Dear About.com Freelance Writing:
I've been following your advice for about 2 months, trying to get a side business going while working full time. I'm able to devote every other Friday to freelance writing, along with every evening. My problem is that I am not getting any jobs! Can you please help me? I've applied to over 30 jobs in the last couple months, and have only got 2!,/i>
I'm wondering if your roadblock is your schedule. You noted that you work a full day on freelance writing every other Friday. Is it possible that you're only applying for jobs every two weeks?
It's my opinion that writers should apply for freelance writing jobs within a day or two of their posting. This follows from my own experience of hiring writers. Genrally, the faster you get a project up and running (writers hired, contracts out), the better the deadline looks!
Now, we all know it would be best if freelance writing employers and clients actually take the time to carefully select the very best applicants over the course of a week or more, but that's simply not the time frame that most projects operate under.
In addition, companies, editors and publishers receive hundreds of applications. When I hired my proofreader, I stopped counting (and reading) at 31 applications within the first 2 days. I made my decision on the 4th day. I simply didn't have time to keep going, and I bet many others have the same time constraints I did.
My advice is to skip any jobs that are more than 4 days old, and only apply for the most recent jobs that fit your expertise. Spend your time combing through them for the best matches, and put an effort into your application package. Best of luck!