If you are keen to get paid for writing then it's worth using some of the content brokers and freelancing sites out there. The advantage here is that you don't have to do your own hustling, so to speak. You can focus on the writing itself.
The downside is that they set the price. And they're in it to make a profit, so market forces mean that you'll often be paid little for your efforts. If you're okay with that and can crank out enough content to make it worth your while, great.
Get writing clients directly
But you are definitely in a better position if you deal with clients directly. If they respect you and genuinely want your services you can often set your own fee. Obviously you don't want to charge too highly and price yourself out of the market. But you can certainly ask for, and often get, much more per word than if you were given the writing assignment through a massive content mill.
Obviously this is good for your bank balance. It's also psychologically beneficial, because you are being valued for your work, and not taken for granted.
The other advantage: You can say no if you don't like the offer, think the client is unreasonable or have too many other commitments. That's another way to reduce your stress levels.
Blogging builds authority
So, how do you get writing clients directly? There are many ways but one of the best is to maintain a blog and get active on social media, Twitter in particular.
As well as showing that you are an expert in your chosen field, your blog doubles as an online resume. By reading a few posts potential clients can quickly ascertain that you can write clearly and succinctly.
You can use your blog as a kind of fishing line by including a link to a page outlining your writing services at the end of each post. You could say something like: “Would you like an article on this subject for your site? Learn more here.”
Make connections on Twitter
Needless to say you should tweet and retweet these posts. And make it clear in your Twitter profile description that you offer freelance writing services, including a link to that particular page. You may have already used the URL field to link to your home or about page. But you can still include a clickable link in the description. You can also highlight that page with a pinned tweet.
As any seasoned tweep knows, the more active you are on the platform the more people see your profile. So, follow and engage with lots of users in your niche, particularly those who own businesses, with links to their websites in their profiles.
Odds are that many will be on the lookout for good quality, fresh content. If they get to know you by your replies and retweets many will follow back and some will eventually click on those profile links and have a good look at what you offer in this regard.
Keep at it, build momentum and freelance writing gigs are sure to come your way. You will have acquired them independently of any intermediary, and can therefore offer a tailored service, charging a decent fee as a result.