Better paying copywriting jobs. That’s what we all want, right?
I mean, it doesn’t matter if you’re in-house, freelance, or something in between.
Finding better paying work is the goal.
And in this piece, I’m gonna let you in on the tips, tricks, and locations I’ve used over a 10 year career to land progressively better paying copywriting jobs.
If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’ll know I recently published The Super Simple Method to Landing High-Profit Freelance Writing Jobs (Even if You’re a Total Beginner).
I still think that’s the single best way to actually land great copywriting jobs (or any freelance jobs really).
But… it’s intense.
Maybe you’re just not completely ready to throw yourself into this world 100%.
Maybe you just want to see what other options are out there.
Whatever the reason is, this article is going to cover all the other ways you can land freelance copywriting jobs.
And to make it easier for you, I’ve separated the approaches by the stage of your copywriting career.
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Where Beginner Writers Can Find Freelance Copywriting Jobs
If you’re just getting started with your career as a freelancer, finding high-paying copywriting jobs can feel a little bit overwhelming.
I won’t sugarcoat it – getting your first few copywriting gigs is going to be really frustrating. You’ll be rejected and ignored more here than you probably ever have been.
You’ll also have to fight through a lot of competition just to get noticed.
It’s not gonna be pretty.
But, on the plus side, this is also the stage that’ll help you develop thick skin.
As an entrepreneur (all freelancers really are business owners), you’d better believe that thick skin is an absolute must have.
As you build your career, you’ve got to learn to wave away negativity like a bad smell. It’s unpleasant….but it also disappears pretty quickly.
So, get ready to roll up your sleeves and jump in with these tactics.
Copywriting Jobs for Beginners – Tactic #1: Copywriting Job Boards
A word of warning – I think job boards are terrible.
I think they’re a waste of time, a race to the bottom, and more likely to hold you back than really give you any career-changing opportunity.
But, it seems like a lot of people actually do rely on them.
And if truth be told, I got my first opportunity through a job board.
They’re relatively low-barrier-to-entry, accessible, and might help build your confidence a bit as you get your first couple of jobs.
How to use copywriting job boards
As I mentioned above, one of the pitfalls of job boards is the potential to get trapped in time-sucking applications.
We’re going to follow a 3-step process to cherry-pick the best possible copywriting jobs from the listings while avoiding the negatives.
Step 1: Skim the job board listings (recommended time – 45 minutes)
In a minute you’ll see the big list of job boards that I’ve put together. You should not expect to go through all the job boards each time you’re looking for a job.
Instead, take today to pick out a couple of the job boards that stand out to you.
My favorite free ones (and the ones where I got my first copy gig) are:
My favorite paid ones are:
- (more on these later)
Once you’ve settled on a couple of job boards that you like, carve out a 2-hour block once per week. Say, Saturday afternoon from 1-3 pm.
During that time, you’ll open your top couple of job boards and skim through the newest listings.
Notice I said skim.
You’re just going to rip through the new listings, quickly and efficiently.
- Open each job listing in a new tab.
- If it looks good, keep it open and go back to the list.
- If it looks bad, close it and go back to the list.
Total Time: 45 minutes
Step 2: Make a shortlist (recommended time – 30 minutes).
This is really simple. Open up a Google Sheet and paste the links to the good jobs in there.
You can also add fields for the job title, contact info (if available), and some extra notes.
Your goal here is to create a short list of 5-10 jobs that:
- Offer decent pay ($50+ per article is the minimum I recommend).
- Sound interesting to you.
- Might help you add to your copywriting portfolio.
This is meant to be done quickly and efficiently. Stop after either 30 minutes are reached or you hit 10 listings – whichever comes first.
Total Time: 30 minutes.
Step 3: Reach out directly to the company in the listing (recommended time – 45 minutes).
Take your Google Doc with the shortlist of jobs and…don’t apply.
I mean, you can just take your sweet time writing a beautiful application, crafting a clever cover letter, rewriting your CV for the 300th time….
Odds are, all that work is going to go down the drain. Your application will get lost amongst another thousand “pretty” submissions.
Instead, what you’re going to do is pop open LinkedIn and search for each listing’s company. We’ll work through an example a little later in this article.
The aim is to find a human being who actually works at the company. Preferably a person who’s connected to the hiring process. That could be:
- The CEO / Founder / Partner / etc (for smaller brands).
- The Head of Marketing / Marketing VP / Head of Content (for more established brands).
You’re going to send them a short message like this:
I recently came across your listing for a writer on [JOB BOARD].
I thought I’d also go ahead and reach out to you directly. I went ahead and put together a couple of article ideas for you:
→ [IDEA 1]→ [IDEA 2]→ [IDEA 3]
Let me know if any of those resonate with you. I think I’d be a great fit with your team and I’d be ready to get started right away.
If you cannot find someone like that, just reach out to anyone at the company. You can send them a note like this:
|Hi [NAME], |
Hope you don’t mind the random message – I’m a freelance writer and recently saw a job posting at [THEIR BRAND].
I wasn’t sure who to reach out to personally, so I’d really appreciate it if you could point me towards the head of the content or marketing teams.
At the end of the day, it’s always better to apply with a relationship than be a random name in an inbox.
Even if your connection point is someone lower down in the chain of command – that’s OK. Just connect and make yourself known.
Here, like the other stages, the name of the game here is speed. All you need to do is get a conversation started – it’s like getting your foot in the door.
I suggest allocating a maximum of 45 minutes to this stage.
If you finish up all your outreach beforehand, great – you’re done. Go take a walk.
If you don’t make it all the way through your shortlist, just put the rest off until next week.
The reason I’m suggesting you keep it light and fast now is because this will save you from burning out.
It’s very easy to quit if you spend 6 hour application marathon sessions and see zero results. That’d be massively discouraging for anyone.
But if you take a few calculated shots, take a break, then take a few more shots, consistently, THEN you’ll actually build up real experience sending out applications to the right people.
The process will get quicker, you’ll notice good jobs vs bad jobs more effectively, and you’ll get really good at cold outreach via LinkedIn.
So, keep it short for now.
Total Time: 45 minutes.
The Big List of the Best Freelance Copywriting Job Boards: (Alphabetical Order)
- All Freelance Writing
- Blogging Pro
- Cloud Peeps
- Freelance Writing
- Freelance Writing Gigs
- Journalism Jobs
- Media Bistro
- Solid Gigs
- We Work Remotely
- Virtual Vacations
Copywriting Jobs for Beginners – Tactic #2: Social Media Groups & Channels
Just like job boards strategy, I think this approach is not something you should do long term.
There are plenty of jobs that float around on Facebook Groups and subreddits.
It’s worth joining these groups and keeping a loose eye on them for job postings, but you’re unlikely to really come across something incredible here.
Here’s a quick list of Facebook Groups that regularly post jobs for freelance writers:
- The Copywriter Club
- Freelance Writing Jobs
- The Gary Halbert Copy Club
- The Freelance Copywriter Collective Job Board
Here’s a quick list of subreddits that regularly post jobs for freelance writers:
I’m keeping this list really short on purpose – it’s unlikely that you’ll get a great copywriting job directly from any of these places.
The reason it’s still worth joining these groups is because you’ll get a sense of how they work.
IF someone posts a great job, it’s worth reaching out and connecting with them directly. Quick tip — don’t connect right away. Instead, wait a week or two before reaching out on FB. In the meantime, look them up on LinkedIn and send them a connection request with a quick message like:
I saw your post about the ______ job on the ____ Facebook group.
Hope you don’t mind the random outreach – I’m just looking to connect with other people in the ___ space. I’m a freelancer so I try and say hi whenever I come across quality people!
Think of it as playing the long game. If someone posts one good copywriting job, odds are they’ll have more in the future.
Another quick tip here – instead of just joining groups with other writers and freelancers, try joining some industry groups that you’re interested in.
Try and be the only copywriter in the room.
For example, let’s say you’re sorta interested in writing for Rolling Stone.
Instead of just banging down the Rolling Stone doors directly, join a bunch of music groups. Look for the people in the community who run music blogs or operate music stores. You could post something like this:
I’m new here and just wanted to introduce myself quickly. I’m a writer who recently started specializing in the music world and I’d love to connect with anyone with a music site!
My favorite bands are AC/DC, Dio, and Iron Maiden. I love old school Metal with big vocals!
A subtle little message like this can be a lot less intrusive, less salesy, and way more natural than doing the direct I NEED A JOB posts that currently litter every goddamn group online.
Copywriting Jobs for Beginners – Tactic #3: Freelancer Marketplaces
OK, so technically these are really another type of job board. But in my opinion, they deserve to be treated a little differently.
These are a little different because you get a chance to create a profile and actually have employers reach out to you. It’s more of a two-way street than the other options on this list.
And unlike the copywriting job boards and social media groups, Upwork and Fiverr give you the chance to actually build up a reputation (Fiverr also has a lot of educational material to help you get better at what you do).
Again, let me be really clear about this – this is not how you’ll find great copywriting jobs.
Like any marketplace, it’s competitive and the good stuff is limited.
In order to succeed with a marketplace, you’ve got to:
- Focus on one platform (I recommend Upwork).
- Complete your profile.
- Respond to the job posts that look good.
- Add reviews with every job you complete.
The good news is, it’s a lot quicker, easier, and more direct to respond to jobs here than it is on the job boards.
If you want to really succeed with a marketplace like Upwork, I’d suggest creating a daily check-in time to review the day’s new job posts. For example, take an hour before dinner and see if there’s anything worth applying for.
If you see something good, reply with a quick pitch. Make sure you read the job description well and include any instructions they may have snuck into their post.
The aim is to come across as a friendly professional who’s easy to work with and follows instructions.
Once you land a copywriting job, the entire project should happen through UpWork’s platform.
You communicate, deliver the project, and get paid through Upwork. For total newbies, this is a huge benefit because it saves you from having to deal with payment processing, contracts, etc.
In the long term, though, you’ll want to make sure to wean yourself off their system and create your own freelance contracts.
Who knows, these platforms could easily be bought and disappear overnight. That’s the big reason why I’d never rely entirely on a 3rd party like Upwork. But to get started, knock yourself out!
There are plenty of people who have built stable income making a few thousand dollars/month on Upwork and Fiverr, but there’s a pretty serious ceiling on where you can go with this.
This is probably your best option in your first few weeks or months to find your first copywriting job, but it won’t take you far.
Use the jobs you land here, get paid, get some experience and confidence, and then start putting your energy into the right places. Namely, into building a repeatable process that will consistently land you great jobs and build a long term future as a self-employed writer.
Where Intermediate Writers Can Find Freelance Copywriting Jobs
If you’re 6-12 months into your freelance career and you’re making a steady part time income, you’re probably ready to level up your job-getting game.
These are tactics you can use to go from scraping the bottom of the barrel to landing the sort of jobs that will actually pay the bills and not burn you out.
In fact, there are plenty of writers who manage to make a decent living just doing these next 3 things.
Copywriting Jobs for Intermediate Writers – Tactic #1: Job Boards
Yep, job boards again.
But this time we’re going to skip the massive ones and focus on a couple of paid boards only.
FlexJobs is probably the premium job board in the freelancing space.
It’s where many big brands go to look for reliable talent. The jobs that get posted here are legit, from the pay to the chance to work with a great business.
If you’re looking to start:
- Getting paid more,
- Getting better work,
- Getting impressive names to add to your portfolio…
Then FlexJobs is a great place to start.
It is a paid site – don’t let that turn you off. Many people will think “Oh well if all this is free on other job boards, then why should I bother paying anything here?”
The truth is, the quality of these listings are automatically much, much better than the average gig you’ll find on the other sites like ProBlogger and the others I mentioned earlier.
Plus, FlexJobs has a $6.95 offer to try the board out for yourself for a week.
If you like it, paying $15/month or $50/year is pretty reasonable.
Even if you only land ONE copywriting job in the year after signing up here, you’ll have created a significant ROI for yourself.
Keep in mind – FlexJobs is not just for copywriters. They offer all sorts of different gigs in different fields. I’m pointing this out because it’s good to have options while you’re building your business.
I have a friend who lives in the Carribean and works as a QA tester for big banks. This gig has been going on for 5+ years, it pays great, and it allows her to work from wherever she wants – and she got it through FlexJobs.
I’m a big believer in being careful with your money as you’re building your business. There’s no way you should be throwing money around willy nilly at tools that might or might not make a difference.
To me, investing in a job board like FlexJobs makes a lot of sense because it takes care of one of the biggest hurdles for growing freelancers – the quality of jobs they’re able to get.
So if you’ve got a few bucks to spare, FlexJobs is definitely worth at least trying out. Spend the $7, give yourself a week, and dive deep on what they have to offer.
The second jobs platform I think you should try is CloudPeeps.
It’s a little more niche than FlexJobs, but it also offers up access to a number of great jobs. You’ll see far fewer listings than any other job board, but they’re good ones and often are set up like retainer deals.
In order to get one of these jobs on Cloud Peeps, you submit a proposal instead of a traditional application. In my opinion, this is a better format because it gives you a chance to pitch creatively (not make another boring application).
This is sort of like the RFP systems that many governments agencies, NGOs, and others use to invite applicants to send a mini project design – and price – directly to the client.
CloudPeeps has a free plan where you can do a bunch of things like “join the community” and get listed in their directory of freelancers.
But we’re not here for a social network, right? We want jobs.
For that, you’ll have to select either the Standard or Plus plans.
Depending on the plan you choose, you’ll pay a cut of the job to CloudPeeps (10% on Standard, 5% on Plus). Frankly, I don’t think it’s a great setup to be paying more to the job board – especially when most freelancers aren’t exactly rolling in dough.
But, the quality of the jobs makes up for it.
Whatever board(s) you end up using, look at it like one big ROI experiment.
Let’s say you pay for a whole year of CloudPeeps standard ($9 x 12 = $108).
If you land one $1,000 gig, you’ll have nearly 10X’d what you’ve paid (minus $100 to CloudPeeps).
Plus, you’ll have a real piece of work for a great company to add to your portfolio.
Jobs on CloudPeeps sometimes dip into the lower-end, $300-for-something-random sort of gigs – but for the most part, they pay $1,000 and up. You’ll often find ones that pay $500+/month and look for multiple month engagements.
So, in my mind, it’s worth it….as long as you actually put in the work after joining.
I know several successful writers who get the majority of their copywriting jobs via CloudPeeps and FlexJobs, and I feel like I need to put as much emphasis as possible on this:
They. Fucking. Hustle.
Each one I know has a regular schedule, a polished pitch process, and doesn’t give up after a few rejections.
FlexJobs, CloudPeeps, and even some of the lower level marketplaces like UpWork and Fiverr can actually sustain a relatively successful copywriting career.
There’s a ceiling on this sort of process, but it can be done.
If you’re at the stage where you’ve been at this for a little while and you can’t seem to break through to steady income, this might be one step that can push you over the edge and get you working on better jobs.
Copywriting Jobs for Intermediate Writers – Tactic #2: Marketing Agencies
I sorta feel like this is a big secret nobody really knows about…
The ultimate goal for all business owners is to have a steady stream of customers/clients constantly coming to TO YOU, right?
This usually results in more time for the important parts of your business, better clients, more free time, and a whole lot less stress.
Even if you’re pretty new to the business, you can create this sort of pipeline for yourself by reaching out to marketing agencies.
Think about it like this – marketing agencies often have a lot of content work that they need to get done and not enough writers to do it in-house.
To a busy marketing agency, a good, reliable freelance copywriter is worth their weight in solid gold.
To a freelancer with a little time, a busy marketing agency is a consistent source of great copywriting jobs.
That’s why one of the best things you can do is reach out to marketing agencies and introduce yourself. Get a foot in the door and start building the relationship.
Here’s how I’d reach out to an agency owner either on LinkedIn or by email:
I know this is a little bit out of the blue, but I’m new in town and wanted to connect with other people in the marketing space.
I’m a content writer with a background in fitness and food (though I’ve handled other topics too!).
I wanted to introduce myself and let you know that I’m available if you’re ever looking for a writer to help out with overflow work or support you during a one-off project.
If that sounds like a possibility, please let me know! You can reach me at [PHONE OR EMAIL] – great to connect with you!
I like using the “new in town” thing as an icebreaker, but I’d only say that to other locals in my city. The thing is, as long as you live in anything bigger than a large town, you’ll probably have dozens of marketing agencies to get to know. I suggest starting there because you can quickly turn a random message like the one above into a coffee or a beer with the agency owner.
You’ll see a common theme here as we level up from the general job boards to more focused, more effective outreach – human relationships.
The marketing agencies are a great place to practice this skill because everything is out on the table.
They know what you want (steady gigs).
You know what they want (reliable, flexible writers).
Play it right and you’ll create a win-win situation. If you do that, I promise you doors will start opening up left and right.
Now a quick word if you live in a different part of the world or in a rural community without marketing agencies.
Just replace the “new in town” thing with a simple, direct, honest message about your situation and sell yourself.
You could send a simple message like:
I came across [THEIR AGENCY’S SITE / THEIR LINKEDIN PROFILE], and I wanted to reach out and introduce myself.
I’m a content writer with a background in fitness and food (though I’ve handled other topics too!).
I’m available if you’re ever looking for a writer to help out with overflow work or support you during a one-off project.
If that sounds like a possibility, please let me know! You can reach me at [EMAIL] – great to connect with you!
PS You might have noticed I’m not in the US – don’t let that turn you off! I’m a solid writer you can rely on and the time difference actually would help us get projects done more efficiently (I’ll be working while you sleep!).
Plus, I’ll be available for Zoom calls that fit your schedule.
Here’s the one thing that really needs to be reiterated here. The one thing that will take you further than 90% of the freelance copy competition out there.
Human relationships are the key to success.
If you can get better at building relationships with people who need your service, you’ll never be short of freelance copywriting jobs, or work of any other sort.
People do business with people they like.
Copywriting Jobs for Intermediate Writers – Tactic #3: Use Your Network
Most freelancers who make a comfortable living get a significant portion of their copywriting jobs from their network.
That might mean direct introductions from friends, referrals from other writers, or joint projects with other freelancers.
Your network could be a potential gold mine, depending on how well you cultivate relationships and stay relevant and valuable to the people around you.
Here is a quick way to consistently find freelance jobs for yourself by using your network.
Option 1: Reach out to old friends.
I tap into my wider social circles once or twice a year.
Earlier this year, I reached out to a bunch of old friends from University days. I sent them each a personal message on Facebook saying something like:
Hey! Long time no talk. You up for a catch up call this week?
On the call, work will probably come up. If it doesn’t happen naturally, bring it up.
Ask them what they’re doing, how it’s going, and then tell them about your work as a freelancer.
Ideally, your friend will offer up some relevant connections. If that doesn’t happen, ask for it!
It might sound something like this:
“Wow, you spent the last 8 years at Red Bull?? Hope you don’t mind me asking, but do you think you could put me in touch with someone who works in marketing/content? I’d love to write something for them.”
Don’t overthink this – just reach out to old friends, rekindle old relationships, and then ask for connections. In return, offer up some potential connections of your own.
The aim is to create win-win situations for both you and your friend.
In my case, that little Facebook message blast to a few old college buddies turned into 4 projects and a little over $30,000 in project work.
Option 2: Get referrals from other copywriters.
This one’s pretty simple – go make friends with other copywriters!
When you see good opportunities for your writer friends, connect them!
If you’re at the stage where you’re saying no to certain projects, make sure you’re also referring a good writer for the project.
This creates value for everyone involved.
The client will appreciate a strong recommendation from you and keep you in mind for future copywriting jobs.
The person you referred will appreciate the gesture and probably try to repay the favor in the future.
Here’s a great little script I use to turn down projects and hand them off to someone else:
Thanks for reaching out and asking about my availability for the project.
Unfortunately, I’m fully booked at the minute and I don’t expect to be free for the next few months.
Instead, I can connect you with another writer who’d be a great fit.
Chuck Smith is a content writer who’s been featured in X, Y, Z. We’ve worked together several times and I can vouch for the quality of his work.
You can find him:
(Website) (Instagram)(Email address)
Let me know if you’d like me to send a formal email connection!
Best of luck with the project!
You can then take a screenshot of this email and send it to Chuck – it’s a nice touch.
Not everyone you connect will immediately start sending you jobs, but many will over time.
I would estimate that at least half of the people I’ve referred for projects have come back with recommendations and referrals of their own within a year.
Option 3: Partner with other (non-writer) freelancers.
Freelance networks are really powerful because they can be like ultra-flexible, very effective little agencies.
When a client needs something custom, complex, or quick, they’ll often turn to a shortlist of freelancers whom they’ve already worked with and who can build a temporary team quickly.
For example, let’s say a client needs to redo a landing page.
If you’re a freelance copywriter, you’ll be able to handle the text on the page – but what about the visuals? What about the page’s design and functionality?
Keep this in mind – if you deliver great copy to your client, the job really isn’t 100% done.
The client is likely going to hire other freelancers to complete the page. If they hire the wrong people, all your work might go down the drain.
What if, instead, you could team up with friends you trust and who complement your skills.
For example, I’m a copywriter.
The people who complement my work are developers and graphic designers. Every so often I might reach out to another consultant like a UX specialist, a CRO specialist, or an SEO expert.
If I’m taking on a landing page project, I might focus on the copywriting and bring on a mini team to handle the other elements involved.
Here’s what happens when you use teamwork in your freelancing:
- You can own a project from start to finish.
- You can charge more for the project.
- Your clients will be happier and more comfortable since you’re solving their entire problem in one swoop.
- Your “partners” will constantly pull you into their projects as you become the go-to copywriter in the network.
Where Experienced Writers Can Find Freelance Copywriting Jobs
Copywriting Jobs for Experienced Writers – Tactic #1: Direct Pitches
Who do you want to work with?
When you’re first starting your freelancing career, odds are you’re going to have to slog through the mud of crap to find one diamond copywriting job that’s the perfect addition to your portfolio.
In theory, as you build up experience and a reputation, the jobs get better and better. Eventually you end up sitting pretty as a filthy rich self-employed soloist who only works with the best of the best.
Here’s the rub – you are the one who has to consistently make the effort to work with better clients.
Sure, along the way some great projects with great brands will fall into your lap. But that’s really the exception rather than the rule.
If you do not actively try to work with better clients, your career will never develop.
People won’t show up banging your door down just because you’re worked with a lot of people or because you “deserve” it.
So think of this tactic as both a strategy to land freelance copywriting jobs AND a really, really important step in your career.
This is where you totally bypass the chaos of the job market and start pitching YOURSELF directly at brands you actually want to work with.
Instead of hoping that you magically discover job posts that line up perfectly with your career goals….this is how you actually start blazing your path consciously.
This is really simple:
Pop open a Google Sheet and make a list of the brands you really like.
They don’t have to be mega monster brands – just ones that you engage with regularly, you feel like you know pretty well, and that line up nicely with your own specialization and direction.
Let’s work through an example.
Let’s say I want to work in the Outdoors niche. Here’s what my list might look like:
- Outside Online
- The North Face
- Goal Zero
The not-so-secret secret?
Great brands like these are always open to good ideas.
If you really want to step your game up and get great work….don’t just look for job listings. Don’t wait for random companies to advertise random projects.
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Instead, at some point you should start pushing to work with the brands you actually love.
You do this by studying a specific set of companies, their websites, their content, and then finding ways to add value.
For example, I know Huckberry is a retail brand that curates outdoors-focused clothing and collects stories about an outdoors lifestyle that would appeal to men in their 30s and 40s.
Let’s assume that I have a couple of travel stories that would fit in perfectly with Huckberry’s blog.
To get from my head to their blog, I’d start by looking for the right person to speak to.
Since Huckberry doesn’t feature its team prominently on the website, the next stop is to check out their company page on LinkedIn.
A quick search…
…will take you to the company page, where you can choose to see the people on their team:
From here you’ll get a list of people who work at Huckberry.
You’re on the lookout for decision-makers related to your pitch. Since I’m planning on pitching a travel story, I’m looking for the person who makes content decisions.
In this case, it’d probably be Michael Idell, the Head of Brand and Content Marketing.
When I know who I’m reaching out to, I’ll use the Snov.io Chrome extension.
This is an awesome tool that will scour the web and give you an accurate email address to reach out to.
Basically means you know you’re sending the email to the person and it’s not gonna drop into a generic info@ email inbox.
Now that I’ve got a specific person to reach out to, and their personal email address, I might send something like:
|Hi Michael, |
I’m a writer and a big fan of Huckberry!
I’m reaching out because I’d like to run a couple of ideas by you for a potential article in the Journal. I’ve written for Adventure Journal, Gear Patrol, and Sierra Club, among others.
Here are two quick concepts I could turn into pieces that I think you’d like:
#1) Trails & Ales: Hiking the 14ers around Idaho Springs, COIdaho Springs is home to one of the best breweries in Colorado and not many people know about either the town or the beer.It’s also located at the foot of Mt. Bierstadt and close to 4 others. It’s one of the last mountain towns in central CO that hasn’t been overrun by tourists. I recently submitted two 14ers in one day, starting and finishing the day in Idaho Springs. I’ve got great photos to go with it.
#2) 72 hours in Vieques, PR. I’m planning on heading to Vieques, a little island off of Puerto Rico’s big island, in 2 weeks. I know it well, having lived there in 2015.I’m planning to stay for 3 days before heading to another island. I could put together a great guide to the island’s secret history (it’s a former pirate colony and briefly was home to Hunter S Thompson), the food scene, and the kayaking.
Let me know if either idea sounds interesting – I’d be happy to put together a more formal pitch if you’d like.
PS You can find more of my work here.
In this case, I took concepts I already see in their blog (which they call “The Journal”) and suggested ideas that would fit in perfectly with their existing content.
This is a good start, but it’s no guarantee that I’d land the job. Instead, it’s like a foot-in-the-door that hopefully starts a conversation with the person who might hire me for a freelance writing job.
Don’t stop here, though.
After reaching out to the content boss, I’d turn around and reach out to the people who have written for their blog.
Each of their articles has an author prominently displayed, often with a link to their personal site or Instagram account.
If you’re serious about writing for the brand, reach out to other authors. Ask them for their thoughts on pitching articles and for a direct connection to the right decision maker at the brand.
For example, it might look something like this:
I enjoyed your piece on Huckberry’s Journal last June.
I’m actually planning on submitting a piece myself later this week. I’ve recently written for a bunch of travel, climbing, and watersports publications, and I’ve got a piece I’d like to pitch to Huckberry.
Do you mind me asking for an introduction to someone on their team?
Here’s a template you can use to organise your dream clients and manage your outreach.
Copywriting Jobs for Experienced Writers – Tactic #2: Reach out to past clients
This is one of the easiest – and most underused – tactics on this list to land high-paying copywriting jobs.
It’s also the best way to bypass 99% of the sales-and-marketing circus and go straight to a human being who knows you.
That’s the key here.
Assuming you’ve done half-decent work for a client in the past, that makes you a known quantity.
Just by virtue of having DONE work for them, you’re way ahead of the rest of the crowd.
Think about it from a client’s perspective.
To them, you’ve (hopefully) demonstrated:
- That you’re reliable.
- That you’re good to work with.
- That you actually deliver good work.
- That you have your shit together.
When someone at a business is looking to hire a freelancer or consultant, they’ve got to deal with so much crap…
…is this person going to flake out on me?
…is this person going to copy my stuff and do something shady?
…is this person actually capable of doing the work?
…is this person going to give me drama?
That’s actually pretty stressful. If you’ve ever hired a complete stranger in the past, you’ll know it’s no fun. You’ll have to interview them, vet them somehow, and ultimately take a risk and pay them for a project.
Now instead of all that…imagine if they could wave a magic wand and forego all that time, effort, and risk.
Good deal, right?
That’s where you come in.
You’re that magic wand, basically.
Do you see the value here?
I think most freelancers and consultants don’t really understand how important and appreciated they can be with past clients.
Most freelancers I talk to don’t have any sort of follow up system in place to keep in touch with ex-clients.
To me, that’s just crazy. It’s a total fail from a business perspective.
If this sounds familiar to you, then it’s high time you start reaching for the low-hanging fruit and actually consistently follow up with former clients.
(In the Freelance Business Blueprint, I walk you through my entire contact system.)
But before getting into the outreach, quick question:
Are you tracking your client work? Are you keeping an organized list of your past projects?
If you’re not doing this, you won’t be in a good position to reach out strategically.
Here’s a basic spreadsheet I like to use to keep tabs on my past projects:
Notice that the “Follow up dates” are 6 months after the project ended.
You can choose to follow up after 3 months or a year, but I like using 6 months. It’s just enough time for the clients to start seeing results from your work, but not enough time to forget about you.
That’s when I send an email like this:
It’s been 6 months since we completed [PROJECT]!
I just wanted to check in and see how things were doing. Are there any results (good or bad) that you’d like to talk about?
I was taking a look at [THEIR BRAND]’s site, and I’ve got a couple of suggestions that might fit well with the original goals we spoke about.
If you’d like to talk about them, let me know! Just reply with a couple of times that work for you and I’ll get a Zoom call set up.
All the best!
The aim is to extend the last project into another project.
If you’re doing it right, you’ll be a welcome voice showing up in their inbox. You should already have an inside track because:
- You’ve got an existing relationship with a real person at the brand.
- You’ve demonstrated reliability and skill.
- You know the brand’s goals.
- You’re showing up with relevant suggestions.
The last point is extra important because it elevates you from someone who can fulfill a job to a valued ideas-person.
This subtle shift can result in more interesting projects, higher pay, and happier clients.
Do you see the value of doing this?
It’s a way to drum up work for yourself, but it’s also a way to take a major step up in your career.
Copywriting Jobs for Experienced Writers – Tactic #3: Content marketing
At some point, you should start working on getting clients to come to you.
Most freelancers spend their careers chasing after copywriting jobs. Even with great pitches, a great CRM, and constant outreach….you’re still chasing.
Fundamentally, this isn’t the best use of your time.
If you can get great clients coming to you, chasing you, several things will happen:
- You’ll get better quality gigs.
- You’ll be seen as a specialist.
- You can significantly raise your prices.
So how do you actually get great brands to notice you and come knocking?
Simple – content marketing.
If you’re an experienced freelance writer, you probably work on content strategy for brands all the time.
Now it’s time to apply the same concepts to your brand and your professional copywriter website.
One of the best ways you can turn great content into a magnet for your target clients is to use a hub-and-spoke model.
For you, a Hub article should be a big idea about your niche. It’s the type of article that would be read (and shared around) by your ideal clients.
Examples of Hub pieces could be:
- The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Restaurants.
- Why Email Marketing is the Best Growth Channel for Ecommerce Stores.
- How Storytelling Can Transform Your Dental Practice.
Here’s a basic formula you can use to play around with a few ideas in your niche:
[YOUR SERVICE] + [A BIG EFFECT] + [A SPECIFIC NICHE]
Hubs are high-level pieces that lay out a major problem and/or solution for the people you’re hoping to work with.
Spokes, on the other hand, are much more specific and focused pieces.
They take the high level idea and address a more granular issue within it.
- Hub: The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Restaurants.
Spoke: How to repurpose your customer’s review photos into Instagram content.
- Hub: Why Email Marketing is the Best Growth Channel for Ecommerce Stores.
Spoke: How to write abandoned cart sequences that convert.
- Hub: How Storytelling Can Transform Your Dental Practice.
Spoke: How to create + share visual case studies.
Hubs are great at showing off a high-level, complete grasp over a certain strategy and niche. By writing this sort of content, you’re telling your audience, “I’m an expert on this”.
When you add Spoke pieces to your hub, you’re giving your readers practical, tactical content that they can apply right away. Content like this also tends to be really shareable within the community you’re targeting.
As you’re reading this, you might be noticing something – you’re reading a Spoke piece.
In this article, I’m focused on showing you how to find freelance copywriting jobs via 9 highly tactical, practical strategies you can apply right away.
It’s connected to a bigger Hub piece on how to “Grow a 6-figure freelance copywriting business this year”.
That’s a “big” piece where you can see a clear point-of-view and a clear goal….but it’s also an umbrella topic.
Coincidentally, that Hub piece is also where you can get a good overview of the process to creating your own Hub-and-Spoke model of content.
If you can create similar content for your ideal clients, you’ll create an inbound stream of people who will see you as an expert and want to work with you.
It’s a totally different relationship than the type of dynamic where you send a faceless application to a random job.
Content marketing can make you unique, valuable, and, frankly, much happier. It’s far easier to run a business when you have clients constantly asking to work with you.
Get started finding your next copywriting job now
Now that you’ve read through these 9 methods to find freelance writing jobs, you’ll probably see certain ones that fit better than others.
That’s absolutely natural.
Over the course of your career, you’ll test out a bunch of different ways to try and land gigs. While you’ll probably never use all 9 at the same time, you might find a comfortable blend of 2-5 of these ideas that really work for you.
Most freelancers end up trapped in a feast-and-famine cycle where income is never stable. That by itself is a major reason why people burn out and ultimately quit.
I’m hoping that you’re able to take these 9 ideas and use them like a set of tools to build the stability that others never find.
If you’re a beginner, I hope this shows you a natural, logical path that you can follow to really build a healthy business over the course of a few months to a couple of years.
If you’re further along in your career but stuck at a financial or strategic plateau, use these strategies to shake things up and land the work you actually want (and at the rates you’d be happy with).
None of this is going to be easy, but it is doable. And, if you get it right, this can be a fantastic career that’s unlike anything else out there.
Work hard, hustle, and…
Build. Your. Business.