The world is full of great writers who&’d love a chance to prove themselves. Upwork and People Per Hour are all well-known freelance sites, but there’s definitely a few things to watch out for.
Don’t accept the cheapest bid whatever you do. As a rule of thumb, 3-400 words of well-researched, detailed copy takes me about an hour. There are lots of people on there willing to write 500 words for $2-3. Trust me, they won’t be any good. Even if they’re from India or another outsourcing hotspot, the volume of words they’ll need to produce to make a decent wage will compromise quality every time.
Poor communication can also be an issue. Only choose bids that address the points you make in full. If in doubt, arrange a phone or Skype call so you can speak to them in person.
Once you’ve got your content, don’t be afraid to ask for revisions. Keep them clear and reasonable though – no one wants to be asked to make their copy ‘more sparkly’ (true story) or to write an extra 500 words free of charge.
Another great option is Studentgems. This is UK-based, but jobs can be placed by anyone worldwide. I have a real soft spot for this site, mainly as I French Business Fax List got my first copywriting gig through it after I graduated. It can be a little more expensive than Upwork et al, and good communication is even more important as this may be their first professional job, but I’ve always found the people I’ve hired are enthusiastic, talented and desperate for feedback.
In a similar vein, it can sometimes work to contact universities or colleges direct. I studied on the University of East Anglia’s creative writing course, and I often hire recent graduates for various projects.
Goldsmiths and Manchester are well thought of too
It’s hard for students to break into the creative industries. Sure, they might need a bit more nurturing than a typical freelancer, but they’re a fraction of the Dd Leads price and desperate to impress. If you do go down this route, set any deadline well before your own so you can find an alternative in case things go wrong. It’s not happened to me yet, but I’m always willing to err on the side of caution.