In many cases, the lives of freelance writers used to involve a great deal of travel, roaming around in search of stories to investigate and subjects to profile for various magazines and journals. Of course, some freelancers today still enjoy that sort of a lifestyle. But more and more, freelancing involves simply turning on a computer to find business websites, online publications and individuals who are looking to pay writers for articles and other content, this is where databases for freelance writing comes in.
Many times freelancers bid against one another for these jobs, and of course, the lowest bid often receives the assignment. And once a piece has been assigned to a freelancer, her or his next step might be to use a search engine to conduct necessary research. She or he composes the piece, emails it to whoever asked for it, and at last gets paid, usually through an electronic payment service such as PayPal. Finding enough work to make a living is probably the most daunting challenge here, but databases for freelance writers can help.
What Kinds of Databases Exist for Freelance Writing?
Many databases for freelance writing now exist to provide comprehensive lists of those individuals and companies seeking, well.. freelance writers. (Some of these assignments are ongoing; others represent one-time-only affairs.) Many of the writers’ databases for freelance writing are free to use, though some require membership fees. Those fees are often modest, however, and many freelancers find that paid databases are worth their price of admission many times over.
For those freelancers who write fiction or literary nonfiction, there are also databases which list the publications which review and publish such works. On these databases the individual publications state how many words each submission should be, what kind of style the editors are looking for, whether there are any restrictions on what an author can write (no profanity, for instance), and how much, if anything, the writer will be paid should his or her piece be published. Fortunately, most of these databases are searchable, allowing you to quickly match up the content and style of your work with the publications most likely be interested in it.
Remember that, as a freelance writer, joining a database that lists paid assignments will not in itself guarantee a full schedule of work. Rather, you need to use these databases skillfully. Check them regularly – as often as you can, in fact. Be sure not to bid for articles on topics which you know nothing about. These projects will require lots of extra research, and you’re not compensated for time spent doing research. Always, always turn in your best work, too, or else your reputation as a writer will plummet, and with it your prospects of future work. And have on hand an updated, properly-formatted resume to submit at a moment’s notice; saving a cover letter template on your computer is a smart thing to do as well.
Databases for freelance writing can also be useful for anyone in search of a talented writer. Let’s say you’re a dentist, and in order to improve your Internet search engine rankings you want to add a number of articles about dental health to your business website. All you have to do is go to a directory of writers, such as the one FreelanceSuccess.com has – most of these directories are free to peruse – and search for writers who have listed ‘dentistry’ or ‘dental hygiene’ among their areas of expertise. You might be able to search according to how much a writer expects for compensation, or by the states and cities in which writers live, or even by freelancers’ last names (in case you’ve received a hot tip about a certain writer). Many of these databases are updated quite often, perhaps weekly.
In some instances, a professional organization will maintain a list of freelance writers who are experts in topics relating to their field. For example, the National Education Writers Association keeps an updated list of writers who are knowledgeable about education, and knowledgeable about general issues relating to children and teenagers. On their website, ewa.org, you can sign up to locate such a writer.