Friday, September 4, 2009

What are the odds of landing content-writing jobs from craigslist?

I'm a bit of a slow learner. But I'm starting to realize that applying for content-writing jobs at sites such as craigslist -- or even through job boards such as the ones at -- is a waste of time.

It doesn't matter much how good you are as a writer. So many talented writers respond to these ads, especially now in these tough economic times, that the odds of the publisher actually picking you as a content writer for his or her site or project are extremely slim.

It's a numbers game. If, say, 500 content writers respond to a craigslist posting, what are the odds that the poster is even going to open your e-mail message? You can have the best resume' or clips in the world, but you're not going to get that job. That's because the poster, in all likelihood, opened the first seven to 10 e-mails responding to the job request and picked the best writers from that batch. The rest? Erased.

So how do you get content jobs? Here's how I've gotten most of mine. I contacted a Web publisher directly and offered to write some content for her. She was looking for content, so I got lucky. I wrote a few stories for her, then a few more, then a few more.

After building a relationship with her -- This didn't take long, about four assignments -- I asked if she knew of anyone else who needed content sites. She posted a message with my e-mail address on the forums she visits. Before long, I had more content writing work than I could handle. I am still working with about 10 regular clients that have found me through this original client.

At the same time, I can cut on the fingers of one hand the number of content-writing jobs I've secured from craigslist. It's a bit depressing, actually.

The advice, then, is to build your client list slowly and steadily. Find work for one good client. Do great writing for that client. Meet your deadlines. Keep asking for more work. Then, when you've earned that client's trust, ask that client to send your name to other publishers. Then do the same with the new publishers you find. You'll soon have a lot of content writing to take on.

And you can finally ignore all those scammy-sounding craigslist ads.

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