If you love writing and want a flexible career where you can work from anywhere, freelance writing is a great option. I started freelance writing several years ago.
First, as a side hustle to earn extra income and now I write full-time. I love helping writers earn money on the side freelancing and becoming their own boss.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about being a freelancer and running my own business. It may sound like a simple business model, but it’s VERY easy to get overwhelmed by information overload.
In fact, much of the information that exists on the web about freelance writing tells half the story. It’s important to see the full picture, then you can decide whether freelance writing is right for you at all.
How Does Freelance Writing Work
If you’ve considered becoming a freelance writer, you may fall into one of several categories:
- Perhaps you’ve heard of freelance writing but don’t really know how it works or how to make money doing it.
- Or maybe you’re not sure how to find clients who are willing to pay you to write for them.
- Or maybe you’re a complete beginner with no writing samples to speak of. How do you build a professional portfolio with absolutely no experience?
In this blog series, I’ll try to answer these questions and more. The information provided has been compiled from various sources; my own research and my personal experience to ensure that it is new and valuable.
Today I want to focus on the types of freelance writing you can do. If you want to be a freelance writer it’s best to go in with both eyes open so that you know about all the opportunities that are available to you.
The Myths of Making Money as a Freelance Writer
One of the biggest myths that exists about writing is that “it doesn’t pay the bills”.
This may have been true at one time. Now, with the growth of the “paid gig” economy and widespread use of the internet, great writers are becoming more and more in-demand.
Types of Freelancers
Freelancing is trading your skills for money and branding yourself as the go-to expert in your industry. You could become a freelance videographer, photographer, graphic designer, programmer, writer and more.
Best Platforms for Freelancers
- Best Freelance Platforms for Videographers
- Freelance Platforms for Photographers
- Best Freelance Platforms for Graphic Designers
- Best Freelance Platform for Web Developers
- Freelance Platform for Digital Assistants
- Best Freelance Platforms for Writers
- Best Freelance Platforms for Web Developers
Writers are needed to write content for websites, social media, blog posts, scripts, emails and so much more.
Examples of Freelance Work for Freelance Writers
Here are just a few examples of the type of writing work you can get. These jobs pay well and allow you to work remotely.
Become a Freelance Blogger
You might already know that you can make money blogging can earn you income, but you probably think that just means having your own blog, right?
If you don’t want to start a blog, or you want to make money from your writing sooner, you can actually become a corporate blogger (blogging on behalf of a company) instead.
According to MarTech Advisor, the content marketing industry is set to be worth $412.88 billion by 2021. It’s time to get a piece of that.
Businesses have now included guest bloggers in their annual budgets to pay writers to write their blog posts.
So why are blogs important for business?
Blogs can help organisations communicate with their customers, rank in search engines and sell their products and services.
The Most Popular Way to Make Money as a Writer
Blogging is one of the most popular ways to make a living as a writer. I’m including it at the top of this list because it is by far, my personal favorite freelance writing job.
How much money can you make as a freelance writer? Brands will pay anywhere from $50-$1000 and sometimes more for a high-quality article to keep their blog updated. Rates vary depending on your level of experience, client budget and additional skills (such as SEO).
Blogging can provide tremendous value to a business by bringing in traffic, attracting an audience, and build brand awareness. Beginner writers charge $100 for a 2,000 word article. That’s about 10 cents per word. As your popularity and skills grow, you can double that every two years.
Become a Copywriter in the Billion Dollar Online Sales Industry
Make money as a freelance writer by writing copy. Copywriting can refer to any content that has a marketing goal. Whether that’s website sales copy, advertisements, marketing emails, flyers, and commercial scripts.
Copywriters can charge premiums when they specialize in area. (i.e. website copy, sales copy, email copy etc). The higher paid copywriters charge a percentage of the results, especially when they write copy for website builders or sales funnel platforms.
Copywriting branches out into so many different areas (way too many to list here)! For example, some copywriters specialize in lead generation, others specialize in website copy.
Become a eBook and Whitepaper Writer in the Billion Dollar eBook Business
eBooks can be fiction or non-fiction, it depends on the type of writer you want to be. One strategy is to start $995 for a complete e-book if you’re a fast ghost-writer for e-books. If you are, then, setup a professional brand on Fiverr and work towards becoming a Fiverr Pro to get more exposure.
Whitepapers are research papers that can be quite complex, which make it a very lucrative area. Some whitepaper writers charge upwards of thousands of dollars to write a single whitepaper.
Lesser Known Ways for Writers to Earn Money on the Side
A lesser known way to make money as a freelance writer is through guest blogging. Guest blogs are typically unpaid and are published in exchange for a back link in an effort to boost SEO.
Companies will also hire you to write guest blogs for them & publish them on 3rd party websites.
Your role might also include contacting publications to write for as well as writing the article. A good grasp of SEO is essential if you want to sell this service to clients.
Earn Side Hustle Money as a Ghostwriter
Did you know that most CEOs and other industry leaders don’t write their own blog posts, speeches or social media posts?
Execs don’t have time to write so they hire ghostwriters to shape their message.
That’s where you come in.
You might not get credit for this work, but the money is good.
Earn Money on the Side as a Technical Writer
Software companies often require technical writers to create user guides and how-to manuals for their software programs. This involves learning how to use the software itself and then adding screenshots and descriptions or instructions in an easy-to-understand language.
Manuals can range in length from several pages to hundreds of pages depending on the complexity of the software. Technical writing jobs are in high demand — just search “technical writer” in any online job board you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands of listings.
As a result, this type of work is incredibly well-paid— software companies cannot go without a user manual, so they allocate the budget for this. In order to do well as a technical writer, you must be comfortable with using new technology.
Little Known Writing Gig is Script Writing
Not all content on the web exists in text format, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t written by someone first. When you think of a script, you probably think about movies and TV shows.
But online, you can use scripts for videos, podcasts and other media. Many content creators write their own scripts, but as they gain popularity they may hire teams or outsource their script writing.
Scripts can be as short as a few hundred words, or as long as several pages. Script writing can open many doors for similar work and it’s a fun way to expand your writing skills and add something interesting to your portfolio.
Popular Freelance Writing Jobs in Online Newspaper and Journalism
Pitching news stories and getting paid as a freelance journalist is still very popular. You can do very well as a freelance journalist.
Some news publications do accept pitches and proposals, but you will have to contact their editors to find out how they work with their freelancers. It may be a good idea to establish a relationship with an editor first. You can do that by connecting or engaging with them on social media (journalists regularly use Twitter and LinkedIn) or by sending them a friendly email introducing yourself.
These are just some of the main types of freelance writing jobs you’ll find, but many more will probably emerge in the not too distant future. Hopefully they give you some idea of the type of work you can do and inspire you to think about which direction you want to head in.