The 30 Day Marketing Boot Camp for Freelance Writers

Where to Find Freelance Blogging Clients

on May 22, 2013 in Blogging, Freelance Writing Jobs
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Have you thought about getting into freelance blogging? Are you already a freelance blogger, but you're struggling to find new clients?

Blogging is one of my favorite projects to take on as a freelance writer. Finding clients was easy for me early on because the client base I was working with on PR writing projects also happened to have a strong need for blogging services. But these days things are a bit different. There are more blogs out there. But there are also more bloggers competing for gigs. So if you're just starting out, where should you look for freelance blogging clients of your own?

Here are five places where you can find freelance blogging clients and land your first (or next) blogging job.

1. Local Small Businesses

In my post on local online writing jobs, I mentioned that blogging is a great service to pitch locally. That's because many small businesses still haven't launched a blog, and many of them would benefit from one. What kinds of clients could you pitch?

If you live in a town or city, I'd bet you could find restaurants in need of blogging help. For example, you might have them share recipes (maybe tweaks on their own dishes). Or you might contact local news sites about blogging reviews of local businesses. In more rural areas such as where I live, prime candidates would be other service providers like landscape companies.

Why would they blog? Because blogs give websites fresh content and better search engine rankings, and ranking well in local search is very important to many of these businesses as they look to expand.

2. Job Boards

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of job boards. But that doesn't mean you can't find an occasional good gig using them. For example, if you're interested in freelance blogging, you should keep an eye on the following boards:

3. Search Engines

I know this sounds obvious, but one of the best ways to find blogging clients is to simply search for them. Get creative about it though. Don't just do a basic search for something like "business blogs." You'll find the biggest blogs. But that doesn't always mean they have the biggest budgets for freelancers, and there tends to be more competition.

Look for something more specific. For example, you might do a Google Blog Search for a topic you'd like to write about -- like "small business recruitment" rather than just searching for HR or small business sites. You should get a list of specific posts tied to that topic. In turn, you can see what kinds of blogs publish content on that topic. The list might surprise you and turn up prospects you never would have thought to pitch on your own.

4. Colleagues

Never be afraid to put the word out in your network when you're in the market for new blogging clients. It's possible that colleagues are receiving inquiries from companies that they aren't able to work with at the time. That's especially true if you're new and the writers in your network have more exposure and are easier for prospects to find.

I refer out at least a half dozen jobs every week from prospects who contact me when I can't squeeze them in or don't feel like the gig is a good fit. The writers who stay in touch stay fresh in my mind, so when I get requests I can't take on, they're the first writers I think to refer. Stay active in your network and you'll likely land some decent gigs without even trying.

5. Social Media

If you follow a business on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or some other social network, chances are good they also have a blog. You might be surprised by how many companies have blogs that they rarely use. So spend some time perusing your social network. Visit sites of individuals and businesses you'd like to work with. And check out the status of their blogs. If they don't have one, you could offer to help them set one up. If they haven't updated it in a while, remind them of the benefits of regular business blogging and see if they're interested in having a freelance blogger help them freshen things up.

Where do you tend to find most of your freelance blogging clients? Or do they find you instead? If you can think of other places new bloggers might be able to find good freelance gigs, share them in the comments to expand upon this list.

Thanks for sharing!
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16 Comments

  1. Neva A. Frederick May 23, 2013 Reply

    There are a number of job sites where you can find freelance client leads and bid on new jobs. This list has one purpose: to massively increase your source of potential clients and potential jobs. We update this list periodically with new job sites.
    Neva A. Frederick recently posted…No last blog posts to return.My Profile

    • Jennifer Mattern May 23, 2013 Reply

      Freelance marketplaces that rely on a bidding system are inherently “race to the bottom” propositions. They’re bad for freelancers who are serious about landing the truly high paying freelance writing jobs out there. Basically, like job boards, they’re a lazy way to look for gigs. They should only be considered as a last resort.

  2. Lori May 24, 2013 Reply

    All of the above. Also, I’ve actively sought them out. There are plenty of companies that don’t have blogs, but their competitors do. Amazing how quickly some of them will agree to it when you show them the competitive advantage of proving expert advice. Not always, but those who value one-on-one communication are usually easy to sign on.

  3. stephen May 27, 2013 Reply

    Bidding sites can be viewed as lazy like job boards but i don’t think it is fair to say it is a lazy approach. New business should be sought by prospecting for it, contacting local business for sure and writing targeted offers to businesses. When work is tight and money is thinning, job boards for freelance work should be used without fail. Just ensure that you do not forget about creating business as well and not relying on jobs to appear.

    • Jennifer Mattern May 27, 2013 Reply

      When you do your job by setting up an effective marketing plan and following through on it, there shouldn’t be times when things are that tight. And direct prospecting isn’t the only way to find high quality gigs. I almost never pitch clients, yet I always have more gigs than I can take on. That’s because I put in the effort to build an effective platform that attracts clients to me rather than things having to always be the other way around. That’s not to say prospecting is in any way worse. It’s just a different approach. But there’s a huge difference between that kind of marketing and settling for the jobs that happened to be advertised on bidding sites and job boards. The best gigs are very rarely advertised. So yes. “Lazy” is a fair assessment. If you rely on some other person, website, etc. to bring you leads because you aren’t finding solid ones yourself or attracting those buyers to you directly, it’s lazy marketing. You might occasionally find a decent gig that way. And for brand new writers it can fill the gap until they’ve build a platform and gotten some experience with pitching. But no establish freelance professional needs them. And when it comes to bidding sites in particular, they devalue their own services when they use them.

  4. Clint Williamson June 3, 2013 Reply

    Then you feel you wasted your time and that blogging isn’t a good way to get freelance clients .
    Clint Williamson recently posted…No last blog posts to return.My Profile

    • Jennifer Mattern June 4, 2013 Reply

      Hi Clint. I’m not sure what you’re referring to. I certainly don’t feel I’ve wasted my time blogging, nor have I said that blogging isn’t a good way to get freelance clients. This article just isn’t about attracting them to you (the query-free method). It’s about where new (and old) bloggers can more actively find clients when they want to.

  5. McWise November 4, 2013 Reply

    This article has been very helpful to me. I have been a freelance writer for 4 years but I have not been gettting regular writing projects. Ican’t waith to put what I have read into practice. Thanks a lot Jennifer

  6. Adrian Gordon November 6, 2013 Reply

    I tend to pick up the majority of my freelance blogging gigs through job boards. There is usually a lot of competition but, thankfully, I was told by one of my employers that the majority of applicants do not take the time to craft a proper application letter (while I do). It seems to give me a huge leg up on the competition.
    Adrian Gordon recently posted…Guru.com Introduces Automatic Mediation ToolMy Profile

  7. Leah Zitter September 4, 2014 Reply

    Jennifer – I LOVE your suggestion. Unique and helpful.
    Now.
    1. Can I bookmark your posts and / or RSS them? Do you post regularly?
    2. I almost never pitch clients, yet I always have more gigs than I can take on. That’s because I put in the effort to build an effective platform that attracts clients to me rather than things having to always be the other way around” How do you do that? I have a devilish fear of marketing so your way appeals to me. Please explain?
    3. How do you get over discouragement/ fear and ilk – or do you never feel that?

    Thanks for the advice!

    • Author
      Jennifer Mattern September 5, 2014 Reply

      Hi Leah. :)

      1. Absolutely. The main feed URL is http://allindiewriters.com/feed — just add that to your favorite feed reader. I’ll be making email subscriptions available again soon. In the meantime, if you prefer that, let me know and I’ll privately send you a link to the old Feedburner option for email updates. Those users will be moved to the new system when I make the change. I usually post anywhere from 3-7 times per week. This week is an exception due to some unforeseen issues coming up elsewhere.

      2. It looks like you found my post with platform-building tips, so hopefully that helped. If not, let me know if you have more specific questions. :)

      3. I feel those things just like anyone else. But overtime you build your confidence up to the point where it becomes a bit easier to talk yourself down from fear. Freelancing will always have its disappointments and it will always have some level of uncertainty. It’s just a matter of not harping on those things. I do that by keeping myself busy. If I’m moving into a new area and taking that risk is a bit scary, I’ve learned to just do it — that trying and failing is much better than not trying at all, at least if it’s something I feel passionate about doing. So I do it. And then I jump into the next project, blog post, client, or whatever. It keeps me focused on moving forward.

      I hope that helps. :)

  8. Patricia del Valle September 13, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jennifer,

    I found your site through Ann Wayman–she’s great too.

    Thank you for this super article and job lead to get started–although I am taking other actions, like networking and making phone calls (which I’ve done in other jobs).

    I found one position here on your job listings which I’m uniquely suited for and hope I can land. The market combination is one worth looking into for other leads as well.

    Much continued success,

    Patricia

    P.S. Grateful to you for this helpful information.
    Patricia del Valle recently posted…5 Steps to a User-friendly websiteMy Profile

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