Some of the best freelance writing jobs are specialized tasks, such as technical writing work, medical or legal transcription, or work in the arts, architecture, or music. The one serious challenge with these jobs, though, is that most freelancers don’t necessarily know the full array of vocabulary necessary to complete these jobs. Though they may be interested in the field or have some background knowledge, technical language skills are often acquired in the course of the job. [Read more…]
Writing about highly technical topics is challenging in many ways. In addition to learning a brand new subject, it forces you to follow strict guidelines that typically aren’t present when tackling more generalized writing projects. Whereas you might be able to take a few shortcuts when writing on a well-known topic, there’s no room for oversimplification in technical writing.
But every now and then, you’re going to encounter a client who operates in a very specific vertical that you know nothing about. Every word must be carefully chosen and each sentence must be crafted with the reader in mind. How you handle these clients will have a big impact on whether you’re able to retain them.How to Write Outstanding Technical Content Even If You're Not an Expert Click To Tweet
Legal writing is one of the more lucrative specializations in the freelance writing sector. The requirements for legal writers are generally more stringent thus giving the writers the opportunity to command higher rates.
This is not to say that you can simply declare yourself a legal writer. As with any specialization, you’ll need to undergo some training, learn, and gain some experience. There will also be that transition period as you work your way to becoming a fully fledged legal writer.
So, how do you transition to legal writing? Here are some tips that will make it easier for you.
Freelance writing can take you in a number of different directions. You can write journalistic articles covering news and events, write for SEO and company blogs to raise visibility or advertise products, or even work on creative projects like novels or screenplays, as part of a team.
Though all forms of writing require basic skills like fluency and attention to detail, every niche demands a different subset of specialized skills and offer different levels of compensation based on those skills (not to mention your past experience). [Read more…]
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…]
As a freelance writer, you may think you’ll increase your odds of picking up work by billing yourself as a generalist.
“I can write anything,” you tell clients, “just give me a topic.”
While this can seem like a good strategy at first glance, calling yourself a generalist is likely holding you back in your freelancing career. You’ll fare better – get higher quality work with better pay and attract more valuable clients – if you develop a niche. From technical writing to a specialization in media or finance writing, your niche is what sets you apart from the crowds of writers fighting for low-quality jobs at the bottom of the pay scale. [Read more…]
Many people believe that if you want to be a freelance writer you should get a degree in communications, journalism, or creative writing, but this is an overly narrow assessment of the field. Restricting writers to these majors would eliminate some very talented professionals.
Freelance writers can actually come from a range of fields, a certain niche might demand skills that those rooted in communications or journalism may not have, such as engineering knowledge or statistics. Rather than pigeonhole writers into these few majors, we would all do well to consider the many paths to a writing career.
The most important thing you can do is demonstrate your expertise, clarity, and dedication.
If you thought that a freelance writing career meant you were destined to write about totally uninteresting topics, think again. Freelance writers can write about virtually anything—and get paid for it!
It’s important to keep in mind that freelance gigs are not always a one-time-only gig! You might get hired for a full-time or part-time freelance writing job, or even a seasonal gig, depending on the topic you’re covering. Many freelance writing jobs are remote-friendly, meaning you can work from anywhere, but some do have a location requirement and might want you to report to an office. [Read more…]
While you’re doing it, you’re focused, zoned in and intense. Every distraction is met with deep disappointment – the phone, the kids, the dog standing there watching you do it. When you’re not doing it it’s all you can think about leaving you distracted. “It” is writing, but the passion in which we pursue, fantasize about and devour it makes it a lot like sex. That’s another big reason why it’s fun.
There’s nothing like the heat of new blog post, new assignment or new magazine. The magazine represents an opportunity. The blog post or assignment represents a conquest. You’ve gotten in the door, now you want to hang a while so you make yourself useful. You caress every part of the piece lingering on the lede (foreplay), delving into and thoroughly exploring the depths of the piece’s body and bringing the whole thing to a fully satisfying conclusion. You send it off knowing you’ve done your best, you’re a bit cocky, but still attentive to the post comments or editor’s response.
While writing has many of the upsides of sex, it also has many of the downsides – boredom, familiarity. Eddie Murphy had a bit during a stand-up performance about dating and sex. He basically said when you’re waiting for the right moment you’re like a person who is starving and when it finally happens it’s like giving a starving person a cracker. It’s the best cracker they’ve ever had, however after a while it’s really just the same old crackers.*
Have you been around the writing block a few times? Are you simply going through the motions with an occasional comment response? You have discovered that wonderful opportunity is still the same old crackers – it’s still work. The danger of the rut is you could lose the relationship, so…
- Revisit the past. Pull out your clips and re-read your work.
- Ask for what you want. Go to your editor or your audience and ask them about their interests, what new areas are they interested in exploring.
- Bring in another love. Open relationships are helpful in writing, it keeps things fresh. Explore other interests and bring back a fresh outlook on your main love.
- Take a class. If you have a particular niche, learn more about it, read an alternative point of view, try handcuffs…wait. Oops.
- Take a break. Sometimes even the most storied relationships falter. Moving out, getting some air and seeing what the world has to offer will go a long way in helping you decide if it’s time to move on or if what you have is worth reinvesting.
Writing is a passion. It can be red-hot and all consuming. Just be mindful – passions wane; everyday life, billing and other interests can sometimes get in the way. Refocus on the fire that kept you typing through all hours of the night.
How do you keep your passion for writing alive?
*The Eddie Murphy clip was a little too raw for me to post here so if you’d like to have the link shoot me an email at [email protected] It’s funny stuff or Google it.
The thrill is gone. You have delved so deep into your niche you’ve scrapped the bottom clear through to the other side of the world. The relationship has become boring and predictable and you want out, but there is just one thing…
You make great money and are in a pretty cozy in your position. How do you get out without jeopardizing your wallet?
Ease on down.
You don’t have to do a full, traumatic break up with your niche, instead it may be easier for you, and your reputation, to build up your work in an other area while still working on your tried and true subject. Sure it may seem a bit like cheating, but hey this is writing, no one’s going to ask for visitation rights or want to throw lamps at you in rage. We hope.
Pass the Torch.
Selling a blog is always a dramatic and popular way to exit a niche. After doing all that is possible in one area, passing the torch is a great way to introduce the world to your new main squeeze while leaving the old one in reliable hands. This provides great closure for the relationship with your readers and gets them interested in your new opportunities.
Stop going through the motions. When you are on auto-pilot it’s time to get off the ride before your readers and editor notices.Writing is not one of those jobs where you can get away with “By Rote Disease” for long before someone pays attention and starts talking. I understand it can be hard to let go. It’s what you know and what you’re comfortable with, but it’s unfair to the niche. Think about all of the fresh-eyed, excited writers ready to dive in and explore!
There’s not a lot to worry about when leaving your niches as long as you’ve established yourself as having a great work ethic and super skills. In fact, most will expect your success based on your previous reputation. The main person to be concerned about when cutting the strings is you. Never fear, if you change your mind, your niche will be waiting – they are sweet that way.