How To Find Freelance Jobs When You Have No Experience

If you are interested in starting a freelancing career, you are probably wondering how to find freelance work even though you may have no work experience as a freelancer. Whether you are interested in getting into freelance graphic design, you are looking for freelance writing jobs for beginners, or something else, finding your first client can feel difficult….

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: July 31, 2023

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How to find freelance jobs when you have no experience.If you are interested in starting a freelancing career, you are probably wondering how to find freelance work even though you may have no work experience as a freelancer.

Whether you are interested in getting into freelance graphic design, you are looking for freelance writing jobs for beginners, or something else, finding your first client can feel difficult.

Mostly everyone has dealt with this problem before – the entry level job you are wanting to apply for asks that you have experience.

The truth is, you need experience in order to gain experience and this applies to freelancers as well.

So, how do you gain experience for a job when you don’t have any?

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Below are my tips on how to find freelance work when you have no work experience.

 

1. Start a blog if you are interested in learning how to find freelance work.

If you are looking for tips on how to find freelance work (mainly if you are interested in providing services related to blogging such as finding freelance writing jobs for beginners, website management, etc.), I highly recommend starting a blog of your own.

This way you can learn about all of the different things that go into running a website, writing, and more. This can be a great way to gain valuable skills when you have no work experience. Your website can be used as a portfolio or resume for potential clients to look at.

Starting a blog of your own is also a good idea to see if you even like the idea of freelancing. You can see what areas you enjoy and what services you wouldn’t enjoy.

Having a blog of my own is how I got into freelancing. Without it, I don’t think I would have tried any of my online side hustles as I probably would have never thought about them. Also, most of my clients found me through my blog, so I personally know that managing a blog of your own can help attract freelance clients.

Creating a blog of your own can be done affordably and easily. I have a WordPress tutorial that will help you start your blog affordably (I’ve included discounts and a freebie in this tutorial as well), and you can check that out here.

 

2. Submit samples if you have no work experience.

If you don’t have a portfolio of past work that you have done, you may have to create sample work to show to possible clients.

This is something that many people skip, but it is very important if you are interested in learning how to find freelance work. Extra work may be needed, but it will pay off in the end.

For example, if you are interested in finding freelance writing jobs for beginners but have no work experience, I would recommend that you create a few sample articles to send off to possible clients. This way they can still see your writing style and see if you would be a good fit.

Related: How To Become a Freelancer and Make a Full-Time Income

 

3. Look for low-paying or even free work if you have no work experience.

In the beginning, I would not get your heart set on extremely high-paying freelance jobs. Those are usually reserved for those with experience.

In the beginning, you should be more focused on getting your name out there, gaining valuable experience, and building your portfolio. You may have to take low paying or even free jobs in the beginning in order to do this.

Don’t be scared though, sometimes these jobs can be great and many quality news publications don’t pay. Writers who accept these type of jobs realize that getting your name out there and gaining experience is sometimes more important than payment.

The key to providing low-pay or even free work is to find clients that will help you build your portfolio the correct way. Just because you have no work experience doesn’t mean that you should be taking any job, as you might actually end up hurting yourself if you take low-quality and certain low-pay work. Instead, see how your free or low-paying work can can actually be advantageous to you.

 

4. Put your name out there.

Once you have sample work or a portfolio that you can be proud of, you should start networking with others and reaching out to possible clients.

This can feel scary at first, but I promise it’s not. You should search freelance job boards such as on ProBlogger, find clients on oDesk or Elance, become active on forums where clients that you want to work for often are, reach out to others and see if they know of any openings, cold email possible leads, and more.

The worst thing that can happen is someone will say no.

Once you get over that fear, I am sure you will be able to successfully launch a freelance career of your own.

Whether you are a freelancer or not, how did you get past the beginning hurdle? What tips would you give to someone who is interested in learning how to find freelance work but has no work experience?

 


Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. mae abigail songco

    thank you so much for the tips.. its not that hard after all.. i’m going to make money soon too..

  2. Great suggestions, thanks Michelle!

    I’m transitioning to freelance now and it has its challenges but I know it will be worth it.

    Cheers,

  3. Great post, Michelle. I totally agree about starting a blog. Not only does it provide a place to show off your skills, but lets you explore writing about things that you’re passionate. I’m currently sitting in Italy writing about travelling for 4 months because of my blog.

    1. That is awesome Marissa!

  4. Amy

    Good tips! I work in a college career center, and this is essentially what I tell my students about finding work of any kind. Networking is key!

    1. margenberhanu

      how I can start freelance works to business?

  5. Just get started! It’s impossible to have everything perfect or know everything or be completely ready, so just begin and learn as you go!

    And take my course if you want to get into freelance writing: 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success;-)

    1. Yes, great tips πŸ™‚

  6. I started with free guest posts, then I had something to show people when I started applying for paid gigs.

    1. Yes, that’s a great idea!

  7. Thanks for the tips. I think another great one which is a play off #4 is networking. It doesn’t just have to be done in person, it can also be done online.

  8. Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents

    I’d say search for sites taking submissions on the topics you most like to write about, draft a few sample pieces, and take it from there. Also, set up a Contently account so you have an easy portfolio to show off / keep track of pieces as needed.

    1. All great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Nicole Carter (Weasley)

    Thank you for the great tips! It’s going to be hard work but everyone has to start somewhere!

  10. Thanks so much for this, Michelle. I work as a communications writer but I am trying to bump up the freelance side of things and not having a lot of luck so far. These are excellent tips!

    Also, long time reader but I don’t think I have commented before, so just wanted to let you know, I love your blog!

    1. Aww thanks Lindsey. Glad you enjoy my blog πŸ™‚

  11. A lot of these hit home. I didn’t even think about freelancing before I started my blog. Now that I’ve got one going, freelancing seems like the next natural thing to branch out to. I’ve got a few clients but I really should diversify and look for some more.

  12. Jonatan Guzy

    I’ve never considered working as a freelancer, but I guess it’s quite possible for me to succeed. I might give it a try, thanks for all your tips!

  13. Irina Stiles

    I completely agree about the importance of getting new experiences.

  14. Jack @ Enwealthen

    Would love to see an article about making the transition to freelance work. Deciding what you want to do and where to get started is relatively simple compared to financing your transition. Especially so if you have an existing salary or other cash flow you’re looking to maintain as you build your freelance cash flow larger enough to survive on.

    Freelance student is one thing, freelance sole breadwinner supporting a family is completely different.

  15. Your own blog is such a fantastic resource! I would recommend that to anyone looking to freelance, whatever field they’re in. Great tips, Michelle πŸ™‚

  16. Melane @ Good Job Mom

    I love to read about beginnings, it is always so inspiring! Thank you for sharing how your got your start Michelle. I am just beginning to build a freelance portfolio, and your suggestions are helpful.

  17. Another tip (which is helpful if used appropriately) is to not even mention that you don’t have experience writing/designing/etc. in the particular area you’re trying to land a client in.

    You can spell out your ‘expertise’ in the area from anything in your life that’s remotely related to it and offer to do a small free sample for them if they want to see some of your work. The most important thing is not to let ‘no experience’ get in your way.

    1. Yes, definitely. This is a great tip!

  18. Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore

    Guest posting for others is a great way to get some of you work published on different sites. Then you can refer potential clients to those guest posts when you try to get your first job.

    1. Yes, that is a great way!

  19. Sarah

    These are some great tips. I checked out a few of the Writer’s Market books from the library to get a better idea of how to write what I want to write. For the time being I’m just trying to build up my blog, its content, and become more consistent about posting. Until I have that down, there’s no way I could handle moving into freelancing. I would hate to get a reputation for being not dependable.

    1. I think what you are doing is great. That’s pretty much what I did as well!

  20. Michelle L

    Really great tips you shared Michelle

  21. Rust

    Solid, common sense advice. Another informative article, thanks!

  22. Pamela Gurganus

    I’ve always wondered about doing freelance work and these tips are excellent! You’ve given me a lot of things to consider that I hadn’t thought of before! Thank you!

    1. Welcome Pamela πŸ™‚

  23. Anita k

    This will be very helpful for my daughter.thanks so very much for sharing.

  24. As an anonymous blogger, I don’t want to reveal my specific profession. However, I suspect that my professional experience could help me obtain some freelance opportunities. Any thoughts on keeping the two separate, but still capitalizing on my education and experience?

    1. Hmm that is hard. I am not exactly sure how you would go about that. Maybe you could just say what your profession is in general terms?

  25. I did a ton of freelance work for free before getting paid, so this is spot on!

  26. Jessica

    I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some freelancing and I really appreciate the tips. Now finding clients doesn’t sound so scary!

    1. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  27. Stephanie

    Thanks for the tips! Freelancing is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately so this was very timely!

    1. Welcome Stephanie πŸ™‚

  28. Ana Lara

    I am looking for this information!!! Thank you for that! I need a home job urgent!

    1. Welcome Ana πŸ™‚

  29. Richard Hicks

    Some very good tips for someone freelancing and especially lacking in experiencee

  30. Betsy Barnes

    This is a very helpful post. I have been discussing doing some freelance work with my hubby, he says I should just do it. I really will use these tips to help me, thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Welcome Betsy πŸ™‚

  31. I’d add another simple one…DO IT. I just got an email from someone saying he felt like his writing wasn’t perfect, so he was holding off on freelancing. The thing is, my writing was horrible when I started blogging and freelancing. All the noticeable improvements have been because of feedback I’ve gotten from clients. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t start now. There are plenty of people out there needing all sorts of quality of work.

    1. Yes! Just getting out there and trying is the first step!

  32. Great post Michelle. I’m looking at starting an entirely brand new side hustle and when it comes to getting started it’s all about getting your name out there. However one thought I’ve had is should I set up an entirely separate website dedicated to that particular side hustle or should I just set up a getting started page on my current blog? Anyways, thanks for the awesome tips.

    1. Setting up a separate website is always a great idea!

  33. I agree that searching for low payment jobs is something you should consider when starting up your business, but the part about working for free grinds my gears. From a personal experience I can say that’s not a very good strategy if you want to build your reputation and portfolio, simply there’s no distinct boundary between working for free and actually starting to earn money. It’s also not so good for your business in general, cause once your potential clients hear you’re willing to do an unpaid job, it’s really hard to convince them otherwise and actually find clients who would pay you.

    1. Yes, that is exactly why I said a person should be careful when doing this and to make sure that the low paid work has multiple upsides.

  34. Elizabeth Trejo

    Michelle these are great tips! I am definitely going to put my name out there. And I did search oDesk on google and I guess they changed their name to Upwork now.

  35. Sana Rahman

    I like how clear and on spot your advice is. It has definitely helped me get a better picture about how to get started. I have been procrastinating this for a while now so this post is definitely motivating.

    Thank you for sharing this. As is the case with most of the posts at Making Sense of the Cents, this was good and practical advice.

    Keep writing good stuf!

  36. Rhonda Wells

    Good info for beginners. I began freelancing via Upwork. You do need to create a portfolio to show clients what you are capable of. My first gigs were not worth the value in dollars. I took my bids low enough to get in the door, did my best work and ended up with great reviews on Upwork.

    Bidding low allowed me to start competing for real. For me it paid off. I now maintain a few long-term clients and an occasional short term gig here and there.

    Now to figure out this new blogging adventure. I’m enjoying it so far. I hope to make this my next freelancing move.

  37. Kevin

    Thanks for such a wonderful post. it inspires me to start working as a freelancer

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  39. Daniyal

    Hi!
    Could you please suggest me how and where can I create a blog?