In recent weeks there’s been a bit of discussion on a variety of freelance writing blogs about writing jobs, scraping, controversy, and what pays and what doesn’t. I thought I would give a bit of behind-the-scenes insight into how we find freelance jobs and what makes our process “unique”.
Truth be told, there’s nothing unique about it. I simply hunt for freelance jobs the way I would if I were actively searching for work. When I find a freelance job on another freelance writing site, I link to that site rather than post the contact information directly. Ditto for when I find a freelance gig lurking on one of the talent agencies. I also find my jobs directly–USAJobs.com, for example, is the government job portal for people looking at Civil Service and related positions–and yes there ARE writing jobs listed there occasionally.
There are plenty of ways to find these gigs. Keyword searches are helpful, but I find that it takes a tricky combination of keywords to discover the really juicy ones. Instead, I find that my best results come from drawing on a little collection of resources I’ve discovered over time (like USAJobs, TribuneJobs.com, and other big-media hiring portals).
There is plenty of overlap in the freelance jobs blog posting world, so it’s not surprising to find the same posts on many sites, but what I’ve found is that every site has at least a few valuable resources not listed by the others (yet). When I was on an active hunt for more work, that little X factor is what kept me looking at those sites. Now that I’m searching for post material, I go to my fellow freelancer websites less often in search of the gigs because looking directly is pretty time consuming.
I write all this in hopes that freelancers will look at the hunt for work in a more diverse way–it’s a mistake to rely solely on freelance blogs (even this one) for job data—in my own experience, the most valuable results come from doing your own research–use freelance job blogs, Monster, Craigslist and your own wits in combination.