Shop Talk: 5 Great Sites for Finding Paying Freelance Gigs

shoptalk copyEven when you have a decent amount of work on your plate, hunting down fresh gig leads is an important part of any freelancer’s regular routine. I spend a lot of time researching new publications to pitch, scoping out potential opportunities, and gathering resources to keep my freelance ship afloat during the inevitable slow spells and rough patches that pop-up along the way on this thrilling writing adventure. Here’s a rundown of some great hotspots around the web for sleuthing out paying gig leads. Read on for the goods!

Who Pays Writers?

I love love love this site. Sure, it’s not much to look at, but you’ll find some great intel if you sift through the pages of this killer freelance resource. Who Pays Writers posts information about pay rates, submission guidelines, and writer experiences for a wide range of publications. The cool twist? All of this info is gathered from actual writers and editors through a submission form on the site, then reported anonymously. Pay rate listings run the gamut from reports of “no pay” to outlets that pay upwards of $1 a word in some cases. The site updates somewhat regularly, and it’s worth checking back often. There’s a twitter too. You can also anonymously report your own intel too, which is helpful for other writers.

MediaBistro’s “How to Pitch” Column

If you’re aiming for the big leagues and the fancy magazine rack glossies, this is the site to hit. Access to MediaBistro’s amazingly insightful How to Pitch series costs about $50 or so for an AvanteGuild annual membership, and that lands you a free mag subscription too. For the longest time I was hesitant to fork over the green, but I finally gave it a go this year and have found it to be a phenomenal resource. This series packs extremely detailed submission tip breakdowns for several hundred major publications with insights on everything from who to contact and what to pitch to pay rates and special sections that are open to freelancers. The vast majority of the listings are for outlets that pay upwards of $1 a word still, and in quite a few cases, much more.

Video Game Journalism Jobs

Freelancers who are looking to build clips and get their foot in the door covering the video game industry will find this site a useful starting point. A frequently updated repository for both volunteer and paying gig listings, Video Game Journalism Jobs has a lot of opportunities for newer writers looking for a place to get their start. Most of the paying gigs listed aren’t going to be offering the highest pay rates, but at least they do pay something, and they’re a bit easier to break into for newcomers.

Online Writing Jobs

With a beefy freelance-focused section to round out its other listings, Online Writing Jobs is a solid option for sniffing out some interesting opportunities — provided your willing to stop back regularly and weed through a lot of less-than-stellar gig leads too. You’ll find of plenty of low-paying fodder to avoid here, but spend a little more time digging and you can unearth some excellent gigs. I’ve picked up a few great paying under-the-radar projects through this site over the years, and every so often some really good listings pop-up. The trick is to check it out daily. Gaming-related freelance gigs do appear now and then too, though you have to keep your eyes open for them. Freelancers who are open to exploring other opportunities will find a lot to pursue at this site.

FreelanceWriting.com’s Writer’s Guidelines Database

Looking for places to pitch? You could do worse than FreelanceWriting.com’s database. Regularly updated with new listings, this site has guidelines for more than 800 publications, broken down by different categories. These listings are all over the place in terms of subject matter and pay rates, but they’re all pretty freelance-friendly.

If you find these listings helpful, you can always say a nice “hey thanks” by picking up a copy of my new book (details below). It’s packed with freelance advice, pitching tips, and tons of info. Yes, it’s game journalism focused, but it also has a lot of evergreen tips for freelancing in general too.

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Dig this article? Check out my NEW BOOK!

bowkerscoverMy book Up Up Down Down Left WRITE – The Freelance Guide To Video Game Journalism is out NOW in print and on Kindle! The book is packed with over 256 pages of insider advice, expert insights, and pro tips to help you break into freelance game journalism, successfully pitch editors, deal with the challenges of the freelance life, and much more! Also, If you want to stay up-to-date on the latest developments, promotions, and other upcoming book releases, follow @gamejournoguide and consider signing my mailing list for important updates!

You can also follow @nmeunier on Twitter for regular blasts of freelance advice. Spread the good word via Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites below if you feel so inclined. Thanks!

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7 thoughts on “Shop Talk: 5 Great Sites for Finding Paying Freelance Gigs

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