How to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (Free Email Templates)

freelance writing email templates

This post was originally published on 9/4/13. Since I still get at least one question a week on how to go about finding writing jobs I decided to *update* and republish this post. This is the strategy that worked for me when I first got started and I’m pretty confident this will work for you too!

When it comes to finding freelance jobs the first one is the hardest. And, at first it takes a ton of time to find them – especially if you don’t already have a platform setup for yourself.

Last week I shared the exact email templates that I use to get freelance jobs with my email subscribers. Since a lot of you have showed interest in finding freelance writing jobs I thought I would share those with you as well and go a little bit more into detail of exactly how I go about finding freelance jobs.

I have to give credit where credit is due. I have picked up most of my tips from Leaving Work Behind, Be A Freelance Blogger, and Make a Living Writing. But, if you’re just starting out I think these tips will certainly help you in your freelance job hunt.

But first one *important* piece of advice.

Go for Companies with Products/Services for High Pay (And How My Rates Have Changed)

When I first started freelance writing I didn’t know what to charge. I had been working for $11.50/hour at the insurance agency so I was pretty much happy to take any job. Needless to say, there were many times when I cut myself short.

I kept my rates for bloggers and actual companies with a physical product the same – that was a mistake.

You should always make more money when you’re writing for a business with products and services. As a writer you’re part of that company’s marketing budget and you should be paid accordingly.

So figure out what you want to write about and start pitching companies! The time you spend doing this will help you create a more profitable freelance writing business from the start.

What About Writing for Bloggers?

That’s not to say there’s no point in working with bloggers. The truth is I’ve gotten to the point where I care much more about the person I’m working with than I care for a couple extra dollars. My favorite client is a blogger.

Writing for other bloggers can also be very profitable, and in my opinion, more fun than writing for companies. If you have a blog yourself and get to include a byline it’s also good for promotion.

The key is to find someone who values what you do.

One of my more profitable freelance jobs is from a blogger. That has only grown from developing a relationship over time and then taking on more responsibility.

When you’re just getting started you’re not going to know who’s good to work with and who isn’t. That all comes from trial by fire.

As a new freelance writer finding jobs can be tough. Here are some free email templates that will help you land your first job. (These are the exact emails I've used to get tons of freelance jobs!)

Setting Your Rates

Aren’t you always curious how much money freelance bloggers make per post? Well, here’s what I make.

Average amount per post writing for other blogs (no product or service): $25/per post (This is the average. I started out charging $20 and haven’t raised those rates. I now take on any new blogging jobs at $30 per post.)

Average amount per post writing for businesses with a product or service: $50/per post

Another thing to keep in mind is that when writing for bloggers you’ll most likely be left to come up with topics on your own. Businesses that are selling a product normally have a very fine tuned content calendar that will ultimately help them make more sales.

Direct Emails

I have found most of my freelance jobs by simply asking blog owners or companies if they need a writer.

I’ll look at a blog list like Modest Money’s Top Finance Blogs or I’ll just Google “Business topic + Blog. (Example: insurance marketing company + blog.)  If I find a blog that I like or a blog that I feel I could write good for I email the owner and ask them if they need a freelance writer.

While I don’t always get the job a lot of good comes out of these emails. First off I get my name out there. Secondly, many of the blog owners say they’ll contact me if they have a slot open up. Lastly, I get new jobs!

Sending direct emails can be a little intimidating at first but after a few your fear of rejection subsides.

Here is the email template I use when sending out emails to blog owners.

Hello {Insert Name},

I hope you’re doing well!

I saw that you have multiple writers on your blog and wanted to introduce myself in case you’re ever in need of another writer.

I have been blogging for 3+ years and freelance writing for small business websites and blogs for 1 year. You can check out some of the places I’ve been featured here http://singlemomsincome.com/hire-me/

Love what you do. If there’s ever anything I can do for you just let me know.

Have a wonderful week!

Best,

Alexa Mason

I tweak this email depending on who I am sending it to. I make it  as personalized as possible.

Job Boards

I get more jobs sending direct emails but I have gotten a few jobs from job boards as well. Here is the email template that I use when applying to jobs off of job boards.

Hello {Name},

I saw your recent job opening on {name of job board} and I think I would be a good fit for the role.

I am familiar with standard SEO practices, blog writing, and  {topic they need wrote about.}

Here are three writing samples you may be interested in:

  •  Relevant Sample # 1
  • Relevant Sample # 2
  • Relevant Sample # 3

I have been freelance blogging for about a year and have been featured on many popular blogs. You can view those here http://singlemomsincome.com/hire-me/

 {Here I would answer any questions they asked in the job ad}

Time is valuable these days and I certainly appreciate yours. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Best,

Alexa Mason

Once again I tweak this depending on the job and try to make it as personalized as possible. 

Resumes, Personalization, and Targeted Clients

Before you set out to find freelance writing jobs you need to narrow down your niche. You cannot be a generalist, trust me I’ve tried it before.

You need to concentrate on 1-3 topics and convince the people you want to work for that you know what you are talking about. You’ll have better results by being specific.

Also, I often attach a resume to my emails. I like to keep my emails short and to the point. By attaching a resume I can list all of my relevant experience on a separate document for a potential client to review. This way if the email pulls them in hopefully the resume closes the deal!

Finally you want your emails to be personalized. You should look for the first name of the person you’re emailing and use it in the email. If you just address your email “Hello” it kind of looks like spam. You won’t always be able to find the name of the person you’re trying to contact so in that case you have to use a generic greeting.

 If you’re just getting started is there anything about the process that intimidates or confuses you?

Comments

  1. says

    Hey Alexa. Great post and I second what Laurie wrote :)

    Because of you I have been thinking of expanding my income stream with freelance writing and your words have greatly inspired me to seek out possible opportunities. Thank you!

    Now I’m going to see what’s out there! Take care and all the best.

    Lyle

  2. says

    Great tips. I have been trying to do some freelance work recently and take an approach very similar to yours. Having some great articles to reference makes a HUGE difference in my experience. That was the key for me scoring a regular writing gig at the US News & World Report Money blog.

  3. says

    Great tips Alexa! I think the succinct email and having some solid examples to point back to are key is trying to set yourself apart. If the company is knowing what they’re doing they’ll see the value you can bring and help you stand apart from the rest. I’ve been starting to pick up some more freelance work myself and use quite a few of your tips. Keep up the great work!

  4. says

    I like your email templates a lot. Very concise and direct. When I’ve wanted to meet with professionals who I thought could help me out I’ve used similar emails and gotten great responses. And it definitely helps to be persistent. You can’t let a little failure get you down.

    • Alexa says

      Absolutely. When I decided to actually give this my all I put failure aside. I realized it was going to take a lot of work to get the amount of jobs I needed. That’s why I’ll set monthly goals of getting 4 or so new clients. If I email 100 people and get 4 jobs I am pretty happy!

  5. says

    Excellent tips, Alexa! I am not currently looking for freelance jobs, but that could change in the future. I definitely appreciate it when people reach out and ask about freelance writing. Blogging about it works well, too, as that is how I found Cat originally (I ended up initially reaching out to her in response to a blog she wrote). I think your template is great, though, and as long as you aren’t blasting to 1000000 people at once and not able to keep up with the replies you should be good.

    • Alexa says

      Oh yeah, I only apply to jobs that I think are relevant to what I know. Writing about something I am not familiar with takes too long and isn’t as quality as I like to give clients. Plus less than half the people you email actually reply back.

  6. says

    Love these tips! I am looking to make my first freelance, online income by the end of the year. I work a lot of events, but want to move to some things from home.

    • Alexa says

      It depends. On job boards they usually want you to put something specific in your subject line. IF I am emailing blogs I find on my own I usually put the blog name in the subject. Like for this one I’d put “Single Moms Income Blog”

  7. says

    I think it’s really intimidating to put yourself out there, and that’s really amazing that you’re willing to be so open and share your templates. I submitted my first two freelance articles last week. I wan’t expecting much, and both needed rewrites. It was hilarious, though, that one needed rewriting because the editor thought it was to technical. The other needed rewriting because the editor said I was not technical enough and was dumbing down the topic too much. Anyway, I redid both, and one got accepted and the other was rejected, so I’m 50% so far. Not sure if that’s good or bad?

    • Alexa says

      Well, for the place you’re writing for it may be typical. I haven’t wrote for them but from what I hear they have tough guidelines. The jobs that I do for other blog owners have never had to been rewritten.I have definitely gotten suggestions and advice for future articles though. I think it just all depends on who you are writing for.

  8. says

    I get emails from people all the time asking to write content for my blog and they never look as professional as that. Either way my little blog doesn’t need staff writers, but is certainly consider it more if the writer introduced themselves like that. Nice tips

  9. says

    Thanks for the tips. You seem to be killing it with the side income so I will def. be taking them. I am really starting to experience a jump in side income but I am always interested in learning more.

  10. says

    Having an email template is really helpful. Thanks! I need to change up my approach (maybe make it more like yours!) because I don’t get too many responses. I also need to up my experience, though. Even though *I* know that I can write well and meet deadlines, I don’t have a lot of work experience to prove that.

  11. says

    Hey Alexa, thanks for the tips and the templates. I think direct email is a good method to try, even if the site isn’t currently looking for a new writer you’ll at least be on their radar in the future.

  12. Mike Sent says

    Hey! Thanks a lot for those tips. I am currently at my best way to becoming a freelancer in points webdesign and similar. This truely helped me :)

  13. Leslie says

    Dear Alexa,
    This is a wonderful bock with great advice. I am a working mum and often come home in tears as my boss and other colleagues do not understsnd the hardship of being a parent. I will follow your advice and please wish me the best of luck.

    Leslie

  14. anish says

    Hi alexa,
    i am happy to read your article, please help me for below.
    i am a php developer from india and have 2 year experience and i want to work directly from offshore client. so what to write in email to attract client for web development work.
    thanks in advance.

  15. says

    Great post! I’ve been a freelance writer for almost a decade now (mostly as a side hustle) and I have a very similar process for finding work — researching potential websites and publications to write for and sending the editor or content manager a short intro email.

    I will add that if you want to write for websites that are associated with a print publication or corporate/major media websites (like Bankrate.com), it’s a good idea to read the kinds of articles/posts that appear on the site and then write a query letter pitching a specific idea to the editor. Those who want to freelance should also consider writing for traditional print magazines. I have made a ton of extra income writing for industry trade magazines. Trade editors are pretty receptive to freelancers (if they have a budget to hire them).

    Your suggestions in this post have opened my eyes to other potential clients, so I’m happy to have stumbled upon your blog. I had never thought about pitching my writing services to independent bloggers. I do currently blog for a trade magazine’s blog. So I’d love to expand my client base since I have the experience.

    Anyway, thanks for the post and I look forward to exploring your blog more! :)

  16. says

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  17. says

    Good use of the re-post strategy! :)

    One additional question I had (and maybe something that could be added in the post later on): Does it help to have a lot of pre-written posts that you could work from once you do get a client. Say you had 10 or so posts that were 50% done – would that help accelerate your ability to knock out jobs?

    • Alexa says

      Yes that would be a HUGE help. I keep a running list of ideas I can resort to when I stumped. When you’re writing all the time you can quickly run out of ideas so it would be ideal to have a list!

  18. says

    VERY good info. I’d like to ‘expand’ my skills when it comes to personal finance blogging and this will help me tremendously. I’ll create a ‘template’ myself for emails and see if I can land any jobs. Much appreciated ;)

    • Alexa says

      I’m so glad you liked it! It took me awhile to figure out the art of direct email but these emails really worked for me. Especially, when customized!

  19. says

    I haven’t done much cold emailing yet, but I have sent emails to follow up with bloggers who make some off-handed comments in their posts about possibly wanting to hire someone to help with their business. That has gotten me a couple jobs now. :)

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  1. […] Bee and the Money Tree: The Costs (and Benefits) of Procrastination Single Moms Income: How to Find Freelance Jobs (My Best Tips) Making Sense of Cents: Minimalism 101: One Thing a Day One Smart Dollar: Student Loan Debt Causes […]

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