How to Find Freelance Jobs – I Use One Almost Exclusively

How to find freelance jobsSo, you want to start freelancing.  Isn’t that why you are here?  OK, just kidding.  I have been getting questions about freelancing from some of my readers as of late.  I figure they do that because freelancing is how I make most of my side income.  I have been freelancing since I was in college, but really kicked it up a notch when I was in debt.  I have learned a lot over the years about how to freelance and how much I can actually accomplish in my spare time.  The key to freelancing is time management. Well, that and having a skill that you can sell.  There are so many things that you can do as a freelancer that it is one of the best ways to earn side income.  Who doesn’t love making extra income?  Anyway, I am going to divulge how to find freelance jobs for those that wish to get started.

Identify Your Niche

It is impossible to start freelancing without understanding your skills worth selling.  What are you good at?  Can you write articles like a champion?  Do you like to code?  Are you a designer?  Can you assist others with their tasks?  These are just a few questions that you can ask yourself.  You should also think of tasks that you enjoy doing.

When you try to identify your niche, you should look around to see if people are asking for your services.  You can’t freelance if people aren’t paying for your niche services.  You can only supply if there is demand.  That is the basics of economics.

For example, I do a lot of Excel data work for my regular job.  I have been doing it for years and now I am the one people go to for certain things.  While I do sell these services to others, it is not a big niche for me.  I wouldn’t be able to make the money that I do with just Excel consulting.  For that reason, I am also a freelance writer, but also deal with blog security and maintenance.  I handle a majority of the technical stuff for many different blogs out there.  It is a bigger market with much more demand.

[box type=”success” ]If you are ever looking for a freelance writer or need some blog maintenance, please let me know. I would be happy to work with you on whatever you need. You can review my services to see if anything fits.[/box]

Job Boards

There are a ton of job boards out there.  It can be hard to weed through all of the available jobs, but if you know what you are looking for then you can make it easier.  Job boards are by far the easiest to search, but they can be difficult to actually get a job from those boards.  You have to realize that many people go check on these boards for similar positions.  You are competing with many more.

There are so many job boards out there.  Depending on what your service is should dictate where you go.  ODesk and Elance are two big boards that have a wide range of jobs available.  You can post your services up there with your own profile.  Some of the best boards will allow you to receive the latest job openings right to your email.  You can filter how you wan to receive the new openings and then they will come right to your inbox.  You can only complete with others if you know of the jobs.

Two boards that I look at when looking for freelance writing jobs are Freelance Writing Gigs and Problogger.

Get Your Network On

Let me give you a word of advice.  The number one way to get jobs is word of mouth.  It might sound cliche, but that is how I get most of my jobs.  I work hard to provide a quality service for each and every one of my clients.  No matter if it is just a quick job or a more involved one, I care about each and every one of them.  I get emails all of the time from other site owners looking for my services.  Why?  They get my name from a previous or current client.  When you treat your clients with respect and make sure they are satisfied, then they tend to share your information with others.  Networking is so powerful and should never be overlooked.

Direct Contact

Freelancing is all about getting out there and getting it done.  You have to be a hustler in order to be a good freelancer.  If you don’t take the time to push it, then you might not get many jobs.  Another way to get jobs it to reach out to places that you would like to work for.  Do you frequent a site and would like to write on it?  Head over to their contact page and reach out.  You never know where it might lead.

When you reach out to a site or company directly, it is like throwing up something against a wall and seeing what sticks.  You will get “no” many times before you get a “yes.”  This is just the nature of the game.  Sometimes you can find places that are looking for services, but they only talk about it on their site.  Those are usually warmer leads.  Direct contact jobs are few and far between, but they do exist.

Own a Website

This is a late addition* that somehow slipped my mind. I can’t believe I didn’t add this here.  Creating your own website is an awesome way to drum up freelance work.  I created a Hire Me section on my website and that brings some good leads.  Owning a website is great to show off your current and past work along with provide testimonials.  There are so many things you can do when you have your own website.  If you want to create a blog for your website, then check out my “How to Start a Blog” guide.

*Thanks to my readers for helping me remember about owning a website as a way to get freelance work. I don’t know where my head was at!

Where do you look for freelance jobs?  How long did it take for you to identify services that you could sell?

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 /

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About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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Leave a Comment:

DC @ Young Adult Money says March 20

For writing freelance jobs I think starting a blog is the best way to go. I don’t even have a ‘hire me’ tab but have had many offers to write for other sites, and that’s without seeking out those opportunities. For other services I still think getting a website is key.

    Laurie says March 21

    I can’t believe I forgot that one. I just updated the post. Thanks for the slap in the head DC!

Income Surfer says March 20

Thanks for the tips Roundup. I do a small amount of freelancing, but all of it is the result of my network in the real estate development industry. I’d like to find a way to transition new work over to the internet, for convenience, but I have too many other projects going.


    Laurie says March 21

    Well, you wouldn’t want to add any more projects if you have a full plate. People don’t like to wait!

John @ Frugal Rules says March 20

I use both of those job boards as well and, like DC said, I think having a blog is a great way to get freelancing work – as long as you use it right. Finding what people want/need and matching that with solid networking is a key though, otherwise people won’t know that you could help meet their needs.

    Laurie says March 21

    Yeah, I just added the website to the list. I can’t believe I missed it.

Clarisse @ Savvy Scot says March 20

It’s really hard for me to look for another freelance job, especially that I don’t have my own website. Luckily Pauline really helps me a lot in looking for other possible works. She introduces me to her co-bloggers for more side hustle job.

    Laurie says March 21

    Pauline is awesome that way. It is all about networking!

Holly@ClubThrifty says March 20

I think having a blog is the best way to attract writing jobs! I lost one job a few weeks ago (wasn’t my fault, it just ended), and finally put a “hire me” button up. I immediately had three new writing jobs to replace the one I lost. Networking is also important. Also, return emails quickly. No one wants to wait two days to hear back from you.

    Laurie says March 21

    That is awesome Holly. The Hire Me thing is key. It really does work.

Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial says March 20

I’ve gotten some work from Problogger and ads found on Freelance Writing Gigs, but most of my quality clients have come from direct contact where I reached out to them and pitched my services, and then from referrals where people came to me after hearing someone else brag on me. I really think the key to success with freelancing is building quality connections with people you enjoy working with and want to work for. That, plus giving yourself a little time to get the momentum going 🙂

    Laurie says March 21

    I have got a few jobs from there as well. My network works best, but then my website does a great job.

Michelle says March 20

I agree with the others, starting a blog is great if you want to freelance online. Many people have emailed me directly asking me if I’m interesting in a writing job, so it definitely pays off.

Deacon Hayes says March 20

I don’t look for freelance gigs anymore but I do have a services section on my website that is super helpful in drumming up business. I just checked out your services page and had no idea that you had such a variety of skills sets. I will be sending you a message here shortly to see if I can use your services!

    Laurie says March 21

    Thanks for reaching out Deacon. You have your own SEO company, so why would you freelance? 😉

Melanie@Dear Debt says March 21

I just started getting a few gigs! I have a Hire Me page, and follow-up on gigs I see on Twitter, Elance, Craigslist, etc. I also follow-up on previous leads if I think there are more opportunities. No harm in sending a friendly note! I also network with other bloggers to get advice on being a freelance writer and how to get started. I’ve gotten great advice that way and now more people know I am looking.

    Laurie says March 21

    Great job Melanie! Freelancing can be difficult, but you are going about it in all the right ways!

Marvin says March 23

The “Hire Me” tab is a great idea, thanks for the suggestion. I have thought about free lancing for a while now but I hardly have time enough as it is.

    Laurie says March 23

    The Hire Me tab works well. It can get you some solid leads. Freelancing does take some time, but you get to make up your own hours. I take on work when I have the time, so I don’t get too overwhelmed.

Ryan @ Impersonal Fiannce says March 25

Great tips Grayson. I’m always looking for ways to find additional income. I enjoy running a website, and even though I’m not making much from it, I’m meeting a lot of great people, and know that eventually all of the networking I’m doing will come in handy. Not to mention, I’m learning a ton of new skills and money saving/making ideas.

    Laurie says March 25

    Networking is awesome. You can really do great things with a quality network.

Catherine says March 25

I need to get into this more. I was doing quite a bit of freelance writing but I need to ramp it back up!

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