So, maybe you’ve tried your luck at freelance writing in the past, but quickly felt overwhelmed scouring the vast online world for actual paid writing opportunities.
You probably wouldn’t believe me at first because of their reputations as terrible places to look for decent-paying clients, but Craigslist and Fiverr can actually yield writing jobs that lead to long-term profitable opportunities.
Truthfully, to become a successful freelance writer, you need three things: confidence, decent writing skills and knowledge of how to find -- and land -- jobs that pay reasonably. Luckily, I can help you out with that last one.
So, how can Craigslist and Fiverr help you find these seemingly elusive freelance writing gigs?
Now, I know what you’re thinking: How can I earn a living wage working for $5 per gig? Well, actually, you’ll get $4 after Fiverr takes its piece of the pie. Every little bit adds up, but that’s not exactly a great starting wage.
However, if you want to build a writing career, you need to find clients, and Fiverr can help you find your first few clients quickly. If you sell your skills well in your profile, you will start getting requests within the first couple of days. This way, you can build a portfolio to show to higher-paying clients in the future.
It might seem like drudgery to work so hard for such little pay, but you don’t have to stay on Fiverr forever. I had an account for a couple of months until I started getting more lucrative offers, and then I closed it. I have only been freelance writing since October 2014, so I’m thrilled to have better-paying opportunities coming my way so quickly.
Here’s an example of how Fiverr can help you get higher-paying writing jobs: I landed a regular writing opportunity through a Fiverr gig.
One of my clients on Fiverr wanted me to write an article about the power of positive thinking, and suggested I check out a site called Power of Positivity as a guideline for formatting the article. I checked out the website, and immediately knew that I wanted to write for it.
I wrote a test article for the site, and the editors actually rejected my first attempt. I read more articles on their site to get a feel for the house voice and style, and wrote a new post on a completely different topic. They loved it, and decided to bring me on as a paid writer. If I had never signed up for Fiverr, I probably would never have heard of the site, but now I earn $800 a month as a regular contributor!
Fiverr can actually help you earn a decent income as a writer in an unexpected way. Instead of fixating on the $4 you’ll earn from each job, focus on the long-term connections and opportunities you’ll uncover through the short-term clients you find on the site.
We’ve all heard a lot about scams on Craigslist. But with a little digging and due diligence, you can find real, decent-paying writing jobs on the site as well.
To weed out the scams from the real opportunities, make sure the job doesn’t require you to pay any money up front -- that’s a huge red flag. Also, check that the title of the ad clearly describes the position available, and doesn’t say something vague like “Looking for freelance writers/editors for full-time work” or “Earn $1,000 a day from your own home.” These types of ads draw in desperate freelance writers all the time, but don’t let yourself get suckered into these scams.
Instead, make sure the compensation sounds reasonable, and also read the ad thoroughly to make sure it contains these three things:
Now, you’re probably wondering how you can manage your time wisely searching through all the ads on Craigslist. While as a freelance writer, you can work from anywhere and you’re not limited to your own city’s Craigslist postings, don’t try to scan every writing gig on all of Craigslist.
Instead, only look at the writing jobs in major cities, such as Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, Miami, London and Berlin, to name a handful. I check the “writing/editing” section under the “jobs” area of major U.S. cities first, then make my way into Canada, and finally Europe and Australia. I skip Asia, South America and Africa for the most part, because either the conversion rates don’t work in favor of the U.S., or there just aren’t very many opportunities available.
And yes, it’s definitely worth checking out international opportunities: If you limit yourself to the U.S., you won’t get to take advantage of the conversion rates of other countries’ currency! I scored an editing job based in Berlin, Germany that pays 13 Euros per hour, or roughly $15 an hour. While I don’t work for the company anymore, I consider that a pretty high-paying job for a beginner.
Around the same time I landed that job, I found another opportunity based in the U.S. that pays the same rate as my previous job. I work 20 hours a week and earn about $1,200 per month; combined with my $800 a month from Power of Positivity, this comes out to $2,000 monthly income from freelance writing -- all from opportunities I found through Craigslist and Fiverr.
While many of the writing jobs you’ll find on these sites likely aren’t worth your time, Craigslist and Fiverr do hold some diamonds in the rough. If you use these sites strategically, you can find opportunities to make money and build your portfolio as a freelance writer.
Your Turn: Have you used Craigslist and Fiverr to find legitimate writing jobs that pay decent rates?
Kristen Lawrence works as a freelance self-development writer for Power of Positivity, and also contributes weekly recipes at the Peaceful Dumpling. She is working on starting her own business to help people succeed in all aspects of life, and also runs her own self-help blog at The Peace Tribe.