This was originally published in June of 2019, and updated in 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I rewrote and updated this blog and am now running it as a featured Content Hacker blog. Much love to you all in this trying time! To enter the online world of freelancing, check out my practical courses.
Are you a freelancer, writing your way to steady paychecks? Are you interested in breaking into wordsmithing to stay independent and self-employed?
Good on you: The freelance writing landscape has come a long way over the past decade, and it’s getting better every year. 📈
Today, there are 4 million more freelancers today than there were in 2014. That's wild!
More people than ever are working as freelancers, typing away behind their computers to earn a living. That’s because freelance writing jobs from home are a possibility for anyone with an internet connection.
According to the most recent research sourced by Forbes and Upwork, one-third of the U.S. workforce is now freelancing. The stats also show that when in need, 25% of freelancers can find work inside a day or less! Freelancing is not only a growing economy, but a stable one at that. In 2019, freelancing contributed $1 trillion to our economy in the U.S. Facts show that on Upwork alone, freelancers earn $1 billion per year.
The bigger news is more people are choosing to freelance because they want to, not because they have to.
Well-paying, quality work is out there for the taking. You no longer have to consider yourself a starving artist if you’re a freelance writer –
You just need to know how to find the writing jobs you want.
For example, there are tons of freelance job sites out there – but which ones include freelance writing and copywriting jobs? Which ones cater to remote writers, specifically? Which are worth your time, and which should you ignore?
These are all questions I’m answering in this post. Consider this your complete, no-nonsense guide to finding writing gigs, including the best freelance writing jobs, platforms, job sites, and more.
Your Guide to 50 Best Freelance Writing Jobs, Opportunities, and Platforms to Find Remote & Contract Work
What Are the Pros/Cons of Remote and Location-Based Freelance Jobs?
Remote Freelance Writing Jobs Online: Your Quick Guide
Location-Based Writing Jobs: Everything You Need to Know to Nab a Position
Get Paid to Write: The 50 Best Freelance Writing Jobs, Gigs, Opportunities, and Platforms Out There
What Are the Pros/Cons of Remote and Location-Based Freelance Jobs?
Every job has pros and cons. Let’s look at each side of writing for a living.
1. Remote Freelance Jobs Online: Work in Your Pajamas (It’s True!)
Overwhelmingly, one of the top perks of a freelance writing job is the ability to create a schedule that works for your personal needs.
As long as you meet deadlines and communicate well with clients, you can work whenever (and wherever) you want. For some people, that means burning the midnight oil. For others, it means rising with the sun and working in their pajamas until noon. The sky is truly the limit.
Another benefit of remote freelancing: independence. If you like working on your own, the solo life of a freelancer will suit you to a T.
Now for the negatives: Every job has them, and work-from-home freelancing is no exception.
In the beginning, you’ll have to hustle for work – hard. That’s because you have a reputation to establish. Since it can be harder to earn people’s trust online, getting new gigs will be an uphill battle until you have some experience under your belt.
Another con is the flipside of one of the perks – working solo. If you’re a creative introvert who chafes under restrictive leadership, it’s freeing to work alone, but it also gets lonely from time to time.
Granted, there are easy ways to mitigate loneliness while working remotely, such as heading to a coffee shop to be around people, using co-working spaces, developing friendships in online writing communities, and networking.
2. Location-Based Freelance Jobs: Steady Paychecks and Peace-of-Mind
Freelance writing jobs aren’t limited to the kind where you need to hustle for clients. If you want a steadier position (and steadier pay), working as a contractor for a single client or company is a good bet.
Often, these positions are location-based, which means you’ll work in an office with your peers while remaining a freelancer. There are also remote contractor positions, which means you’ll be collaborating with your team digitally. Either way, it’s slightly different from the independent freelancer life.
The best part for many writers is they don’t have to worry about client acquisition or marketing themselves. The company who contracted them is in charge of that, so it frees up the writer to focus entirely on their creative powers. For us introverts, that’s a major stressor off the table.
The worst part of contracted freelance writing jobs? If the contract is long-term, and the company wants to keep you around, it’s easy to get complacent or stuck in a rut. You may forget to push yourself to further your career, find new clients, or branch out of your comfort zone.
Overall, there are good and bad parts of every type of work. The key is to know when a job requires a change of mindset or a total overhaul.
Remote Freelance Writing Jobs Online: Your Quick Guide
Are you new to freelancing? Here’s an overview of freelance jobs online for beginners, starting with how to find work.
1. How to Find Remote Freelance Writing Opportunities
If you are solely in charge of your freelance writing business (i.e. you aren’t contracted with a company or agency and deal with your clients directly), these are the top ways to find work:
Many clients will post open calls for freelance writers on platforms around the web. If you have your finger on the pulse of many different platforms and resources (see below!), you’re more likely to find writing opportunities.
Sometimes, you can’t expect the right clients to find you – YOU need to find THEM. That’s where pitching comes in. When you find a client or company you’d love to work with, scour their website for an editor to contact, or a submissions page. If you follow them on social media, a DM to the right person might not hurt.
To that end, always keep your resume and writing samples fresh and ready to show to prospective clients.
If you do all the client-gathering yourself, you must have a grasp on marketing your writing. Start with a website portfolio and branch out from there. Consider blogging to pull in organic traffic from people searching for writers on Google. (Need motivation? Businesses that blog get 67% more leads than those that don’t!)
2. What’s the Average Pay for Remote Freelance Work?
According to data from PayScale, remote freelance writers earn an average of $23.44 per hour.
Of course, the way this shakes out in yearly income depends on the work you do and the hours you work in a day.
The most profitable freelance writers get paid more money for shorter assignments. For instance, a high-earner might get paid $23 for a short line of copy for social media. A median-earner would get paid this amount for one 500-word article.
Location-Based/Contract Writing Jobs: Everything You Need to Know to Nab a Position
1. How to Find Location-Based (Contract) Writing Work
Looking for a longer-term position, or steady work with one employer? Keep these search tips in mind:
1. Use the Right Keywords
Especially if you want a writing job in a specific location, using that location as a keyword is important. Google, LinkedIn, Craigslist, and job boards are your best bet for this type of search. Use relevant titles (freelance writer, freelance writing jobs, remote writing jobs, content writer, etc.) PLUS your desired city or state.
2. Search Job Boards
Contract and location-based positions often can be found on job boards. Keep your eye on your favorite sites (again, see below) and make sure you have alerts set up so you get an email when a job close to your preferred location is posted.
2. What’s the Average Pay for Writing Employees and Contractors?
For freelancers with a steady income and a contract or staff position, the median salary is around $42,000/year, according to Glassdoor.
However, this data is based on a survey of nearly 250 freelance writers in the U.S. That’s not a very large pool, so my guess is the average is lower than $42K.
3. Top Cities Hiring Freelance Writers and Contractors
Unsurprisingly, the top cities for freelance writers are large ones, where opportunities are plentiful and employers/clients are willing to pay more for high-quality work.
ZipRecruiter has compiled a list of the highest-paying cities for freelance writers – some of the top places include San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, L.A., Chicago, Minneapolis, and Houston. This list of top cities for freelancers compiled by NerdWallet echoes these findings, although it’s more general in nature and about the quality of living for the freelance lifestyle.
If you can’t relocate to find the right writing job, the good news is you can work remotely out of top cities for most companies.
Get Paid to Write: The 50 Best Freelance Writing Jobs, Opportunities, Gigs, Job Boards, and Platforms Out There
Ready to get to work and write? These are the best freelance job sites and platforms to check out right now to find those coveted remote writing gigs. (You’ll find zero content mills on this list, because nobody deserves to be paid pennies per word.)
Let’s get to the good stuff!
Freelance Writing Gigs, Opportunities, and Platforms
Fiverr is a unique online freelance jobs marketplace where you can set up flat-rate gigs, market yourself, and draw in clients through the platform.
Setting up an account is free, as is posting gigs and gig packages. Once you book some work, Fiverr takes a 20% cut of whatever you earn.
On Fiverr, the key is to create optimized, well-worded gig posts that will catch your ideal client’s eye. Once you start racking up work and building your reputation, your account starts getting listed higher in search results on the platform. Best of all, you’ll find every type of writing work under the sun on Fiverr – freelance copywriting jobs, article writing, blogging, scriptwriting, email copywriting, creative writing, and more.
Are you a research writer, an academic writer, or an authority writer in a specialized niche like social science, biology, or economics? Kolabtree might be a great fit for you to find more freelance work.
Create a profile on the platform (it’s free), then start searching for jobs that match your expertise. There are opportunities for scientific consulting, academic writing, statistical analysis, scientific editing, technical writing, and more.
3. Cloud Peeps
Cloud Peeps is a unique platform that combines a few essential features. When you sign up for free, you get to create both a freelancer profile and a storefront, where you can promote your services. In addition, you can search for available jobs and pitch to potential clients to get hired.
Similar to other freelancer-client platforms, Cloud Peeps advises that the most successful people on their site spend time building out their profile and submitting pitches. If you don’t have time to market yourself, this might not be the best tool for you to find work.
Freelance Writing Gigs, or FWJ (Freelance Writing Jobs), is run by Deb Ng who devoted five years of her life to building this into a leading website for freelance writers styled like a forum so they could discuss and build their portfolios together. Whether you’re brand new or an old hand at freelance writing, learning how to be a successful writer and scrolling through active gigs is all a part of Freelance Writing Jobs.
This well-regarded community for freelance writers has a waiting list for a reason. Once you’re in the Freelance Writers Den, you get access to the Junk-Free Job Board and community forums, where you’ll find job postings, networking opportunities, job leads, and more.
The Den only opens to new members twice a year, but those on the waiting list get first dibs.
Another great opportunity for freelancers looking for steady work: Express Writers. This is my own content agency with a deep focus on producing quality content that gets results for clients.
Most of the work that comes in is expert-level and pays much higher than the average bottom-rate job on the Upworks of the world. We’re always on the lookout for amazing expert writers with a dedication to client needs, so submitting a writer application is a great idea!
Writers Weekly has been around since 1997, but it’s still one of the most respected resources for freelance writing out there. Particularly, the Paying Markets & Jobs section will help you find publications paying writers for stories and articles, and open jobs for freelancers.
SolidGigs is an indispensable tool for finding freelance writing jobs. Sign up for their email list and you’ll get their daily newsletter including the best freelance jobs available (according to them, the top 1% of gigs).
It’s not free, but it’s affordable if you’re serious about netting quality client leads. You can start with a 30-day free trial for $2. After that, it’s $19/month.
For freelance writers with a bit of experience under their belts, nDash is a good platform on which to maintain a profile. It’s not a great job board, but it IS good for pitching articles, blogs, and content to clients who are willing to pay fair rates.
Use nDash to pitch content ideas to clients, take some time to do so, and you’ll more than likely earn a new client or two. It all depends on the work you’re willing to put into pitching and how well you’ve presented yourself on your profile.
Skyword is a totally unique freelancer platform you might want to give a try. When you sign up, you create a “contributor profile” that showcases your skills and experience. The team at Skyword uses this profile to match you with content channels where industry-specific writing jobs are posted.
You can’t start applying for work until the Skyword team adds you to a channel, but once you’re in, the work is steady and fairly priced. Another plus: the client roster includes lots of household names (Angie’s List, Lowe’s, Purina, and IBM are some past examples).
This blog from Make a Living Writing is chock-full of legit, paying writer’s markets. It’s kept updated, too, so there are no dead links here. If you’re prepared to pitch content ideas, look here to find good potential clients.
If freelance travel writing is up your alley, take a look at this blog from Writer Life including 34 paying markets, all with a travel bent.
Creative writers, good news: There’s paying work out there for you, too. If you dabble in fiction or just want to stretch yourself, Aerogramme Writer’s Studio keeps track of writer contests, paying fiction markets, and open calls for submissions from paying publications.
Freelance Writing Job Boards and Search Engines
While you’re searching for freelance writing jobs, don’t forget Google. The search engine is a powerful way to find job postings across multiple platforms.
As you can see from the screenshot, the filtering options give you tons of power to find the exact writing job you want. Just enter a relevant keyword (“freelance writing jobs” or “remote writing jobs” are good bets – I searched for “freelance writing jobs nyc”), then narrow down the results by category, location, date posted, company type, and more.
If searching on individual job sites gets tedious, turn to a curated freelance job board like BloggingPro. The editors comb through current writing jobs available in blogging, editing, online content, publishing, and more, and post them here. You can even search the job board and filter results to find the right position.
16. LinkedIn Jobs
Another hot spot to find great freelance writing gigs online is LinkedIn Jobs. Companies of all stripes are posting open positions exclusively on the networking site, so it’s a good place to find job opportunities you won’t see elsewhere.
Plus, if you already have a LinkedIn profile, applying for jobs is super-easy. Just click “Easy Apply” on the job post and your profile information will automatically populate the job app.
Final tip: Don’t forget to search for hot keywords besides “freelance writer” like “content writer”, “copywriter”, or “creative writer”.
Another curated job board worth your time is Freelance Writing Jobs. The editors do the job searching and post all relevant writing and blogging jobs, including part-time work and internships.
Jobspresso is a remote jobs database devoted to posting work-from-home, online positions. You can browse open positions by category or enter keywords to find different writing jobs. Make sure to check the location details – some of the jobs are international and available only to those living in certain countries.
College Recruiter is a job database that focuses on entry-level, part-time, or seasonal jobs/internships for college students and recent graduates. This is a perfect place to find freelance writing jobs for beginners, or the writing job that will get your foot in the door.
Flexjobs isn’t just for freelance writers – it’s for anyone who freelances. That said, this board is a worthy addition to the list because the job listings are curated by a team of researchers who essentially comb the web for you.
One caveat: You have to pay to access the full job listings and descriptions. If your job search is short-term, the $14.95/month plan might make sense. Before you sign up, do a quick test search to make sure this tool will provide results robust enough for your needs. (You can view the search results for free.)
21. Journalism Jobs
Looking to do some freelance writing for the media? Check Journalism Jobs, a job board specifically for journalist-leaning writing. A few general writing jobs are here, too, so don’t be afraid to check this board even if you don’t have a media or news-writing background.
22. Media Bistro
Another job board that’s exclusively for writing and media positions is Media Bistro. This one isn’t limited to one niche – it includes creative writing, news writing, marketing, copywriting, and freelance editing jobs, too.
Just check out the range of specialties in current job listings on the site:
Whatever industry you want to write for, you have a good chance of finding work through this platform.
This long-standing writing job resource, ProBlogger Job Board, is a trusty place to turn to for the best freelance jobs in the content marketing and writing industries. It’s been around for over 10 years and has helped reams of remote writers find great blogging jobs.
From the same team who brings you the Morning Coffee eNewsletter, Freelance Writing is the central space where all the jobs they scout are posted. Check this board for both short-term and long-term positions, including contracts and one-off projects.
All Freelance Writing is another reliable job board specifically posting remote and freelance writing jobs. You may see a bit of crossover here from other job boards, but generally, it’s a good idea to check different sources to find those niche jobs.
Don’t forget to check major job sites like Indeed.com during your quest for remote freelancing work. In particular, large platforms like this will have advanced filters and search options so you can dig in and find the exact type of position you want.
Big Tip: Remember to search for various hot keywords to find all the writing jobs in the database. To find jobs by location, fill in the “where” search box with the city of your choice. Here are some top keyword suggestions:
- Freelance writing jobs
- Remote writing jobs
- Freelance writer
- Content marketer
Virtual Vocations hand-screens all of their job listings, so you’ll never find ads or scams here. You have to sign up for a free membership for limited access to the jobs database, but it’s full of relevant jobs with potential. For full access, you’ll need a paid membership.
Glassdoor is another popular job site you may have heard of. It requires registration to use, but once you sign up, it’s a tailored job searching experience that will definitely help make your hunt easier. Plus, along with job hunting, you can also research companies, average salaries, and more using their database.
Just answer a few questions to set up your profile, and Glassdoor will customize your job search and send jobs alerts to your email inbox based on your preferences.
Similar to Glassdoor, SimplyHired offers a customized job search and resources for finding the remote freelance writing jobs you’re looking for. Additional tools include a Salary Estimator and a Resume Builder.
ZipRecruiter is a highly-rated job board and app. It has an astounding 4.9-star rating in the Apple App Store, probably due to functional features like the “1-click apply” and instant notifications the moment your resume is opened or favorited by a potential employer.
Filling out your resume and including references is essential to success, here – that way, both recruiters can find you and you can apply for freelance jobs with a tap.
A solid job board dedicated to posting work opportunities in the publishing industry is iHirePublishing. It isn’t just about traditional print publishing, though – you’ll also find jobs that focus on publishing online in areas like marketing and content writing. If you’re willing to branch out, check out the opportunities for freelance editing jobs, too.
Don’t be fooled by the name of the Canadian Freelance Writing Jobs blog – the jobs posted are mostly remote and open to anyone. Follow the RSS feed for this blog to get daily job listings sent to your feed reader you might not find elsewhere.
Remote jobs are the bread-and-butter of Remote.co. If you want a work-from-home writing job, check this board. There are freelance job listings from various industries that need writers like healthcare, customer service, design, teaching, marketing, and more.
34. Working Nomads
This job board isn’t updated the most regularly, but Working Nomads may have a few opportunities that other boards lack. To get the most out of this freelance job site, subscribe for job alerts.
Be a Freelance Blogger is a regularly updated board featuring freelance blogging jobs that pay $50/post or $0.10/word at a minimum. If you’re sick of weeding through the bottom-rung jobs on Upwork, look at this board for some higher-paying opportunities.
36. Paid Write
Paid Write is another curated jobs list culled from freelance writing opportunities all over the web. You can check the site daily for new jobs, sign up for the newsletter to receive a daily digest, or follow Paid Write on social media for daily job updates.
Looking for freelance editing jobs or freelance translation jobs in the academic publishing world? Head straight to Enago. They’re constantly looking for highly-qualified, highly-educated editors (Master’s, Ph.D., or post-doctoral research experience are preferred).
If you have the education and currently limit your talents to writing, consider adding freelance proofreading jobs to your repertoire.
38. We Work Remotely
We Work Remotely is a remote jobs community and listing resource. The emphasis is mostly on freelance copywriting jobs and the industries of sales & marketing, business, finance, and design. Make sure you look under all the categories for relevant opportunities.
If doing some freelance work with a startup sounds interesting to you, consider looking on AngelList. You need to sign up to view job listings, but once you’re in, you’ll find opportunities you won’t see on other job boards.
40. Power to Fly
This next freelance job resource is pretty cool. Power to Fly is both a career helper and a job board, but its main mission is to connect “highly skilled women with leading companies committed to diversity and inclusion”.
If you’re a self-employed woman looking to build her career and community, joining Power to Fly might help.
41. Hubstaff Talent
Hubstaff Talent is a service that works two ways: Post a profile to get discovered by job recruiters, or search their job board to find remote freelance opportunities. The best part? It’s free.
42. Genuine Jobs
Genuine Jobs is another niche job board that’s updated regularly. Add it to your list of little-known sources to check for unique writing job listings not found on major sites.
For a fresh crop of freelance creative writing jobs in the design, marketing, and sales industries, check out Krop. On top of job listings, the site offers free portfolio creation as well as tools to build your own portfolio website.
Good-ol’ Craigslist is probably your number one pick to search for used furniture and apartments to rent, but did you know they also have a pretty robust job board for your local area?
As a default, Craigslist will search the area nearest your location for relevant jobs. If you want to broaden your search, look at the Craigslist hubs for other cities or nearby areas. Remote work is listed among the location-based positions, so keep your eyes peeled.
Freelance Writing Groups, Networking, and Lead Sources
45. LinkedIn Writing Groups
Another option for finding freelance writing jobs online is following related LinkedIn writing groups. Connect with fellow freelancers who share open positions, leads, and networking opportunities. Some good groups to check out include:
Don’t forget to use your social networks to look for freelance copywriting jobs. One account you should follow is @write_jobs – they post current opportunities with links to apply multiple times per day.
Remote Copywriter wanted | pay: negotiable https://t.co/kPQExOqohp— Write Jobs (@write_jobs) April 9, 2019
Report: Civil Eats – $0.37/word for a 1500-word News Story. More details at: https://t.co/OARizxZIPT— Who Pays Writers? (@WhoPaysWriters) March 29, 2019
Another good Twitter account to follow for freelance job opportunities: @WhoPaysWriters. They regularly update with publications (online and off) you can pitch to and submit to. All pay good rates for articles, stories, blogs, and content.
For hot leads on writing jobs, paying markets, and more, follow this subreddit, r/writing opportunities. You can also post questions and network with fellow writers.
Want the best freelance writing jobs delivered to your inbox each morning? Subscribe to the Morning Coffee eNewsletter and you’ll get a hand-picked digest of the top remote writing gigs open for applications.
50. Facebook Writing Groups
Networking is one of the best ways to get referrals and leads for new writing jobs and opportunities. On Facebook, there are lots of writing groups you can join for all of the above, plus community.
A few good Facebook writing groups:
- Binders Full of Writing Jobs – A group exclusively for women freelancers
- Freelance Content Writing Jobs – A closed group with new posts almost daily
How to Level Up with Freelance Writing Training and Get More Work
So, you’ve scoured the job boards, signed up for job alerts and newsletters, checked Craigslist and LinkedIn, applied for positions…
But you’re still not getting work?
Your experience and skills might not be there yet. If so, you’ll be at a disadvantage while applying for work and pitching to potential clients.
Does this describe you? It’s time to think about freelance writing training.
First, start on the internet. Drink up all the information you can find. I have a few primer videos that may help:
How to Make Money Freelance Writing – An overview of the steps to take to start making money writing:
How to Write 7 Types of Online Content – An overview of the major content types and what you can earn for each:
Finally, if you really want to invest in freelance writing training, my course, The Expert SEO Content Writer, has all the tools you need to nail those writing jobs. It’s a perfect resource for those of you looking for freelancing jobs for beginners, AND those of you wanting to level-up.
When you have the right tools and training at your fingertips, finding remote writing gigs is no problem.
Save this post and come back to it as needed, and you’ll never want for freelance writing jobs again.
Over to you.
Which opportunity will you try first? Have you had any specific experiences with any of these opportunities?
Let us know in the comments below.