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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
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Time-Saving Tips For Finding Freelance Work Online

by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

With the wealth of research information available online, the Internet has the potential to be a valuable tool to writers looking for freelance work. However, it's one thing to know the info is out there and another to find it; sifting through the overwhelming amount of "noise" and misleading information can often be a challenge to freelancers, particularly those with limited time.

While researching freelance job listings to post on Inkygirl.com, I've combed hundreds of job boards and online resources of wildly varying quality. Based on my experience, here are a few tips for writers who work from home on how to find the best online resources and tools.

Learn how to use a search engine. Everyone knows how to type in a simple search term and hit ENTER, but a good search engine will have advanced features that can help you save time by narrowing down your search more quickly. In Google, for example, try clicking on the "Advanced" option.

Before applying for a job listing, make sure it is current. Too many freelance job listing boards out there update only intermittently, with no indication of when a listing was posted.
Before putting the time and effort into applying for a particular job or writing a detailed query, make sure the listing is still valid.

Check for payment and copyright details. If the listing doesn't mention payment, don't assume there is any. I used to spend too much time applying for promising-sounding jobs to find they only paid in contributors' copies or royalties. Be sure to also verify what rights you are selling.

When considering applying for a specific job listed online, be selective. Remember that chances are good that many other (sometimes hundreds) freelance writers are also applying for that particular position, so you'll save time and effort if you apply for clearly defined jobs for which you are well-qualified.

When you apply for a position or put together a query, make sure each one is well-researched and tailored specifically to that market or position. Too many writers use the shotgun approach when sending e-mail applications or queries, mistakenly assuming that quantity is more important than quality. You'll have a far better chance of success and waste less time if you put the extra effort into a single, well-tailored query than a general form letter sent out to dozens of editors.

Following the tips above will help you save time and effort when looking for freelance work online. And finally, here are a few useful online resources for finding freelance work online:

This site was recently revamped so that job listings are now separated into high-paying and low-paying positions, among other categories.

Click on one the list of cities on the right side of the page and then select "Writing/editing jobs." Some city listings are more frequently updated than others.

Weekly job listings that are verified before posting.

Articles on how to find markets


Sunoasis Jobs

I've collected these resources and more in Inkygirl.com, for those interested.

Good luck with your writing, and happy hunting!

Debbie Ridpath Ohi is a Toronto-based freelance writer whose book, The Online Writers Marketplace, was published by Writer's Digest Books. Inkygirl.com is her blog for writers who work from home.









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