There are a number of social media sites that can help writers find jobs and freelancing resources, like Facebook groups filled with calls for submissions, writing prompts, and Twitter pitching tips. Many of them have helped me during the ongoing process of becoming a successful freelance writer.
But, until last summer, I hadn’t really considered how a social media site like Reddit could actually become a resource to me as a somewhat nascent writer.
The first inkling that Reddit, a site dedicated to trolling and weird photos, would actually be beneficial to my writing career was after I found sources and story ideas for an online news publication. I found a group called NYC, and constantly scoured the listings for events, weird things captured on the subway, and photos. They led to pretty successful articles during my internship and I quickly learned to sign in every morning, and look for ideas to pitch to my editors.
Thanks to the well-received posts, I began looking around at different pages. I had fun looking at funny videos that were uploaded and subreddits about specific celebrities. But, I was also eager to see if the website had as many sections for freelance writers as websites like Facebook or Twitter did. I began looking using the same keywords that I did when Googling and looking around on other search engines.
I first began searching and subscribing to posts for writing gigs. That led me to other searches. I am currently subscribed to all of them. Some weeks, someone posts something interesting like a link to a website that pays for posts, or blogs that highlight how to pitch better ideas to editors. There are also a few days when no one posts anything that is particularly useful for pitching to editors. Because of that, I set up a schedule to check writing job subreddits about once a week. Most of the ones that I follow are updated every few days. I usually try to subscribe to subreddits that have several hundred followers, and has been active for about year. They’re more likely to give regular updates.
To maximize Reddit for freelance writing, be as specific as possible when looking for writing resources. There are subreddits just for freelancers and I’ve found some by searching freelance writing, freelance writer, and freelancers. Thanks to looking for those I found other websites that feature writing jobs.
There are even subreddits for niches in writing like blogging, technical writing, copywriting, and even ghostwriting. The best thing to keep in mind when looking for those particular groups is that an extended vocabulary is your best friend. Not all of my searches led to finding a successful subreddit, but many of them did. I recently looked around for a subreddit specifically on pitching, and couldn’t find anything. I did, however, find a thread where someone asked about pitching, which contained a lot of useful responses.
And, like many writing resources, things will cross contaminate from time to time. I saw a posting for a blog that needed pitches about feminism, went to log into Reddit a few hours later, and saw the exact same link and a practically identical call for submissions. But, thanks to having an extra option for all kinds of writing opportunities, I’ve been able to find tips and calls for submissions that I haven’t seen on other social sites.
Reddit alone isn’t going to make a new freelance writer into an overnight success, but it should not be overlooked at all. Who knows? Maybe with a bit more time, I’ll be able to figure out a way to increase the volume of freelancing advice and jobs that I find. That is…if I don’t become distracted by the cat posts while I search for new ideas.
Angely Mercado is a native New Yorker from Queens who likes platanos and anything green tea flavored. When she isn’t writing, she Netflix binges, reads novels in Spanish, and looks for new publications to pitch more ideas to. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Stories, The Billfold, DNAinfo, and The Tempest. Reach out to her on Twitter @AngelyMercado and Instagram @angely_mercado. ms.jpg