Finding clients is the biggest challenge faced by freelancers today, and freelance bloggers are no exception. Figuring out how to find your next paying customer is vital to your success.
If you’re aiming to make money as a freelance blogger, here are 10 places you can look for blogging gigs that pay. You’ll find a wide variety of options here so you can pick up and run with the particular ones that suit you.
Let’s start with a site that I have a particular affinity for, as it’s where I found my first two blogging clients. Rather unsurprisingly, I heartily recommend it to any freelance blogger.
Although online job boards tend to get a bad rap for being full of time wasters and bargain seekers, the ProBlogger Job board offers up a healthy share of viable opportunities. In fact, I still work with the two clients I found there back in 2011.
I actually made a video of what you should look for (and look out for) on the ProBlogger Job Board, which may help you:
While ProBlogger is mainly made up of freelance blogging jobs, the FreelanceSwitch Job Board has a wider range of offerings, from copywriting to programming. This is all well and good if you are a bit of a multipotentialite, but for most of us, this means that you’ll have to do a bit of filtering to find what you want.
Although browsing through job listings is free, you have to subscribe to a paid membership if you want to apply. This will only set you back $7 per month, so it’s not a huge commitment.
3. Blogger Jobs
This site is a little more rough around the edges when compared to the two job boards above, but its value is revealed in the name. With a tighter focus on blogging jobs, you can usually turn up some interesting prospects here.
Furthermore, the listings are sorted by category, which means that you can target areas of specific interest (e.g. fashion blogging).
Some freelancers will be shocked by this, as Craigslist has a terrible reputation for featuring freeloaders and time wasters. To be honest, I have no direct experience with sourcing freelance work on Craigslist and used to have much the same opinion.
However, more than one experienced freelancer has told me it’s possible to find a diamond in the Craigslist rough. If you’re keen to find work, this could be an option worth exploring.
5. Freelance Brokers
Don’t forget about Elance and oDesk. If you browse these sites, you’ll find a lot of people offering writing services for paltry money, which can be an immediate turnoff. Not only that, but you have to hand a slice of your earnings over to the site.
However, there is a market for relatively well-paid bloggers if you can establish a decent reputation. The key is to not waste your time on low-paying jobs.
Although People Per Hour is really a freelance broker site like the two mentioned above, it deserves a dedicated spot on this list because it has a special value.
Sophie Lizard of Be a Freelance Blogger, who has been freelancing since 2009, recommends People Per Hour. She commands an hourly rate in the region of $80 per hour—the kind of rate the vast majority of freelance bloggers would be delighted with.
I’m not suggesting you can simply sign up at People Per Hour and start earning mega bucks, but with persistence, you can certainly establish yourself.
This paid membership site is a huge a resource, not the least for its junk-free job board, which is essentially an aggregated list of the best freelance jobs currently available on the Web.
Unfortunately, the Den tends to sell out pretty quickly and isn’t always open to new members. But it does open periodically. If you’re keen to get in, register on the waiting list.
If you know what search queries to use, Google can turn up a treasure trove of potential blogging work. Try these two search query templates:
- [your niche] + “write for us”
- top [your niche] blogs
The first query should be pretty self-explanatory—it will return a list of blogs in your chosen niche that are looking for writers (paid or otherwise). The second query is an effective way of discovering the most authoritative blogs in your niche, many of which will probably be looking for writers.
There’s plenty more you can do with Google, but those two queries will certainly get you started on the right track.
9. Local Businesses
Most of us don’t like the idea of cold calling, but business blogging can be an extremely lucrative area. And besides, you don’t actually have to pick up the telephone—just fire off emails to local businesses to see if anyone is looking for help with their blog.
My friend Ruth Zive had a “10 before 10″ rule when she was first starting out as a freelance writer. Quite simply, she would contact 10 new prospects before 10:00 a.m. Now that’s one way to kickstart your business.
10. Your Blog
Okay, that might not make sense initially. How can you find clients by looking at your blog? Well, you can’t exactly, but what you can do is leverage your blog to source clients.
This is something I’ve done to great effect ever since I started freelancing. My blog produces a steady stream of client referrals—in fact, I haven’t gone looking for a job since 2011. While I wouldn’t say it’s easy to produce a blog that can do this for you, it certainly is possible (and well worth the effort).
Have you managed to make money as a freelance blogger? How do you find your gigs?
Tom Ewer is the author of Successful Freelance Writing Online: How to Make a Full Time Income by Writing for Blogs. He quit his job at the end of 2011 and is now a freelance blogger and Internet marketer and has chronicled his journey at his blog, Leaving Work Behind.