1. Freelance Ezines & Market Newsletters
Chances are you already subscribe to at least one or two of these daily, weekly, or
bi-weekly publications. Visit a writing-related website, enter your email address, and receive free
market listings delivered to your inbox on a daily or weekly basis. What could be easier?
One caveat with these listings: examine carefully to make sure you’re not receiving
regurgitated listings. Some lists are compiled from outdated sources (even a Craigslist.com freelance job
is an old posting after a week or two), so keep an eye out to see when the job was originally posted.
Your freelance time is money—don’t waste it emailing editors for outdated jobs.
Funds for Writers:
Worldwide Freelance Writer:
Writing For Dollars:
About Freelance Writing:
Absolute Write: http://www.absolutewrite.com/
Morning Coffee (newsletter at Freelance Writing.com):
2. Freelance Job Boards
Freelance job boards are interesting places. Some writers swear by them while others swear
at them. The basic premise of these boards is that after you register (some for free, some for a fee),
you are free to peruse the board and bid on any job that suits your fancy. These postings run the gamut
from ezine articles at one cent per word to copywriting, speechwriting, blogging, scriptwriting, public
relations writing and web writing jobs. Some boards allow you to post your resume (told you it was
important!) and may offer more features with a paid membership.
All Freelance/All Freelance Work:
Freelance Switch: http://jobs.freelanceswitch.com/
Solo Gig: http://www.sologig.com/
3. Market Databases
Instead of featuring a direct job posting, online market databases share links to and
information on the spectrum of freelance markets seeking writers (and their ideas). Most databases list
publisher/editor contact information and general topics of interest to that publication. Better listings
feature editorial calendars, query guidelines, payment details and editorial insight to help target your
query. As with other online freelance opportunities, market databases come in free and paid versions. You
may even have access to market databases from your subscription to other writing publications and sites.
For example, The Writer magazine offers a free market database online for its print
If you can, start with a free or limited trial of the market database before upgrading to
a full-blown version. Evaluate the site to make sure the listings are relevant to what you write. Also
note how often the listings are updated. Finding links to more folded markets than current ones? You
might reconsider checking out a site offering fresher guidelines.
Wooden Horse Publishing (paid subscription)
Freelance Writing.com: http://www.freelancewriting.com/
Writers Market: http://www.writersmarket.com
Writers Weekly: http://www.writersweekly.com/
Freelance Writing Organization, International:
4. Letters of Interest
While the first three ways of getting more freelance jobs revolve around you asking an
editor or potential client for a position, consider the opposite: telling them you’re available to work
A letter of interest (or LOI) is one of the best ways to approach an editor you’d like to
write for to let them know about you. Some liken LOIs to cold calling sales tactics, but if you target
your LOIs to specific areas or publications, you have a higher potential of increasing your success
What is an LOI? Put simply, a letter from you to an editor or publisher introducing
yourself as a writer and listing your qualifications. The most effective LOIs I’ve used have been short
and to-the-point. Here’s a recent sample I sent to a gardening magazine:
Dear Ms. X,
Hope this finds you well.
My name is Beth Morrow, and I’ve been freelancing for over six years. My
articles have appeared in local, regional and national publications, both in print and
I’d love the opportunity to write for [your publication]. I’m enclosing
a link to my portfolio to give you an idea of my voice and style, as well as a resume detailing my writing
experience. I’m more than willing to work on assignment, and look forward to discussion ideas and
possibilities with you.
My work has appeared in over thirty publications including [list the
names of your publications here, or if you’re not published, discuss the types of writing you do and can
send samples of]. I author monthly columns for the [a national group] and Writer2Writer.com, and volunteer
as a final copy editor for an online book review site. My first nonfiction business book will be released
this summer by [publisher].
In addition, I have volunteered at [local award-winning garden at a city
park], for eight years and have served as the editor of their quarterly newsletter for the past four. I have
keen knowledge of gardening topics, enjoy researching content, provide clean copy and am punctual with
To learn more about me, visit my website at [my online portfolio].
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, or to discuss potential
I appreciate your time and attention. I’ll look forward to your
Freelance Author, Editor and Columnist
If you’re wondering whether or not this works, the editor I sent it to did
reply, but only to inform me that they compensate authors with advertising space in their magazine, not
payments (yet.). She did state that if they went to paying authors, she’d contact me. Not bad, given the more
common lack of response freelancers are accustomed to.
And for the questions I know you good freelancers have: I send all of my LOIs
via email, but I know several authors who send them snail mail and include clips and a resume. I don’t sent
attachments but instead direct editors to my online portfolio, though I know some authors who include their
clips and resume either in the body of the email or as attachments. I do tweak every single letter I send so
that they’re all slightly different, even if for the same type of market (i.e. gardening). I do enough
preliminary research on the publication’s website or with the print magazine to know what the editor is
generally looking for and include that as a selling point. Some freelancers also send a few ideas along with
the LOI, an idea I’ll be incorporating next time I send out my own.
Freelancing is one of the most dynamic and lucrative positions for writers.
If you’re gifted with a creative mindset that generates ideas at lightening speed or you find yourself wanting
to try your hand at breaking in to a new genre, check out one of the methods or markets above. With the steady
growth of possible publishers of your work, there’s bound to be an opportunity around every virtual corner. Go