Fluent writing style, talent to provide life to words, yearning to break away from the monotony of a routine job - If this reads like you, look for a freelance writing opportunity. It helps earn money, extends freedom, kindles your thoughts and ideas and provides an outlet for ideas and visions. All the while you are enhancing knowledge on a variety of topics as you get to learn everyday. Eventually you may carve out a niche for yourself by specializing in any one field and grow to be a recognized expert too.
Here is a guide to freelance career. Gain insight into the freelance writing job market, varied opportunities that exist, the skill sets required for a prolific freelance writer and how to market freelance writing.
Freelance writing career
A paid full-time writer is committed to work for one employer on a weekly or monthly remuneration. A freelance writer, works independently, has the option to work full time or part time and can work on multiple projects with different clients. The basis of remuneration is usually a flat rate per piece of work or can also be based on the number of words written.
Self-employment, flexible working hours, control over choice of work and taking a break as and when one desires becomes feasible only with freelance writing job. In the age of laptop computers and wireless Internet, one can pause and restart work even while traveling. Today, almost anyone who can convey ideas clearly, with or without previous writing experience can find a freelance writing job through the Internet. The demand, especially freelance article writers and freelance copywriters, has recorded a noticeable increase over the past few years.
Working from home option, both full time as well as part time freelance writing job is available. For some, freelance writing is a way to make extra money, all along managing a different daytime career.
Freelance writing opportunities
The Internet provides a virtual meeting point for buyers (clients) and sellers (writers) of freelance writing services. Thousands of websites, e-zines and Internet magazines advertise for freelance writers.
Web content freelance writing: Involves writing fresh content or update existing content for client's web site. The job involves understanding the client's business, the mission and goal of the company, the products and services offered. You have to then create text or content that exactly meets the client's goals, which could be either targeting a strong web presence or for online Internet marketing of products or services or both. There is a huge demand for freelance web content writers with knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques.
SEO freelance writer uses online marketing tools and writes effective keyword dense valuable content or articles. The purpose of Search engine optimized keyword writing is to increase web traffic, help the client's web site rank well on Search engines. An established search engine optimization consultant would require to fine-tune content in line with changing search engine algorithms.
Freelance blogs writing: Blogging has emerged as a smart, economical way to get noticed as a freelance writer. Instead of using a blog as a private dairy, a smart freelance blog writer can develop a small web site and publish own blogs. The main purpose of the blog is to showcase your writing skills and eventually increase traffic to the site. Well-researched, high-quality content, well-written articles that are interesting, useful, newsworthy or humorous attract regular readers who could be potential customers. Blogs provide an opportunity for visitors to interact directly, have brainstorming sessions with the author as well fellow readers. Blogs are ideal for creating a vast web of relationships. There is always a demand for high-ranking sites which when sold can fetch several thousand dollars. A freelance blog writer can also write for other blogs wherefrom a link to his/her own blog can also be provided.
Freelance writing reviews: Involves writing brief or detailed reviews for products and services advertised in any Internet review site. This is a best way to practice writing for the web as well inviting attention. Dooyoo, Amazon, Epinions, Howasit4u, Payperpost are some popular online review sites that provide opportunities for freelance review writing.
Freelance medical writing: Pharmaceutical companies require freelance medical writers who are knowledgeable about medicine or familiar with medical terminology and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requirements. A freelance medical writer will convey medical information through the client's website using simple language instead of technical words. Plenty of freelance medical writing jobs are available. Freelance medical writer can work for pharmaceutical companies, medical education agencies and media covering medical news.
Freelance jingle writing: Involves writing musical and memorable commercial jingles for radio or television advertising. Radio and TV stations, advertising agencies or recording studios look out for freelance jingle writers to market client's products.
Freelance technical writing: From car manufacturers, wholesale or retailers, computer software to kitchen appliances, there is a demand for online freelance technical writers. It involves writing instructions, product's advantages and functions, quality manuals to users of products or services. A freelance technical writer drafts user manuals, assembly instructions, training manuals, procedure manuals and online help documentation.
Freelance resume writing: Involves writing sleek, informative and impressive, attention grabbing resumes. The objective of a freelance resume writer is to showcase the client/individual's talents and skill sets.
Freelance travel writing: Freelance travel writers head to exotic destinations around the world, get paid to travel and write a real story or share experiences about the destination. A successful freelance travel writer must combine passion for travel and writing. Travel portals or websites providing hotel booking require the services of freelance travel writers. Travel articles are online guide to tourists who may search the Internet for information like must-see places, where to stay, when to go etc before planning the trip.
Freelance writing job market
It is the market that creates freelance writing opportunities. The market is truly large. The job may originate from individuals or institutions that require online writing work.
Industry/sector-wise: Freelance writing opportunities based on types of industries or sector include business (Industry-specific), academics, finance, career, health care, fashion, music, sports, entertainment, science, technology, lifestyle, real estate, research/marketing, medical, media, publishing, advertising etc.
Client wise: Corporations, big and small corporate companies, advertisement agencies, publications, graphic design firms, public relation agencies, government agencies, social service organizations etc.
Freelance writing skills
Writing for web- online writing is different from offline writing. Though a degree in journalism or English literature can give an edge over others, it is not a basis for qualifying. A vivacious reader who keeps abreast of all spheres of activity from politics, to history, current affairs to philosophy is ready to cover any topic.
Key skills/abilities: Excellent English vocabulary, a flair for writing, good communication skills, strong research skills, analysis and interpretation skills, ability to convey one's idea creatively, basic typing skills, good grammar.
Find freelance writing opportunities
There are many avenues to find freelance writing jobs and the best place is the Internet. Before embarking on a project, check out your areas of interests and hours you can dedicate, whether you would like to start writing on any topic that comes your way or select specific topics only. Remember, varied freelance writing provides a challenge to showcase specific skills. Build your portfolio. You can probably start by volunteering to write for non-profits organizations.
- Search the Internet. Use keywords like freelance writing opportunities, jobs for writers, writing job and freelance writer.
- Subscribe to online newsletters.
- Check online newspapers for freelance online writing opportunities.
- Visit freelance job boards - Guru.com and eLance, freelanceworkexchange.com etc.
- Create a website and post your blog.
- Contact websites directly and check if freelance writers are required.
- Look at email groups such as Yahoo groups that offer writing groups.
- Join Internet newsgroup; visit chat room or message board for writers.
- Establish good networking for great references.
Tips for successful freelance writing career
- Be discreet and avoid web sites that promise freelance writing jobs and charge fees.
- Provide importance to quality writing.
- Aim at maintaining an interesting rhythm.
- Get to the point while writing articles.
- Keep paragraphs short and include catchy headings.
- Support information with recent findings or data.
- Follow a clear-cut work schedule.