Blogging can be very lucrative, but it can also take a long time to make your first dollar. If you don’t want to wait that long, consider finding clients as a freelancer.
That way, you can make money from your blogging skills, either writing or offering some other related service. Freelancing is how I’ve made the bulk of my money as a blogger, and I’d recommend it to anyone.
Before we get into the tips, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.
Decide on Your Services
Before you start finding clients as a freelancer, you need to decide what you’ll offer. Writing and editing are two of the most natural services to provide because you already do those things for your own blog.
However, maybe you have a blog in a specific industry, such as graphic design. You could offer your own graphic design services and use your blog to promote that offer.
Or perhaps you blog about a specific musical instrument, so you start offering private music lessons. You can do a lot with freelance services, so find something you’re good at and enjoy doing.
Once you decide what to offer, consider coming up with a few packages. You can also do custom services for your first few clients to see what sorts of packages people may want.
Determine Your Availability
Next, you’ll want to think about when you’re available to work on your services. If you have a day job or are in college, your schedule might only allow for one or two clients at a time.
On the other hand, maybe you aren’t working and so can take on a full slate of clients. Don’t forget about the time you spend working on your blog as well.
Along with knowing how much you can work, consider when. Some freelance services require meeting with your client live, while others simply require you to submit your deliverables before a deadline.
What I like most about writing is that it’s very flexible. If I want to sleep in one day and work later, I can do so, but something like tutoring or coaching requires a set schedule.
Create a Services Page
Assuming your freelance services have something to do with your blog, you can create a services page on your site. Then, you can direct potential clients to that page to learn more about what you can do for them.
You can list your hourly or package rates to help filter out clients who can’t afford you. However, there’s also something to be said for customizing your prices based on the gig.
Either way, make sure your sales page is clean and easy to understand. Give people a way to contact you, such as a contact form or your email address.
Use a CTA
Whether you currently have a services page or not, you should use a call-to-action (CTA). This is where you encourage your website visitors to take some sort of step.
When finding clients as a freelancer, you should make your CTA to contact you and book your services. You can add this CTA to the home page, your services page, and to the end of each of your blog posts.
People need to see something multiple times before they actually act on it. So if you only mention your services in one post, you might not get people to contact you.
Search Job Boards
Your blog is a great resource for finding clients that come to you. However, as a new freelancer, you may have to do some outbound work to find your first gig.
One excellent option is to search online job boards. If you want to get into freelance writing, I’d recommend ProBlogger since there are new writing gigs on there almost every day.
You can also use general job boards, such as Indeed or LinkedIn. To find freelance work, include “contract” or “freelance” in your search term, or use those filters.
A job board was how I found my first client and many of my more recent clients.
Try Freelancing Platforms
Another option for finding clients is to use freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. On Upwork, you can search for available gigs and send proposals to the ones that interest you.
Fiverr is a bit different in that you list your services. Clients can then search the marketplace and potentially find your listings, but you can face some tough competition.
I’ve gotten a few clients through Upwork, but I have yet to find success through Fiverr. But if you’re more persistent and optimize your gig listings, you may do better than I have.
Pitch Clients Directly
You can also contact companies that you want to work with as a freelancer. Think about the brands you love, and go to their websites to see what they’re doing.
If you want to write blog posts, see if the company has a blog and how often you post. Then, you can contact the marketing manager and pitch yourself and your services.
When sending a pitch, you want to make sure that you focus on the brand and how you can help them. If you don’t know much about a company, do your research so that you can tailor the pitch to the company.
A generic, copy-paste pitch will almost certainly go to the recipient’s junk folder.
Get on Social Media
Another excellent method for finding clients as a freelancer is to market yourself on social media. You can use platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with potential clients.
Post content, such as your blog posts, to show that you’re an expert at what you do. Be sure to respond to any comments or messages you get, and be genuine in your responses.
You can also use Instagram hashtags or Facebook groups to find your ideal clients. Comment on their posts with something nice, and engage regularly to start building relationships.
If you want to learn more about how to use Instagram specifically, I highly recommend the Instagram Marketing & Sales Academy.
Dedicate the Time
Unfortunately, finding freelance clients is a job in and of itself, and it never stops even once you get a few clients. Make sure you spend a few hours every week looking for potential people and companies to work with.
When I was first looking for freelance writing work, I set the goal to apply to one or two gigs every day. I did that until I got a consistent, decent-paying freelance client.
If I could go back, I would have kept searching for gigs. However, it was a good start, and you want to make sure you don’t spend too much time applying to gigs and not enough actually doing the work you currently have.
Doing a good job will increase the chances of your clients continuing to work with you. That can help you maintain your freelance income over the next few months.
Don’t Stop Looking
As I mentioned, it can be tempting to stop searching for clients when you have a full plate. Sure, you may get lucky and get some long-term gigs.
But you never know when one of your clients may ghost you or stop paying you. You should always have a client acquisition strategy in place in case you lose some or all of your work.
If you’re too busy for new clients, you can add them to a waitlist. Then, you’ll know you have work ready and waiting when your current batch of work dries up.
Know When to Say No
Another important part of finding clients as a freelancer is having boundaries. You may be tempted to apply to anything and everything, especially as a beginner.
However, don’t be afraid to say no to clients that give off weird vibes or that are too picky or strict. You should also decline any work that doesn’t pay you very well.
It’s one thing to do a portfolio project for free or very cheap. After that, you should start charging enough to cover your own ideal hourly rate as well as the cost of any software you use and taxes.
Look for a client who actually values you and your time. That can take longer, but it will be much more worth it in the end.
Keep Publishing Blog Posts
As you work on finding clients as a freelancer, don’t neglect your blog. I mentioned that your blog can be a great way to attract future clients to you, which can save you a lot of time overall.
Make sure you post a new article at least once per week. You can share that article on social media to help get traffic, and you can use SEO to optimize it for search engines.
Building a blog is also a great way to get experience and show clients what you can do. If you want to offer writing or editing services, your blog can act as a portfolio.
Experiment With Different Strategies
When you first start freelancing, you should try a few different things to get clients. Combine job boards with social media marketing and direct pitching, for example.
After a month or so, consider which method got you the most clients. Some methods will be more successful right off the bat, so don’t discount everything that didn’t work.
However, if you’re short on time but need more clients, you can focus on what did drive more results. Then, you can fill your schedule with client work, and you can try new things when you have more money coming in.
Finding clients as a freelancer isn’t easy, and it’s something that you’re never really done with. Fortunately, you can do a few things to look for potential clients.
Be sure you try job boards and that you also build your own blog to use as a portfolio. If you don’t have a blog yet, set one up with WordPress using SiteGround as your website host.