13 Ways to Make a Freelance Living
The Internet has provided freelance writers with a whole new set of prospects for selling their skills. But while traditional markets will always be the main source of freelance writers’ income, it is possible to increase earnings in other markets using a little imagination and ingenuity.
Here you will find fourteen markets that are always on the hunt for freelance writers able to produce quality, original writing, on a reliable basis. Scan the job boards often enough, and these are the types of jobs that consistently pop up, many of them with excellent compensation packages.
Magazines are the bread and butter of the freelancing writing industry. Writing for magazines opens you up to hundreds, if not thousands of markets, of all kinds of subject matter. No matter where a person’s interests may lie, it is pretty much guaranteed there will be a magazine for it somewhere.
Wherever your expertise may lie, write about it, and target these markets first. The more you know, the more you can write about, and the more writing you do for a magazine, the easier you will find it to branch out into new markets later on.
Newspapers are stuffed with columns, reviews, commentary, and articles on subjects that affect every aspect of contemporary society.
Getting published as a freelance writer in a newspaper is hard going, though, so start locally. Offer your services covering local events for a small fee or a by-line, and get to know the editor. It’s a small world in the newspaper industry, so working your way up is possible, provided you work hard, and network well.
Another way of getting your foot in the door with newspapers is to write fillers. Fillers are very small pieces used to fill up redundant space on the page, such as brief news items, obscure news, jokes, and opinion, etc.
Editors are always on the lookout for good fillers, so if you can stand out with original writing, and provide their requirements quickly and accurately, you stand a good chance of being considered for regular or more in-depth work when it comes along.
4. SEO Articles
SEO articles, whether for a broker or direct with a client, are a great way of earning money. There is such intense competition on the Internet for traffic and advertising revenue, companies will pay handsomely for a freelance writer that can turn out articles to attract users to their business.
5. C.V.s (Resumés)
Everyone needs a Curriculum Vitae (C.V.), but not everyone can write a good one. Some people would prefer to enlist the help of a professional writer to help them build a quality C.V., and this provides a nice way for a freelance writer to begin earning money.
It’s a good idea to do some research into what makes a good C.V., but with a little practice and common sense it is possible to earn consistently in this market, writing for individuals or businesses.
Copywriting under the sales and marketing umbrella is another steady road to earning, though it can require a little more research to get underway.
Anyone who wants to sell something will require a copywriter at some point, and although copywriting is a more specialised area, with a little know-how and creativity, it is a potential goldmine of varied writing and cash flow, if you can get off the ground.
7. Website Content
Any business, organisation, or individual that wishes to promote, sell, or inform, requires a website to do all of these things, and thus the web content writer is in huge demand.
Web content writing pays well, and if you choose to specialise it can provide a great source of income and keep you very busy. Sales and marketing knowledge is a must, as may some basic SEO skills, but very often what is required more than anything is a creative writer that can transfer their enthusiasm onto the web page.
Some people say e-books will replace print, and others argue the opposite. But while the debate rages on, one thing for sure is e-books won’t be going away any time soon.
The best selling e-books are generally how-to or specialised knowledge books, so if you are hired to write one, there will undoubtedly be some research involved. Writing an e-book is no different to writing a traditional book, the only difference being you won’t be able to hold it in your hands when it’s published.
9. Press Releases
Being able to write a press release is a useful method of earning one-off gigs, but in some cases can end up being a long-term source of income. Knowing how to pitch and sell within a press release may require some knowledge of the product or service being sold, but the structure of a good press releases remains the same; who, where, when, why, and what. Do a good job on the first one, and a company may be inclined to use you for the second, and third, and so on.
There are hundreds of organisations that want to promote themselves or keep in touch with their client base, and very often newsletters provide the ideal solution.
Writing newsletters is a great way to break into freelancing and gather clips at the same time, and the requirements you need to get started are low in comparison to fillers or other copywriting gigs.
11. Ghost Writing
Ghost writing comes in many forms and pays on a very varied scale. And while it is not for anyone who seeks fame, a lot of money can be earned from it. But while the money may be good, be prepared to receive none of the credit. Be honest with yourself that you can handle this aspect before you take the job.
Ghost writers that receive five figure sums to write a book for a celebrity are extremely rare. Most ghost writing involves writing material on almost any subject. It could be that you are asked to write for someone who wants to expand their business, or who is simply unable to write for themselves.
12. Greeting Cards
While writing greeting cards pays extremely well for so few words, it is also a very tough market to break into. The upside is there is a massive market for this type of writing, as the sale of paper greeting cards for all occasions remains a hugely competitive industry. Editors, therefore, are always on the hunt for good quality, original material.
13. Novelty Tourist Merchandise
Everything with words on it has required input from a writer somewhere along the line. This includes such things as postcards, magnets, bumper stickers, and t-shirts.
This can often be a very well paid area of freelance writing, and requires the ability to write catchy, original phrases and content, time after time. And as with ghost writing, there is usually no credit to be gained other than monetary.
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