Many would-be freelance writers begin their careers thinking they need to learn the right way to land paid writing gigs. In reality, there are no “wrong” ways to earn a living online. If you’re enjoying your work, happy with your income, and maintaining a healthy life-work balance, you’re golden.
Plenty of clients use writing boards and classified ads to search for freelancers, but sites like Craigslist don’t have the best reputation among freelancer writers. Many job posters are looking for writers willing to churn our lengthy blog posts for just a few dollars, thus the poor reputation.
Having said that, I’ve found Craigslist can help you land writing jobs that pay well. Over the years, I’ve landed a fair number of clients via Craigslist, a few of whom have spent thousands of dollars purchasing content from me.
So, what’s the secret?
I use one simple tool to cut down on the time I spend searching Craigslist, while simultaneously maximizing my search results. It’s called SearchTempest, and it’s a free website that allows you to weed out a lot of the junk you’ll find on Craigslist on any given day.
This is how I use it:
Most people simply visit a region-specific landing page for Craigslist, based on their geographical location. For example, I would go to “newyork.craigslist.org” to see postings in my area. If you’re clever, perhaps you try to navigate through listings in a number of different metropolitan areas.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a very efficient approach. With SearchTempest, you simply provide your zip code and search for positions within a certain radius. Select “any” to get listings across the United States.
2. Search “Gigs” and “Jobs”
In theory, Craigslist uses gigs and jobs to separate longterm employment opportunities from short projects. I’ve found jobs under both umbrellas, however, so you’ll probably want to perform two different searches to maximize your success.
3. Only Consider Recent Postings
Lots of freelance writing boards catalogue ads from sites like Craigslist. Freelance Writing Gigs is a notable example. Unfortunately, by the time these ads hit the daily digests on freelance writing boards, the original poster has probably received dozens and dozens of query letters. This is one of the reasons I love SearchTempest. You can easily filter your search results and limit them to a timeframe you determine. If you can get an application in front of a poster within a few hours of the job’s publication, your chances of landing the gig skyrocket.
4. Let the Search Engine do the Work for You
Assuming you’ve played with the parameters to refine your search results, you may very well find few new postings correspond to what you’re seeking. Fortunately, SearchTempest offers this convenient option at the bottom of the page:
Simply check “Keep Going until 10 cities with results found,” and you won’t need to navigate through pages and pages of results.
See, it’s easy. If I were you, I wouldn’t make Craigslist the cornerstone of your strategy for landing freelance writing gigs. Having said that, it’s always useful to have another tool in your arsenal for finding new job ads and getting your application in early.
What’s your opinion on Craigslist? Do you use it to land writing jobs?