When people talk about freelance writing, the subject usually revolves around copywriting. For most of my life, freelance writing meant copywriting in my mind. This is what kept me out of the field for so long – copy may be your jam, and that’s wonderful, but it most certainly isn’t mine.
Once I actually got more interested in freelancing, it took only a quick search to realise that copywriting wasn’t the only writing you could do freelance. Actually, the possibilities are endless! No matter what type of writing you enjoy most, there are freelance jobs out there for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular kinds of freelance writing gigs out there. Remember, though, that you don’t have to stick to one of these; in fact, I’ve done a bit of all of them, including combinations of several of them, during my career. That’s the great thing about freelancing: your business is what you make it!
Though it’s not the only type of freelance writing out there, it does tend to dominate the market. Just about every company, from your local coffee shop to the massive Fortune 500 companies, needs a copywriter (or two or three hundred). That means that not only are there a lot of opportunities out there, but also a lot of room for growth.
What is it? Writing for marketing and advertising
Who is it for? Technical writers with a flair for creativity who can say much in few words
2. Ebook writing
This market has become huge in recent years, and yes, it is its own separate category. Many online publishers nowadays are looking for lots of short non-fiction ebooks to be produced rapidly, and formatting knowledge is a huge plus.
What is it? Typically writing short non-fiction ebooks on various subjects
Who is it for? People who enjoy research and writing non-fiction books
Another big market. Some people shy away from ghostwriting because it means writing a book for someone else and letting them slap their name on it. However, ghostwriting can present a lot of opportunities if you work for the right people. Several big-name authors have ghostwriters who get paid big bucks to write their stuff. If you can do this well, you can go far. Plus, it’s good experience for writing your own book!
What is it? Writing a book (fiction or non-fiction) for someone else
Who is it for? People who enjoy writing books and excel at adapting their writing to fit a certain voice
4. Fiction writing
This is a broad category that can include almost every other kind of writing on this list. Fiction writing is the best-kept secret of the freelance writing world – there are so many fiction jobs out there! Apart from just writing fiction books, you can work with businesses to make creative copy, work on board games and video games, write scripts, and a nearly infinite number of other things. As a fiction writer myself, I’ve worked on all kinds of different projects in just about every storytelling medium you can think of.
What is it? Writing fictional stories in various genres across multiple mediums
Who is it for? People who enjoy and excel at storytelling
You need a very specific skill set for this job, but if you have it, people want to pay you for it! Work in translation can include copywriting, fiction writing, ebook writing, and more.
What is it? Translating writing from one language into another
Who is it for? Bilingual writers who are familiar with translating
There are also a couple of writing-adjacent freelancing paths you can take like:
1. Freelance editing – great for writers who are also detailed editors
2. Creative consultant/book coach – this is what I’m focusing my business on now. It’s great for writers who understand the storytelling process and want to help authors write books
If one of these paths sounds like a good fit for you, take a look at some of my other freelance writing posts to learn how to get started. Remember: you don’t have to jump into this full-time. You can get your feet wet by accepting a gig and seeing how you like it. Maybe it’ll just be a bit of side income, or maybe it’ll turn into a whole business.
Let me know how you freelance in the comments!
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