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.


Getting Back to Freelance Writing

Getting Back to Freelance Writing

My long-term disability insurance policy doesn’t run out until May 2019, but it does run out. So naturally, I’m already worrying about how we are going to replace that $900 each month and thinking about the possibility of getting back to freelancing after a two-year medical leave of absence from work of any kind—freelance or otherwise.

In the moments when I’m able, I’m preparing myself for a return to work, even though I can’t just yet and there’s no promise that I’ll be able to next year. To start, I’ve been thinking up a to-do list that might be helpful in case I’m healthy enough to freelance again. If you think about it, I’m like a Doomsday Prepper, except I’m anticipating that something good will happen to me.

Cleaning up my Twitter Timeline?

Most professionals would advise me to back away from the political posts and maybe stop swearing at my congressional representative (who, I should note, would like to see me and others die from our illnesses rather than ensure we have full access to medical care) on Twitter.

However, I’ve got brain cancer. And whether it’s because deep thoughts about my immortality have made me less concerned with people who don’t like me or it’s because I’m more inclined to carpe the fucking diem, I’m leaning more toward continuing to tweet whatever I want.

What about that LinkedIn Profile of Mine?

I’ll be honest, I haven’t bothered much with LinkedIn since about 2013, and it’s been nice. It was helpful back when I was actively seeking freelance gigs, because it served as my resume, but the useless notifications were so annoying. When I started working at Wolfram, I didn’t do much more than update my job title and add a few new connections. I think I’ll check in with my freelancing pals and see whether they find it helpful on the off chance maintaining some sort of presence there is helpful.

I Signed Up at Upwork

As far as I can tell, this is the site that used to be oDesk. I used oDesk to land quite a few gigs back in the day, and it could prove to be a nice place to find work again in the future. I created a profile, set up my payment account, browsed the jobs listings, and even put in a couple of brief proposals for some small projects I’m confident I could handle even right now.

While there are plenty of contractors looking to take advantage of desperate workers on the site, there are also a few real gems to be found. I like the idea of submitting proposals for jobs that interest me and avoiding wading through and replying to random contacts through my website.

About the Website…

That’s something else I need to consider. Am I going to go back to a more professional emilysuess.com that focuses on my work, or keep this site as it currently exists? I could create completely separate sites for my professional and personal homes on the world wide web. I’ll continue to mull it over.

I’ve got a lot to consider.

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