How to Successfully Land Your First Freelance Gig

Ever wonder if you have what it takes to become a freelance writer?

As I become more and more familiar with the interesting world of running a blog, I realize how much I enjoy writing and crafting content for my readers.

So why not look for a freelancing gig and earn a good chunk of change while doing so?

For newbie freelancers, like myself, landing an impressively high paying gig may be difficult. But fear not, my friend. It’s totally possible. You just have to be patient, confident, and know what on earth you are doing.

Why Freelance

There are tons of reasons why people turn to freelancing.

  • Earn extra income
  • Hobby/just for fun
  • To keep busy
  • Build a portfolio

For some, freelancing is actually their job.

I chose to seek out the opportunity to freelance as a way to build my writing skills and to help expand my creativity. Since I am relatively new to the blogging world, I felt that freelancing may actually be quite helpful.

Considering the fact that I work part-time hours in the afternoons, I thought I could maybe make some time and add on the extra work. Well, when you have a nearly one-year-old running around, time definitely is not on your side. But, I do what I can.

So whether you work full-time, part-time, or just looking for something to do to and earn a few extra bucks, freelancing may be right for you.

Here are some ways a newbie can land his/her first freelancing gig:

Track Down Work on Job Boards

One of the better-known job boards out there for landing freelance gigs is called Upwork.

I would recommend Upwork to any aspiring freelancer or creative who wants to earn extra income on the side but have not yet built up an impressionable portfolio.

The only “downside” to finding work on Upwork is that you must bid for jobs. This means that there are other creative writers just like you who also want to pick up the same job. In addition to that, the pay tends to be on the lower end of the spectrum (in most cases), which can be discouraging at times.

So if you are already successful at blogging and generating a steady income from the content that you present, Upwork probably isn’t ideal for you. Unless you can bid on and land an extremely high paying gig, which can happen!

Other sites to seek work are Problogger, Guru, Freelancer, and many more.

Cold Pitch

Cold pitching is probably one of the most nerve-wracking, yet highly successful approaches a freelancer can take in order to land their first gig.

Reason being is that a lot of people don’t actually do this blindly. It’s bold, and yes, even a little scary.

So how do you cold pitch?

By contacting companies, bloggers, or small business startups. Let them know that you noticed their site online and you would like to help them grow their business by offering your services as a freelance writer.

Figuring you have nothing to lose, generate a short, but straight-to-the-point e-mail and send it well on its way!

I suggest that in your e-mails you present your interest and intention by including the following information.

  • Who you are
  • Your interest as a freelance writer
  • The direct link back to your blog (if you have one)
  • Attach your portfolio or link to your LinkedIn account (again, if you have one)
  • How your services can improve their business

You should not include your rates in a cold pitch e-mail. Leave this information out and once you receive a response, then provide this information when asked.

Seek Out Ads on Classified Advertisements Websites

Say what? Search the classifieds?

It works! Finding classifieds on advertisement websites may be a great way to land your first freelance gig. It’s actually how I found one of my first gigs. There are many companies looking for help with their blog.

The good news is, many smaller companies are not looking for highly experienced freelance writers, so this approach may be best for you if you do not have a portfolio yet.

Ask Around

Asking questions never hurt! Approaching fellow bloggers or even friends who work in the social media business can probably help you land your first freelance gig! You’d be surprised how many people actually score a high paying job this way.

If you have a large network of fellow bloggers, reach out to a few of them. See if any of them are interested in hiring you as a freelancer for their blog/business. Maybe they know someone who is seeking some help!

The worst that can happen is they say “no”. Not a big deal, right? 😉 Give it a shot!

Write a ‘Hire Me’ Page

This is something you may want to have listed on your blog menu. A hire me page.

If you are just starting out, including the basics of what type of services you offer is crucial. Freelancing, coaching, graphic creation, etc. If anyone ends up on your page and clicks on your hire me page, they may see something that they are interested in investing in. So be sure to include as much detail as possible.

My Hire Me page isn’t full of testimonials, just yet. But once I get some good feedback, I may include that into the bottom of the page.

Keep your rates out and only discuss when a potential client decides to contact you. This keeps many windows of opportunity open.

Lastly, make sure you include details on how you should be contacted. You don’t want to miss any connections made!

Good luck on your freelance hunt!

Question:

What is one way you were able to successfully land your first freelance gig?

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

How to Successfully Land Your First Freelance Gig
Danielle @ The Pennies We Saved

Danielle @ The Pennies We Saved

Thanks for stopping by! I recently transitioned from working full-time to part-time in order to stay at home and raise my young daughter (daycare is expensive!). Despite the changes in our household income, my husband, J, and I continue to flourish in paying of our debts and are now nearing the end of our journey!
Danielle @ The Pennies We Saved

Latest posts by Danielle @ The Pennies We Saved (see all)

About Danielle @ The Pennies We Saved

Thanks for stopping by! I recently transitioned from working full-time to part-time in order to stay at home and raise my young daughter (daycare is expensive!). Despite the changes in our household income, my husband, J, and I continue to flourish in paying of our debts and are now nearing the end of our journey!

8 thoughts on “How to Successfully Land Your First Freelance Gig

  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks so much for giving these helpful pointers! These are invaluable resources for newbie bloggers like myself, looking to break into the freelance work and build up my writing chops (plus doesn’t hurt to make some moolah ;))

  2. I’ve been thinking about looking into freelance work as something to do on the side. But it’s only been a though that I haven’t acted on yet. Lol. You offer some good tips though. I’m going to have to seriously stop procrastinating on this!

  3. Great post Danielle! I also think that a lot of people do not realize how convenient and easy it is in 2017 to start a side hustle. Or they’re just too lazy? Who knows 🙂

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