I’ve been interested in doing some writing as a freelancer, but I have no idea where to start. Does anyone do this? How do you find gigs? What’s trustworthy?
I have done some. Textbroker used to be a legitimate and reliable by-the-word market and still may be. Doing overflow freelance work for agencies is good work, too. I’ve been on both sides of that for writing and programming. If you go that route, you will want to distinguish between press releases, trade articles, technical/scientific writing and copywriting and possibly between that and creative concepting where you propose the themes and phrases that turn into the assignment to flesh out the copy.
I started back in 1995 when I did work experience at a computer magazine. Now I email magazine editors with ideas, even if I do not know them well. I prepare a synopsis of the topic I want to write about, together with an outline of the series of articles and a brief description of each one.
I also provide links to examples of previous work. If you don’t have any published work, Medium is the ideal place to start. However, I only earn €100-200 per article on there, which of course is much less than magazine publishers pay.
This is not my full time occupation though, just a side line.