As digital marketing becomes an even more prominent aspect of business growth, the demand for freelance writers continues to skyrocket. But as a freelance writer, it’s often difficult to know which direction to go. There’s a lot of demand, but which niches are most profitable? Once you discover the answer to this question, you’ll find that the money has a way of rolling in.Target these markets and expand your freelance writing business. Click To Tweet
We’ve talked about different types of freelance writing jobs in the past, and we’ve pretty much established that having a specialization is the way to go if you want to increase your earnings. While you can still earn a lot as a generalist, specializing in a niche will lessen the need to hustle for clients day and night. Instead, you can generate more income with fewer, high-paying clients.
That being said, legal writing is one of the more profitable niches. Most freelance writing job boards offer legal writing jobs, but there are certain places that will make it easier for you.7 Places to Find Legal Writing Jobs Click To Tweet
If there’s one important truth that every writer should understand, it’s that choosing a niche and mastering that topic is by far the most profitable way to find high paying freelance jobs.
Real estate is one niche in which freelance writers can excel. It can be a very profitable market, whether you’re writing about the marketing aspect or the legal aspect. There’s a ton of copy to be written in this industry, and writers can make a good living if they do it the right way.
Here are some suggestions for getting started in a real estate writing career. [Read more…]
A passion for the written word and a love of language are two oft-cited drives behind those who have built careers as freelance writers. Whether they’re penning press releases, magazine articles, blog posts or company reports, the act of writing itself is part of the joy that keeps them doing what they’re doing.
In the professional translation sector, these same reasons are often given to explain what inspired individuals to become translators. The main difference in the case of translators is that it is a passion for multiple languages that underpins their careers, rather than just one. [Read more…]
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Christie Templeton, a freelance writer in Los Angeles California who also dabbles in music production and singing. Christie enjoys writing for the music industry when she is not busy writing copy and technical writing for her clients in the software development industry.
Many musicians must work an unrelated job to make ends meet until their music begins to become profitable enough to survive from. Jobs like bartending, waiting tables or retail work inside guitar stores are typical work resources used by a lot of musicians to supplement their income. While these can jobs be flexible to a degree, they usually require a lot of hard work that isn’t really related to the overall dream of being a musician and, in the long run, aren’t contributing towards building credibility in the community as a talented and knowledgeable performer. [Read more…]
I’d like to think that freelance writers are some of the most versatile creatives out there. Most of us can write about a variety of topics, use different styles, and reach out to various audiences.
One interesting market for freelance writers, which challenges one’s creativity more than usual is the greeting card market. If you are thinking of trying this niche out, we have a comprehensive resource material about it: How to Break into the Greeting Card Market. [Read more…]
I’m not opposed to finding work via advertisements or “help wanted” listings. I’ve never been a fan of the bid boards, but I know they work for some people. I know that countless writers benefit from the job listings here at FWJ.
However, I don’t spend a lot of time tossing my hat into the ring with hundreds of other applicants for advertised writing positions. I’ll do it occasionally when a particular call for a writer really appeals to me, but it’s not my preferred way of generating business.
I know there are plenty of writers out there who would really like to be busier, so I thought I’d talk about an approach that has worked for me. It’s not revolutionary or anything, but it doesn’t seem to get as much attention as other strategies. I like creating my own gigs.
Here’s the plan, in its simplest form:
- Find someone who has a great product or idea–something that’s right in your wheelhouse or in which you see remarkable potential.
- Think about how your skills could help them.
- Pitch them.
Example One: Occasionally, I’ll watch press releases roll along the river of a popular distribution site’s RSS feed. I’ll look for releases that involve interesting topics or ideas. I’ll pay close attention to those that evidence a need for a much better copywriter. The contact information is right there on the release. The pitch is simple in terms of offering them more effective releases and it doesn’t take long to investigate their web presence and to see what else they might need.
Example Two: Have you ever been searching for something that you wanted or needed and then discovered a real diamond in the rough of a website? Of course, you have. When I find these sites, I will follow up with the owners, telling them how we might be able to work together to improve their business.
I know. It’s pretty simple.
But here’s the interesting thing… It works.
You might think that the percentage of contacts that turn into business would be minimal. That’s not the case. The conversion numbers are surprisingly good. I’m relatively sure that my contact/conversion rate in these situations is higher than most people’s success rate when responding to “writers wanted” ads.
I believe that one reason writers aren’t in higher demand is our collective shortcoming in marketing our gifts and their value. We have a tendency to wait until people see a need for us when we should be telling them why we’re so damned valuable. When you’re rainmaking, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
The trick, of course, is the pitch. You need to be able to show value to the prospective client. You need to demonstrate an understanding of what they seem to be trying to accomplish as well as a vision for what they should be trying to accomplish. You need to make yourself accessible and to let them know that you’re friendly, helpful and something other than a moneysucking mercenary with a keyboard.
I generally make contact with an email. I’ll follow up with a phone call. It’s not a chore. It’s fun. After all, I’m not hoping to find an ad for a job that would be tolerable. I’m isolating opportunities that interest and excite me.
Give it a shot. Take some time to find someone who isn’t necessarily looking for you but who could really use your skills. Pitch ’em. See what happens. You might be surprised.
Those of you who paid for premium cables channels in the 80s may remember Angel. It was the tale of a girl who’s momma left here alone with a $100 bill one day who decided to make a living on the streets. She had a secret life–High school honor student by day, Hollywood hooker by night.
Brett Giddens has a slightly less dramatic secret life. Then again, he’s a real person. He’s an Oklahoma high school basketball coach by day who spends his nights singing in small casinos as an Elvis impersonator.
I have a secret day/night life, too. Mine doesn’t rival the Angel story and it isn’t as fun as Giddens’ tale.
Sometimes, in the evening, I write things that pay next to nothing. And I do it just for fun. [Read more…]
Prohibitive technology costs and connection speed limitations made graphic-rich pages a gamble. The idea of communicating with video was laughable.
Now, even cheap laptops come with installed cameras. Phones and other portable video devices are dirt cheap. Server space is more than plentiful and those old slow, dial-up connections are rapidly becoming the online version of 8-track tapes.
Video is gaining ground.
Many extremely successful online businesses have virtually abandoned traditional text in favor of video presentations. Video content, video sales pages, video blogs, video, video, video.
Speaking of which, here’s a video I put together for this post:
This whole video thing really isn’t bad news for writers.
I doubt that the increasing popularity of video will have a negative impact on the amount of writing work available for quite some time. The size of the overall marketplace for content and copy of all sorts is growing so quickly that more video us shouldn’t have a huge impact on the ability of freelance writers to secure opportunities.
It also creates new opportunities for those who can work with video, whether they offer complete solutions or know how to write effective scripts, etc.
Nonetheless, I think video’s gains are important to those of us who make a living with words. Even if it’s not influencing our space much today, I can’t help but to think that it eventually will.
Personally, I haven’t done a great deal of video to support my business. I should probably do more.
Unfortunately, I’m more than a little bit camera shy. If I could convince myself that I was extremely photogenic, I’d probably do short video blog posts once in awhile along with a few other things.
I can toss together slideshow-style videos very quickly–the one above took about fifteen minutes, top-to-bottom. No, it’s not Oscar material, but it’s something. When I spend time on a project, I can actually create some fairly attractive and effective videos. I do them for a few clients with some regularity.
I think I should develop my video skills, invest in pro-grade video creation and editing software and find a way to overcome my camera shyness.
I’m curious. What are you doing on this front?
Are you playing with video? Are you updating your blog with little clips of you chit-chatting directly to your audience? Are you peppering your site with video?
Are you providing video services to your clients or do you regularly collaborate on video projects?
Note: If you’re still seeing “Obama Girl” bikini as the video’s preview, it wasn’t part of that “use a bikini shot as the preview to drive traffic to your video” strategy. It was purely accidental. And it’s been changed. It just takes YouTube some time to make the thumbnail switch.
The job boards aren’t the only places to find freelance writing jobs. Sometimes it’s as easy as looking for submission guidelines or “write for us” pages. Granted, these aren’t client-based projects and regular jobs, but they’re good opportunities nonetheless. What I like about pitching the online and offline magazine markets is that they tend to pay more money than many of the advertised (job board) freelance writing jobs.
In 2010, the work is there, provided you take the time to look.
Over the past few days I’ve had the opportunity to research submissions guidelines from a variety of markets. I think we have something for everyone here. Some of these markets have been featured in the submissions guideline section of our daily freelance writing jobs section and some are making their debut here at Freelance Writing Jobs.
50 Submissions Guidelines Pages
Hobby & Lifestyle
- AARP – Pays $1/word
- AskMen.com – Pays $50/article
- Back to College – $50 – $80/article
- Love of Quilting – $200
- Make – $25 – $100
- Quilting Arts, Cloth Paper Scissors & Stitch – Unspecified pay
- Yoga Journal – Unspecified Pay
- Zora & Alice – Pays $20 – $100
Literary & Poetry
- Backpacker – .60 – $1.00/word
- New Jersey Outdoors – Payment to be determined
- Sierra Magazine – Unspecified pay
Science Fiction, Fantasy & Mystery
- Abyss & Apex – Up to $75/story
- Analog – Up to $600/story
- ClarksWorld – .10/word
- Dark Wisdom – pays .05/word
- Escape Pod – Pays $20 – $100
- New York Review of Science Fiction – $10 – $25
- Strange Horizons – $50/story
- Beneath Ceasless Skies – .05/word
- Neo-Opsis – Up to $125 CDN
- Jim Baer’s Universe – .25/word
- Abroad View – $25/story
- World Hum – Payment Varies
- National Geographic Traveler
- Traveler’s Tales – $100/story
- Women On Writing – $50 – $150
- Writer’s Digest – .30 – .50/word
- Write from Home – Pays $25/article – $10 for reprint
To be continued….
Like these? Want more? We have more submission guidelines coming. In the mean time, maybe you’ll find these posts listing guidelines and markets useful:
- 75 “Write for Us” Pages
- 11 Cooking, Food & Drink Markets
- 19 Parenting Markets
- 15 Greeting Card Markets
- 21 Poetry Markets
- 40 Freelance Writing Markets Paying $100 or More
- 40 More Freelance Writing Markets Paying $100 or More
- 11 Environmental Markets
Have you successfully queried one of these markets? Please feel free to share in the comments. We have plenty more markets and guidelines coming up!