If you have a knack for writing, you are one of the lucky individuals who can monetise from this skill.
Freelance writing has gained popularity over the years. In fact, it is one of the most popular careers for freelancers.
One of the many perks of pursuing a full-time or part-time career as a freelancer is flexibility in working hours. Like all other freelancing opportunities, you are provided with a limited duration of time, during which the work has to be completed and delivered. However, besides this deadline, you would have the freedom to work at your own hours.
The task of writing, although complicated, is ideal for individuals who require a side hustle, or those who are just tied down by domestic responsibilities. For instance, freelance writing is an ideal job for stay-at-home mums, university students, and full-time writers looking to add to their monthly income.
However, there are certain aspects of the job that do require dedication, as well as the investment of time. When you are working as a writer, it is of the utmost importance to be well-versed in the grammatical rules and principles of writing.
In addition to this, you are further required to become familiar with the technical jargon that is frequently used in the industry. For instance, many freelance writers are required to write SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) optimized articles or posts. Considering this, it is important to educate yourself on SEO strategies and requirements, prior to pursuing a career as a freelance SEO writer.
There is more to freelance writing than putting words on a word document. If you are weighing your options, then this guide is for you.
The following article discusses all the information that you need to know if you are considering initiating a career as a freelance writer. With this guide, you can learn how to make money from freelance writing, along with the approximate freelance writer salary.
The guide further elaborates on the freelance writer requirements, which can give you an idea of whether this career is the right choice for you.
What is Freelance Writing?
To get started, the first thing that you need to consider is the true definition of a freelance writer. A freelance writer is a person who earns an income by writing content for a particular blog, website, business, or person.
While there are numerous job opportunities in the UK to work as a writer, however, this blog focuses on freelancing.
Essentially, there are five major types of freelancing job opportunities that you can avail. You can dwell over the following styles and decide which option is the best for you.
1. Article Writing
Article Writing is one of the most common forms of freelance writing. Usually, this is the only area that new writers consider as a freelance writing opportunity. However, article writing is just one domain.
Articles can be written for both print and digital domains. In fact, some jobs require you to create a piece that can be uploaded on both of the platforms. Taking that into consideration, it is important for you to hone your skills to cater to the requirements of both of these platforms.
An article encourages you to write on areas that appeal to you or to your subject (client, blog, etc.). Articles can be fuelled by passion, enthusiasm, and can include personal or researched stories. Additionally, this domain of freelance writing further empowers you to be open with your opinions in the written content.
With that said, article writing is recommended for individuals who already have a part-time job or those who are looking for a side hustle. This is because this area of freelance writing has a relatively low demand and a plethora of talented and experienced writers to choose from. Therefore, the income earned by a freelance article writer is comparatively less than that of writers choosing other domains.
That being stated, if you establish yourself as a talented and in-demand feature writer, you can generate a good income. In this case, an additional job may not be required.
2. Magazine or Newspaper Articles
Signing up as a freelance writer for magazines and newspapers is another job that pays well. In the current times, the majority of the newspapers and magazines have shifted from the print version to a digitalized source.
Considering this, the opportunities for freelancers have grown even more. With that said, it is important, as a beginner freelance writer, to diversify your experience. If you limit yourself to writing articles for newspapers and magazines, the generated income may not meet your expectations. Therefore, it is recommended to combine this domain of freelance writing with others, so you have an efficient flow of income.
Essentially, when it comes to magazine or newspaper articles, you are required to follow a specific niche. In order to be a good writer, you must understand the demands of the target audience, and subsequently, create content that is relatable and informative for them.
There are different types of magazines that you can write for. These include the following:
Popular Magazines: This type of magazine target the typical population. You can find these magazines at the supermarket or at newspaper stands.
Industry-specific Magazines: Industry-specialised magazines target a specific group of people, who are associated with that field. For instance, magazines with content related to the economy and financial markets are written for investors.
Custom publications: Custom publications are referred to as magazines that a business created for their customers and clients. The primary purpose of this magazine is to serve the purpose of marketing.
The content used in these magazines is usually written by freelance writers. However, these articles are well-researched and are curated using technical jargon to emphasize the credibility of the writer.
Conversely, newspaper articles rely less on freelance writers for the day-to-day news coverage. However, there are certain digital newspapers that require content for additional subdivisions, such as lifestyle, entertainment, and health.
Taking that into account, if you have a talent for writing, as well as researching, you can easily choose this type of freelance writing.
3. Entertainment or News Websites
There are numerous websites that generate revenue by publishing engaging blogs and articles. While these websites provide quality content, their income comes from the advertisement featured on the website.
Considering this, freelance writers are hired to create engaging content that is featured on the pages. These articles generally follow a specific niche, which may range from news, entertainment, sports updates, lifestyle, food, and more.
It is important to possess key writing skills to be able to write for these websites. The more engaging your content is, the more employment opportunities would be made available for you. Therefore, it is important to hone your writing before embarking on this venture.
You can get this type of writing job by pitching your samples to editors online. You can also respond to advertisements and job postings on networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Freelancer.
4. Copy/Content writing
Content writing or copywriting is now taking over the industry. In fact, it is one of the most in-demand jobs that is creating a surge in the market for freelancers.
If you wish to start your career as a freelance copywriter or content writer, you would be required to work with businesses to help create and promote their brands. The purpose of content and copywriting is to communicate with customers and clients by providing engaging and informative content. The pieces written by freelance copy and content writers market the products, while simultaneously engaging and educating the customers.
Although the terms are used interchangeably, there is a significant difference between copywriters and content writers. Copywriters are individuals whose intention is to coerce the target audience into taking an action. For instance, a copywriter for an eCommerce website may urge the customers to place an order.
On the contrary, the primary objective of content writers is to curate content that is an amalgam of relevant information, entertainment, and marketing. Content writers help boost the brand’s awareness and authority, by writing blogs and web content for the business’s website. Content writing is typically ingrained with an SEO strategy; therefore, it requires keyword integration.
Essentially, the goal of the content writer is to sell a service or a product. However, if the business does not engage in the selling of products or services, the content writer is required to create a piece that is entertaining for the reader.
Both contents writing and copywriting follow the niche of the business they are writing for. For example, if you are writing content for a website that sells solar panels, the work must be relevant to that.
Additionally, there is a vast variety of content that falls under the job description of content or copywriter. Some of the examples are stated below:
- Webpage/service page content
- Blog posts
- Electronic Document Management System (EDMs)
- Advertising copies
- White papers
- Customized magazine publications.
If you wish to work as content or copywriter, you can pitch your ideas to businesses on freelancing platforms, such as Freelancer or Upwork. However, another effective way of landing these jobs is by directly contacting the business by responding to the jobs that are advertised online.
5. Social Media Content Creation
In the digital age, social media plays an integral role in marketing. Therefore, if a business desires to stay relevant, it is crucial for them to operate an engaging account on a relevant social media platform.
While several businesses take care of their social media with an in-house team, small businesses outsource this task to freelancers or digital marketing agencies. Social media posts typically comprise a relevant image, followed by a caption. While a graphic designer is required for the creation of the image, a freelance writer can be used for the latter.
If you have the talent for coming up with unique, interactive, and engaging captions, which are relevant for the brand’s target audience, as well as for the social media platform that they are being posted on, you can easily land a job as a social media content writer.
However, this job may require responsibilities, in addition to writing. For instance, you may be appointed with the task of creating a social media calendar, scheduling posts, and creating the content that would be posted on various channels.
Taking that into account, this job would be ideal for individuals who have a background in writing, marketing, as well as graphic designing.
To acquire social media freelancing jobs, you would need to market yourself on various freelancing platforms. You can search for job postings online, or reach out to businesses that have an opening for this position.
Freelance writers can also land a job as an editor. Editors and proofreaders extend their services to a range of individual clients and businesses, who desire to have their content assessed by individuals and also those who require an editor for their blogs, web content, or eBook.
If you have an eye for attention to detail, and you have been in the writing industry for quite some time, pursuing a career as an editor can be ideal for you. Essentially, you can work as a freelance writer and an editor to increase your overall income.
If you wish to become an editor, it is crucial for you to have an understanding of the basics of editing. You can take a course online that elaborates on the different types of editing. Taking this initiative would not only make you a better editor, but it can also hone your writing abilities. Additionally, if you have taken a course, you would be considered more credible by most employers.
That said, you would still be required to market your skills on various freelancing platforms, as well as social networks for employers.
Income generated by Freelance Writers
Most individuals keep freelance writing as a full-time career option. If you stay dedicated to the task and actively seek out employment opportunities, you can easily secure a decent salary.
With that said, the amount paid to freelancers varies in terms of the niche that you are writing for. Additionally, your experience, skills, and punctuality also play a role in the income secured.
According to Indeed, the average earnings of freelance writers can range up to approximately £99 per day! However, this amount is only earned by individuals who are actively working as a freelance writer, on a daily basis.
One of the many benefits of working as a freelancer is that you are given the liberty to charge your own rates. Although, it is quite tricky to come up with a price, as it needs to be a market competitive, and determined by the type of experience you have acquired.
Considering this, there is no specific rule for charging the rates, however, you can take a look at the following price structures and decide your pay on that basis.
Hourly Basis: If you are charging a client on an hourly basis, you would receive a specific amount per hour. However, in the case of writing, this structure is not recommended. As the speed of writing may vary from person to person, there is an inefficient division of cost.
Charge by the Word: As the name suggests, you are required to charge the client for every word you write. For instance, if you are charging £0.05 per word, and you write 3000 words per day, you can earn £150 on a daily basis. This is the most effective option for freelance writers.
Monthly Retainer: If you choose this option, you would get paid a fixed amount on a monthly basis, for completing a specific number of articles. In this case, the amount paid can vary, depending on the amount of work you have to complete.
To determine the market rates, you can go through the job postings for freelancers, on various platforms, to identify the average price paid for each type of content. You may also join community groups on social media platforms, such as Facebook, and converse with other writers to learn about the rates that they charge. This can give you an idea of the price structures in the current market.
Requirements for Freelance Writers
There is no formal requirement for freelance writers. However, you are expected to be well-versed in the rules of writing, grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Additionally, if you are writing for a particular niche, it would also be required for you to have some background knowledge about the industry you are writing for.
For instance, if you are creating content for a company that sells molecular biology products, the blogs you create for them must be informative and fused with relevant information regarding the updates in the industry.
Once you perfect your writing skills, the next stage is to find freelance work online. There are several platforms available, including the following.
- You can find job postings on content mills. Some of the most popular content mills in the UK are Text broker, Crowd Content, Constant-Content, Writers Domain, and Content Gather
- Go through Job boards for freelance writers, such as Problogger and Contently
- Find websites that pay you for writing guest posts
- You can also join freelance writer’s community groups on Facebook and respond to different job postings
- Additionally, you may also create an account on freelancing platforms, such as Freelancer, Upwork, and Paidwork.co.uk
Picking a Niche
When you are starting your career as a freelancer, you may be required to write content for a plethora of domains. However, once you establish your credibility, there would be more freedom to choose the industry you want to write for. The following are some of the highest paying niches for freelance writers in the upcoming year.
- Digital Marketing
- Health and Wellness
- Ghost writing
- Video Scripting
- White Papers
- Food and Wine
- Email Marketing
- Fashion and Health
- Real Estate
From the abovementioned list, select a niche that aligns with your interest.
How to land on Writing Jobs
As stated earlier, freelance writers are mostly required to pitch their services to various businesses and clients. However, it is important to advertise your services in moderation. For instance, you must lay an emphasis on the quality of your work, without becoming too overwhelming for the client.
Take the following tips into account while making a pitch.
- Make frequent pitches. If you wish to pursue a full-time career as a freelance writer, it is imperative to make frequent pitches
- If you think you are underqualified for the job, avoid making a pitch. Additionally, if you feel that you would not be able to meet the deadline, do not make a pitch. Your failure to complete the task can harm your reputation, as well as your credibility, in the freelancing community
- Make pitches for jobs that you are the right match for. For example, if you are interested in carpentry, pitching for jobs that require content about woodworking can be the right choice for you. When your interest is aligned with your talent, the outcome is exceptional
- Avoid talking about your lack of experience. Although the skill of writing is polished with time, some individuals with natural writing talents can curate a much better content than experienced writers. With that said, do not lie to your clients. Simply omit this information, unless you are asked about it
- Create a portfolio featuring some of your best work and send it to your clients
- Keep the conversation friendly. Lay an emphasis on your strengths and avoid discussing your weaknesses
Conclusion – is it right for you?
Freelance writing yields a high return, if you remain committed to the process. To pursue a career in this field, it is imperative to hone your writing skills, choose the right niche, and select the type of content you wish to write, and make pitches to land jobs. You can follow the preceding tips to start your career as a freelancer, without any formal experience.