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How to Find New Clients as a Writer

typing for money photo: typing Randum008.jpg This is a fairly common question among new writers. Finding clients isn't always easy, and it does take some thinking outside the box. If you want to write online and make a good living out of it, writing for private clients is most definitely the way to go. First, you have to find them.

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Scour the Web

Your first inclination is going to be to type in terms like "jobs for writers" and you are going to get a lot of hits that involve writers talking about their work or trying to find work. What you need to do is consider what an ad might say and then type in terms that reflect what a client is looking for. A few examples are below.

"academic writers wanted"
"copywriter wanted"
"writing position"

As you can see in the first example, you even narrow down the venue you want to work in. Some other examples are below.

"fashion writers wanted"
"write about _____________" (Fill in the blank with your niche.)

Hopefully, you get the idea. What you are doing is using the search engine's method of ranking keywords to find the exact positions you are looking for. If you're still getting too many hits that don't reflect what you are looking for, narrow it down more.

"Telecommute academic writers wanted"
"urban fashion writers wanted"

Use Craigslist

Some writers have had horrible experiences with Craigslist. Personally, almost all of my experiences with them have been positive. However, I use specific methods to make sure they are positive, or at least aren't a waste of my time.

If you shop on Craigslist now, you probably look in your own area. Unless you're looking for an in-house position, that's not how you want to approach Craigslist for a writing job. Instead, use the All of Craigslist feature. Here, you can search everything Craigslist has to offer, whether it's in your area or not. Just type your search terms in the text box and revise them as needed.

Sign Up On Job Boards

There are plenty of places where you can find clients looking for writers. Consider joining job boards like eLance. oDesk, and others. I don't personally use them, but I know writers who have had great success with them.

Network with Other Writers

When I started out, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew how to write, but I didn't know how to write for an online audience or where to find work. The best decision I have ever made in my writing career was to join the Accentuate Writers Forum. I highly recommend it as a fantastic resource for writing leads, peer editing, tips, and just all around great writing advice. Network with the writers there and put in some real effort, and you are almost guaranteed success as a writer.

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Success in Writing: Resume Factor

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The new year is a great time to start thinking about how you are going to step up your writing career. The Success in Writing Series is meant to provide you with helpful tips on how you can get more clients, narrow your niche, and write about the things you want to write about. Let's start with your resume.

Review the Resume
How long has it been since you even looked at your resume? I confess, it's been over a year since I looked at mine, but I intend to rectify that situation immediately. If you happen to have a crippling fear of writing your own resume, don't be afraid to seek out some help. Personally, I write my own and then have one of my friends look it over because that's her niche.

Chronological or Topic?
For most writers, a chronological resume may not be feasible. If you worked on an awesome project that was done in two months, you don't necessarily want to put those dates down. For you and your client, it might mean that you kicked ass on it. For those reading your resume, it might mean that you only stuck around for two months. Consider a topic heavy resume instead and maybe even make more than one resume to fit your purposes.

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date and check your email signature to make sure it's up to date as well.
  • Make a resume by topic so that if you do SEO work, but you really want to only do health and beauty work, you have a resume for each one.
  • Offer references and samples as needed. You don't need to include them on the resume, but you do need to indicate that they are available.
  • Use headings and subheadings. They make your resume look more professional and they also make it easy for potential clients to focus on what's important to them.
  • Keep topic-specific samples handy so you don't have to write a sample for every client you pitch.
  • Write a pitch. You get paid to write, so don't waste your time re-writing a pitch for every client you want to approach. Write one pith and then modify it for each client.

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Make Extra Money with Writing

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There is nothing to put the writing community in a panic like the loss of a major site or the reduction in work from a major site. You'll hear a lot about having other eggs and lots of other financial advice from people working in the same place that you are. The truth is that you may have to think outside of the box (like writers aren't already).

You can make money from your blog, selling your articles, getting private clients, and all the other ways that online writers already know about, but might not use. And yet, there are ways that you haven't even thought of.

Raise Money for Someone Else

It's not like you don't know how to market or write to an Internet audience already. Now put that to use in another area. If nothing else, soon enough it will dawn on you that if you can market for someone else, surely you can do it for yourself.

Look to sites like For the Schools, where you can earn cash back for schools, but you can also earn some for yourself. In fact, you can literally dictate how much you earn because you get to decide how many people you invite. In turn, you get a bonus every time someone signs up. You can donate it to the school or keep it for yourself. What would I suggest? Charge a nominal fee (maybe 10%) to set up the account and then give everything else to the school. You'll be able to help the community, make a bit of money, and endear yourself to the school and local businesses, who might just need a marketing professional.

Mystery Shop

Believe it or not, you can make some decent money as a mystery shopper. How does your writing come into play? Reports and headaches, that's how.

Every report you write goes back to the mystery shopping company. They have to be able to read the report and pass it along to their client. When push comes to shove and bonuses are available, is that company going to look to you-- someone who provides well written reports that don't have to be completely rewritten before going to the client, or someone who may or may not turn in a legible report every now and then?

There are other things you can do. Edit, tutor, sell items online, create copy for friends who want to sell items online, charge a fee to teach other people how to make a living online, and lots more. You're a writer. Do what you do best and get creative!

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