Online Writing Jobs: The Inside Scoop on 17 Job Boards

Online writing jobs: 17 Writer Job Boards. Makealivingwriting.comDo you regularly scan job boards looking for online writing jobs, but only find low-paying gigs? If so, you might need to get a little choosier about where you look.

If your typical rates are above what the listings offer, it may be time to stop checking the job boards altogether. In general, you’ll do better with proactive prospecting to find your own clients, rather than applying to mass-online-job ads where you compete with hundreds of writers.

But if checking online job ads is still a part of your regular marketing routine, at least be an educated freelancer and target boards that are the best fit for you. We interviewed site owners and researched listings to bring you this inside look at what’s available on 17 top boards:

1. Be a Freelance Blogger

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: free
Typical rates: nothing below $50 per blog post or $0.10/word
Number of jobs posted weekly: 3
Email job alerts: no
Year founded: 2013

Although small, Be a Freelance Blogger, owned by Sophie Lizard, offers higher-paying gigs than some larger boards. It also has a space targeted for freelance writers and bloggers. Most listings include an email address to a real person, plus a link to the original posting.

Listings from all over the country are available, and some request that writers reside in a specific location. Commonly featured positions are for editorial articles, blogging, and marketing content, plus niches like tech, teaching, real estate, and fashion.

2. BloggingPro

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: $30 for 30 days
Typical rates: $0.05/word-$0.60/word; $35-40/hour; not all listings include rates
Number of jobs posted weekly: 9
Email job alerts: no
Year founded: 2007

Writers looking for specific jobs should consider BloggingPro, since it filters some higher-paying gigs from big boards like Indeed. “We screen ads as strictly as possible in order to make sure they’re legitimate jobs,” says Noemi Tasarra-Twigg, Editor of Splashpress Media, via email. If there’s negative feedback on an employer, BloggingPro removes their ads.

Listings must indicate a rate. Jobs focus on freelance writing, blogging, and copywriting. It’s mostly freelance and contract jobs, but there are also part-time gigs. Most are remote or telecommute, with a few in specific cities like Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Montreal.

Each listing contains a link to the original posting or a contact email. Popular opportunities include content writer, blogger/writer, editing/proofreading, tech writer, social media, copywriting, restaurant critic, and journalist. Common topics include food, travel, firearms, books, business, and healthcare.

3. Online-Writing-Jobs.com and Freelance Job Openings.com (This site no longer active)

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: free
Typical rates: $0.05/word-$0.35/word; $16-60/hour; $20-$100 per post
Number of jobs posted weekly: 50-80 (OWJ); 85 (eNewsletter); 6-12 (FJO)
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 2006 (OWJ); 2008 (FJO)

Longtime freelance writer Brian Scott started these sites and approves each listing. Freelance, remote, offsite, home-based, telecommute, contract, and virtual jobs are included. Scott says popular jobs are content writing/SEO writing for digital or traditional marketing agencies, creating industry-specific content, and commercial copywriting for businesses and ad agencies, crafting web pages, brochures, emails, white papers, and marketing materials.

Common job listings are for freelance writing, magazine writing, blogging, SEO writing, copywriting, technical writing, and resume writing. Common topics include food, fashion, travel, automobiles, sports, and real estate. Scott says certain jobs exclude rates because “clients want to assess the writer’s experience beforehand and then negotiate a rate, instead of committing to one.”

4. Contena

Cost to view: $500-$1000/year
Cost to list: only Contena staff post listings
Typical rates: $0.03-$1.30/word; average of $70,000/year full-time
Number of jobs posted weekly: 60
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 2015

Contena is new and pricey, but offers a lot. Currently, you must join a waiting list and pay a high fee when you get an invite to join. Scout, the name of Contena’s job board, allows you to filter for category, job quality, minimum rate per word, full-time, contract, or submission as you search for online writing jobs.

Each job has a quality rating from low to very high to give a sense of the pay, even if the rate isn’t provided. Plus, members can review Rates, which includes over 1,600 company pay listings. Kevin Fleming, founder of Contena, says their full-time, remote writing positions pay an average of $70,000 per year.

Staff at Contena find all listings. Common requests are for a writer, editor, web content writer, email marketing, content creator, journalist, copywriter, or medical writer. Frequently mentioned niches include education, sports, architecture, food, travel, business, social media, accounting, finance, and business.

5. Ed2010

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: free for paid jobs; unpaid jobs cost $30
Typical rates: $20-$25/hour; $25-$150 per article; not all listings include rates
Number of jobs posted weekly: 23
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 1996

If you’re looking to break into editorial writing, Ed2010 is the job board for you. Many of the top newsstand magazines post ads here, and you can grab editor emails to use in your pitches. Even though this site is for beginners, rates are good.

Ed2010 has full-time, part-time, temporary, and freelance positions, as well as paid and unpaid internships. Many jobs are remote work. “Eighty-five percent of our jobs are for people who are just breaking in, so zero to four years out of college, and looking to gain as much experience as possible,” says Chandra Turner, founder and president of Ed2010, and executive editor of Parents Magazine.

Listing employers—a recent search found Hearst, Meredith, Time Inc., Food Network, Martha Stewart, Redbook, and Rodale—must provide a name and email. Ed2010 is particular, and if an applicant has a bad experience, they put the company on probation and won’t run their ads.

The most commonly posted positions are for a content writer or content editor for lifestyle websites, plus editorial writing gigs at newsstand magazines and start-up websites. “We’re very picky about paid positions for freelancers. I need to know what the salary is, because I want to make sure they’re paying at least minimum wage,” explains Turner.

6. FlexJobs

Cost to view: $15/month-$50/year
Cost to list: free; premium placement costs $99
Typical rates: $10-$40/hour; $100-$125 per article; not all listings include rates
Number of jobs posted weekly: 188
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 2007

Going to cruise just a handful of boards? Make FlexJobs one of them as they offer great gigs with flexible schedules from high-quality employers. Beginner and seasoned writers will find telecommuting, flexible schedule, full-time, part-time, contract, and freelance positions.

Jobs are scattered throughout the world, with a few having location requirements. “Writers, in particular, will find a huge variety of positions, from blogging to white papers, technical manuals to lesson plans, respected news outlets to popular how-to websites,” explains Brie Weiler Reynolds, senior career specialist at FlexJobs, via email.

Recent listings include offers for a technical writer, desk writer, copywriter, proposal writer, medical writer, content marketing specialist, government editor, digital content author, and script editor. FlexJobs listings supply a link to the company’s website.

7. FreelanceWriting.com and the Morning Coffee Newsletter

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: free
Typical rates: $12-$50/hour; $30-$300 per article
Number of jobs posted weekly: 113 (FW); 65(MCN)
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 1997

If you’re frequently on Indeed, Freelance Job Openings.com, Freelance Blogging Jobs, Ed2010, Craigslist, Mediabistro, or BloggingPro, you could skip them and use FreelanceWriting.com and the Morning Coffee Newsletter, which filter a ton from these sites. Top companies like Under Armour, Google, Houzz, Dell, and Amazon have jobs posted, along with universities and magazines. There’s also a writing contests board, plus submission guidelines for 700-plus publications. Many listed full-time gigs pay well.

Jobs include blogging, editing, copywriting, social media, journalism, and technical writing. Hot topics consist of science, law, fashion, and tech, says Erik Episcopo, project manager of Freelance Writing.com and the Morning Coffee Newsletter.

8. Freelance Writers Den’s Junk-Free Job Board

Cost to view: $25/month
Cost to list: free
Typical rates: nothing below $30/hour, $50 per post, or $100/article
Number of jobs posted weekly: 20
Email job alerts: no
Year founded: 2011

If you’re a seasoned freelancer looking for well-paid, thoroughly-vetted gigs, the Freelance Writers Den’s Junk-Free Job Board is for you. This board is one of the few listed here that includes other writer resources in that subscription fee—300-plus training recordings, 24/7 support forums, and multiple new trainings each month. Job-board manager Millie Lapidario says she includes a link to the original posting.

Jobs are pulled from FlexJobs (the Den has an arrangement that allows the Junk-Free board to post up to a dozen of the best FlexJobs writer gigs a week), as well as from Journalism Jobs, Gorkana, LinkedIn, Indeed, the Morning Coffee Newsletter, Dice, Monster, Twitter, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter, just to name a few. All types of freelance work situations are included, along with the occasional full-time job.

Listings are heavily screened—Lapidario visits the list site or Glassdoor and determines if there’s a budget for a writer. If she receives negative feedback on a posting, she bans the company. Freelance writer, copywriter, reporter, and journalist are common jobs, as are blogger, marketing content writer, social media specialist, and content marketing specialist.

9. Freelance Writing Gigs

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: $30 for 30 days
Typical rates: $10-$20/hour; $12-$35 per article
Number of jobs posted weekly: 5-150
Email job alerts: no
Year founded: 2007

Searching Craigslist or Indeed? You may want to cruise Freelance Writing Gigs instead for the best of what’s available on those mass boards. This site, headed by Noemi Tasarra-Twigg who is the freelance writing jobs community manager and editor of Splashpress Media, has one of the smallest boards with rates on the lower end.

Commonly featured jobs include copywriter, content writer, blogger, freelance writer, editor/proofreader, tech, marketing, education, and content marketing writer. Ads provide either a link to the original posting or a direct email. 

10. Glassdoor

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: $99-$249 for 30 days
Typical rates: $50-$250 per article; $11,000-$132,000/year full-time
Number of jobs posted weekly: 1,200
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 2007

You’ll need to create an account and sign up for Glassdoor to view their listings—but it’s worth it. Big companies are prevalent, as is detailed information to help you meet the right clients. It also includes info on freelance writer salaries.

Unlike other sites, Glassdoor’s job postings come with stats like company size, revenue, headquarters, founding date, reviews, salaries, CEO approval rating, and percentage of workers who recommend their company. Allison Berry, Glassdoor community expert, recommends signing up for an account to save jobs, using the job search tool to filter results, and uploading your resume for quick submission.

Jobs are based across America, with many remote and telecommute. Recent posters include Thrillist, Time Warner Cable, Ghirardelli Chocolate, AOL, newspapers, magazines, universities, and other Fortune 500 companies. Freelance writer, freelance copywriter, blogger, SEO marketing specialist, magazine jobs, and technical writer jobs are posted frequently.

11. Gorkana

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: $200
Typical rates: $18-$20/hour; $10,000-$100,000/year full-time; not all listings include rates
Number of jobs posted weekly: 10
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 2003

For writers wanting to break into newspapers in business, finance, law, or general news reporting, Gorkana is your best bet. You may also be able to pitch freelance writing to posters of full-time jobs.

Many listings are based in New York City or Washington DC, but there are remote and telecommuting options, too. Common titles include reporter (financial, law, antitrust, business, technology), writer, editor, and copyeditor. News channels including Bloomberg and Dow Jones are listed in addition to local papers and universities.

12. Indeed

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: $0.10-$5 per job seeker click
Typical rates: $15-$50/hour; average $28.79/hour; not all listings include rates
Number of jobs posted weekly: 175
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 2004

If you want to only scan a single board, Indeed is an aggregator site that provides a good roundup of freelance writing jobs from many sites. The downside: You’ll have to wade through the low-paying gigs to find the good ones.

Companies like CBS, Time Warner Cable, and Fortune 500 companies are featured here. Many listing show a company star rating (1-5) as well as a link to the company page with info on salaries, management, culture, and work/life balance.

The full spectrum of job types are represented. Common positions sought include freelance writer, web editor, freelance journalist, content writer, healthcare freelance writer, business writer, food writer, blogger, social media manager, contract journalist, and SEO writer.

“I’ve used Indeed a lot, but don’t anymore because client quality appears to be low,” says freelance writer Kaitlin Morrison. “I did land one client, but they were a nightmare, really cheap, and disorganized.” She says it was hard to land gigs, even with well written, custom letters of introduction.

13. Journalism Jobs

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: $100 for 5 weeks
Typical rates: $15,000-$68,000/year full-time; not all listings include rates
Number of jobs posted weekly: 438
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 1998

Due to the volume of jobs posted per month, Journalism Jobs is ideal for writers who want to target newspapers, magazines, and TV or radio stations. About 85-90 percent of job listings are full-time, but you’re free to pitch and see if they also use freelancers. There’s a huge range of pay, from good to poor.

Journalism Jobs posts opportunities from across the US. “Look at as many opportunities as you can,” says Journalism Jobs founder Dan Rohn. “See where you’re a good fit, apply, and follow up with letters inquiring if the job is still open. Be aggressive.”

14. LinkedIn

Cost to view: free and paid subscriptions ($30-$100/month)
Cost to list: roughly $195/month
Typical rates: $20-$30/hour; $15-$250/article; not all listings include rates
Number of jobs posted weekly: 400
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 2003

LinkedIn is ideal for freelance writers who want to use a single online board. The vast amount of high-ranking companies and well-paid full-time jobs make it a great pool to select clients from. You can see the number of applicants on listings, view company info, and apply with your profile, too.

Jobs are throughout the country, with many in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, and Atlanta. Recent listings include calls for writing, editing, freelance copywriter, blogger, technical writer, content writer, marketing writer, social media manager, and medical writer.

Additionally, LinkedIn offers ProFinder: a new, free service set up specifically for freelancers to connect with employers. Create a profile, set up job alerts, and answer only requests you like. When a potential client posts a job that matches your skills, you get an email that includes all the info you need to submit a proposal and bid on the project. As of September 2016, it has 52,000 members, and delivers highly targeted job alerts

15. Mediabistro

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: $297 for 30 days
Typical rates: $20-$75/hours; $45,000-$110,000/year full-time; not all listings include rates
Number of jobs posted weekly: 212
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 1994

Mediabistro is a wonderful niche board, as it has many beginner and experienced writer opportunities at high to mid-range companies. Full-time, part-time, freelance, remote, contract, work from home, and internships are offered. “There’s a lot to be said for looking at a job board that addresses your niche because the advertisers and employers are targeting that audience,” says Katie Hottinger, senior content strategist at Mediabistro.

A majority of the jobs are based in New York City, with California, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Illinois, and New Jersey also prominent. Freelance writer, email marketing specialist, social media strategist, copywriter, and digital content/copywriter are common job titles featured in Mediabistro ads.

16. Paid to Blog Jobs

Cost to view: $260/year
Cost to list: free
Typical rates: $10-$50/hour; $40-$50/post; $25-$100/article
Number of jobs posted weekly: 75
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 2013

If you join Paid to Blog Jobs, you can stop combing Craigslist or ProBlogger. Paid to Blog Jobs compiles writing and blogging listings from these sites; some pay decently, others pay little. Started by Tom Ewer, founder of Leaving Work Behind, Paid to Blog Jobs has positions all over the US, with some remote and telecommute.

Catherine Here, lead jobs researcher for Paid to Blog Jobs, says they offer part-time and freelance jobs plus paying internships. Most jobs are topic-based requests for writers in food, technology, business, travel, news, and law.

Writer and editor Evan Jensen says he joined this board a few years ago, but unsubscribed after a month. Although he saw many jobs in his niche, they were at low rates, and originated from boards he could view for free.

17. ProBlogger

Cost to view: free
Cost to list: $50 for 30 days
Typical rates: $7-$300/article
Number of jobs posted weekly: 20
Email job alerts: yes
Year founded: 2004

ProBlogger provides great resources for bloggers, but gigs listed on their board usually don’t pay well. Part-time, virtual, remote, or telecommute jobs are available, with few location-specific requests.

Many smaller companies and websites post here, some seeking extremely specific skills for minimal pay. Niches such as technology, fitness, parenting, finance, healthcare, and business are common along with titles including content writer, freelance writer, marketing/SEO writer, and freelance journalist.

Find your best online writing jobs

Now that you see the variety of sites out there, think about the best place for you to look for writing gigs. Is it a board fewer writers see because they have to pay for access? Or maybe one where the companies pay big, and it qualifies better prospects?

Have you found a gig through an online job board? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

Mandy Ellis is an Austin-based freelance writer who focuses on food, travel, and health topics. 

Make more money in freelance writing with the How to Get Great Clients eBook

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
70 comments on “Online Writing Jobs: The Inside Scoop on 17 Job Boards
  1. Meena says:

    Hi Carol,
    I love all your posts and the advice that you give to freelance writers.
    But the problem I find with job boards is that most jobs are geared for the U.S only. So where to freelancers like me ( I am from Australia) look for writing jobs.
    Unfortunately the market here is not that well developed and writers are forced to look elsewhere.

    Thanks Meena

    • Carol Tice says:

      I think if you look through these boards, you won’t necessarily find that true of all of them. Gorkana is based in the UK, for instance.

      The main thing to realize is freelance writing is a global business. There are clients everywhere, and you don’t have to connect with clients based in your country. At one point, my main clients were in Australia, Canada, and the UK, when I’m based in the US! My most recent new client was in Scotland.

      Increasingly, many clients don’t really care where you live, if you have the experience in their topic that they’re looking for, or they just like your past clips.

  2. Danuta Detyna says:

    Hello, Carol!
    I admire your work and I’d like to join the Freelance Writers Den community. I’m already on the waiting list but I’d like to ask when can we expect the next opening?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Danuta, we were just open for about 3 solid weeks, for our current Content Marketing bootcamp.

      I have no immediate plans to reopen for regular $25 members, it’ll likely be sometime in 2017. Just watch your email — writers on the waiting list will be first to hear.

  3. Mandy Ellis says:

    Hi Chris,

    You may want to try other boards in the article to see if your cover letters and resume fare better there. When I was writing it, I found that many of the sites compile from others so you can skip over a few to get a conglomerate of jobs from once site instead of several.

    Sorry to say, there is no magic template. But there is Pitch Clinic and the Freelance Writers Den. I’m a Den member and the advice, examples, and feedback there have really helped turned my business around. If you want to see what works, you might want to consider joining the Den. Pitch Clinic also will give you a better understanding of how to structure your pitches so you can grab more clients.

    -Mandy

  4. Chris Brogan says:

    Hey Carol,
    I know there are a lot of job boards on the web. But I tried my luck with Problogger only. Let me be honest. It didn’t fetch me anything, not even a single client.
    I totally get it, maybe it’s all because the way I pitch.
    So, I badly want a pitching guide. Also, a template if you have, with which amateurs can do wonders.
    Thanks a lot for coming up with this.
    I read that your blog pay writers. Can I try?
    ~Chris

  5. Carol, Thanks for the info on job boards. I am busy trying to market my two books and working part-time as the content coordinator for a local niche magazine. But, I do need more income and have not been aware of job boards other than Indeed.
    I recently scored a gig with a company from Indeed. It was a difficult assignment because it wasn’t even close to the topics I usually write about. I was paid .10 cents a word but never received any feedback about my effort.
    I am not a trained writer: My background is in education. I read books about being a better writer as an attempt to improve.Other than taking courses, will membership in a writing group help me?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Maybe…it would depend on the group and how experienced and accomplished those other writers are.

      What helps most is…writing a lot. And asking your editor a lot of questions.

      I used to compare final drafts with my first ones, and then ask my editor to defend each of their changes. That’s how I learned everything I know! Learned SO much about how to be more compelling, more concise, more creative, and how to develop my writing style.

  6. sam says:

    Great content. Nice blog. Thanks for sharing this value info

  7. Phillip Fine says:

    This may be way out in left field, but does anyone know of any sites, companies, or organizations that pay writers to provide content for the airport industry? Ditto for railways and infrastructure construction

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’d check out Gorkana’s board for that, Philip – they always seemed to have listings for trade pubs in niches like that — oil and gas, infrastructure. Look at airport management trades and sites, too.

  8. Hi Emily – yes our course is 100% focused on creating the materials you need to apply for great writing gigs and land your first client. After working with many of our members over the last year we found that this the type of material that was most requested and also the most effective. I think “tutorial” is a little bit of a understatement considering the amount of content but I always appreciate the feedback!

  9. Jaimee says:

    This comment has been removed at the poster’s request.

    • Hi Carol – Jamiee is referring to a policy from when we first launched that has since been updated. We now offer a full 30 day money back guarantee. We have also contacted Jamiee to make things right.

    • Emily says:

      I signed up for Contena, and I’m in the process of trying to get a refund, per their 30-day guarantee. They require that you do all the work in their modules before getting a refund, which I did. The modules include information about where to self-publish your work online, how to craft a pitch, and how to ask for testimonials. So it’s basically an expensive tutorial on how to apply for jobs. If there’s any information about how to actually become a better writer, I didn’t see it.

      I understand that there are kinks to work out in a new service, and the staff seem very enthusiastic, and I can appreciate what they’re trying to do. But as it is, I don’t see how they can justify the price tag.

  10. Great list, Carol. I’m aware of some of the sites, but glad to discover some new resources. Always a great deal of value to be gained from reading your blog posts. Important to mention when I first joined the Freelance Writers Den, I landed a gig from the start with a $1,000 contract on the Den job board.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Nice! I’m always excited to hear our job board is a useful resource to Den members. I think our board manager Millie Lapidario does a great job!

  11. Emily Jacobs says:

    I recently signed up for Contena and have been progressing through their online “Academy” of videos and worksheets, and looking through their job listings. In all honesty, I’m not impressed.

    Their Academy does have some good advice for new freelancers, but it’s far from worth the price tag. So far, the job board listings (at least the ones I’m interested in) don’t pay well, and there aren’t many that I couldn’t have found on my own.

    The Den has twice the resources for half the price!

  12. Jean Compton says:

    Some great resources here! I especially was drawn to Ed2010.
    I have written for Problogger and MindBodyGreen, but only as a guest blogger, non-paid.

  13. Endurance says:

    Thanks Carol!

    This is a very useful post. Will check on the boards to see fitting ones.

    Great Job!

  14. Great article! I’ve been disappointed lately in LinkedIn writing job listings though. I’ve seen several write-for-no-pay ads, which is surprising since the companies’ have to pay a fee to list. I emailed LinkedIn about it and they don’t seem interested in making sure the jobs pay professional rates, or any rate at all. :/

    • Carol Tice says:

      Boards that make companies pay for listings don’t tend to regulate what they say in them, I find. This is the shortcoming of the Problogger board as well.

      I’m surprised to hear you feel that way about LI’s job ads — personally, I find it chock-full of top brand names you can then pitch freelancing to. They have few freelance ADS on LI because of what it costs to place them. I always focused on the FT ads, and then just pitched them freelance.

      • Yea, these are LinkedIn job ads that I get in my inbox tagged with “freelance writer”. That could be part of the problem. 🙂

        • Carol Tice says:

          Well…freelance writer is a pretty broad search term, too. And…FREELANCE jobs are not LinkedIn’s forte. Instead, troll their full time jobs for companies to pitch freelancing to…which I think is the strategy suggested in the post. I got a nice $1-a-word gig that way at one point.

          • Emily Jacobs says:

            That is a really good idea, Carol. I’m going to try that with some of the ads I find on LinkedIn.

            • Carol Tice says:

              Having been a staffer, I know that behind every full-time job listing is some chaos, and it takes 6-12 months for them to make that hire, typically. Meanwhile, they move that salary to the freelance line, if they’re smart. Otherwise, they pile extra work on other staffers, and then they quit as well, creating a domino effect…and even MORE freelance opportunity. 😉

  15. Paris Wyome says:

    I usually avoid sending requested data in a job board ad to the indicated address, etc., in the ad. That is sort of like sending something to a publishing company and having it sit in a slush pile for many weeks, etc.

  16. Evan Jensen says:

    Hi Paris,

    “…when I see a gig that really interests me and is a good match for my expertise areas: Get the name of the organization that needs a writer and contact it directly.”

    This is a really smart move when you’re applying for gigs on job boards. Do whatever they ask to apply. Then do your homework and send a separate custom LOI to the editor/marketing manager. It’s a great way to stand out among the deluge of writers who apply.

    Evan

  17. Mandy Ellis says:

    Hi Paris,

    Glad to hear you find Mediabistro and Journalism Jobs useful. LinkedIn is great if you use it to send LOIs or to apply to full-time jobs as a freelancer. You can score some great rates if you send in an application and contact the hiring person via LinkedIn to set yourself apart from the competition. LinkedIn is also great for vetting companies (viewing their website/company page, seeing real people who work there, sometimes salary info is posted) so I think there’s a lot of stuff on there beyond the job board that you may want to consider.

    -Mandy

    • Paris Wyome says:

      So what types of organizations do you select to send your LOIs? How do you actually find the name/title of the person who will actually hire the writer? I don’t recall usually seeing names of specific persons in LI or other job ads.

      If a full-time writing job ad includes salary data, does your LOI include your freelance hourly, monthly or project fees?

      I am very aware that LI does provide the opportunity to find a lot of info about a variety of organizations and persons especially with upscale memberships.

      • Mandy Ellis says:

        I send my LOIs to places in my niche so that would be food/travel/hotels/real estate businesses plus trade magazines. It totally depends on what type of writing you do and who you’d like to work with. On many of the LinkedIn job listings, it has a section that says, “Contact the job poster,” and much of the time there’s a real person listed that you can either look up their profile and send a message or send them an Inmail directly on the job listing.

        You also have the sleuth some stuff out sometimes. Like if I wanted to write for Kellogg’s, I would searched LI for profiles of who works for them in the marketing or communications department, because the marketing/communications departments would be the ones looking to hire writers, then find someone high up (based on the title on their LI profile) and either find their email address or send them an Inmail with a shortened LOI. Even if Kellogg’s didn’t have any jobs listed, I could find someone’s profile and contact them directly to see if they had any opportunities or needs later on.

        I don’t include my fees on my LOI because I like to speak with the client about their needs and scope the fee based on what they need done. I use the full-time salary data as a jumping-off point to show that the company can pay reasonable writer fees. So if the company is going to pay 30k for a lot of writing, that’s a no-go for me, but if they’re paying 85k, that’s a good place to strike. That means my hourly rate will be good and I know they have the funds to pay me.

        -Mandy

      • Carol Tice says:

        I did a post recently on finding email contacts — but really, it isn’t hard at this point —

        http://www.makealivingwriting.com/better-freelance-writing-gigs-with-7-sneaky-tools/

        Inside Freelance Writers Den, we have a ‘7 ways to find editors’ emails’ handout that has more angles to work. But really, it doesn’t usually take me more than about 10 minutes.

        I also don’t state rates in an LOI — too early in the conversation.

  18. Paris Wyome says:

    I have been a staff and freelance business writer/editor/rewriter way before the Internet, social media, and digital media came around. “Way back then” full-time real journalism jobs and freelance journalism assignments were rather easy to get—-daily newspapers, major consumer and business pubs., PR agencies, weekly newsmagazines, corporate magazines, trade media, etc., and often paid very well at that time.

    Very recently, I have explored much newer opportunities for writing, such as digital media and bid for work web sites, such as Upwork. I gave up on them quickly. Awful pay rates, etc., mostly.

    I don’t find job boards very useful. This is what I do with regard to aggregating Job Boards when I see a gig that really interests me and is a good match for my expertise areas: Get the name of the organization that needs a writer and contact it directly.

    I recently found out about LI’s ProFinder. It has two requirements to join. One of them I don’t agree with and can’t meet. So I won’t and can’t use it.

    I like mediabistro and journalismjobs. I have had a Linkedin Profile and also have been a member of various LI writing/PR groups for several years. No gigs at all. So I am not very active anymore on LI.

    I am very used to doing considerable and varied research for most of what I write, and I have written/edited a variety of content, such as feature articles (some over 2,000 words), case histories, advertorials, news stories, press releases, blog/web site copy, reports for a government consultant, pitch letters, company/executive profiles, fact sheets, and backgrounders.

    I find it very appalling these days to read stuff on Yahoo, etc., that mentions maybe one or no information sources. I would never get paid if I submitted anything like that.

    If I was young again and say getting out of college, I would never for one minute consider going into writing freelance or full-time now.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Really? Because I earn more than ever now, and I too started in the old-school world.

      Examples: Pretty much all my recent projects have been for $3,000. They included a website content launch, a flight-mag article, and right now I’m doing a business plan for one company and a quality-of-management research report for an investment firm.

      I’ve written $2,000, fully reported articles that were online exclusives. The market has shifted, but there’s never been more opportunity, if you know where to look and are willing to develop your skills.

      • Paris Wyome says:

        Part of the reason for my last paragraph comments was that I don’t really enjoy writing that much anymore. I find it comparatively tougher now not only to get good paying biz writing work and PR gigs but also sometimes challenging to get paid for my work. However, I certainly don’t want to be a Wal-Mart Greeter.

        I have been writing since I was about 10. So I am considering other things these days. I didn’t say I was giving up writing.

        I think there are many other areas where young and older persons can make can a better and secure living these days. Today I read about more media layoffs — at The Wall St. Journal, Barron’s, and other print media. That most likely will continue. My writing has been for trade
        and assn. media, a daily newspaper, PR agencies, multinational professional services organizations, a government consultant, etc.

        I prefer the diversity of PR, but PR agencies can be tough for older persons at least here in NYC.

        Have you mentioned the The NY Press Club. The Deadline Club and Editorial Freelancers Association?

        Congrats on those great, well-paying gigs. Out of curiosity, how did you find about those good paying gigs?

        Cheers.

        • Carol Tice says:

          Let’s see if I can break that down:

          Referral from a Freelance Writers Den member
          Found me via LinkedIn/Google search
          Found me from my Forbes blog on entrepreneurship/startups
          Found me via LinkedIn & Forbes

          Having a high profile online these days makes a big difference.

  19. Drew Drake says:

    I landed a job on the Problogger board and negotiated $100 per 1k for a 6k article. I had only a few months experience at the time so felt that it was a decent gig.

    My advice to anyone negotiating rates for some of the job postings is to offer extra services such as rewrites, photos etc. At least as a beginner. Once you are more established then you can charge a premium rate for such services.

  20. Andre says:

    I used to use Contena when it was still free. To be fair, I landed one of my most lucrative gigs from it. But that was the only really worthwhile gig I found. The vast majority of the listings were your typical job board rubbish, which is why I never signed up for the paid version.

    In any case, I’m not a fan of job boards, because I find that many posters view you as a pseudo employee as opposed to a partner. I think sending out cold pitches and letters of introduction is far more worthwhile than applying for jobs.

    • Hi Andre

      I appreciate you helping us to test our service when we first launched and am glad that you were able to get a lucrative gig from it 🙂

      One thing that I also believe it’s really important for new writers to understand is that a job board is just a tool. It’s important to constantly test new things and find what works best for you. It sounds like you’ve found a strategy that really works well for you and that’s awesome. Best of luck!

      • Andre says:

        Kevin,

        I agree. Unfortunately, I think many writers (both new and established ones) use job boards as a crutch. I’ve been there too. Let’s face it, cold pitching is tedious. It’s much easier to browse a list and apply for what catches your fancy.

        Also I want to be clear that I don’t mean to diss Contena. Other job boards are just as bad or even worse (I even had someone ask me to take an IQ test once, which is bloody ridiculous). My point is that the dynamic on job boards, in my view, starts the writer client relationship on the wrong foot. We are professionals providing a valuable service; and the relationship should be conducted in that spirit.

    • Carol Tice says:

      You said it, Andre!

  21. Carol Wiley says:

    If you are on Facebook and a woman or gender non-conforming writer, I suggest joining a group called The Binders and then joining the sub binders of topics that interest you. People regularly share writing gigs, and editors post calls for submissions. I’ve queried three editors from there in the past two weeks.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Interesting — Carol, I’m on Binders Full of Freelance Writers (I guess that’s one of the sub-binders?), and I guess I don’t feel like I’ve seen very many job listings on there. It’s mostly discussion — where should I try to place X essay idea? and the like. Like a chat group.

      But maybe we could put together a list of good social-media GROUPS for hearing about jobs? I feel like LinkedIn Editors & Writers can sometimes be good for that. Interesting thought!

      • Carol Wiley says:

        Probably the two I’ve found most useful are The Working Binder and Binders Full of Writing Jobs.

        • Carol Tice says:

          Aha — interesting! I think this is giving me an idea for another post. 😉 Actually, now that I think of it, my friend Michelle Goodman recently started a list like this on FB, of writer jobs. I feel a post coming on!

      • Carla says:

        Hi Carol

        I haven’t come across Binders on Facebook, but am in a number of freelancing/blogging/PR groups there. Apart from the social/collegial/promotional side of these – the ratio of these factors depending on the group, I’ve noticed that jobs are often shared between members. Sometimes it’s ghostwriting for other bloggers, sometimes bloggers have day jobs in marketing agencies, and in the more freelance-specific groups, it’s actual writing gigs for existing clients. I’m still learning to navigate LinkedIn, but will check out the Editors and Writers group there. Thanks for the tip.

  22. Evan Jensen says:

    Hi Mandy,

    Job boards have been part of my marketing efforts to land gigs for a long time. And I still use job boards a little. Some new ones on this list I haven’t heard of.

    One from this list that I don’t think is worth the subscription fee is Paid to Blog Jobs. The vast majority of jobs I saw come through when I had a subscription for one month were from Craigslist and ProBlogger.

    Craigslist is typically a crappy place to find clients. But if you want to see the same gigs Paid to Blog might be posting from Craigslist, just go to http://www.adhuntr.com and search using terms like freelance writer, copywriting, etc. This site searches all of Craiglist in every city.

    The reality for growing your freelancing business and getting better gigs and clients is exactly as you describe at the top of the post:

    “In general, you’ll do better with proactive prospecting to find your own clients, rather than applying to mass-online-job ads where you compete with hundreds of writers.”

    Thanks
    Evan

    • Carol Tice says:

      There’s a tool I didn’t know – thanks for that, Evan!

    • Mandy Ellis says:

      Hi Evan,

      Totally agree about prospecting on your own to find clients rather than constantly searching through job boards to find the gems. It sucks up too much time if you’re only on the job boards and never doing any active prospecting.

      I think the job boards are great to cruise for a small piece of your marketing and then utilize the tools that places like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and FlexJobs have to qualify prospects. There are some wonderful jobs on the boards, but it can take some time to find them.

  23. Bob Dixon says:

    Hi Carol,

    I don’t see Outsource.com, which is kind of pricey but has a lot of jobs, on Mandy’s list.

    I also didn’t see eByline.com there. I can vouch for this one; I’ve had some steady work through them, although listings have slowed way down since they were acquired about a year ago.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Bob, those aren’t included because they’re not so much job boards as online intermediation platforms. These are all boards that don’t take any cut of your fee — just simply job listings.

      I’ve actually never seen outsource before, so I’ll check that out! eByline I categorize as one of the ‘move-up mills,’ and we’re doing a roundup on those coming up in a month or two. I wrote a bit about another platform like that here:

      http://www.makealivingwriting.com/content-mill-writing-for-400/

  24. Susie Rosse says:

    Awesome article! I love this list and the summaries. I will check some of these out.

  25. Karen Taylor says:

    I checked out Be A Freelance Blogger jobs forum. I’m getting a message that their community forum is unavailable as it’s being updated to a newer version. But I know when it was open, the forum was quite useful and had a fairly good listing.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve found work from the Freelance Writers Den. Though it’s a paid subscription, one job paid my fee for the year and then some. I’m going to try to Profinder on Linkedin.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Glad to hear you’re among the many writers who’ve found great gigs on my own board, Elizabeth!

      I’m watching Profinder closely and gathering intel on that — so far, hearing quite a bit of ‘it keeps suggesting openings that aren’t even close to a fit for me’ — but hoping to have a report on its pros and cons soon.

    • Mandy Ellis says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I really like ProFinder. I’ve found that I get a lot of leads that are closely matched to the work I want to do. Sometimes you have to talk to LinkedIn to get them to add categories that you work in, if you forget to add them of if they add a new category, but I’ve found that it sends through jobs that are well-targeted. ProFinder is also growing a ton and just started recently so I think more high-end clients will jump on-board once it gathers a bit more steam.

      -Mandy

  27. Angela says:

    Thanks Carol! This great info. I’ve been spending way too much time and money on useless platforms, trying to figure out where the good stuff is. Now I know.

    • Mandy Ellis says:

      Hi Angela,

      Glad you found the post useful! It’s great to know which boards are targeted for your niche so you can spend less time searching and more time talking to prospects.

      -Mandy

  28. Writer says:

    Where do Contena’s jobs come from? I heard they were the same jobs as the free boards, but I can’t check for myself without spending $500.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hey there — just a heads-up that I don’t normally allow people to post comments on my blog without a real first and last name. Leaving this one, but in future please let us know who you are!

      I personally haven’t checked out Contena, but I’d have to assume they don’t have some magical secret other source of job listings than the others we know about. I’m very curious to get more intel as that platform develops and find out why they think they’re worth so much.

    • Hi,

      I’m Kevin, the founder of Contena.

      Contena is actually a complete system to help new writers and content creators kickstart their business. In addition to tools like Contena Scout, this includes video training and dedicated coaching which is reflected in the pricing 🙂

      Thanks for the mention!

      Kevin

      • Carol Tice says:

        Thanks for the additional info, Kevin. I’m in the same boat with my Freelance Writers Den community — our board is really just a small facet of what we present for writers, including 300+ hours of trainings and 24/7 forum support, as well as multiple live events with experts each month.

    • Mandy Ellis says:

      Hi Writer,

      Contena’s jobs come from their team of researchers who find them from all types of places across the Internet. So yes, some do come from the other free boards, but some of them don’t.

      -Mandy