By Leah Zitter
Three weeks ago, I landed a job writing $100-a-piece articles for a marketing agency. The recruiter told me I was one of only three people to respond and asked me how I had found her ad that she had deliberately placed in some uncommon corner. I sent her the article, Three Ways To Find Writing Jobs On The Deep Web, that I had once written for FundsforWriters.
Three years ago, I collected search engines that crawl the Deep Web in order to find hidden online jobs. The Deep Web represents approximately 3,000 out of 1 web pages according to the science journal Nature, and they are hidden from regular search engines because they are too small, password-protected or otherwise inaccessible. Examples of such pages include Twitter, Behance, Ryze, forums, password-protected business sites, Tumblr, Reddit, or newly-born blogs. I searched for engines that can scour these sites so I could uncover hidden writing jobs.
I check alternative search engines to see if they retrieve ads for writing jobs. I read books on the Deep Web such as “The Invisible Web” by Chris Sherman and keep up-to-date with changes on alternative search engines via websites such as researchbuzz.me.
I copy methods of certain HR recruiters who had devised their own systems for finding hidden opportunities (albeit in the recruiting niche). I also experiment with different keywords and keyword patterns to see which are more likely to produce jobs on different sites. So, for instance, I found that “hiring writers” or “writers wanted” works on Tumblr but I use ‘looking for writers’ for Facebook.
These are nine of the top engines that I uncovered.
Boardreader – You’ll want to use the Advanced Search to help you make the most of this site. Few engines need as exact keywords as this does.
Omgili – “Oh My Gosh I Like It” really does help you find communities, message boards, and discussion threads on any topic. Type in your keywords (I used “looking for freelance _”) and access Discussion Posts or Blog Posts.
Dotmos.com – It helps you dig news in your field that you may less likely see on the common search engines. I use it for looking for jobs. too.
Socialbearing.com – This engine helps you drill Twitter.
Twazzup.com – This is a new all-in-one Twitter search engine. Twitter has other search engines that you can use such as OneRiot and Louis Gray, but the helpful thing about Twazzup is that you can type in whatever interests you and Twazzup returns related content.
Smashfuse.com – Smashfuse travels Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Vimeo, Tumblr, and Flickr among others. Minuses: The site lacks advanced options. (I add date or country to the keyword or I use general keywords. The latter option is probably best).
Blogsearchengine.org – This engine also scours StumbleUpon and delicious giving you two further sites for finding jobs from Minus: The site lacks advanced options.
MeltwaterIceRocket.com – This is one of the most powerful blog search engines. It searches blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and sites on the worldwide web.
Webring – Find people and groups who share your interest. This group is a cross between LinkedIn and Facebook and is especially helpful for beginners who want to find contacts or jobs.
Freelancers spend money, time, and tears networking, marketing, or cold-calling to escape the competition. I found an easier, more comfortable way that works just as well: Probing the deep web.
Leah Zitter is a professional writer who is completing her PhD in scientific research. She posts hidden writing jobs for freelancers at http://freelancersmarket.com/this-weeks-jobs/