How to Land Editing Gigs

Okay, so now that I’ve covered why writers should edit, the different types of editing and the challenges of editing, it’s time to get down to business and talk about some of the best ways to find paid editing jobs.

  1. Freelance Sites: Whether it is a site where you create a profile or simply a site that compiles job listings from other sources, freelancing sites are the largest bank of editing jobs all in one place. There are even freelance sites like Wordy that focus solely on editing. However, with many freelance sites (especially those that allow you to create a profile for the easiest access) you risk having to deal with unprofessional clients who low ball their rates. Check out my post on the pros and cons of freelance sites for more info about using these sites.
  2. Posters: You don’t have to be a designer to make a poster (though it doesn’t hurt). Just don’t try anything too fancy if you don’t know how and make sure your poster has a nice focal point that will draw people to it. Put your name, number, and services on it, and voila, you have a marketing tool.

    Some of the best places to put your posters are:
    * Coffee Shops (the guy who’s always there writing his novel may need an editor)
    * College Message Boards
    * Bookstores
    * Libraries

    Remember, though, that you must ask permission to put up your poster at any of these public places. At my University, only certain message boards were for public use, while others were designated for school related activities. If you don’t want your poster torn down, know the rules and ask permission.

  3. Social Media: You can make a separate profile for your freelancing services or simply advertise your services on the profiles you already have. Just know that you will get an influx of followers and “friends” that may interfere with your casual feed. Connect with authors, small business owners, publishing companies, and even other editors (they may be overwhelmed with their freelance work and need to outsource). A blog is another media profile you can use. I found my most recent editing client simply by visiting his blog. I commented on a post about the completion of his novel (a simple congratulations and a comment that I liked his writing style), he looked at my blog and saw that I did editing work, and he contacted me to edit that very novel (a novel I will be highly recommending when published. Check out his work here). This is the easiest form of networking available, so take advantage of it.
  4. Create a Website: This one requires a lot more work, but the payout can be great. Make sure you understand the basics of SEO so that people can actually find your services, get your site listed on services like Angie’s List, and link to your site from your social media. A website specifically for your editing services is great because you have space to list prices for different types of editing, display your resume and work samples, and tell your clients a little bit about yourself. I am working on starting up my own business website now, so I will be sure to post here to let you know about the pros and cons of the process as I go along, but I would recommend that you wait to build a website until you have a nice portfolio and a few regular clients as a starting point.
  5. Job Boards/ Classifieds: This is the more traditional route, whether the job boards you are looking at are online or not. However, I have often found this method to be a huge headache when it comes to freelancing. Most jobs posted on these sorts of sources are permanent positions (which is great, but not what you’re looking for when freelancing) and most of them want someone to work on sight, which means the job has to be in your town or city. Perhaps this is not a problem for people who live in major cities, but I have had very little luck finding such jobs near me. Most of the jobs I find like this also want me to work in insurance or some other field, not just editing their material. However, just because I haven’t had much luck this way, doesn’t mean you can’t. Try it out and see. If it becomes a headache, simply use another method.

These are just the methods I am familiar with. If you have found freelance editing jobs in some other way, please feel free to post about it in the comments section. Good luck landing that gig, and remember, don’t sell yourself short.

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