There is no question more frequently asked, or more important to a freelance writer than, “How Do I Find Private Clients!?” While content mills are great for filling in the gaps, it is almost impossible to make a real living as a writer without having at least a few great private clients. First, let me warn you. This article won’t answer every single question. In fact, I just discovered that I can’t really even fit a good introduction to this subject into just one post, which is why I’m turning this into a three part mini-series.
In this series I’ll cover three main topics. This is part one, which will cover (briefly) where to look for private clients. Next I will be writing about how to get them to give you a chance. When Part 2 is completed, you will be able to view it by clicking HERE. For the third and final installment, I will cover how to keep the clients coming back. Part three will be found HERE when it is done. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If there are any areas which you feel need a little more detail, please let me know so I can add it to my list of topics to write on in the future.
So, without further ado, let me present “How to Find Private Clients.”
Where to Find Private Clients
Knowing where to find private clients is one of the most important things for a freelance writer. If you don’t know where to look, it will be impossible to ever land one. In an attempt to keep this post from growing too long, I’m simply going to list my favorite places as bullet points with a quick explanation. In the future, I hope to make each bullet point a link to another page which will give a step by step guide for each of these sites. Please note, these are not the only places to find great private clients. These are just the ones I’ve tried and had the most success with.
- Warrior Forum – The Warrior Forum is (I believe) the largest internet marketing forums in the world. There are thousands of people who are trying to make a living online at all times. Many of these individuals need content for their sites, and are looking to hire great writers. Posting in the Warrior for Hire section is a great way to find clients (though it costs money). In addition, you can find people who are looking to hire writers in the ‘Wanted’ section. I have found clients who pay me anywhere from $.025 – $.10 per word here.
- Digital Point – The Forums at Digital Point is another forums based site dedicated to Internet marketing. You can make a post in their content creation area, as well as watch for posts of people looking to hire. The vast majority of people on this site are looking for VERY low cost writers, but there are ‘diamonds in the rough’ from time to time. It is worth it to make a post and bump it each month (you’re only aloud one bump per month) and to check back at least once per day to see if there are any clients looking to hire. I’ve found clients paying $.03-$.06 on these forums.
- Craigslist – There is a section on craigslist dedicated to hiring writers, or offering your services as a writer. This is a particularly difficult area to find clients because you’re only looking in one city at a time. I highly recommend posting an ad in your local area offering your services as a writer. In addition, there are sites which scour multiple cities of craigslist and post all the writing jobs. This is a great way to quickly see what is out there. In my experience, it is difficult to find clients on craigslist, however, when you do, they often pay higher than normal because they are ‘real’ businesses. The one client I got from Craigslist paid $.15 per word, and I’m confident I could have gotten more. Here is a link to one site which lists writing jobs from all over craigslist. I’m sure there are others. CLICK HERE.
- eLance – eLance is a large freelancing site where there are hundreds of writing jobs posted every day. While you need to bid on the jobs against many other writers, it is still possible to find some great clients who will come back to you again and again. In fact, many of the jobs posted specifically say that if they like your writing, it will turn into a long term job. The difficult part of eLance is that you have to wade through the jobs that will pay almost nothing and know when to bid on the actual good jobs. It is well worth the effort though.
- oDesk – This site is very similar to eLance. I don’t use it nearly as often just because I’m too busy, but it is still a great place to find clients.
- Fiverr – This one might surprise some of you, but you can actually find some excellent clients on Fiverr. One of my best clients started out on Fiverr and now I write for him directly (I know, it’s against the Fiverr ToS. Fiverr still makes plenty of money off of me!) and at a rate much higher than $4 per article! The trick with Fiverr is to treat it like a ‘loss leader’ where you’re not earning the real money up front, but using it to meet potential clients for the future. I’ll be posting more on this later.
- My Site – Having your own webpage is essential. You can gain clients who find you through the search engines or links in forums or any number of other ways.
I believe there are other places that I’m forgetting, but I can always edit the post to add them in later. This should be more than enough to get anyone started. Remember, finding great private clients is partially a numbers game, so don’t be afraid to be rejected by 50 people in order to get that one great client!
As an added bonus, I’ve created a page titled “Free Things to do Every Day to Find Private Clients.” Just follow the link and you’ll see some extremely simple items (most of which are covered on this page as well). Do these things each day for a week and you should have at least one great new private client!