When looking for new clients as a freelance writer, you really need to have eggs in many different baskets, so to speak. You can’t rely just on writing for content mills or looking on freelance sites like eLance. The more places you’re applying for jobs, the more likely you’re going to get hired. In addition, you’re going to have a much more diverse set of clients, which leads to additional stability.
With that in mind, I’d like to write about using Craigslist to find new clients for your freelance writing business. Craigslist is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, and there are dozens (or more) writing jobs posted each day. There are many great benefits to looking for new jobs on Craigslist, some of which I’ll comment on now:
- Looking Local – Many businesses will be much more inclined to hire someone locally, that they can meet face to face. Craigslist is a great place for businesses to post these jobs, so always start by looking in your own city. Be willing to meet with someone who is considering hiring you for a good job (maybe get a free lunch out of it? Lol). Having something in common (living in the same area) will also help improve your chances at getting hired.
- Established Businesses – Unlike writing for small time website owners who are likely to try to pay you bottom dollar and only need a little bit of work, there are many established businesses who post writing jobs on Craigslist. These businesses will have a good budget and be willing to pay fair wages for a great writer.
- Lots to Choose From – If you can look through all the different cities on Craigslist, you can find dozens of new potential jobs per day. You can set up your own custom searches in Craigslist to find good jobs from all over. You can also use sites that gather these types of jobs together for you, like this one: http://www.freelancewriting.com/freelancejobs/craigslist.php
- Diverse Employers – There are businesses of almost every type looking for good writers. You can find jobs for IT writers, medical writers, legal writers, comedy writers and anything else you can imagine.
Of course, like all opportunities, there are also some problems you’ll need to avoid if you’re using Craigslist to find freelance writing jobs. In many ways, the problems associated with Craigslist are quite different than many other sites, so proceed with a little bit of caution.
Problems with Using Craigslist for Finding Freelance Clients
First of all, Craigslist is similar to Mos Eisley from Star Wars. Many of the worst scum of the Internet Universe hang out there looking for their next mark to take advantage of. While overall they are a small percentage of people, they stay busy posting different scam jobs. You can avoid many of the problems from these scammers by following the “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” rule of thumb. Also, don’t be tempted to do too much writing before you get paid, and don’t hesitate to do research on companies before you accept work from them.
In addition to the scammers, Craigslist is filled with Internet Marketers who would love to sell you their next great ‘get rich scheme’. These are typically good intentioned people just looking to make a buck, but don’t let them make it off of you. You should be on Craigslist to find new clients, not become a customer!
Finally, Craigslist can be hard to keep up with because people are constantly posting jobs. If you’re not checking their site at least a few times per day, you can miss out on opportunities. In addition, since many people are looking for jobs, new posting often get responses quite quickly. If you don’t act fast, you’ll miss out.
Beyond that, however, just use common sense and have fun looking for jobs. Remember, freelance writing is more than just being a great writer. It also takes persistence and good marketing of your services, so get out there and do it!