What Is Freelance Writing and Is It Right for Me?
What are freelance writing jobs? If you’re asking this question, chances are you love to write and are wondering whether you should try freelancing. Self-employed writers work for themselves as independent contractors who offer their services. Some moonlight while keeping their day jobs, some go into offices to help teams with projects, and others do freelance writing full-time at home in their pajamas.
You may also wonder, what is freelance writing like? Being self-employed does have its challenges, and finding a steady stream of clients is often the toughest (which is why many freelancers start out part-time). But a 2016 poll of freelance writers and other creatives by Contently reveals most are happy with their choice.
- 76 percent say they freelance “because they want to, not because they need to.”
- Top reasons for freelancing include the greater independence (60 percent) and flexibility (60 percent).
- Just over 36 percent also cite “greater opportunity” and just over 30 percent find it pays more and freelance for “financial gain.”
- 55 percent say their lives as freelancers improved in 2016.
- Freelancers also reported incomes that are comparable to people in the U.S. workforce with “regular” jobs.
- On average, part-time freelancers work up to 10 hours a week, and full-timers work 30-40 hours a week or more.
- 55 percent of full-timers work longer hours because they feel they have to.
So now, let’s see who needs freelance writers and what can you do to get started. Look around, and you’ll see all kind of opportunities for freelance writing. For starters, all the catalogs, inserts, and mailers that appear in your mailbox each day were written by someone.The same goes for your favorite magazines, newspapers, books, websites, and catalogs. Read more about freelance writing pay here.
What is your freelance writing niche? These markets are booming.
Online writing jobs
The explosion of websites, blogs, and social media sites opens up all kinds of opportunities for freelance writing. Large and small companies need a constant flow of new and relevant content to drive traffic to their sites. That’s why demand for online freelance writers is growing by leaps and bounds. Here are some fascinating stats gathered by SnapApp, content marketing company.
- 70 percent of Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers planned to produce more online content in 2017 than in 2016. The Content Marketing Institute
- Word counts for blog posts have increased by roughly 19 percent. In 2014, the average blog post was 808 words. In 2016, it jumped to 1,054 words. Orbit Media
- 64 percent of B2B marketers outsource their writing projects to freelancers. Top Rank Blog
- 81 percent of marketers have discovered that investing as little as six hours per week in social media pays off with increased traffic. Social Media Examiner
Nearly anything you write will appear online in one form or another. Read more about best freelance writing jobs online here.
As more of us feel less secure in our jobs, sprucing up resumes also offers a growing niche for freelance writing. Those of us who love to write often take our skills for granted. Believe it or not, many people find putting things down on paper scary, especially when it comes to their resumes. This is where you come in. If you can make someone’s resume and cover letters sparkle, you’ve made a friend for life who’ll likely have more friends in need of your skills.
The Undercover Recruiter reports one in five recruiters reject a job candidate before they finish reading a resume.The most common reasons a resume gets tossed in the trash is because of spelling and grammar errors and bad layouts. The Muse adds recruiters only spend an average of six second reading a resume…If that resume even gets read by a human being at all. Companies are using Automatic Tracking Systems (ATS) more and more to screen resumes. Even well-qualified applicants aren’t making the cut, because they didn’t use the right keywords.
What can help these people land the jobs they want? Someone like you. If you’re just getting started with freelance writing, and you’re willing to do some research and hang up your shingle for crafting resumes, bios and cover letters is an easy way to quick cash.
If you’ve got interests or skills that fill a specific niche, you’re in luck. Opportunities abound for specialized magazines, websites, blogs, and technical publications. So what is your niche for freelance writing? Chances are you have one, even if you don’t know it. After all, there are websites and blogs on everything from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to homesteading and zoology. You can find them through Google, or Writers Digest (available through purchase, online subscription, or at your public library). Once you’ve put together a list of places you’d like to write for, you can look up whether they’re looking for writers and their procedures for
More freelance writing jobs.
What other freelance writing opportunities are there? The following types of writers are also in high demand.
- Ghostwriting jobs: Experts and famous people often land writing contracts and hire people todo it for you. You’d be working closely with this person and would need to channel their style and way of thinking.
- Medical writing jobs: Medical and pharmaceutical companies are looking for technical writers who can create brochures, newsletters and other materials focused on the health industry.
- Technical writing jobs: Hardware and software companies need tech-savvy writers for websites and printed manuals on how to use their products.
- Copywriting jobs: Companies need people to write engaging ad and marketing copy to sell their products and services via emails, direct mail, landing pages, brochures, ads, and more.
- Catalog writing jobs: People who can write pithy product descriptions with other relevant information in the proper format for online and print catalogs are in high demand.
- Grant writing jobs: Many individuals and nonprofits seek grants for programs and special programs. But applying to foundations and government agencies is an arduous process. If you can follow directions and write persuasive copy within required forms and formats, this might be a good fit.
- Blogging jobs: Starting your own blog requires a passion or area of expertise, some technical know-how, and a social media following. But many people who already have blogs need more content.
What’s the best way to get started with freelance writing?
Every writer has their own ways of approaching their work, but the following tips can help you start out on the right foot.
- Make a list of your your hobbies, interests, and areas of expertise.
- Identify topics of interest that haven’t been covered enough.
- Learn how to write a strong proposal or query letter, and start pitching editors and marketing managers.
- Create a simple website, pull together some writing samples, and display them on the site. If you’re not ready for a website, Linked In has an excellent
- Learn some social media and search engine optimization (SEO) basics so your articles get seen. Clients will expect you to know the basics.
- Do lots of networking, both online and offline. Tell everyone you know you’re available.
- The Gigs section of CraigsList can be a great place to find small businesses near you in need of freelance writers.
- If you’re comfortable working for clients online, many freelance writers start with UpWork and the Problogger Jobs board.
- Make sure you and your first client have a clear agreement for the work you’re doing and how much you’ll get paid.
And one more thing: Freedom with Writing has an excellent email newsletter with all kinds of paid writing opportunities and no ads. Read more about freelance writing for beginners here.