I’m not actively seeking freelance writing work. I have a couple of clients and this blog to keep me busy. For the most part, I don’t apply for a gig or send a query unless I find something that truly piques my interest. Still, I check the job boards every single day. Even if I’m not trolling for freelance writing job leads to post here, I still make it a part of my daily routine.
I know not every freelance writing blogger recommends you look for work so often as it cuts down on productivity. However, I feel it’s important to do so, even if you only take fifteen minutes to scan the job boards. I feel it’s an absolute necessary part of my routine.
If I’m going to blog about freelance writing, I better have a good idea of the job situation
The name of this blog is Freelance Writing Jobs. I wouldn’t be true to this blog’s title or mission if I didn’t keep up with freelance writing trends. I can talk to you every day about finding work or applying for gigs, but if I’m not doing any of it myself, I really have no call doing this. Plus, as a freelance writer, it’s important to know what’s going on in the job market. I may not need to find work today, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be in a position to have to do so tomorrow.
Visiting the job boards each day allows me to see:
Who is hiring
Who is hiring tells me a lot about the freelance writing job scene. For example, if I notice a bunch of Fortune 500 companies begin hiring freelance writers all of a sudden, I will be curious as to the reasons why. I might want to investigate. Are these businesses now outsourcing because it’s cheaper than paying a salaried employee? I’ll also look into what they’re paying and the best ways to apply for these opportunities.
On the other side of the coin, it will also allow me to see the lower payers such as the content sites. I’ll want to research them too to see if they’re good opportunities for writers. I’ll see who is taking advantage of writers and if there are new scams targeting writers. If content sites are placing fewer job ads and not hiring as often, I’ll wonder about this trend as well. Do they have enough writers? Are they saving money?
It’s always a good idea to know what is out there, no matter where you are in your career. You never know when you’ll need to apply to any of these opportunities.
What they’re paying
In trolling the job boards every day, I’m noticing an upward trend in rates for web content and blog posts. Two to three years ago clients were offering $2 to $5 for a blog post. Now the norm is $2o to $50 for a post. If I didn’t read the job boards every day I wouldn’t know about this positive trend. By viewing the job boards, I also have an idea of which companies prefer a rate quote, and what many private clients and corporations are willing to pay writers. Again, I’m noticing an upward trend from several years ago. This tells me, I can raise my rate and still be competitive.
How many jobs are available:
By visiting the job boards each day I can note how many jobs are available. Fewer opportunities means more writers applying for each opportunity. I might also want to research the reason why the down trend for this blog or a proposed article.
Fewer opportunities means I have to be more diligent about perfecting my application or query because it has to stand out from all the other extra applicants. It also means I might have to apply to more gigs to ensure I don’t hit a “famine” period.
As a freelance writer you owe it to yourself to know what’s going on in your industry
Ignorance isn’t always bliss. It may be time consuming to check the job boards every day, but not doing so can be a mistake. The best way to know what’s going on in the freelance writing world isn’t through the blogs, it’s through the job boards. That’s where you’ll get the real information. It’s how you’ll learn the trends in hiring and rates. It’s a way to learn which jobs bring in the big bucks, which types of freelance opportunities are having a boom and who is going bust.
As someone who writes about freelance writing every single day, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t check the freelance writing job boards every day. How could I talk to you about trends, rates, opportunities or applications, if I didn’t keep apprised of any of these situations?
I feel keeping a close eye on the job board gives me and edge and keeps me fresh. That’s worth a half hour of my time each day.
What are some of the things you learn from the freelance writing job boards?
Thank you for this post. I grew up with a father who always had steady work in the computer industry, but still kept his eyes open for opportunities. I’ve kept that mindset with freelancing, and even when I have “enough” work for the time being, I’m always keeping an eye out.
Great post! I’m a technical writer for a software company and I’m looking to freelance on the side (for now, anyway). Where do I look for jobs in my industry? I’m willing to pick up other gigs (i.e. blogs, etc.) for now, but my goal is to continue writing technical documentation.
Thanks for your insight.
Can you recommend some job boards that we should definitely check out at least daily?
My main reason for frequenting job boards even when I don’t really need a new job has always been to keep applying and keep my name out there so I have a “cushion,” so to speak; however, these are awesome reasons I’d never really considered. Great post, Deb!
Thursday Bram says
I’ve also found it to be quite useful to see the types of writers and topics specific clients are looking for. I’ve noticed that if I keep an eye, for instance, on the kind of coverage tech sites are looking for right now, I can pitch similar topics to my existing clients and help them keep up with trends.
I just want too take time too thank the active members for doing what you do and making the community what it is im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.
I like to keep my eyes open too, if only to report the obvious scams that cause so much heart-ache for new writers. On the flip-side, there are often ads from ‘green’ buyers who are crying out to be ripped off. Sometimes a well-placed email can save a lot of pain later!
I just want too take some time out thank the posters for doing what you do and make this community great im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.