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My partner is trying to get more freelance web copywriting work and as an avid StackOverflow user I thought I would try to see what the fantastic stackexchange community thinks.

There has to be better ways than trawling through Gumtree ect. only to find ridiculously low-paid posts obviously aimed at the sub-continent. Does a direct approach work, i.e. emailing SEO and web companies asking for work or do these subscription based job sites work? Has anybody succesfuly gotten a good 'gig' from starting out as a SEO copywriter?

I would be interested to hear about anybody's experiences and thoughts and I apologise if this is the wrong forum.

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Maybe you are better off on startups. Not that I want to say it is off-topic here. –  John Smithers Aug 12 '11 at 14:15
    
I don't think it is off-topic here as I'm not sure folks at On Startups will have the best suggestions for writing-specific sites –  justkt Aug 12 '11 at 19:34

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I've been doing freelance for a bit, and I've found that most of the sites where you have to bid for the work, the wages end up so low that it's not worth taking the project. My biggest suggestion, what's worked best for me, is to create a website. Once you've created a simple, uncluttered website, you can advertise your services on Craigslist or using Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc. Then clients come to you, instead of the other way around. If your partner has any writing clips, it might be helpful to either list them on the site or build an online portfolio that potential clients can click on. Once they're further along, they can ask for blurbs from clients and put them up on a testimonial page.

Also! Query magazines and other publications regularly with story ideas, or send out letters of introduction to SEO companies, custom publications, small businesses, etc. You can do cold-calling if you want, but I tend not to just because I hate cold-callers.

Freelance writing is 80% marketing and 20% writing, in my experience. You have to keep marketing yourself like crazy, even when you have billable client work.

If your partner needs some more insight, they can look for helpful blogs--there are tons--and check out these two sites (neither of which I am affiliated with, but I read them regularly):

http://www.makealivingwriting.com/

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/ (this site posts job opportunities, if she'd prefer to apply for jobs that are already available)

Lots of luck!

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Thanks for everybody's replies, she had good success by 'cold-emailing' some large SEO agencies so this seems a good strategy. I like the website idea, however, when I have a moment I will create something for her. –  Adam Pointer Aug 15 '11 at 15:09

We've had a variety of people here looking for places to find writers, and here's what's come up:

  • In this answer, Crowdspring was recommended as a place to "crowdsource" writing. It's a writing version of 99designs, etc.
  • This question was from a technical person asking for a copywriter. Suggested sources included textbroker.com and guru.com.
  • Obviously there are the general freelance sites, which it sounds like your partner is already familiar with, but some are covered in this answer on finding editors.
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