If you’re new to the freelance writing world, you may feel disoriented by the amount of options out there, and wonder if writing jobs on Craigslist are legit.
But don’t worry – step by step, you can learn to navigate the market with ease.
Here are some tips to tackle one of the most popular classified ad sites in the world that’s packed with writing gigs: Craigslist.
It’s possible to find some of your first paid writing opportunities on this website. But between a plethora of locations, the somewhat crude design, and lurking scams, Craigslist is a goldmine that’s huge and hard to navigate. Let’s untangle it here for a moment.
Craigslist is a vast open ads market. As you can see from the stats, it has huge levels of traffic, and a predominantly US-based audience. Source: SimilarWeb
Searching Craigslist for Writing Gigs
Craigslist is a monster of a web platform. It’s estimated that there are more than 80 million listings posted every month, with over a million of them being job ads. In fact, the website is among my top recommendations for rookie writers – it’s a mother lode of great opportunities for all skill levels.
1. Perform On-Site Writing Job Search
The easiest way to search for writing jobs is on the site directly – but that comes with a caveat.
You need to pick your location (or the closest big town), and the site will show you the nearby job listings. This is great if you’re looking for office work, but the options could be limited if you prefer to work from home.
To find your scribbly gig, simply click on writing/editing in the “jobs” column for long-term engagements, or pick writing under gigs for one-off offers.
Attack the categories in green.
Once you get the search results, you can filter them by clicking on categories on the left sidebar. You can pick between employment types, or even choose telecommuting opportunities if you prefer remote work.
Once you’re here, it’s time to dig into the ads and start pitching your services.
2. Check All Craigslist Locations Through External Search Engine
If you want to search for all the Craigslist locations at once, you have to use an external search engine.
One of the best out there is called Search Craigslist, and using it is pretty straightforward. Just type in write, writing, or writer, and the website will give you a list with all offers including these keywords. However, since the website doesn’t search the jobs and gigs categories only, you might also get some irrelevant results, but other than that, it’s quite helpful.
There’s a lot of opportunities for writers here.
3. Find Craigslist Writing Gigs Through Google
You don’t have to have a black belt in Google-fu (yep, that’s a thing) to browse Craigslist ads through this search engine.
By using a simple query, you can make this amazing tool work for you. You can copy and paste this template to Google and you’ll get plenty of great writing offers that pay per article in an instant:
writer “compensation: * per article” site:craigslist.org
If you prefer to be paid according to the length of your article, you can tweak the query and search for opportunities that pay per word:
writer “compensation: * per * words” site:craigslist.org
The right Google command is worth a hundred manual searches.
There’s so much more to Google than simply typing questions and keywords in your search bar. You can learn about all the special symbols used here and tweak the query to find exactly what you’re looking for if you check out these handy Google tips.
Distinguishing Scam from Legitimate Job Postings on Craigslist
Finding jobs on Craigslist is easy, but the risk is that not all gigs on the website are legit.
Craigslist is, after all, just an ad board, where anybody can post listings. There’s no foolproof way to recognize scam ads, but there are certainly some telltale signs that you can catch early on.
Watch out for scammy job postings that:
• Don’t specify exactly what the job entails
• Offer unreasonably stellar pay rates
• Require you to pay money to apply
• Don’t have authentic website links or information about the company
Legitimate job listings on Craigslist come in many shapes and forms, but they’ll usually have some elements in common.
They should contain:
• A list of duties and responsibilities you assume with the job
• A reasonable compensation that’s based on a monthly or yearly salary, or rates per hour, word, or piece
• Information about the employer or a link to their website
How To Land Lucrative Writing Gigs on Craigslist
Landing jobs on Craigslist doesn’t differ much from other online job boards. Most prospective employers leave an email address or a website page to apply on, while others use Craigslist’s reply function.
You’ll need three things to apply to most writing jobs: a compelling cover letter, a well-made resume, and a great portfolio.
Fiverr is an inexpensive website to check if you need a sparkly fresh cover letter.
Write an Engrossing (But Short) Cover Letter
Many writers resort to pitching their experience (“I was featured in Forbes” and “I had dozens of happy clients”) in their cover letters. This is boring, and not very persuasive. Besides, that’s what your resume is for.
Instead, focus on showing how the company can benefit from hiring you. So, before you get started on your cover letter, do your homework and research the company you’re applying to.
In the letter, write about your strengths and how you can use them to bring the company the results they need. Instead of listing your past projects, flaunt your results and achievements in previous engagements, and explain how they helped your employers grow their businesses.
But don’t forget to include yourself in the equation – mention why you want to work for them in particular and what drives your passion for the position.
Here’s an important cover letter writing tip:
Even though you write well, you can never be too meticulous. After all, employers always look for detail-oriented candidates, so spelling or grammar errors in your application won’t put you ahead.
Run your letter through an automatic grammar checker like Grammarly or Ginger to find and fix mistakes you might have missed (but take the suggestions with a grain of salt – they’re not 100% accurate).
How to Advertise Your Writing Services on Craigslist
Finding job postings to apply to is not the only course of action available to writers on Craigslist.
If you don’t feel like sifting through hundreds of ads, you can approach the job hunt the other way round: advertise your writing services.
Creating ads on Craigslist is either free or requires a small fee. Once you open Craigslist and select an appropriate location, click on the Create a posting button on the top of the left sidebar.
Creating a posting allows you to offer your skill as a service, and once you make it live, it will appear in the Services Category of ad listings.
Why not offer your services here?
You just need to come up with a description of what you’re offering – it can be as creative or simple as you like. Make sure to include your niche and specialty, and focus on what sets you apart from other writers.
When it comes to pricing, you can either specify a set rate or offer to give an estimate when the prospective client gets in touch with you.
Once you submit your posting, you’ll be asked to accept terms and conditions, and if you accept, you’ll get an email with further instructions from the Craigslist team.
Yep – it’s as easy as that, so take action now and I guarantee you’ll get your first writing job on Craigslist in no time.
Have you had any experience with this platform? Leave a comment and let me know!