Get Your Name Out There
Start a blog. Submit articles to various websites. Websites that give you a profile page can work very well for this. You basically want to establish one or more areas where there are many examples of your work to showcase. The more the better, but this can still be beneficial to beginners as well.
Be sure that wherever you do this, there is a way for potential clients to contact you. You don’t want to put out your email address all over the web, unless you like spam emails. However, there are ways to set up contact forms that you can link to or post as a widget on any blog or website with a little html. Don’t worry newbies, it’s just a little copy/paste stuff – you don’t have to know what it means to use it. Visit EmailMeForm for an example of what I’m talking about.
Start a Website
Start up your own website. It doesn’t really cost that much to start a website. There are many websites that will host yours for free and domain names are pretty cheap and easy to obtain. If you know how to write code (html, Java, CSS…), you can start from scratch and completely build the site layouts and everything yourself. Or, if you either have no clue what I just said or are lazy, there are sites out there that have ready-made templates and you just plug stuff into it where you want it.
Anyway, I noticed that once I started my own website, it was easier to implement other methods of finding clients. Either they come to my site through a search for me or for a freelance writer. Also, there are other ways to use the site to my advantage as a freelance writer, which I will mention below.
Post On Freelance and Job Boards
Throw your name out there on freelance and job boards. Show your writing skills in what you post. If you have a website, your ad or resume does tend to look more professional. If your website also displays or links to samples of your work, you have an even better chance of being contacted.
Post On Craigslist
Craigslist also is a great place to post a resume if you’re looking for private writing gigs. Just like with the job board thing, having a website to reference makes your resume or posting look more professional. When clients can actually see what you are doing for a living via a website, they can have more faith in your abilities and that’s what you want.
Print Up and Distribute Business Cards
If you want freelance writing to be your career, treat it like one. Print up some business cards and keep them with you at all times. You never know when you’ll have that opportune moment to pass one out. Also, you never know who will need a professional writer. Give extra copies to close friends and family that don’t mind helping out. They can pass them on to others who might be able to use your services. Network with businesses that may need the type of writing that you do. At the right moment, let them know what you do and present them with your business card. Business cards show professionalism and a business card that displays a website is even better.
Do a Web Search
Search for phrases such as "online writing gigs", "submission guidelines," "get paid to write," and "article submissions." I spend a ton of time doing this and you'd be surprised at how many results there are. I love coming up with new phrases to look for and seeing what I can find. After that point, it's all about contacting whoever has posted the info you find.