Most freelance writers have their unusual hire stories – unexpected referrals, retracted rejections, chance meetings and so on. Often, these are the ones that turn out to be the most rewarding projects you’ll ever do.

In this post I’ll share some of the most unusual ways I have been hired as a freelance writer. The only lesson these unusual fall-in-my-lap-from-nowhere jobs taught me was that ‘Freelance opportunities can turn up out of thin air and you should be ready to grab them when they do’. Feel free to tweet that statement.

Unusual Hire #1 
They Wanted a Video Editor

Before I decided to sail against the current, I used to look for writing projects primarily on Elance. Those who are acquainted with the way things work there would know that clients can invite different contractors/freelancers for their projects.

One fine morning I woke up to a job invitation on Elance (waking up to my email is something I don’t do any longer). The client wanted a…video editor. My profile clearly advertised me as a freelance copywriter and blogger.

Elance offers a decline invitation option, where you can simply select default decline messages, and are done. However, for some reason that day, I went ahead and sent the client a message via the proposal box, instead of straightaway declining their invite.

I told them that while I appreciated the invite, I wasn’t a video editor and couldn’t have helped them with their project even if I wanted to. If they ever need a blogger or copywriter for their business instead, I’d love to consider their project.  End.

I got another job invite from them the next day. This time round they wanted a business blogger. ‘We’d love to work with you. Can you quote us for blog posts for our business’ website?’

Happy ending!

Unusual Hire #2
Blog Migration to Blog Writing

I tend to browse random help forums regularly, though I hardly ever contribute. On one of these browsing trips, I came across a blog migration request from a lady who was clearly not very technically savvy. She had a blogger blog, but wanted to migrate to Wordpress, blog posts and all.

Coincidentally, I had recently migrated my Blogger blog to Wordpress and knew that it wouldn’t take very long to get it done and going. I volunteered to help.

Once the migration was done, we had a skype call at her request. She was insanely happy with the blog’s new look, the ease and speed with which I had done the migration, and well, my helpful nature. During the course of our talk, she asked me what I did and I gave her my elevator speech (freelance writer, business blogger blah blah). I am sure you can guess what happened next.

She is an awesome client. 

Unusual Hire #3
I Asked for Help, They Gave Me a Job

Back to Elance for the last one. The portal has something called the Water Cooler where freelancers and clients go to discuss issues with their projects, bitch about clients and other freelancers, help each other or just make small talk.

I had placed a request on the WC asking fellow Elancers for help concerning an issue I was having with a client. I received several responses within a few hours and I could solve my problem satisfactorily.

The next day, I received a job invite from Elance (fancy that!). They wanted to redo some help documents on the website and chose to work with me.

I took the job, but never got around to asking how they zeroed in on me from amongst thousands of other freelance writers listed on their portal. But, a WC post one day and an invite the very next day seems too much of a coincidence.

Your Turn

Share your unusual hire stories with me. Have you received freelance writing work from an unexpected quarter? I’d love to hear about it.

Share, tweet and spread the word. Also, subscribe to this blog's feed to receive an update when I add another post.

Two Announcements

I recently wrote a guest blog post on Outsource How, which has received a lot of attention from freelance writers. It is titled ‘Why You Shouldn’t Pay Peanuts to Freelance Writers’. Go read and share it – we all want clients to pay us well.

I have started another blog on my website for businesses and the blog posts there will primarily pertain to how businesses can do better online. If that’s something you’d be interested in, I encourage you to subscribe to that blog as well. My first post there is titled ‘10 Steps to More Profit at Zero Cost – The LinkedIn Profile Makeover’. This post is just as relevant for freelancers as it is for businesses and I am sure you’ll find it useful.

Author: Urooj Kazi is a professional freelance writer. To hire her to write content for your business, visit this website's Contact Urooj page.  


11/05/2012 16:27

Great topic!

To answer your questions -- Oh yes I have!

I was at a client's office doing an assessment of their network to determine how much money they could save, when the client's computer went down and she started cursing out her IT guy saying she can't finish a blog post in time!

Low and behold...perfect chance to offer my freelance copywriting services. So I did. Three hours later at $75 per hour, the post was done.

If it weren't for that free consultation, I would have never landed that project!

11/05/2012 22:07

Hi Jarvis,

What a perfect opportunity! I think you got the job not because her computer went down, but because you could sell your service to her.

Many freelancers (and to an extent, myself) need to learn to recognize and act on opportunities.

Thanks for commenting, Jarvis.


P.S. Loved your website.

11/05/2012 19:42

Those sound interesting. I've had some pretty nifty freelance writing jobs myself. I'm just starting out but the few jobs I've already picked up have been a little off beat--things like re-posting someone's blog posts to Ezinearticles. The irony is, though, that most of my writing jobs have been to write about writing--which I find hilarious since all my non-writing related work has been done for free.

11/05/2012 22:22

Hi Dianna,

That sounds funny - getting writing jobs where you write about writing! But, I reckon those would be the easiest since we already tend to have a good hold on writing and related subjects.

Hope you are enjoying freelancing so far.


11/06/2012 08:51


They certainly were easy jobs--and I'd certainly love more--but you've got to appreciate the irony there, especially when I was asked to talk about fiction. I've been blogging for years, so I have a good chunk of non-fiction work online, but I have yet to publish any fiction.


06/05/2013 03:31

Great topic! The style of writing is superb and your article proved that you can be definitely used in more different ways you are capable of writing different category articles. Continue the good job and all the best for you and your future works

10/03/2013 02:38

I'm just a beginner in freelancing, so don't have words to review but just can say your post are very useful for me and I am making a collection of your tips.

10/04/2013 23:51

Your creative mind is what all matters. There are many ways where we have to write facts but the way you writes is what makes you creative.

10/05/2013 21:40

Your blog template was so nice I decided to make a Weebly account too.


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