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Finding Freelance Writing Work Without Social Media

Social media can be a strong tool for writers searching for freelance opportunities and assignments, but C. Hope Clark shares a few other options available to freelancers.

The world is afire on social media. Magazines and companies connect most of what they do on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, WhatsApp, NextDoor, and more. If you study these avenues long, you realize that each tends to lean to one age group or another and different societal groups.

Per the PEW Research Center: A majority of Americans say they use YouTube and Facebook, while use of Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok is especially common among adults under 30.

YouTube and Facebook are still the go-to media with Facebook boasting usage by 70 percent of the population, across all age groups. Certain apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok are stronger with 18- to 29-year-olds. TikTok, in particular, has leaped recently due to young authors learning how to market there, reinforcing the impression that it’s a younger person’s app.

(Should Writers Use Social Media?)

As a freelance writer, however, your time is crammed with marketing, soliciting work, and meeting contracts. You might find your time rather limited in maintaining three to six social media sites atop your work. To many, waking up in the morning realizing you have to address your social media presence before actually sitting down to work is demoralizing and stifling. You have the option of choosing not to socialize on those sites, frankly.

Finding Freelance Writing Work Without Social Media

So how do you do the following without social media?

  1. Find work
  2. Prove your worth
  3. Market yourself

Per established freelance writer Kaleigh Moore, one method is to guest post on specialized, highly niched blogs. The readership and potential client keenly interested in such focused subject matter will especially note who writes such respectable material. On these blogs, you accomplish all three missions of finding work, proving your worth, and marketing yourself via superb wordsmithing and the bio at the end.

Freelance job sites are still in vogue.

Many freelance job sites have excelled at upping their game above the commonness of Fiverr and Upwork. While those two have highly successful writers in their ranks, there comes a certain degree of dues-paying and sifting through the cheap and unreliable to climb their ladders above the fray.

MarketHire and SelectFew vet their freelancers and their clients and do an excellent job pairing quality with quality, finding the matches made in heaven, so to speak. The professional level of LinkedIn Jobs is alive and well and utilized by many potential clients. Simple affiliation with universities, businesses, and skills in your portfolio can open doors with a professionally presented portfolio. (And no, you do not have to maintain the social media aspect of LinkedIn if you do not care to. Some businesses understand you’d rather work than dance the social media dance.)

But referrals remain first and foremost at the top of the list.


Get Published in 2022: Breaking In Resource Directory

Breaking into traditional book publishing can be tough work. After you write and revise the book, there’s finding an agent or an independent publisher, which involves time spent researching instead of what you really want to be doing—writing. So, Writer’s Digest has done the work for you with this 144-page guide. The Get Published in 2022: Breaking In Resource Directory collects the resources you need to make 2022 the year your book gets published.

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Land one gig in your niche. Do your absolute best. Then ask for a testimonial and a referral. Groom that client, ensuring them you are there for them in terms of future needs. Ask them if you can use them as a reference.

This is the old-fashioned method of growing a freelance career, and it’s tried and true. Freelancing is about courting, establishing, and maintaining relationships. No different than keeping friendships, this effort at being a good person who does good work and respects their client can take you far in today’s environment of online strangers.

Granted, your freelance business will not leap out of the chute and make you six figures in a year (unless it does, then kudos to you), but what you build becomes a tremendous foundation to build upon because it’s sturdy, reliable, and will support you throughout your career.

Finally, don’t forget your friends.

As in any profession, keep in touch with your peers. They are the pulse of the industry, where you learn the real logistics of what works and what does not . . . where the work is and isn’t. And with freelance work escalating in need, with lots of work to go around, your peer network is an inside track on those openings. Additionally, the go-getters in your circle will have more than they can handle and might be more than willing to sub-contract to you or offer a referral to a customer on your behalf.

If you are one who prefers to write than lose precious production time to tending multiple social media accounts, then do so. Build a website, keep it updated, then use your people skills to land the gigs, build your portfolio, and establish a career grounded in the old-fashioned cement of relationships. 

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