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Friday, May 30, 2008

The Inside Scoop on Finding Freelance Writing Jobs

I am calling this post the inside scoop on finding freelance writing jobs because my husband recently bought the best ice cream ever, and I can't get it out of my mind. I also can't get finding freelance writing jobs out of my mind, so why not combine the two?

Recently, I have been trying to find more regular jobs to help with my income, so I can do less substitute teaching and more staying home and writing. I've been listening to a lot of advice from the wonderful WOW! listserv, Premium Green, and a workshop I went to put on by a terrific motivator, author, writing coach, and freelancer, Suzanne Lieurance. (Check her out at

One thing I've learned is to regularly check the job boards, and so I do. I look at,,, WOW!'s job board, and Plus I subscribe to the Funds for Writers newsletter, The Writer's Gazette, and Morning Coffee.

And here are my struggles. I notice that you have to IMMEDIATELY respond to a job, unless you are some rare expert on the okapi, and this job needs someone who has actually seen one of these elusive animals, and that is you. Otherwise, the job listing has already had hundreds of writers respond, and I am among the hundreds. I try to make my resume and cover letter stand out. One of the last jobs I applied for, blogging about TV shows, I even wrote a little joke to make my cover letter stand out. However, the job had been posted for 3-4 days, so chances are, there might have been someone funnier and quicker than me.

What I have learned from this experience is as soon as I see a job, I have my resume (which is ready) and send it. I have writing samples, (which are ready), and I send them. I construct a quick cover letter, addressing the needs in the ad and go for it.

Another struggle I have occurs when the ad doesn't list a lot about the company. This occurs especially on craigslist. I guess I have this fear of identity theft, due to that singing Pirate in the commercial, and I am not comfortable sending my resume and writing samples to an email address with no additional information. SO, I usually send an email that gives a few statements about my qualifications and asks for more specific information about the company. I usually don't get any response back, but I won't change the way I do this. I have to feel comfortable to answer an ad with my resume and writing samples. OR am I completely paranoid?

I probably sound like a downer here. I don't mean, too. The good news is I have gotten some work from answering ads. I do write for Demand Studios, and I find this fun, and they pay EVERY week to Paypal. This is very exciting! I also recently was contacted by Cactus Global, which is an editing service, so that is nice, too. I started to work for one business that I found on craigslist, but I didn't think the payment fit the work once I got started. I told the woman I worked with to see if we could negotiate, and she woudn't budge. So, I finished the assigned work and quit.

So, as for the inside scoop, this is only from my viewpoint and experience. Maybe someone else's inside scoop about finding freelance writing jobs would look differently. Feel free to share. As for the best ice cream in the world, I won't leave you hanging. . . Edy's Slow Churned (Rich and Creamy) Yogurt Blends. (It tastes like ice cream, but it even has live, active cultures like yogurt!)

Happy Writing!
Margo Dill

ice cream photo by laffy4k on


  1. I don't think you sound paranoid or like a downer. You sound smart! You have a system, and it's working for you because you've gotten some jobs! I'm sure it just takes patience to build up your resume. There was a time I thought I wanted to do some freelance work, and I wrote some articles for a local magazine, but later I realized what hard work it is! So I applaud you! I don't have the patience for it! Of course, with fiction, I need more patience, so I don't know what I'm talking about here! ha! I guess it's a different kind of patience.

  2. Hi, Margot,

    Hey, good for you for getting some writing jobs. That's terrific!

    You're correct that you have to jump on those jobs as soon as you see them. Otherwise, they're gone.

    After a while, once you build up some relationships with a few publishers, you won't have to depend on the job ads so much for assignments. Publishers who enjoy working with you will start to send you work.

    I'm starting my Working Writer's Summer Bootcamp this Monday. It's designed for anyone who wants to turbo charge their writing career. Anyone reading this comment right now can find out about bootcamp at my website - We are going to have such fun. But I'm really going to PUSH people to the next level!

    As far as the ice cream goes - I've discovered a new flavor, too. It's one of Edy's new LOADED flavors. This one is Butterfinger. Oh,'s heaven.

    Now I'll also need to try Edy's Slow Churned (Rich and Creamy) Yogurt Blends. Sounds yummy, too!

    A summer of writing and ice cream. What could be better, huh?

    Take care.

    Suzanne Lieurance
    The Working Writer's Coach

  3. Anonymous9:37 PM

    I confessed my "secrets" to getting those jobs about a day before this post.

  4. I hear you about the job finding issues and challenges. But I'm covering my ears (la-la-la-la) about the ice cream stuff. I do NOT need any more vices!

  5. Two things:



    Great article!


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