While Upwork and other freelancer platforms are great ways to get freelance writing jobs, it’s not a system that is sustainable if you want to be a highly-paid writer.
If you want to learn more about finding better-paying jobs on your own without sharing your earnings with an intermediary or competing with hundreds of freelancers, then read on.
Before I discuss the ways to find writing jobs outside of Upwork, it’s important to know why you would want to do so.
The first reason is identity. If you want to establish yourself as a writer — which means you want your name to appear on the content that you create — then that might not be an option if you get jobs from Upwork.
When you write for clients in Upwork, they often own the content and can use it however they like. It is rare to have a client offer you a byline for your written work.
The second reason is competition. Bidding for jobs in Upwork puts you on a race to the bottom. There is no freedom to charge premium rates when everyone else is pricing as low as they possibly can. It doesn’t help that most clients choose the lowest bidder.
The third reason is flexibility. When you get clients inside of Upwork, you are not allowed to “talk” to your clients outside of the network. All your payments and tasks are tracked in Upwork. While this is great to ensure that you get paid, this setup can be restrictive when it comes to accepting alternative modes of payment or taking on different projects from clients you found on Upwork.
There are many other reasons why you should consider other methods of getting freelance writing jobs other than Upwork, but the three mentioned above are the most important ones.
There are several approaches to finding well-paying clients. Note that these methods require more work but with better results.
Pitching means the act of presenting an idea for an article, blog post, or any other content to a paying client or publication.
The most common question freelance writers ask about pitching is how to find clients and/or people to pitch.
The answer lies in your expertise or niche. What kind of content do you write best? Is it blog posts, research papers, or journalistic reporting? Find the right websites or businesses that need the type of content that you write and pitch them.
2. Job boards
Job boards are websites where you can find companies hiring freelancers. Some examples of great freelance writing job boards are Problogger Jobs, Blogging Pro Jobs, Flexjobs, and Freelance Writing Gigs.
Applying for writing jobs found in these job boards might be harder than applying for gigs in Upwork, but the offers are usually better and the clients are willing to pay premium rates for great writers.
We’re not talking about writing random stuff about your life here. Professional blogging involves a focus on a topic and a clear content plan that will grow your readership over time.
Blogging is a great way to show your writing skills and demonstrate your knowledge about a particular topic or industry.
You can build a website in less than a day if you’re not afraid to do some tech stuff. Once you install a Content Management Software like WordPress, then publishing your first blog post would be a breeze.
Add a “Hire Me” page to your blog to let prospective clients know you are for hire. On this page, add a contact form so people can write a message and get in touch with you.
4. Self-publishing an eBook
These days, you don’t need a book deal to get published. You can do it yourself — all you need is a word processor and lots of time to write.
When you’re done writing your book, you need to convert your document into an eBook format, create a book cover, and sign up for a free account for Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to upload your book.
You can sell your eBook or make it available for free. The important thing is the fact that you are a published author. This sets you apart from other writers and would be a big plus to anyone looking to hire a writer.
5. Networking events
Going to events, expos, and seminars in your industry is an excellent way to meet future clients who would love to work with you.
The advantage of this method is that it takes little effort — you simply show up and start talking to people! Well, on second thought, it might be a bit challenging if you’re an introvert.
Even if socializing is not your cup of tea, this is something that’s worth doing for the endless possibilities it can present to you.
It’s a good idea to be prepared to introduce yourself to people while mentioning your freelance writing business. You don’t want to sound scripted, but you do want to get your point across clearly.
Now that I’ve shared some ideas, is there a strategy you use to get better-paying freelance writing jobs? Share your experience in the comments!