One of the questions to ask before you freelance is whether you are comfortable with all the other roles that you’ll have above and beyond the actual freelance writing. While you’ll be spending most of your time completing projects for your clients, there is also a considerable amount of time that will be dedicated to finding these clients and hunting down these freelance writing jobs in the first place.
While it is perfectly possible to come across a freelance writing gig by just surfing sites you’re going to read anyways, it’s much more likely that you’ll need to take a proactive role in finding freelance writing jobs. There are popular websites like GetAFreelancer, Guru, and Elance, but these are not the best source of freelance jobs.
Existing clients are the single best source of freelance writing jobs.
This naturally assumes that you’ve been doing the freelance writing (or freelance design, coding, etc.) thing for a little while and you’ve developed a few contacts, but after you have your foot in the door with a few organizations, they can quickly become the best way to get more freelance writing work. Whether you are blogging for others or writing press releases, your existing client base will be the best resource you have to get more business.
There are two reasons for this. First, existing clients already know what you can do and there is always a distinct possibility of getting repeat business. Speaking for myself, I have an ongoing relationship with sites like Mobile Magazine, BlueFur, and LoveToKnow. The vast majority of my work is repeat business. This saves a substantial amount of time, because it means that I don’t have to go hunting for new freelance writing jobs. The new work finds me. Chris Bibey agrees that simply asking for more work can be very fruitful.
Second, existing clients can be a great source of referral business. References and word of mouth can go a long way. If you wow your current clients, they may be inclined to recommend your services to their friends and business associates. It is because of my work with John Chow that I ended up getting some work with 1234 Pens and BlueFur, for example. This is also why networking is so important.
If you’re tired of always looking for more work as a freelancer, spending countless hours surfing through Craigslist and similar sites, then you should seriously consider asking your existing clients for more work. Don’t be pushy, but you’d be surprised how many freelance writing jobs aren’t openly advertised.