s life. Though these aren’t going to necessarily land you more gigs, they can be interesting reads.
It is free to sign up for the newsletter, so subscribing won’t hurt and could show you new opportunities.
Styled as a newsletter expert, Sian Meades-Williams manages several newsletters, including one for freelance writing jobs.
The newsletter provides mainly UK freelance writing opportunities, however, writers living in other countries can make use of the list too.
Each new edition is sent on Wednesday with dozens of editor emails for magazines, newspapers, and even writing schools. It is a great resource for new writers who have been struggling to find their niche.
The Freelancer Feed
The Freelancer Feed is a Twitter page that offers an email newsletter of freelance writing gigs.
Like Sonia Weiser’s newsletter, The Freelancer Feed deals with social media job opportunities. The company is based out of Australia but offers plenty of options from around the globe in each edition.
They will often retweet calls for writers on Twitter too. These will be very competitive options but can be great sources of potential work.
As you can see, there are a lot of places you can find freelance writing jobs online. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do so. You may spend weeks or even months, pitching, querying, and submitting portfolios without landing any projects.
While all of the sites above are great options, casting a wide net is the key to catching reliable clients. Visit as many job boards as possible, apply to agencies, and subscribe to newsletters to increases your freelancing business’s chances of taking off.
What Are the Best Freelance Writer Job Sites For Beginners?
In general, beginners will want to look for sites with low barriers to entry. These allow inexperienced writers to find work fast and build up their portfolios. You’ll need to be careful when taking jobs from these sites to avoid being exploited or scammed.
Some of the best examples from our list above are:
1. Upwork. While the fees are steep, just about anyone can join and start applying for projects immediately. I began my freelancing career here and while it was far from perfect, it did allow me to build my portfolio and gain experience.
2. Contena. The additional services cost quite a bit, but they can help a fledgling freelance career off the ground.
3. Textbroker. Getting started on the site is easy and even if you start at a low ranking you can work your way up to better gigs.
What Are the Highest Paying Freelance Writing Jobs?
Some of the highest paying freelance writing jobs are:
– Book Ghostwriting
– EBook Writing
– SEO Content
– Sales Page/Landing Page Writers
However, beginners will not be getting paid as much for these types of projects as more experienced freelancers. Your portfolio, skill, niche experience, and many other factors determine how much you can charge for any project.
Take a look at our post on freelance copywriting fees to get a general idea of how and what to charge when starting. You can also peruse WhoPaysWriters to see what various publications generally pay for freelance work.
What is a Good Hourly Rate For a Freelance Writer?
The fair hourly rate, for US based writers, ranges from $30 for beginners to $100 for experienced freelancers.
However, if you’re a beginner, you won’t find many projects that pay by the hour. As you continue working, try to leverage your earned experience into pay-per-hour gigs.
What Type of Writers Are In Demand?
Some of the current writing niches in highest demand are:
– Digital Marketing
Some of the current types of writers in highest demand are:
– Sales Page/Landing Page