Writing jobs online are found primarily on job boards, freelance websites, and on social media platforms through networking. Almost anyone can apply for writing jobs online, however it is best to have a degree related to writing, to have a portfolio of writing samples, and to have prior experience as a writer within a company. Countless companies are looking for remote writers, as they cost less to keep than office writers. Hiring online writers reduces the overhead costs of a business, and therefore, this type of writer is in demand.
The opportunities for writers online are practically endless. You can work on almost any writing assignment conceivable online. This is perhaps the most exciting part. You can choose which tasks you want to complete, and even select your payment in most cases. However, there are also drawbacks: hosting websites will take a percentage of your payment (sometimes a large chunk), clients might cheat you, and sometimes the deadlines and changing requirements that clients incur cause you added stress. You should also be keen on working most of the time alone, or in cafes, or other public places for remote work. If you are not a person who can be productive without your boss looking over your shoulder, working as a writer online might not be the best choice for you.
There is not one place that most of the writers meet on the internet to apply for assignments from clients. Writing jobs online can be found on numerous websites that act as job boards. Craigslist, LinkedIn, Monster, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and other websites of a similar nature offer the chance to apply for writing jobs that are primarily done online. Though most of the postings on these job boards are for office jobs, you can filter the search results for jobs that are exclusively done online. The only catch with job boards is that the response time is not as fast as on freelance websites, as they need to go through a hiring cycle that is more thorough. You might not get a response from employers even within the first month of applying, as the company has to sift through a massive load of applications that has been sent to them for a job listing. On a freelance website, clients can respond within hours. However, by applying through job boards, your chances of landing a permanent job is much higher, and often involve benefits that include insurance coverage. It is best to apply to writing jobs online through multiple avenues.
According to the website Entrepreneur, the 15 best freelance websites for writers are
- Freelance Writing Gigs;
- Demand Media;
- College Recruiter;
- and SimplyHired (Johansson, Anna).
The best thing is to register at many of these websites at a time in order to get a steady flow of assignments to work on. There are hot seasons and low seasons for websites, so it best to have a hold on three websites at a time out of this list.
As I mentioned before, finding writing jobs online is a great option if you desire to gather clients fast. Rather than waiting a long time for responses from companies about your applications on job boards, freelance websites streamline the hiring process. The working process involves clients sending out an assignment for freelance writers to complete, the writers make their bids and show their experience, and then clients choose which writer they want to complete their given task. From then on, the real working process begins, and payment can come at the beginning, at the middle stage, and/or at the end of the process. Much of this, if not all of it, is decided by the client and the writer.
Social Media Networking
Social media platforms can act as a place to connect with potential clients for writing jobs online. Not only can you connect with people as friends who you would like to do business with in the future, you can also join social media communities that center on the act of business networking, specifically for writers. You don’t want to seem too pushy, however, and you need to learn the trade of communicating in a persuasive yet polite way.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, Google+, and many other social media platforms allow you to connect with new clients. Facebook has a great variety of communities you can join, and are perfect for messaging. Twitter also features direct messages, but is more centered on replies through posts, and then a direct message following after. LinkedIn is a prime social media platform for professionals. I believe every writer should have a LinkedIn profile. It is like an online resume hosting site, with a stream of updates from contacts and the option of messaging. It is an essential tool in almost every well-known professional’s life, especially those who work primarily online. Pinterest does not focus on messaging or a stream of content much, but it does allow you to connect and get to know people quickly through what they enjoy and favor. Quora is a question-and-answer website that can be a fine representation of your work and expertise. Potential clients can contact you based on your answers there. Google+ is a cleaner Facebook, essentially, and has a strong IT following. This makes its users generally have a higher IQ than most social media platforms. Google+ has many communities you can join for networking and job related forums.
It is best to join several, if not all, of these social media platforms to advertise yourself and your skills in a more intuitive way. People on social media platforms don’t like to be advertised to, so you’ll have to find inventive ways to promote your services. Commonly, the best way to go about this is to portray yourself as an expert and to produce useful/interesting content your target audience will enjoy and will employ. This way you advertise yourself and lend a hand as well. You can feel good about both.
Ideally, for writing jobs, you should have a degree that pertains to writing. Having a master’s degree is best, but obtaining a bachelor’s degree is good enough for a lifelong career. You might be paid more if you have a master’s degree and find more work, though. The best degrees to pursue are a bachelor’s and/or master’s in writing, literature, journalism, communications, editing, teaching, management, marketing, English, foreign languages, linguistics, and other related degrees.
You do not need to get a degree from a highly-reputable university or college to start a career, however it does help to get a degree from a nationally-recognized institution instead of an online college with little repute. Getting a degree from a state college is usually enough to land writing jobs online.
It is possible to get an online writing job without a degree, and just a high school diploma. However, the competition is tough on the internet, and employers want to know that you are knowledgeable and disciplined enough to take on writing assignments. So, if you are thinking you can find writing jobs online without a degree, be mindful that you are making it much harder for yourself.
Portfolio of Writing Samples
Another crucial component of your job application is your portfolio of writing samples. Almost always, an employer will ask for your writing samples to evaluate what your skill level is in writing. These samples should present your finest work, and should be heavily edited. Each job or client will ask for different types of writing samples, so it is beneficial to have a variety of writing samples gathered.
You can keep your writing portfolio online on a website, on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, or on your computer in a designated place. Either way, it is essential that you organize your finest work before you apply to jobs, and sort the samples according to different types of writing. It is also a good idea to have a peer look over your portfolio to get feedback. Your own mistakes can be difficult to catch, so it is best to have another pair of eyes look over the samples to see if there are any issues to be concerned about.
Probably the most important thing to demonstrate to employers is that you have had previous experience doing what you are going to be hired for. Having a degree is important, having a fine portfolio is helpful, but having a solid amount of experience will impress employers the most. Therefore, writing a resume that reflects your experience accurately and thoroughly is of prime importance.
After composing your resume, give it to a friend, colleague, or someone else you trust. Writing resumes is an art form, and few have the expertise required to make your resume pop out to employers.
Another consideration is that employers use keywords and phrases in their job descriptions. These keywords and phrases are often attached to verbs and adjectives, like “Highly competent in SEO.” Use these keywords and phrases in your resume, if applicable, to garner the most attention from employers.
Johansson, Anna. “The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs.” Entrepreneur, 12 May 2015, www.entrepreneur.com/article/245953.