Section Two: Types of Freelance Content Writing

In the realm of freelance writing, diversity reigns supreme. Writers are tasked with creating so many types of content, each serving a unique purpose and audience.

Later in the course, I’ll break down exactly how to create these types of content and hone your craft while doing so. Here, I’ll briefly list the most common types of freelance content writing just to give you a quick idea and get your mind churning.

1. Articles

Everyday articles are the cornerstone of traditional and digital media. They give an in-depth exploration of a wide range of topics. These pieces require significant research, critical thinking, and a knack for storytelling to engage readers and convey complex ideas clearly.

Key Points of Articles

  • In-depth and informative
  • Requires thorough research
  • Often includes interviews, quotes, and statistics

You’ll find these prevalent across news platforms, industry publications, and educational websites. They can cover anything from current events and investigative reports to feature stories and expert analyses.

2. Blog Posts

Blog posts offer a more informal or conversational approach to writing because they’re designed to engage readers and drive website traffic. They usually let writers express their opinions, share personal experiences, and give insights about different things in a more personal tone.

Key Points of Blog Posts

  • Informal and engaging
  • Can be opinion-based or informative
  • Aims to drive website traffic and engage readers
  • Are usually much shorter than an article

Blogs are a staple on personal websites, company websites, and online publications. They are used to discuss industry trends, offer how-to guides, and share personal stories, effectively keeping readers coming back for more.

3. Copywriting

Copywriting involves persuasive writing that prompts readers to take a specific action, typically one of three things: buy, sign up, or click. It’s a critical skill in marketing and advertising, blending creativity with strategic messaging.

Key Points to Copywriting

  • Persuasive and goal-oriented
  • Encourages readers to take action
  • Blends creativity with marketing strategies

Copywriting is used in advertising materials, web pages, product descriptions, and email campaigns, where the primary goal is to convert readers into customers.

4. Buying Guides

Have you ever Googled something like “What is the best blender for everyday use”? Of course you have, we all have! But we’re not just looking for a product recommendation. Often, when people are searching for the best of something, they want to know why, how, when, and where.

That’s where buying guides come in!

Most buying guides are simply informative pieces that help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. They break down the features, benefits, and considerations of products or services, providing a comparative analysis to guide the reader.

Key Points of Buying Guides

  • Informative and detailed
  • Provides comparisons and recommendations
  • Helps consumers make purchasing decisions

E-commerce sites, consumer review websites, and tech publications frequently use buying guides to educate their audience on the best products and services in various categories.

5. Reviews

A good review will offer evaluations of products, services, or experiences based on the writer’s research or personal experience. It aims to provide honest insights, highlighting the pros and cons to let people make the best-informed choices for their needs.

The key to reviews is to write them as personally as possible. Anyone can go to Amazon and read the customer reviews for a quick idea of what the product is like. But, detailed and informed product reviews from someone who bought and used the item are far more likely to connect with the reader and encourage them to buy.

This is what potential employers will look for in your work. They want to see that you really are an expert in the niche, have actually tested and used the product/service, and what other personal things you add to your content, such as anecdotes.

Even if you think there’s no way to relate to the topic, there is. There always is! I once added a personal anecdote to an informative article that defined a certain idiom. I mentioned how my grandmother used the idiom in a quirky way, and the client loved the personal touch. 

This is what Google wants to see—personal touches that make the content fresh and original and resonate with readers.  

Key Points of Reviews

  • Evaluative and subjective
  • Based on personal experience or research
  • Discusses pros and cons
  • Often shares pictures or videos of product being used

Reviews are common on blogs, e-commerce platforms, and specialized review sites, covering everything from books and movies to gadgets and restaurants. They’re meant to highlight not only the best products but also the worst.

6. Round-ups

Round-up articles compile items, products, ideas, or resources centered around a common theme. They’re like reviews but are more inclusive, presenting the top five or top ten options in a category along with a detailed breakdown of their features, pros, cons, and more.

This comes from the idea that what’s best for one is not best for all. Maybe I want the best quality, but someone else is looking for the best price. Round-ups provide those options.

Key Points of Round-Ups

  • Curated and thematic
  • Offers a collection of items or ideas
  • Aims to inform or entertain

Lifestyle magazines, travel blogs, and tech sites often feature round-up articles to showcase top destinations, gadgets, movies, or books, giving readers choices.

7. How-tos

This is one of my favorite types of content to create because I love helping others figure out how to do things themselves! How-to articles provide step-by-step instructions guiding readers through a process or task. These articles aim to educate by breaking down complex activities into manageable, easy-to-follow steps.

Key Points of How-tos

  • Instructional and practical
  • Provides clear, step-by-step guidance
  • Aims to teach or solve problems

DIY blogs, cooking websites, and educational platforms are ripe with how-to content, offering everything from cooking recipes and craft projects to software tutorials and personal finance advice.

8. List Posts

These are meant to be fun and engaging. List posts organize content in a numbered or bulleted format, making it easy for readers to skim and digest information. These posts are usually versatile, covering rankings, tips, recommendations, and more. If you’ve ever seen a heading like Top 20 Moments from the Super Bowl, that’s a list post!

Key Points of List Posts

  • Organized and easy to digest
  • Can cover a wide range of topics
  • Popular for their skimmability

Almost every content-rich website utilizes list posts to engage readers. They’re particularly popular in entertainment, lifestyle, productivity, and educational content, providing a fun and efficient way to consume information.