Editor’s note: This post was written by Jennifer Parris, career writer at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings. FlexJobs lists thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level work-from-home jobs and other types of flexibility like part-time positions, freelancing, and flexible schedules. Jennifer provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media. Learn more at www.FlexJobs.com.
Sure, you’d love to have that JK Rowling/Suzanne Collins success and write books that eventually become box office blockbusters. But for now, you’ve gotta pay the bills. Until then, you can still write your way to success—and avoid the financial pitfalls freelance writers can sometimes face—with these five unusual writing jobs.
Social media writer
Expressing yourself in only 140 characters or less may go against every fiber in your being, but social media writers can make big money off of small sentences. In fact, every writer should really have a good grasp on how to promote themselves on social media via channels like Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and even Pinterest.
Social media writers will need to write compelling copy and know how to make it brand relevant. They will need to be adept on all social media platforms, and write on deadline. In addition, knowing how to link copy, proofread, and do SEO optimization on their stories is important.
Keep in mind, though, that writing jobs in social media are often not listed as writers, per se. Here are some job titles that will allow you to flex your writing muscle in the social media world: Social Media Writer; Writer; Community Manager; Freelance Writer; Marketing Content Writer
If you can write persuasive content, then a job writing press releases can be in your future. Writers who whip up press releases need to know their subject (whether it’s a brand new car, a new medical study, or even the latest dish on a celebrity) inside and out. Depending on the company you work for—and the subject matter at hand—press releases can be very straightforward or they can be chatty in nature.
Some job titles that involve this type of writing include: Press Release Writer; Writer; Marketing Manager.
You’re already on your email 24/7, so why not get paid for it? Working as a personal assistant to someone will undoubtedly include writing letters for them, as well as answering their emails and all other forms of communication. Depending on who the person is, you may need to update social media sites for them as well.
Jobs in this area include: Virtual Admin; Personal Assistant; Administrative Assistant; Writer.
If you don’t have your heart set on seeing your byline for every story that you pen, ghostwriting can be a great source of income. Ghostwriting—in which you do the writing, but another person gets the credit—is becoming more and more popular in today’s writers’ market. You may get hired by a publisher who is looking for someone to help a reality TV star “write” his memoir, a person who needs help writing a speech, or even by a company that needs someone with superior writing skills to assist with their public relations or corporate communications.
Jobs for ghostwriters commonly have titles like: Ghostwriter; Communications Specialist; Writer; Speechwriter.
You drool over the designs on HGTV. Now you can get a job writing about luxury homes as a property descriptions writer. You may work directly with a real estate agency as their writer, writing award-winning copy that will get the properties they have on the market sold fast—and at a great price. But you’ll need to know the lingo necessary in order to write descriptions that will entice people to purchase the properties.
In this market, jobs include: Writer; Property Descriptions Writer; Copywriter.
Writers can find work in almost any industry. So think outside the box as you look for writing jobs that can help you become a successful freelancer while you work on writing the next Great American Novel.