When we look for writing work, whether it be businesses to offer our writing services to or publications to write for, finding local clients can be a bit overwhelming, or seemingly impossible, depending on where you live. I was one who struggled to find local publications to write for with my freelance work. But then I remembered a simple tool that many ‘modern’ people don’t use, yet it still exists in most households: The phone book.
Depending on where you live, you may know a phone book as a telephone book, telephone address book, or the white/yellow pages. Whatever you may call it, it is still a giant book of names and numbers of local businesses that either need you writing services or publications in your area that may be open to freelance writers.
I opened up my local phone book and looked under newspapers (the most common term for publications). I found a few that I have already written for, but a few jumped out to me. There was a couple that I had forgotten had even existed and some that I had never even heard of.
I contacted the publications that I was familiar with (but had forgotten), and actually did connect with an editor for potential future assignments. I’m not sure if I will ever actually write for them, but it was still good to get my name (and resume/writing samples) in front of another editor. He may remember me when talking with other people and connections are important in this business.
There were also some publications that I had never heard of (mostly small, local newspapers that cannot afford to hire anyone), but seeing them listed reminded me that some publications are not widely distributed, so unless you are in their immediate area, you may have never seen them. They are still worth contacting about writing work, but it is good to remember that you may have to dig a little deeper to find untapped gems in your local area.
So, either dig around your house for one or go to your local library and check out your local phone book. There may be some untapped markets that may be your next paycheck.