Job boards are great if you’re just starting out as a freelance writer. They’re accessible, (mostly) free and can lead to high-paying gigs.
There’s just one problem: How do you know which ones to use?
If you do a Google search for freelance writing jobs, your eyes will eventually glaze over just looking at the search results. Too many links and no idea which ones to click first.
When I first searched for writing jobs online, it took me hours to figure out which ones can bring me quality clients. I certainly crossed off Craigslist and Upwork from the list, but even then I still struggled to weed out job boards that just plain sucked.
Don’t let the same thing happen to you. I’ve listed five job boards that I personally use and highly recommend.
Problogger Job Board – employers actually pay to post an ad on this job board, so that’s a good sign that they’re willing to pay good money for the right person. I found a few well-paying clients through this job board.
Freelancewritinggigs.com – this board is a collection of job postings around the web. It’s updated daily (except for weekends and holidays). Expect to see the occasional low-ball gigs, but look out for hidden gems.
Writejobs.info – Similar to Freelancewritinggigs, Writejobs collects the best job offers around the web and even categorizes the ones with clear pay rates. It also has a separate section for Non-Craigslist ads, which is really helpful.
Listiller.com/gigs – I discovered this recently. This site, by far, has the most number of job listings on a daily basis. You’ll get a clear idea of where the job ad comes from (what website) and whether it’s open for international writers or limited to residents of specific countries.
Contena – Unlike the job boards in this list, Contena’s freelance writing job board requires a paid membership. In addition to offering jobs with above-average rates, Contena provides online courses to grow your freelance writing income. Check out my review here and see if it’s something you want to try. It’s expensive and it’s not for everyone, but if you want to save time and find the best jobs in the market, it’s worth every cent.
As you navigate job boards, you’ll learn to identify jobs that fit your expertise as a writer. You also get a sense of what topics or niche are in demand and maybe aim to enter those niches in the future.
Lastly, don’t depend on job boards as your sole marketing strategy. It’s not the only thing you should be doing every day. Build your writer website. Send cold emails to big publications. Attend networking events. Guest post on popular blogs. And the list goes on.
Look out for these red flags
Asks for a ‘trial’ piece
This is code for “we want you to write for free.” Don’t do it, no matter how desperate or great you think the job is. If a job ad asks you to do something without any guarantees of getting paid or getting hired, then they’re not the kind of people you want to be working for.
You can’t find their company website
Even the most obscure and unusual niches have websites to promote their business. Otherwise, why would they need a writer? If you do a Google search for the company or person posting the ad and find nothing, it’s not a good sign. Do yourself a favor and move on to the next ad.
There is no mention of payment
It’s ironic that some people think posting “jobs” online include those that are unpaid. These ads usually pay you in “exposure” in return for your hard work. These jobs are worse than content mills and should be avoided at all times. As for exposure, there are a ton of ways to promote yourself without having to work for free.
Wants you to pitch publications on behalf of them
Ever since guest blogging became the best networking and advertising tool, some companies have been reaching out to writers to do the work for them. These clients want you to pitch big blogs like Forbes and they’ll pay you when your article gets published. In return, you need to put a link to your client’s product/service/scammy deals with the article. Not only is this unethical, it is also illegal. Don’t put your reputation on the line no matter how tempting the payment offer is.
Freelance writing job boards are great when you know what to look for and what to avoid. Remember to look for jobs that you are qualified for and apply only when you think you’re the right person for the job.
Do you know of a job board that got you a decent writing gig? Share in the comments below!