Do you want to start a job as a freelance writer? Well, there are different types of freelance writing you should know about.
One of the challenges you’ll face as an aspiring freelance writer is understanding the different options and settling with one.
You’ll probably struggle in the early days, confused, wondering, and doubting if you’ll ever make it.
It’s OK at this stage to seek advice. But, if you ask senior freelance writers or check forums online, the most common piece of advice is to pick a niche.
The writing world is a vast universe. You can pick any niche and be specialized in a particular type of writing, or you can see how far you get by casting a wide net.
But to be a successful freelance writer, (and I am speaking as a literal freelance writer) you need to find your passion and write about that.
Most people seek freelance writing jobs to get money. But if you want to stick to it, you should have at least one additional motivational factor.
We will discuss more later after outlining all types of freelance writing you can engage in.
You need to identify the types of freelance writing you want to do or the type of writing that best suits your personality and existing skills.
This guide seeks to discuss in detail all types of freelance writing jobs. Most of them you can do remotely through a freelance website.
Table of Contents
- Major Types of Freelance Writing
- 1. Content Writing Jobs
- 2. Copywriting Jobs
- 3. Technical Writing Jobs
- 3. Fiction Writing Jobs
- 4. Resume Writing Jobs
- 5. Greeting Cards Writing Jobs
- 6. Niche Industry Writing Jobs
- 7. Article Writing Jobs
- 8. Press Release Writing Jobs
- 9. White Paper Writing Jobs
- 10. SEO Writing Jobs
- 11. Video Script Writing Jobs
- 12. eBook Writing Jobs
- 13. Web Content Writing Jobs
- 14. Speech Writing Job
- 15. Grant Writing Jobs
- 16. Catalog Description Writing Jobs
- 17. Magazine Writing Job
- 18. News Writing Jobs
- 19. Business-to-Customer Writing Jobs
- 20. Email Marketing Writing Jobs
- How to Find a Freelance Writing Job
- Understand the Writing Niche
- Develop a Writing Portfolio
- Increase your Social Media Presence
- Start Pitching
Major Types of Freelance Writing
There are several opportunities for freelance writers today regarding types of writing.
While the list is practically inexhaustible, there is no denying that an overlap does exist in many. Below is a list of the major types of freelance writing.
1. Content Writing Jobs
The term “content writing” is the most generic of all writing titles. It is the most common type of freelance writing and involves using words to convey a message or information.
It can include personal essays, blog posts, journalistic feature articles, Op-Ed pieces, and social media posts.
The goal of content writing as a copywriter is to promote, educate, inform, or entertain a target audience with engaging copy.
For a website or publication not intended to sell a service, the content writer’s goal is to entertain. But for companies seeking to sell a service, the goal is to build authority and reputation while instilling trust.
If you like to share your knowledge with others, content writing might be a good freelance writing opportunity to take.
Want to write for us? We are literally asking and literally welcoming contributors all the time.
2. Copywriting Jobs
Copywriting and content writing share many complementary points but differences in their goals.
While a content writer’s goal is to inform or entertain, a copywriter’s goal is to persuade the audience to take specific actions. This type of writing is meant to boost the sales of a product or service.
Email sequence, product descriptions, buyer guides, product reviews, sales pages, gift guides, case studies, website copy, etc. are some of the niches in copywriting.
If people ever told you how to sell a pen on the moon or have experience in any sales, copywriting might be the right freelance opportunity.
If you’re also good at telling stories that lead to sales and good at researching products, freelance copywriting might be just for you.
However, in most copywriting jobs, you will mostly find one-time gigs. That means you will always be on the hunt for your next client as soon as you win one.
You may have to work for multiple clients to succeed in your freelancing job.
See Related: Best Time Tracking Apps for Freelancers
3. Technical Writing Jobs
You might be good at technical writing if you have a background in a specialized or professional field such as computer science, engineering, medicine, etc.
Technical writers write manuals, evaluation reports, and standard of operations (SOP) with other experts in the same field as the target audience.
Business plans, instructional or training contents, legal briefs, curriculum, and grant proposal writing are also captured under technical writing.
If you write formally and are good at organizing content, data, and workflow, consider becoming a technical writer.
If you’ve ever been told that you know how to explain complex subjects in an easy-to-understand way, then choose technical writing.
There is still an open opportunity in technical freelance writing. The demand for services is high, with gaps yet to be filled.
If you have the skills and willpower to take on a technical freelance writing job, grab this opportunity. It also rewards freelance writers wholesomely.
But when writing technical pieces, ensure you use an hourly rate calculator to appropriately log your time.
Researching the content and fact-checking everything before submitting your work requires more time.
The last thing you’ll want is to do hours of research and not get compensated appropriately. Charging a fixed price for this freelance writing may not be a good idea.
3. Fiction Writing Jobs
Fiction writing is the creation of a fictionalized storyline by a fiction writer, usually referred to as the author.
Most freelance fiction writers ghostwrite for other authors, and you can choose to do the same. It means you won’t get credit for the work – but for most writers, fiction writing is why we get into it.
Another approach you can take is to write your own fictional stories and market your work. That way, you get credited as the author by the publishing company.
These types can even be sold as print media, but that depends on what your storyline is.
You can also self-publish your own books. It’s actually quite easy to publish your own work on platforms like Amazon.
Flash fiction, short fiction, novella, novel, and more are some niches of fiction writing you can check out.
The work of fiction can be commercial or literary, with romance, horror, mystery, and others being the different friction storytelling genres.
You should be creative and imaginative to embark on this type of writing. Your skills in describing scenes, creating characters, and depicting themes in your work will be tested to the limit.
There is no exception to that if you want to hook the reader and develop your fan base as a writer.
This type of freelance writing is for you if you are good at telling attention-grabbing stories that keep readers glued from the first to last page without getting tired.
It’s also a bonus if you can comfortably write in different genres, as some topics are more popular than others.
If you’re looking to make a living and be able to live with yourself, think of publishing airport romance novels (an incredibly lucrative market) under a pen name.
So you can take risks with your niche sci-fi novel under your real name!
See Related: Best Article Writing Services
4. Resume Writing Jobs
This type of writing involves helping people with high-quality resumes. If you know things about different careers and jobs, consider resume writing.
If family and friends come to you for help with their resumes or you’ve successfully helped some people to apply for a job, freelance resume writing might be for you!
People who need a resume but find it challenging will often hire a freelance resume writer.
That’s where you can monetize your skills in describing the achievement and potential of jobseekers to appeal to their employers.
Because the skill and service aren’t that prevalent, it is a lucrative writing area if you have advanced resume writing skills. It can be especially profitable if you live near university or college campuses.
Like copywriting, resume writing is often a one-time gig. It may seem lucrative because there are few writers in this area, but you have a lot to do in marketing yourself to get clients on an ongoing basis.
5. Greeting Cards Writing Jobs
This is a good freelance writing opportunity for skilled writers.
If you know the perfect word choice for special events, pick-up lines, and apologies in text messages, holiday greetings, and all manner of everyday life occasions and miseries, greeting card writing is for you.
Companies and individuals pay to have experts write greeting cards for them.
There are also blog owners whose blogs are strictly for special event greetings but are too busy to write their content. Such bloggers look for freelance greeting writers to hire.
However, winning your clients or getting greeting card writing jobs is very challenging. It may require you to research online for opportunities.
Companies and individuals pay freelance writers to write messages for Calypso Cards, RSVP, Blue Mountain Arts, and many others.
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6. Niche Industry Writing Jobs
Some freelance writing jobs are niche-specific. That means you choose your area of specialization depending on your skills and interests.
Most successful freelance writers are those who love what they are writing. And over time, they become experts in their fields.
Companies in all industries use freelance writing services to get the content they need. In Niche freelance writing, you identify one industry and offer your services to clients in that industry.
For instance, you can decide to be a freelance recipe writer. As many people become more vegetarian and some adopt keto diets, opportunities in recipe writing keep growing.
That means your clients will be food bloggers and restaurant owners.
You could also be a freelance travel writer, and share your experiences from your vacations. There’s so much going on in the travel industry right now as things open up post-COVID.
In fact, you can become a blogger yourself, concerning whichever industry niche you know the most about.
You can choose your niche, but it’s best if you are interested in the topic.
For example, a recipe writer should love being in the kitchen. A travel writer should love traveling. A freelancer nomad should yadda, yadda, yadda…
Other examples of freelance writing niches include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Mental health
- Law and legal matters
- Health and fitness
- Personal finance
- DIY and crafts
- Entertainment and arts
- Pet ownership
- Fashion and style
- Environmental concerns
As you can see, you can earn a living as a niche industry freelance writer because there are dozens of content you can create around what you love.
7. Article Writing Jobs
Article writing is one of the best online writing jobs that has employed millions of freelancers worldwide. Magazines and websites depend on the unique articles created by professional writers.
Articles are nearly identical to blog posts, but they are more detailed and journalistic. It demands some specialized skills that go beyond just the Google search.
Most articles published in magazines and websites require information hunting, and every bit of information should be accurate. You may have to interview some individuals if your topic revolves around them.
Academic article writing is a different story.
This requires a scholar’s mindset and goes just beyond an ordinary freelance writing job. Besides, such jobs are rare and may be considered unethical by some institutions.
Article writing pays well because of the time you invest in it. However, the payment depends on the media outlet you are writing for. Some jobs pay upwards of $1 per word.
Apart from the research skills, you also need to tell a story in an engaging, fun, and thrilling manner. You don’t want your audience to stop reading your piece halfway.
See Related: Best Freelance Skills to Know
8. Press Release Writing Jobs
In this technological era, press release writing jobs are increasing in this online economic revolution. A press release is a short-written piece mailed to media outlets by companies.
The aim is to announce their achievements, scheduled product launches, sales success, new acquisitions, events, apologies, and all manner of statements
You might have come across press releases in your mailbox, social media pages informing you of available services in your area, or in newspapers whenever someone gets caught doing shady!
Enterprises and corporate companies such as Microsoft and other tech giants have frequent press releases.
They have new products released to their customers almost every month, and keeping them informed is their role.
Both startups and enterprises need press releases, making it a reliable freelance writing job.
Writing press releases follows a specified template and style. Once you master it, you can apply it to just any piece you will be writing. That means you can come from zero to be a prolific press release freelance writer in no time!
Unlike most online writing jobs, writing press releases pays well. The word count is usually below 1,000, but you can find companies ready to pay more than $300 per piece.
However, winning clients can be a challenge. It takes time to grow as a press release writer if you are not attached to any publicity firm.
9. White Paper Writing Jobs
You can also start your freelance writing business as a white paper writer. White papers are used as marketing tactics.
Writing a white paper requires a freelancer to know how to write informative content to sell a product or a service. You should avoid fluff in writing such pieces and ensure every sentence adds information to the reader.
White paper writing is arguably the most lucrative freelance writing venture, but it is not everyone’s cup of tea. First, it takes time to get the hang of.
Secondly, they are mostly one-time gigs. But if you do an impeccable job, you can have more clients coming back to you for your freelance writing services.
White paper online writing jobs can be highly profitable. Businesses mostly hire freelance writers who have been tested for their abilities and skills. So, the best way to start is to find an expert in this sector.
See Related: Best Freelance Content Writing Websites
10. SEO Writing Jobs
Almost every business has a website that outlines its products, values, missions, and what it stands for. They harness the power of Google and other search engines to market themselves.
The competition from millions of content online makes ranking high or appearing on the first page of a search engine a challenge. That is why SEO writing jobs have expanded and absorbed many freelancers.
SEO (an acronym for Search Engine Optimization), involves making a web page rank better on search engines based on the content of the page.
This is a growing opportunity as many businesses seek experts to help their pages be their best and update old content.
A page can only rank better if the content is optimized for a particular search intent. Relevant words are used sparingly throughout the post.
As an SEO freelance writer, your role is to write SEO-optimized content using the provided keywords to make the page rank better.
Your skills in keyword research may come in handy, but it is not a requirement since most clients provide a detailed list of keywords they want added.
SEO freelance online writing jobs are easy to find. That is because many companies are looking for professional writers to revitalize old pages.
They also pay for it wholesomely because it is a content marketing strategy to increase leads and boost sales.
This is a market that will only ever increase.
11. Video Script Writing Jobs
Video script writing is another ever-growing writing job. YouTube is expanding with millions of videos on various topics uploaded daily. Both personal vloggers and businesses are looking for freelance writers to help them.
As a video script freelance writer, you need research skills and the ability to relay the information in a conversational tone.
The tone usually depends on what you are scripting, but a need for clarity is unquestionable.
The next step once you find a freelance video scripting job is to find background information about what your client does.
If possible, you should watch a few videos on their portfolio to familiarize yourself with the context, tone, and style.
See Related: Freelance vs Self Employed
12. eBook Writing Jobs
Freelance writers also earn a living writing eBooks for websites and businesses.
You will not be credited for your work. You denounce ownership or copyright when you get paid for eBook writing, just like almost every other freelance online writing job.
The topics for eBooks will vary depending on the client. Some might want you to write about their life, products, or services. That also causes the format and style to change.
Some may only require you to combine pieces into a compelling story, while others require research. The process might even involve interviewing people you want to include in the book.
Some eBooks can be voluminous and take weeks or months to complete.
On the bright side, they pay more. One gig can be large enough to pay most or all of your bills for the month. But note that no two gigs will be the same.
13. Web Content Writing Jobs
You can freelance from home as a web content writer. This skill is only growing in demand as many people turn to blogs and need help from experts.
Many web content writers can also earn from related skills such as uploading content, updating content, managing web pages, creating lead magnets, etc. The opportunities are endless.
With the appropriate web-based skills and experience, you can ace this freelance writing job.
See Related: Best Freelance Business Ideas for Self-Employment
14. Speech Writing Job
This type of writing proves how diverse freelance writing work is!
Many people you see at a podium who wow you with their speeches probably hired a speech writer. Unlike most freelance writing jobs, this is not as straightforward.
Speech writers need the ability to capture the audience and keep them listening to the speaker. The tone you use in such tasks should blend with that of your client.
Speech writing may also need some sense of humor, but that depends on the topic. It requires sound knowledge of the audience, including getting into their minds, not literally.
If you have any experience in performance or public speaking, you can augment your speechwriting with coaching on how best to deliver the speech too!
To make this work, you need the skills or a remarkable writing portfolio to win gigs and draw more clients to your speech writing camp.
Alternatively, you can develop yourself under the guidance of an experienced speech writer who already has a diverse portfolio. Writing and recording your own speeches can also help your portfolio.
15. Grant Writing Jobs
Freelance grant writers are tasked with researching and writing compelling proposals so nonprofits and NGOs can receive funding from various government agencies.
This proposal writing involves stating the reasons why applicants need funds.
Some businesses have permanent grant writers to work on all these tasks. That, however, does not mean you cannot do it as a freelance writer.
You can look for a business that received grants and offer your services in case they need your skills for the next task.
Experience and relevant qualifications are desirable.
See Related: Proven Ways to Sell Your Skills Online
16. Catalog Description Writing Jobs
You could also base your freelance career on catalog writing. You can be hired by many businesses and corporations who want short descriptions of the products or services in their catalogs.
Envision this as product description writing, only this time, instead of singing a product’s song in great detail, you have to relay all the important info and make it sound brilliant in as few words as possible!
Catalog writing can be a little tedious because you’re repeatedly writing the same little blurbs using the same little format and formula, time and time again.
On the bright side, it does pay quite well – and has potential perks. Apart from the rate agreed on the contract, you may also get to sample some of the products you to write about!
Also, you don’t need a fancy expensive education to be a successful catalog freelance writer – just the passion and drive to write.
In fact, virtually no education or experience is a necessity, but it can give you an edge over competitors.
17. Magazine Writing Job
Many freelance writers are dreaming of getting into journalism. If that’s you, perhaps you should venture into magazine writing.
It could be an online or print magazine – whichever you choose should lead to a successful career if you are a committed researcher and writer.
It is not easy to break through in magazine freelancing. With new publications sprouting up on and offline all the time, there are quite a few opportunities out there.
But if you are good at what you do, your first gig could lead to many assignments from trade publications.
You don’t need a college education for magazine writing. It may help if you have it, but it should not block you. What matters most is the quality of the work you deliver.
See Related: What is Freelance Work? – Key Things to Know
18. News Writing Jobs
It is surprisingly easy to become an online news writer. You can earn a living by becoming a freelance writer if you get to know developing stories in a particular niche before your buddies.
Many follow sports, cars, phones, computers, food, politics, etc.
If you’re the first in your group to know about the newest car models, the latest phones, or when the hell Tom Brady is really going to pack it in, you can monetize it.
News writing also requires a journalistic mindset or experience. Above all else, news reporting requires informational accuracy and fact-checking.
You may need to increase your social media presence and follow people or businesses in your writing niche.
19. Business-to-Customer Writing Jobs
Business-to-customer (B2C) writing is a lot of fun for many writers. The content you produce is aimed at enhancing the business and customer relationship.
They include buying guides, product reviews, how-to guides, and tutorial-based articles.
Most businesses have a blog section on their websites where they engage their customers and add a call to action to their products and services.
They frequently need freelance writers to write those blog posts for them.
B2C writing does not require a college education or experience. You can build your career around it if you can write in a fun, easy-to-understand, and precise manner.
You need to use a conversational tone and make readers feel at ease when going through the content. Just like me.
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20. Email Marketing Writing Jobs
A freelance copywriter can be a successful email marketing writer. Most companies and businesses send emails to their customers and other stakeholders regularly.
Unfortunately, not everyone in an organization has the time and expertise to create converting emails.
Businesses use emails to cultivate leads and convert them into sales. It is a marketing strategy that has been used for decades and will remain a valuable channel for years to come.
As an email marketing writer, you may be writing sales funnels, emails prompting recipients to subscribe to a service, or alerting them of a new product.
It’s not for everyone though.
You need to create catchy email subjects and convey all the necessary information using fewer words so as not to waste the reader’s time. Recipients are more likely to delete long emails, rather than read them.
It is easy to become an email marketing copywriter by pitching your ideas to businesses. No experience is needed to excel here!
How to Find a Freelance Writing Job
Not everyone finds it easy to kickstart a freelancing career. Many people fail because of being in the wrong places mentally or not following their passions.
Becoming a freelance writer and winning your first freelance writing job requires the courage to believe in yourself and face tough criticism.
You should also consider the following tips:
Understand the Writing Niche
Some people make it in multiple fields, but the number is low compared to those who fail using the same approach.
It pays off to spend time to identify a niche in line with your passion, hobby, or past experience. Don’t just work for money, but consider writing about what you love.
Start by trying different niches to help you settle into what you enjoy doing the most. If you do what you love, money will always follow!
The bottom line is to identify a specific writing niche and narrow it down to what you feel most comfortable doing.
Develop a Writing Portfolio
It is a big challenge for newbies with no experience in writing. However, that should not discourage you because people start from somewhere.
Write sample blog posts, research papers, proposals, recipes, product descriptions, buying guides, or any other content in your selected niche.
Those are what you will provide as samples when applying for a freelance writing job. Let your potential client find you prepared with a portfolio that speaks for itself.
Increase your Social Media Presence
Social media has made it easy to market one’s skills in any field. By making social media posts, you reach millions of potential clients. They can easily notice your expertise and become interested in your services.
Start pitching to your potential clients. You can send an email and follow up with a cold call or just tweet them if they are on social platforms.
Your pitches should be short and straight to the point while highlighting your strengths. They also have to sound professional.