A Look at the 3 Top Places to Find Freelance Writing Work

A Look at the 3 Top Places to Find Freelance Writing Work

Naturally, part of my preparation for possibly re-entering the world of freelance writing after a couple of years away includes checking out the current job-hunting landscape. So I put “freelance writing jobs” in my browser’s search bar and checked out the top three results the search engine spit back at me. Here are my thoughts.



I mentioned that I’d already created an account at Upwork in an earlier post. There are a lot of job listings there—literally hundreds upon hundreds. Some gigs pay well, some pay not so well, and some offer downright insulting pay.

Upwork charges a fee for using their board. There are still ways to get paid precisely what you’re worth (just determine your hourly rate or fixed price and tack on 20% when bidding) but it’s still a little unsettling to kiss that 20% goodbye. Does the site provide enough value to justify the cost? Well, that’s something each freelancer has to decide for herself.



I got started by registering, but was immediately turned off when I started getting their onboarding emails. First I was told there’s a waitlist to get in. Then, lucky me, I was accepted. (Wow, I must be special!) Then I find out what it costs to use the site. The cheap plan is $99/mo. The premium plan is $199/mo.


And these guys are not shy about going for the hard sell, either.

“With Contena Gold, you’ll learn how to go from zero to hero as a freelance writer with complete access to Contena Academy 2.0. Contena Academy is our complete 6 module video course that will help you to create everything you need to launch a great writing business.”

What I find the most disturbing about Contena is that until you pay, you can’t even look at the details of the jobs posted. I’m not into buying things sight unseen. And the skeptic in me if the list of titles is even legit.

I’m not saying this site is shady or that it doesn’t provide a valuable service for a specific kind of freelance writer, but it’s definitely not for me. I feel like I need to take a shower now.



There were quality listings here that seemed to be scraped from various other sites on the internet. You can filter their postings to cut down on clutter and take a closer look at the gigs that appeal to you.

After finding one I thought might be interesting, I clicked on the “apply here” button a couple of times before finally being led to a completely different site to submit the job proposal. Hmm. The extra clicks are a minor inconvenience. I have bookmarked the site though. It could be useful.

There are lots of other freelance writing job boards like FreelanceWriting.com that either collect links from around the web or offer paid ad space for companies looking to hire freelance writers. I landed some great projects scouring these kinds of sites previously, but I’m not sure they are the best use of my time now.


That Freelance Writing Job is Whack!

Lots of you have indicated in comments here and on my various guest posts that you are digging my tips about working as a freelance writer.

In that light, I’d like to point you to the JobMob website, where I have recently shared my advice on identifying the scammers and schemers of the online freelancing world.

Check out Top 10 Signs of the Worst Freelance Writing Jobs Ever.

As always, if you have questions you’d like to ask me about freelance writing, drop me a note.

Photo credit: andrewb


Freelance Writing Jobs: Fuzzy Math Edition

When I was a fledgling writer, I subscribed to a lot of different feeds for freelance writing jobs. Although most of my gigs these days come to me directly through my freelance writing website, I still browse my aggregated feeds from time to time to keep up with the state of the writing market and, truth be told, to amuse myself.

This post was imported from Suess's Pieces and may contain broken links and missing images

A Quick Note on Job Postings that Qualify for Ridicule on Suess’s Pieces

Many people from all over the world are more than happy to take jobs that pay $1 for 500 words, and I’m not here to judge what’s decent pay for all of humanity. So low pay in and of itself isn’t enough to warrant attention. What I’m here to highlight are the employers who write funny or insulting job ads.

Like This Guy Who Thinks Freelance Writers Can’t Do Math

I am looking for some great writers or team of writers… I have hundreds of articles to be written every week. So the more you write, the more you earn. I pay $2 per 500 words and $3.75 per 1000 words. The pay will be monthly, as most of my clients pay me monthly. Since, I can work on this trust, I need the same from my writers too.  (emphasis mine)

Apparently, my esteemed writing professionals, the more you write for this guy, the less you earn. If you’re going to work for this guy, I suggest slapping a page break in your next 1,000-word article or saving it in two separate files and billing him twice for 500-words. Apparently, this is how employers Do More with Less on oDesk (now UpWork).

Also, if any of you reading this are freelance writing n00bs, be very wary of submitting an entire month’s worth of writing without any pay.

A Little Unsolicited Freelance Writing Advice from Emily

If you want my professional opinion, trust is not a currency you should deal in – especially with clients you don’t know and haven’t worked with before. When getting started on oDesk or a similar freelance writing jobs site, always request a minimum of 25% paid upfront from new clients. As a one-person business, you have every right to CYA. (If you want to offer some leeway to long-term clients after they’ve established rapport, that’s up to you.)

Pin It on Pinterest