Three years ago, I was a dispirited writer. I devoutly followed websites such as WritersWeekly.com, and paid so-called experts who promised me thousands of dollars in profit if I would spend hundreds on their advice. I marketed myself. I networked. I specialized. I paid $20 for a website and $150 for a designer. I created a blazing resume, answered all relevant ads, and scripted cover letters that followed AIWA’s latest hints on copywriting.
The problem, I soon noticed, was that everyone was going my way. In other words, I followed Monsters, Indeed, sometimes FlexJobs, ProBlogger, Freelancewriting.com, the Writers Market. I accessed Craigslist and found those jobs duplicated on other sites. I used Google Alerts and the same jobs popped up. Respondents would tell me that hundreds of others had approached them. Invariably, therefore, they rolled down to the lowest bidder or selected the unfathomably qualified. Invariably, too, jobs that I had approached had closed within hours.
I decided to reverse direction and dig up hidden jobs.
Three rarely known search engines helped me:
1. MetaSearch.com – best of the best. The engine is created for trawling the hidden web. The hidden, or invisible, web refers to those links that escape Google largely because their sites are too small or because they are password-protected. Examples include Twitter sites, Reddit, Pinterest, locked company websites, forums, or some tiny niche job boards. Many of these sites advertise largely unseen jobs. Metasearch brings up a lot of these ads – squeezed between scams and the usual eLance bid. More than once, I have been one of three people responding to an ad that sought a business or magazine writer. Also more than once, I have been one of the first to become aware of new magazine writing opportunities.
Note: Metasearch brings you to Topsy. Use Topsy tweets for best results ñ but, play around with its other tools, too.
2. IceRocket.com – Another favorite. Meltwater ice rocket pierces blogs and digs up hidden writing jobs on blogs that are looking for writers. Type in search terms such as ëpaid assignment’ or ëlooking for writer + paid’. Ice Rocket’s Big Buzz feature helps you search Blogs, Twitter, and a potpourri of social media sites. Again, fiddle around with structuring your search ñ use basic Google search tools for best results and set aside time for sleuthing. Ice rocket’s advanced search may help you, especially if you want to whittle your results down by date. This article provides more tools on how to use this wonderful engine.
3. SocialMention.com – This site helps you search for jobs in microblogs. Use Bookmarks and Questions too – you never know what will pop up. Or, simply use ‘All’. You can sort by date or source, set RSS alerts, and see similar keywords. Best of all, employ the Advanced Search Option. In short, play around with the site. It is a manna of surprises.
Want to ‘up’ your writing load? Use these obscure search engines. They can help you with research, job-getting, landing magazines assignment, editor and agent introductions, marketing, PR, and, and much more!
Anything is possible when you outwit the competition…
Paying Markets and Freelance Jobs for Writers
Use LinkedIn to Snag Writing Jobs
The Right Way to Find Freelance Jobs on Craigslist
5 Creative Ways To Get Freelance Writing Jobs (Beyond The Job Boards)
Five Unique Freelance Writing Jobs
Leah Zitter is a professional writer who is completing her PhD in research. She posts hidden writing jobs for freelancers at: http://freelancersmarket.com/this-weeks-jobs/
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