With an uncertain economic future lurking around the corner, it appears as though everyone is trying to escape the rat race. It seems so easy for people with skills in high demand industries to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses. But what about opportunities for a freelance writer?
What do you do when you know you’ve got the chops as a freelance writer, and you know the demand exists because millions of pieces of content are published to the web every day, but you just don’t know where the demand actually is?
Well, you probably already know you can’t just sit there waiting to be discovered – you could be waiting forever. Instead of wasting away, dreaming of getting paid to write, here are some tips you can follow to live that dream instead.
Find hidden freelance writing opportunities by…
Tip #1: Never giving up
This tip might sound obvious but it needs to be said again and again. Never give up! Never! If you think you’ve scoured the entire internet for all possible writing opportunities and have come up empty-handed, keep looking. Subscribe to other blogs and follow them for a while to see where else they post. Search for your favorite writers in the search engines to see where they’re published.
Look for interviews online from other writers who struggled to find writing gigs and follow their trail. Find websites with blog content similar to your writing style and send an inquiry to find out if they’d be interested in hiring you to write some content for them.
Just keep pressing on until you find your match. Persistence is one of the best ways to guarantee success.
Tip #2: Thinking outside of your declared profession
You may be aware of the distinction between copywriting and content marketing. Most copywriters write direct response pieces, sales letters, and landing page copy designed to get the visitor to take an action. Content marketers write articles and blogs of a more creative or informational nature. Then there are other options like print magazine jobs and greeting card jobs.
Of course, one profession isn’t better than the other, and there are variations inside of each profession. And regardless of how you classify yourself as a writer, there are always additional types of copy you can get paid to write that aren’t limited by your title – for example, web copy.
Writing copy for the web involves more than just writing blogs and how-to guides that people download for free, or sales letters that will generate massive sales after a hot webinar. Web copy isn’t limited to what directly impacts sales. It can include everything on a website from product descriptions and bios, to about sections and even contact form submission requests. And you can get paid to write that stuff.
In fact, most websites would greatly benefit if a professional writer came along and rewrote their bios and company profile information. And while serious business owners have no qualms about paying top copywriters thousands of dollars for good landing page copy, you can get paid just as much to write web copy.
Add web copy to your writing services
Most pieces of web copy can be small in word count, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Sometimes the small chunks of copy can be the most important, like the short paragraphs in this storage business’ “about us” section that describes several aspects of the business that potential customers need to know about. Short pieces of copy are often read quickly, so they should be crafted well for maximum impact.
Tip #3: Ghostwriting a book
Plenty of people have brilliant ideas for books but don’t have the skills to do it justice in writing, so they hire ghostwriters. But you need to be willing to put in the time and energy to develop an intimate relationship with your client to make it work. That’s how the best stories are written. You need to take the time to get into their world, identifying their voice from the materials they provide you, as well as your conversations.
There are a few cautions with this option, though. You probably shouldn’t ghostwrite a book for free and expect to get paid on the back end. Many books take years to get picked up by a publisher, if at all. And if you’re ghostwriting the book, you’ll probably have to write the queries and proposals as well. In short, it’s a lot of work for back end pay.
Instead, be selective with your ghostwriting projects and only choose the ones you know you’ll enjoy writing, and make sure you get paid something worthwhile up front. You may want to stick to writing scripts for children’s books and shorter books rather than novels and biographies.
Expand your awareness
Truth be told, there are endless hidden freelance writing opportunities out there. And if you want to expand your access to other opportunities, all you need to do is look with a different perspective. Remove your titles, labels, and past experiences and be open to writing in a new way. Don’t stay stuck in what’s familiar. Develop a burning desire and freelance writing opportunities you never knew existed will become possible.
Sue S says
Thank you for this. I’m really struggling to find my place in the freelance world. I just don’t think I’m a good fit for the stuff that many writers don’t seem to have a problem writing. I overthink it all – I don’t want to write copy for that company which funds the perpetual US-led worldwide war. I can’t bring myself to write about the relentless amounts of unnecessary products and services out there. I can’t bring myself to write for financial sites that are all about maintaining the status quo and refusing to concede how our money system directly influences the relentless decimation of our planet.
And I’m scared that by the time I do find my niche that my confidence will be entirely shot.
Which I think is why I have returned to the idea of trying to break into print mags. At least those spaces are somewhat less directly influenced by the corporates. It’s just very disheartening if you feel super-sensitive about who you’re writing for, and its relative lack of meaning. I wish I could just smoke a giant one and go write for Lockheed Martin and stop overthinking it all!
Sorry, I didn’t realise I was going to crap on quite so hard and write a blog post instead of a comment!
Noemi Tasarra-Twigg says
Thank you for sharing, Sue. I am sure many writers are in a similar situation, so don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s admirable how you are clear about your principles and are willing to stand by them. Just keep at it. You’ll get that break one way or another – maybe not in the way you’re expecting.
Thanks, Noemi, for your encouragement. It is eagerly drank (drunk?)
I wish I knew where those other over-principled writers are. I’d sure like to chinwag with them.
Noemi Tasarra-Twigg says
You’re welcome. Visit our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/freelancewritingjobs). You’ll find lots of kindred spirits there.
“With an uncertain economic future lurking around the corner…”
Yes, so true. I learned recently that effective 5/31/17 I will be laid off from my job.
I always tell people I’m glad since 1996 I’ve freelanced on the side. Time to go full-time now.
Noemi Tasarra-Twigg says
I am sorry to hear that, Steve. However, it IS good that you’ve been freelancing on the side, so now it’s full steam ahead. I am sure you can make this work. All the best – and, we’re rooting for you!
Thank you for sharing such great hidden opportunities that could help many freelancers out there to grab this awesome low hanging fruit.
Our pleasure, Jennifer.
Jean Eric says
Really Such a great opportunity for freelancers, This is awesome keep it up @Noemi..
Thank you, Jean.
Elisa Frag says
That’s awesome a great opportunity for freelancers to earn more.
Jessica martin says
its an amazing info finally I found what I was looking for.
noorani qaida says
High-quality freelance writers and brand journalists are in high demand right now and will continue to be for years. Despite the fact that the content marketing and freelance writing businesses were already expanding before to COVID-19, the pandemic has accelerated their expansion, creating a plethora of opportunities for freelancers.
Lois Miller says
This is called the great opportunity for all the freelancer. Thanks for such a helpful blog.
John Peterson says
This is outstanding. Great opportunity for freelancers.