How to Find Freelance Editing Work

How to Find Freelance Editing Work

i can haz edit?

An editor just told me she’s desperate for work and striking out in the freelance world. She’s not awake yet, so I looked her up everywhere I could think of, to find out what kind of editing she does. I have potential clients for her, if she has the subject matter experience.

She has ZERO professional presence online.


404 Editor Not Found


I still don’t think that having an online presence is THE way to get work. But NOT having one is a good way to prevent offers.


Consider the world wide web to be integral in the modern-day network:

  1. Meet people
  2. Fill in your profiles
  3. Interact online
  4. Create your own content


Starter Kit for Editors category | Office Essentials | Background Skills | Is Editing for You? | Reading List | How to Become an Editor | Estimating Your Pace | Setting Fees



Meet People

Go to professional meetings, talk to people at seminars, volunteer, take a colleague to coffee. [Interact online.] Ask colleagues and business owners for advice, then follow up and tell them how you tried their advice and how it is working out for you.

Be positive and enthusiastic! It’s really easy to stop helping someone who is a total downer.

You don’t have to be asking for work. In fact, I recommend you do not ask for work. Just be interested in what they do and how they got there. Imagine yourself looking for a trades person. Who comes to mind? Is it the woman who circled the room pressing cards into everyones’ hands? Or is it the woman who showed an interest in what you do, talked to you like a person, and laughed with you? Whatever your answer is, emulate that behaviour.

Volunteering in your professional association is an excellent way to meet colleagues on a level playing field, in a situation where you have a chance to show your professionalism without any threat (to either of you) of making a hard sell. And volunteering outside of your profession might just put you in touch with clients — those loose connections count more than you can know.

Complete Profiles

Every online presence available to you should highlight your professional experience and goals. LinkedIn is proving to be the most popular site for professionals, but remember Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, and even Skype and the other chat platforms.

Interact Online

Comment on blogs, articles, and on others’ status updates; and answer questions in Quora and the other social media networks.

Show yourself to be knowledgeable and helpful. Commenting on popular blogs or to people with huge followings in any medium can significantly increase your exposure.

Create Content

Generate your own content through status updates, a blog, contributing to others’ blogs, and writing articles. Take any opportunity to be helpful in your area of expertise; like I did, in writing this post.


Adrienne started her entire career as a freelance editor, working for other freelance editors — all from her home in the northern woods. It’s been 14+ years of full-time work, and it just keeps getting better.


BONUS: Advice for editors in Canada

Fill out your member profile at, whether or not you pay for a listing in the online directory of editors (ODE). If my colleague had completed her free membership listing, I could have found out more about her.

The ODE is an “editors for hire” search engine available to clients across the whole wide world. It is free to search and free to contact the editors who are listed. (*Caveat: the search function doesn’t search all fields, and only 1/4 of members are listed. Also read this post about the [in]utility of listing in a directory.) If you’ve never hired an editor before, read the very helpful steps and descriptions they put together.