Finding Real Writing Jobs

by Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer's Coach

If you want to make a living as a freelance writer today, you may wonder how you go about finding real writing jobs or how to write for money.

real writing jobs

The good news is, there are more ways than EVER to make money as a freelance writer. And, to me, a real writing job is simply one that pays well for the materials written.

But as you're trying to develop your own freelance writing career, here's one tip to remember - don't expect to create a career you'll LOVE by doing things you HATE to do.

For example, do you hate cold calling?

If so, then I don't care how successful OTHER writers are at this, you'll probably NEVER build the freelance writing career of your dreams by making cold calls to businesses to see if they have some freelance work you could do for them.

Instead, think of other creative ways to build your career.

Here are just a few real writing jobs you should be able to find without making cold calls:

1. Start out writing for no-pay, low-pay publications. You'll find many of these markets in your own backyard. Others you'll find through online job boards.

2. Next, move up from the small local publications to regional publications (which are just a bit bigger and pay just a bit better). You'll gain experience with editors while you build your writing skills and your clips file (publication credits) as you're earning a few bucks.

3. If you wish to write for local businesses, join your local business association and become an active member. Get to know the other members and network with them so they know exactly what you can do for them.

Don't stop with just one group, join several local business groups, so you get to know many small business professionals in your area.

4. Join a group of other working freelance writers. You can network with these other writers to find writing jobs. I've gotten several book contracts this way.

5. Think "outside the box" a little when it comes to the types of things you will consider writing on assignment. If you actively network with other "working" writers and you actively search online job boards regularly, you should be able to find assignments in any or all of these areas:

Item writing for educational publishers
Resume writing for individuals
Creating Artists' Statements
Writing Press Releases for small businesses, authors, etc.
Writing Adaptations (of fairy tales and folk tales) for mass market publishers
Ghost Writing (books and short stories for businesses and individuals)
Writing Product Reviews
Writing Book Reviews
Writing Site Reviews
Creating Entries for Online Encyclopedias
Writing Articles for Trade Magazines
Blogging for businesses
Creating White Papers & Case Studies

This list can go on and on.

Also, start creating your own information products for a specific target niche. My target niche just happens to be other writers (since I'm a writing coach), but your target market could be something entirely different.

The main thing is not to WAIT for the perfect freelance writing career to fall in your lap. It won't. You have to build your own business, one step at a time. But fortunately, that isn't difficult to do in today's busy world.

Try it!


Suzanne Lieurance is an author, freelance writer, a certified professional life coach and writing coach, speaker and workshop presenter. She lives and writes by the sea in Jensen Beach, Florida. Find out how she can coach you to the writing career of your dreams at


Magdalena Ball said...

Good step by step guide Suzanne. Local businesses are a good way to build the portfolio, though some cold calling initially may be required. It doesn't have to be extensive though if it's informed. Coming in with a good understanding of the publication and where you might add value is critical. You can then offer to do your piece/review/column once or twice for free or on spec and if they like you and it's a good fit, you're in.

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Hi, Magdalena,

You make an excellent point - that you have to add value to any business or publication you wish to write for. If you can find a way to do that, you've probably got a new client or a new assignment.

Happy writing!

Kathleen Moulton said...

As always, Suzanne - you've broken it down in simple do-able steps!

Kathleen Moulton said...

As always, Suzanne - you've broken it down in simple do-able steps!

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