It’s no secret that the best freelance writing gigs are rarely advertised on traditional job boards. Those gigs are often assigned through pitches, referrals, and searches by clients. But did you know you can use job boards to find unadvertised freelance writing jobs?
The good news is, you can. Let’s look at some ways you can turn traditional job boards into more advanced prospect-finding tools.
How to Find Unadvertised Freelance Writing Jobs on Job Boards
Don’t Just Search for “Freelance Writing” Jobs
Sometimes it’s not that freelance writing gigs are completely unadvertised, but that they’re advertised poorly. The keywords the job poster uses might not be what you’d think to search for.
To find some of these hidden gems, skip the searches for a “freelance writer” and instead focus on more specific elements of a gig.
For example, you might search for project types mentioned in the ad such as:
- blog posts;
- email newsletters;
- white papers;
- case studies;
- product manuals.
Any type of project you take on as a freelancer can be used here. Sometimes you’ll find contract gigs this way. But you can also use this to find full-time jobs being advertised, such as in marketing or PR, where these projects are listed in the job details.
These are prospects you can pitch to see if they might need an extra hand from time to time.
Search for Full-Time Writing Jobs
Along those lines, skip the “freelance” part if you want to find more leads. Search for full-time advertised writing jobs instead.
These are companies or organizations in need of a writer. The hiring process for full-time roles can take weeks or even months in some cases. Their need for these writing projects might not be able to wait that long.
What you can do is pitch these hiring companies with an offer to fill in and assist with projects on a freelance basis until they bring in their new hire and get them up to speed.
The gig might be temporary, but in cases like this you might be able to land a nice retainer throughout their hiring process. And depending on the quality of candidates they receive, the gig could last for months.
Plus, you never know. If their writing needs are being met well on a freelance basis, and you’re open to a longer-term relationship with them, you might be able to convince them to stick with you, even if for more limited projects you specialize in.
This is also a good opportunity to get on the company’s radar if they have overflow work their new staff can’t handle alone down the line.
Keep an Eye on Editor Job Listings
Another way to find unadvertised freelance writing jobs on traditional job boards is to search for editor roles.
Often job ads for full-time editors will mention one of their responsibilities is to hire and manage freelance writers. That tells you the publication works with freelancers. If it’s one you’d like to write for, you’ve just found a new prospect.
Bonus: this also gives you the job title of the person you’ll want to pitch, so you can look them up on the company’s site or LinkedIn to see if someone’s currently in that role (there can be more than one).
If there is no one in that role while they’re hiring, you can use this same strategy to find someone in a supervising role.
Sometimes the person the new editor will report to is noted in the job ad. Even if it’s not though, you can often figure this out from a company staff page or the company’s LinkedIn staff profiles.
These are some easy ways you can find unadvertised freelance writing jobs on traditional job boards. But you can take these tips a step further and apply them to more social job sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, or even when looking at company career pages.
Job boards aren’t generally the best place for more experienced freelance writers to find gigs. But taking a non-traditional approach to using traditional job boards can help you identify solid prospects with an immediate need for writing help even if they aren’t actively seeking a freelance writer.