4 Guaranteed Ways to Get Paid to Write Without Using Job Boards

I tell all new freelance writers that you gotta hustle to land a freelance writing job.

Writing gigs often just don’t come to you out of the blue. You have to put the work in every day so that you can get on the radar of your ideal clients and land a sweet gig.

But this doesn’t mean you have to slave away hours a day on job boards pitching to anything and everything that looks remotely interesting.

4 Guaranteed Ways to Get Paid to Write Without Using Job Boards

While job boards do have their place – it’s how I landed all my clients in the first few months of being a freelance writer – there are a ton of other ways to get paid to write.

Here are four of them.

1. Get Paid to Guest Post

Did you know that you could get paid to build your portfolio? Usually, I tell new writers that the best way to build their portfolio is to guest post.

Most guest post opportunities are free, but there are a lot of sites that will pay you to write a guest post. Pretty cool eh? The advantages to these types of gigs are:

  • New freelance writers can earn cash in their first month
  • You can use these gigs to help you build a solid portfolio
  • It gives you experience with paid writing in terms of pitching an idea, working with an editor and submitting your invoice
  • It could eventually lead to a paid writing job

Where can you find paid guest posts? The best sites are the ones that have done all the work for you and have lists of several dozen sites that pay writers for guest posts. Here are four of them:

1. Be a Freelance Blogger


Sophie Lizard’s opt-in freebie is a list of 75 blogs that will pay you $50 or more. This is a fantastic list that covers a ton of different niches from parenting to WordPress, giving you lots of places to guest post.

2. Writers In Charge

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 3.28.51 PM

Bamidele’s entire site is filled with posts about sites that pay writers. His opt-in freebie is a list of 110 websites that pay, including sites that pay a $1,000 for a post!

Some of his posts that list more sites that pay writers include:

45+ More Websites that Pay You to Contribute an Article, Instantly

22 Design Magazines that Pay Writers

Economic Magazines that Pay Writers

25 Sports Magazines that Pay Writers up to $750 Per Article

3. The Write Life


The Write life has several posts that list sites that pay writers. My favorite are:

28 Parenting Blogs and Magazines that Pay Freelance Writers

31 Travel Magazines and Websites that Pay Freelance Writers

19 Websites and Magazines That Want to Publish Your Personal Essays

4. Blogging Wizard

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 3.48.40 PM

Blogging Wizard not only helps bloggers get their blog up and running but also freelance bloggers get their business off on the right foot. Adam Connell, the site owner, has a free opt-in of 35 sites that pay.

It’s an exit intent, which means, after you read a blog post or if you are going to leave, a pop-up shows (Psst, I wrote this freebie).

This particular pop-up of 35 sites that pay bloggers shows on posts that are geared for freelancers like this one.

2. Cold Pitching

Cold pitching, or cold emailing, is a secret income generator that not many freelance writers pursue.

But, if done right, you can make some sweet cash. Jorden Roper of Writing Revolt, earned $800 in her first month freelance writing by cold pitching.

There’s no doubt about it – if you’ve nailed down your niche, perfected your pitch, then you can cold pitch and start earning cash right now.

If you’re not sure what cold pitching is, it’s basically finding companies, bloggers or businesses you want to work with and emailing your letter of introduction and pitch. This tells them who you are, what you do and how you can help them.

It might seem hard to do, but it’s quite easy. The hardest part is actually locating these clients to pitch to. Where do they hang out? Well, the best places are:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Client or Industry databases like LimeLeads or Manta.

Once you’ve located a few potential clients, the next part is finding out who to email your pitch to. Usually you can find this on their contact page or About page.

Sending a cold pitch is a lot different than sending a pitch to a job board. Since a company isn’t actively seeking a writer, your cold pitch needs to introduce who you are while gently nudging them as to why they need a content writer.

But, once you land your first client via cold pitching, the next one, and the one after that, gets easier.

Make it your plan to cold pitch five companies a week to get used to the idea and then move up to five companies a day.


3. Social Media

Do you have a LinkedIn or Twitter account? In my two years of freelance writing, both of these platforms have generated thousands of dollars for my business. And, just recently I landed a gig from Pinterest.

And the great thing was that I never directly pitched to these prospective clients. Instead I either warm pitched them or they found me via my contacts.

Since Twitter and LinkedIn have been great platforms to land gigs, here are some ways to use social media to land clients.


One of the first clients I landed on Twitter was for a highly influential blogger. This person private messaged me and we did the whole negotiation on Twitter!

Here are several things you can do on Twitter to land your ideal client:

  • Optimize your Twitter profile – use keywords in your description such as, freelance writer, blogger, content writer, copywriter etc… It’s also a good idea to mention your niche (B2B, Finance, Pet etc..) in your bio. Remember to also link to your professional website and use your logo as your Twitter header image.
  • Pin your “ad” in case prospects land on your profile page – when I first started out, I pinned my “ad” for hiring me for writing:


  • Keep an eye out for lists you’ve been added to – If someone added you to their, “writing services” or “freelance writing” list, visit their profile. See if they are a company, solopreneur or small business. This is a great opportunity to open a dialogue with them on social media.
  • Contact them, asking if they need a writer. Here are some examples to help you out:

Love what your company does – do you ever work with freelancers for marketing?

I love your blog/magazine/work – I’m a huge fan! Curious if you ever hire writers for content?

Hey, wondering if you hire freelance writers for your copy/content/blog/newsletter. I can help you out.

  • Make sure to share useful posts that could benefit your clients – Things like the latest SEO strategy or content marketing tips (replace those if your niche is much different such as parenting, food, or natural health) can alert prospects and make them start to pay attention to you. By sharing useful tips to help their business as well as let them know you are aware of the latest trends, it gets you on their radar as someone who can help them.
  • Use #hashtags to find work – #copywriter, #contentwriter #fashionwriter. Avoid #freelancewriter as you will find lots of spam ads.


  • Make a Twitter list of prospective clients – This way your timeline can be filtered to find the tweets that matter the most to you – people that will pay you money.
  • Engage on Twitter (this means not relying on automated tweets to do your marketing) – Comment on other people’s tweets or join Twitter chats. Do what you can to make prospects remember you like answering their questions or tagging them when you share their blog posts.


LinkedIn has been a great place for me to find work. So far, I’ve landed three or four clients strictly from LinkedIn. Here are some tips to help you land clients on this platform.

  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile – Fill your profile with keywords like: freelance writer for hire, copywriter, editor, blogger, content writer, social media marketer, digital marketer, ghostwriter etc… Make sure to include “for hire” and your niche in your main title:

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 8.55.03 PM

  • Fill out your profile – List relevant freelance writing jobs and make sure to include what services you provide (copywriting for example) in your bio.
  • Have clients give you testimonials on LinkedIn – it’s a good idea to ask some of your current clients for LinkedIn testimonials. This makes your bio shine a bit brighter and you can always ask those clients if you can repurpose their testimonial on your site.
  • Search on LinkedIn for freelance writing jobs https://www.linkedin.com/job/home
  • Always look at who has viewed your profile – If you think one visitor could be a client, shoot them an email to see if they are in need of a writer.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile often – Your connections are alerted to any new jobs you land. This can work in your favor by getting your name out there to existing leads.
  • Network – connect to other freelance writers and people in your industry like website designers, social media marketers, editors, SEO specialists etc… Having a list of networks can help you land gigs. This is how I landed one gig on LinkedIn. A fellow freelance writer sent over a lead because she didn’t have time to take on another client. I didn’t know this other freelance writer and asked her why she chose me. Her answer? Because my title said I was “for hire.”
  • Accept all invitations to connect – you never know, one of them could be a fantastic client.

4. Your Website

I’ve talked about how your website can attract clients on this blog a couple of times. And you know why? Because it’s a guaranteed way to land a gig. Hands down.

What’s so funny, is that for many new bloggers or writers, it’s totally unexpected.

I mean it was even unexpected for me! See, I have another website, Twins Mommy, where I help moms become mompreneurs.

I also share stories about being a mom to twins. A couple months ago I wrote a blog post about what 3 year-old twins say to each other.

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 9.11.57 PMSince this is a personal blog and one that isn’t generating any income (yet), I thought nothing of this post and went ahead and Pinned it to some group boards.

Well, later that month, I get an email from the editor of Twiniversity telling me she saw my post, loved it and wants to hire me! I couldn’t believe it.

I wasn’t even LOOKING for work and it just landed on my lap like that. And what’s awesome is that Twiniversity is a go-to site for moms of multiples. They have a huge audience and social media following.


I’ve also landed clients with this blog and continue to do so and you know why? Because I produce consistent posts that get shared and that elicit engagement from visitors.

My posts demonstrates my ability to create share-worthy content and that’s what a lot of online clients want from their freelance writers.

If you want to use your blog as a lead generation tool, start by posting consistently. It doesn’t have to be weekly, but I would strongly suggest once a week. The more content you have, the more opportunity you have to share it and get your name out there.

Above all, treat your blog like a client. Give yourself deadlines and write great posts that can act as a portfolio of sorts should a prospect stumble onto your blog.

If you need more help on writing share-worthy blog posts here are two posts to help you out:

Wrapping it Up

There are in fact many different ways to land a freelance writing gig that doesn’t include job boards.

I’ve listed the top four ways you can get paid to write that are easy enough for novice writers to try out.

By far my favorite is using my blog to land clients. What’s your favorite non-job board way to land a client?

If you’re ready to really earn a living from writing, you can get your step-by-step profitable freelance writing blueprint by joining Write Your Way to Your First $1k. It walks you through the exact action steps you need to take to land clients, tweak your website to increase conversions and get paid to write.

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

Leave a Reply


Love it! Great post! I’ll read anything and everything you write! Thanks for the tips, again!Reply to Janet
Hi Janet, Wow! Thanks so much! So happy my post helped you see some ways to find freelance writing jobs without using job boards!Reply to Elna
Thanks for this post. People can get paid by using these strategies without any job boards. If you want to post your jobs free then you can also visit http://talentxperts.co.ukReply to Chris
Hello Elna! Thank you for this post! I have just decided to finally take the plunge into my writing career, and I am actually signed up for your “Write Your Way to Your First $1K” course! Currently, I’m on Module 3 and in the process of building my writer’s website. While doing that, I am also soaking up as much as I can of your blog and all the other links to great freelancer sites that you provide. This has been a whirlwind for me! The one thing that always worried me is how to get work with absolute zilch in my portfolio and no experience whatsoever. So this post is wonderfully helpful as it gives me other avenues to explore, especially for a newbie like me who has no idea where to start. Job boards seem so intimidating and make me feel like I’m in competition with everyone else. Your list at least gives me ways to showcase my writing and myself to potential clients. Thanks! *Note: Elna did not pay me to write a plug about her course. (Just thought I’d put that out there!?) I am, in fact, in the course and am learning a lot!Reply to Ellen
Hey Ellen, So happy to hear you are learning the ropes with my freelance writing course! I’m also ecstatic that you’re creating your writer website and I can’t wait until you show is us in the FB group (I hope you joined us!). It’s a bit hard to land a freelance writing job without a portfolio, but it is possible. Email me anytime if you have questions.Reply to Elna
I can’t thank you enough for this post! While I’m still working on developing my pitch, learning who I will be pitching to (and how to find even more potential clients) has helped me revamp my pitch and already see an increase in results!Reply to Ashley
Hey Ashley, So happy to hear you enjoyed my post! It’s great that you’re taking action 🙂 Good luck!Reply to Elna
Great way to guide us, Elna. This post needs updating every now and then. Because many will value it as I’m doing. There’s no need searching from different sites anymore. All on a page. I suggest you get more others to update this post, so many can rely on it. Good work, Elna. And thanks for sharing. FrancisReply to Francis
Hi Francis, Thanks for stopping by. There are many different places to find a client like social media, job boards and directing to the client itself! Thanks a bunch.Reply to Elna
This post is exactly what I needed earlier today when I was trying to figure out how to get freelance jobs as a new writer. Thank you so much! Thrilled to have found this.Reply to Alison
Hey Alison, Thanks so much for commenting on this post. I’m happy to know this post will help you land a freelance gig! Way to go girl!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, This article is highly informative I am new into freelance writing career in my first year really. The biggest question is how to find clients since I have no experience as a writer. I just started using LinkedIn and I don’t know if it will work for I guess this post came just at the right time. Thanks for the adviceReply to Victor
Hi Victor, That’s great you’ve decided to go freelance! LinkedIn is a good start to set up your profile and get some published content for samples up. From there you can start pitching companies or responding to job ads! If you need more help I have a course for writers!Reply to Elna
Hey Elna, I loved the examples of industry databases you gave .esp manta.com which allows you to zero in on your desired client. I have been using google search but I see manta becoming my favorite prospecting tool. Thanks for the informative postReply to Shingi
Hi Shingi, Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed the post and found a new platform to find clients. Manta is a great database and it’s free to use 🙂Reply to Elna