This is where I keep all my favorite resources and the ones I see Black writers talking the most about. Make sure to review the whole thing, bookmark it, and come back to visit occasionally…I’m always finding new material that helps freelance writers of all kinds get the most out of our careers.
The main thing I want you to walk away with is that the world of freelance writing is massive.
Anywhere you see writing, there’s probably somebody paying for it. That’s why everybody who wants to make a living writing should first understand all the options available to them (blogging and articles are just the tip of a very large iceberg). Read this post first to learn not only what those options are, but also for tips on how to get started in each.
Example Freelancer Sites
Carline Anglade-Cole (Million Dollar Copywriter)
Transcription/Blogger (Sheeroh Murega Kiarie, Kenya)
Primary Contacts (who you should be marketing to)
Marketing Managers (also VPs, Chief Marketing Officers, Directors of Marketing/Marketing Automation/demand generation)
Content Marketing Managers
Owners/CEO/Founders (smaller companies)
Marketing Agencies (especially design agencies who need relationships with good writers)
Where to Find Work
Freelance Writing Jobs: My favorite site for writing gigs. Their Morning Coffee newsletter is VERY good and easy to sort through quickly, so definitely sign up.
ProBlogger: A wide range of topics here and gigs that go way beyond blogging…plus you can regularly find hidden gems.
StudentWritingJobs: I’ve never used this myself, but it might be worth trying out. (If you have any experiences worth noting, make sure to let me know.)
Who Pays Writers: A great site that keeps track of not only who pays writers to write, but also how much. It’s not a place you can directly apply to work, but it will start you in the right (and paying) direction.
Skill Development Resources
Even good writers can get better and learn new ways to apply their existing skills. These are my favorite resources for doing that…
American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI): Anybody who’s even considering a writing career should be signed up for at least their free account (even if you’re not American). It’s a ridiculously useful resource for copywriters and freelance writers that provides a job board, training, and business advice for independent writers. They also provide training in graphic design, self-publishing, internet marketing, resume writing, travel writing, photography. They’re very sales-focused which might be off-putting at first, but trust, you probably need to get better at selling yourself, so watching what they do should be a priority.
Make a Living Writing: Their slogan “Practical Help for Hungry Writers” is dead on. Carol Tice has deep experience as a freelance writer and a ton of posts to help you out. Their materials on getting out of low-dollar jobs and content mills are especially good. This isn’t my world, but I’ve noticed that they’ve also got a lot of info on learning to pitch like these examples, these tips for refining your pitches, and this advice too. Also read through their general Pitch Clinic tag here.
Content Marketing Institute: Great material on content marketing all around, but materials like this (How To Write a Style Guide for Your Brand) offer lessons you can use in your business, but also sell to customers. Definitely one to subscribe to.
Content Marketing Magazine: Free print and digital magazine that’s extra-useful for content strategists and even general writers who want to understand where their work fits into the big picture. Remember that content marketing is a legit career path with organizations having c-suite positions dedicated to it. This is some of the stuff they read.
Copyblogger: Amazing site for learning how to create effective online writing. Read their e-books. Follow them on Twitter. Sign up for their newsletters.
Kapost: A LOT of resources for getting into, and growing into B2B content marketing (a very profitable niche.)
Ed Gandia’s World: If you’re looking into B2B content writing, Gandia’s site, podcast, and courses should be on your frequent-visit list. He’s a copywriter who got going without a journalism degree or any formal training. His niche (software) is a naturally lucrative one, so keep that in mind if you start to compare yourself, but his pricing guide can be really strong inspiration to push your rates. Check out his podcast, his main site, his education site, his Twitter account, and even his advice on other sites.
Want to learn how to pitch to editors? Read this post first. Google helps a lot too. There’s a ton of info out there, so take your time and take it all in. This post from Freelance Writing Jobs is very helpful. Also, don’t forget the power of social media. Editors are often active and talk about their preferences and how to get through to them in threads kinda like this on Twitter. (Don’t spam people or scream your availability into the void though…listen first and then respond.)
Grammarly: A quick way to better writing. Even if you aren’t selling your writing skills, freelancing involves a lot of putting your writing “face” forward. Grammarly (one of my favorite tools) functions in-browser to help you clean up your writing before you send anything out. That’s esepcially useful if you aren’t ready to invest in an editor yet. (The MS Word plug-in and Chrome extensions in particular are great too.)
Hemmingway App: Crisp, clear writing should be a goal for all freelance writers. This free tool helps you get there.
National Writers Union: Contract advice, connection with other writers, and work around law and public policy to support independent writers.