Freelance Writing–Using Social Media to Land New Writing Gigs

By Shawndra Russell,  @ShawndraRussellBecome a Freelance Writer in 30 Days

Social media opens up a world of opportunity for us writers. You can create a private Notice-Me List on Twitter filled with publications you want to write for and editors you want to work with, so you can be sure to interact with them frequently. You can show off your work in numerous ways, like pinning published pieces to a dedicated Pinterest board and uploading samples to your Linkedin page. You can list your skills and experience on your Facebook About page.

These platforms give you a lot of means to reach new decision makers who are looking for solid writers. Being active on social media also makes others willing to hire you or accept a guest post because they will have more confidence that you will actively share the piece, which obviously promotes both you and the outlet.

Last year, I was contacted out of the blue by an editor of a new outlet called Society South, who had first discovered me on Pinterest. She liked what she read and my interests and offered me a steady gig writing travel pieces. One of the best aspects of Pinterest is that you can spend a few hours building it out even if you’re starting from scratch, and then you can just go back and pin new published pieces periodically. It’s not the time suck that Facebook and Twitter can be, but the full picture Pinterest gives of your personality along with a board dedicated to your portfolio can lead to unexpected opportunities. Plus, you can comment, like, and repin pins from outlets you want to write for to get on their radar.

This year, I was recommended to the folks behind the new Georgia CEO partially due to my active social media presence. Your goal should be to show editors that they can trust you’ll not just turn in a great piece of writing (that goes without saying, right?), but that you’re also an asset because you will help get the word out about your piece.

And having a robust Linkedin profile has led to numerous headhunters and businesses reaching out to offer me full-time jobs, editorial positions and other writing-related opportunities. Having people seek me out instead of always being the one hustling for new gigs—although I still do plenty of that!—has really helped boost my bottom line.

Another benefit of taking your social media presence seriously as a writer is that if you decide to one day tackle that book, share your advice, or create an online course, you’ll already have a solid network that can help you spread the word about your new venture or, better yet, become customers.

51 Ways to help your social media manager crush it Book CoverLastly, consider adding social media services to your list of writing services. You don’t need to have an MBA or marketing degree to provide content for businesses. Coming at social media from a writer’s perspective means you’ll provide useful, well-written content, which will lead to more engagement from their target audiences. Plus, tapping into providing social media services as another revenue source can be very lucrative, since so many small and medium businesses are overwhelmed by social media. While they might not be advertising that they are hiring a social media manager/content creator, a quick glance at their Facebook and Twitter profiles can tell you if they are in desperate need of your writing skills.

How can you up your social media game to attract new clients?

Shawndra is a writer and social media educator for businesses, professionals and Shawndra Profile Piccollege students with the intent of stopping outdated me! me! me! marketing. Her latest works are How to Become a Freelance Writer in 30 Days and 51 Ways to Help Your Social Media Manager Crush It! Read about her services and projects at


Note from Elizabeth:  Thanks for the post, Shawndra–I’ve had quite a few emails from writers asking  how to get started with freelancing…an area I  haven’t explored yet, myself.

In addition, wanted to let everyone know that my next post will be Sunday, since I’m taking a little time off this week for writing and spending time with my kids who have the week off.  See you on Sunday.



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14 thoughts on “Freelance Writing–Using Social Media to Land New Writing Gigs

  1. Not looking for clients in the same manner as you, but being active online has led to some great opportunities for me to promote my books and spread the word about the IWSG.

  2. Shawndra, you have some very helpful tips here. I hadn’t realized that Pinterest would be that great of a place to attract work, but it makes perfect sense when you really think about it.

    Elizabeth, hope you have great weather for your time with the kids.

  3. Elizabeth – Thanks for hosting Shawndra.

    Shawndra – Thanks for your input on freelance writing. I couldn’t agree more about the potential power of social media in getting the word out and connecting with potential clients. I’ve done that myself.

  4. I got serious about Google+ a few weeks ago and saw my followers jump by about 200 since then. How? Just joining groups, commenting on posts there, and sharing other useful content, not necessarily my own.

    For a long time on my site I had the Facebook like button, but it was pointing to the Facebook like button. So it felt really good to have 214,000 people like my site, but they were really just liking the Like button. Doh!

    Since then I’ve put up the correct button for my profile and I’ve gotten that up to 2,400 in a couple weeks. I figure it’s a lot of those old users coming back and liking it again.

    I know a lot because I’ve made so many mistakes.

  5. That’s how it goes, right? Lessons learned that we can try to share with others to help them avoid some of our mistakes ;) Sounds like you’re doing great now! Thanks for commenting.

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