10 Search Terms to Help You Find Work as a Freelance Writer Need money? Have a computer? Try searching these terms to find yourself a job.

Looking for work as a writer? I come across thousands of writing jobs every day across LinkedIn, Indeed, FreelanceWritingGigs.com (Noemi has always been a personal favorite of mine) and my email. This doesn’t even count all the content mills and freelance writing marketplaces (most of which, I’ll never touch). If you’re having trouble finding writing work, try using one of these keywords in your search.

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is probably the most prolific term used by brands looking for a writer. This is because they read online blogs that teach the importance of content marketing for business. If you want to make the big bucks as a blogger, it’s done through content marketing. Don’t go through content mills for this, as they already have their own business development team. You’re just a writer to them and will sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) prohibiting you from contacting clients directly for your own business. This means once you leave the mill, your work is entirely dry with no contacts. So do everything you can to work directly with brands for this relationship.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a skill you should have listed all over your online portfolios and profiles, especially LinkedIn and other business networks. SEO writing is the key to getting content read, no matter where you publish it. A strong understanding of SEO will help you get a job writing anything you want with brands in every industry. And don’t let news media fool you – even CNN, NPR, and everyone in between uses SEO tips to improve search rankings. It’s literally the point of headlines.

3. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Another great industry to get into if you’re a writer with advanced online marketing knowledge is CRO. Marketing and sales strategies revolve around building an online content funnel that moves people along the line to convert into paying customers. The niche is called CRO, and if you know what you’re doing, you can get some fascinating work in this business. If you don’t, check out these 10 blogs to learn more about digital marketing.

4. Copywriting

Copywriting is a bit more creative than blogging, and it can also be mundane. In this position, you’ll be creating marketing copy (think emails, posters, brochures, coupons, landing pages, product descriptions, etc). It’s one of those customer-facing jobs where your voice will always need to be happy, perky, encouraging, motivating, inspiring, and all that jazz. Do this sparingly for the sake of your sanity, but it does pay decent if you’re in a pinch.

5. Journalist/Reporter

Journalism is my personal favorite form of writing. I started my blog as a journal, and my whistleblowing tendencies work well in an industry based on telling the truth. Local newspapers (and startups created either by younger generations disrupting the new or older generations who were laid off by traditional publishers for not being able to keep up) are always looking for journalists. If you can get in with the right company, you’ll even gain access to the Writer’s Guild of America, a valuable union to ensure you’re treated like a professional.

6. Social Media Management

Social media is every bit as important as traditional media. If you know what you’re doing on Reddit and Twitter, you can stay ahead of the game. Most “journalists,” are only reporting from their couch or office on things happening on these social platforms. People like Dell Cameron made an entire career out of being a couch potato “journalist” on Twitter. He’s a nerd who never leaves his room, but he’s still making money and dating whores like he’s somebody. You can play pretend just like Dorky Cordell.

7. Staff Writer

When you’re searching through job descriptions, you’ll find a lot of postings looking for a staff writer. This is typically with news outlets, although fake news also uses staff writers, as do Hollywood productions. If you can get on as a staff writer, you’ll have benefits and perks. You’ll deal with some level of shit, but you’ll also have other writers around. You’ll likely have a great editor too.

8. In-House Writer

Marketers and ad agencies (along with brands) look for an in-house writer. This is a utility writer they want to do everything – build their web page from scratch, write commercial scripts, podcasts, etc. Do not accept these positions unless you’re willing to deal with a TON of ignorance from lazy, entitled people who want to throw everything at you. They rarely pay well, and they’ll ask you to do all sorts of unethical garbage like create fake news for them. Marketers are the devil – get your money up front and do not let these deadbeats fall behind.

9. Freelance Writer

As a freelance writer, you get to work from home and are an independent contractor paid through a 1099 tax form. This means you get nothing – no vacations, no 401k, no health insurance – nothing. You must charge more because you have nothing else. It’s just like driving for DoorDash, Postmates, or Uber. If you’re a contractor, you will be taken advantage of and must be smart and fast to survive.

10. Blogger

Some businesses know they’re looking specifically for a blogger. Don’t hesitate to take these positions if you’re just writing blogs. Do hesitate if they start showing too much interest in where you can publish. Never, ever, ever in your life publish anything for a marketer under your own accounts. They are leeches who are lying to you. That link is worth at least $3000 more than they’re quoting you, and you’ll take all the heat while they move on to the next you. Publishing and writing are two different things, and be very clear about that when negotiating your blogging contracts.

Between these 10 keywords, you should always be able to find more work popping up every weekday than you’re able to even apply for. I actually apply for hundreds of writing gigs every week, and I only get a small percentage of what I apply for. But it only takes one hit to score, and I’ve been scoring for a decade now. If you ever need help with the blogging business, reach out.


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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