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Freelance Writer: Job Role, Types, Duties & Where To Get Work

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There has been a significant shift from office work to gig opportunities.

One of the most popular directions to take is as a freelance writer.

This career path permits many options and allows you to have a flexible schedule while being your own boss.

Throughout this guide, we outline all the different aspects that come with the role of a freelance writer.

Between the various types of workers, the duties that come with the job, and where you can secure work as a freelancer.

What Is a Freelance Writer?

When you occupy the freelance writer role, you write different kinds of content for compensation.

You may write for one or multiple companies or individual clients.

Additionally, you may offer several different types of writing in your product line.

What Do Freelance Writers Do?

As a freelancer, you will collaborate with your client or the company you work for to get an outline of the article you are assigned.

Once you have that information, you will proceed to formulate the content.

While it will vary depending on your specific responsibilities and expectations with your client or company, most freelance writers will continue their work by reviewing and editing.

After final checks and edits, you will forward the work to the designated individual.

Kinds of Freelance Writing

When it comes to being a freelance writer, you can offer many different types of services to clients.

We list some of these options below.

  • Content Writing: As a content writer, clients will task you with taking on different styles like blogs, articles, guides, and even reviews.
  • Copywriting: When you work in copywriting, you work in marketing content. You will create different pieces of work that help promote various products and services.
  • Social Media Writing: With the uptick in social media, the need for assistance in managing and creating content is high. Many companies or professionals will outsource the task to highly qualified writers who can make information engaging and exciting.
  • Script Writing: If you have a talent for writing and a passion for theater and film, script writing may be the best choice for your freelance career. In this position, you will assist others in cultivating great scripts for use in projects.
  • Ghostwriting: In a unique twist to being a freelance writer, taking on a position that revolves around ghostwriting means that you will write the content, but another person (typically the client) will put their name as the author. This style is among the top freelance jobs on the market.
  • Technical Writing: As a technical writer, you will be responsible for creating manuals and documentation to help companies in several different areas. Companies can utilize these materials as standard operating procedures or specific process overviews.
  • Business Writing: When you work in business writing, you are often responsible for creating proposals, memos, emails, and reports. You are required to do this work in a highly professional manner.
  • Journalism: When you take on a freelancing position in journalism, you are signing on to write about current events. These topics may be local to you, international, or national. Additionally, you can do the content on a variety of subjects.

What Is It Like To Be a Freelance Writer?

As a freelance writer, you have a great deal of autonomy in many aspects of your career.

You cannot only decide how much work you take on and the rates you charge, but you can also dictate your work schedule.

How Many Hours Do Freelance Writers Work?

The number of hours you work as a freelance writer will differ with what you choose to focus on for content type and in what capacity you want to work.

For those who work in journalism, there may be long hours dedicated to research.

However, those who write short blogs or articles may only operate on part-time hours.

Pros and Cons of Freelance Writing

There are many benefits to freelance writing, but there are also some disadvantages that come into play.

Pros of Freelance Writing

  • Flexibility
  • Independence
  • Variety of assignments
  • Setting your own rates

Cons of Freelance Writing

  • It can be hard to break into the industry
  • Uncertainty
  • Inconsistent work and pay
  • Reliant on your own motivation and discipline
  • A lot of time on the computer

What Do You Need To Be a Freelance Writer?

The number of things you need to be a successful writer isn’t significant.

Below we list the pertinent items necessary to be a successful freelance writer.

1. Time Management

Effectively managing time is one of the most considerable skills a freelance writer needs.

If you perform this trait mediocrely, you won’t be as successful as you desire.

2. Customer Service

In being your own boss, you are responsible for resolving any issues that come up with those you serve through your work.

You won’t have anyone else to fall back on to help mediate these situations.

3. Spelling and Grammar

A key to providing excellent content to your clients is ensuring it is free of errors and typos.

Thankfully, if this isn’t your strong point, you can partner with an editor or use a grammar plugin.

4. Skills Specific to Your Niche

If you plan to only write about a specific set of subjects, you must have a significant amount of knowledge and skills related to that topic.

Having quality research capabilities is beneficial as well.

5. Ability To Meet Deadlines

While a perk of freelance writing is being able to create your own schedule and dictate your work hours, there are limitations.

If you agree to a deadline with a client, then you must do everything in your power to meet that deadline.

6. Writing Ability

To be a freelance writer, having excellent writing skills is vital.

While you don’t need to be the most fantastic writer on the planet, knowing the basics of being a freelancer and writing is essential to your success.

7. Thick Skin for Criticism

It can be hard to hear negative feedback about your work.

However, in freelance writing, you will have those moments, and it’s crucial not to take them personally.

8. Marketing Your Skills

Another responsibility when working for yourself is being able to promote yourself to prospective clients.

Without pitching your work, you won’t continue to get jobs to be successful in the industry.

9. Adaptability

With this career choice, being able to adapt to changes that take place is essential to being a top-notch freelance writer.

10. Computer Proficiency

Using a computer is a significant component of being a freelance writer.

Not only do you need to be able to format and create your content, but handing it over is most commonly done through email or an online platform.

Do Freelance Writers Need a Degree?

When you decide to move into the career of being a freelance writer, you may wonder if you need formal training to be able to do so.

Thankfully, this is work you can do without a college degree or certification.

How Do Freelance Writers Get Work?

If you are a freelance writer, there are various options to seek out for finding work in the field.

  • Job Sites – Places like FlexJobs, Indeed, and others that are websites dedicated to finding freelancers work.
  • Referrals – Word of mouth from those who know of your work
  • Connections – Networking opportunities through LinkedIn and at events
  • Freelancing Sites – Places like Fiverr and Upwork

How Much Do Freelance Writers Make?

One of the most common inquiries when it comes to breaking out into the freelance writer world revolves around how much money you can make in the career.

How Much Does a Freelance Writer Make Per Hour?

As a freelancer, you can set your rates, but it’s best to price competitively to be the most successful.

However, there is no set number due to the variances involved in the field.

The amount a freelance writer makes per hour will depend on how much they can turn out, the rates set between them and the client, and the amount of work required for the assigned content.

How Much Can Freelance Writers Make a Year?

As with an hourly rate, a freelance writer’s annual salary will be based on a plethora of different elements.

However, many freelance writers make an equivalent of what others make in a full-time job.

There have been just as many who make more than they did in previous positions.

How Do Freelance Writers Get Paid?

There are various ways that freelance writers get paid.

Most receive their funds through direct deposit if they work with a company or online platform.

Others may pay through a third-party provider like PayPal, Venmo, or Stripe.

Another option that some utilize is in check.

How Do Freelance Writers Pay Taxes?

How freelance writers pay taxes will depend on how their career is structured.

If you work under the umbrella of an LLC, there will be specific protocols to follow, the same as if you file as an individual.

Some people will have taxes withheld by the client they work with, but this isn’t common.

How Can You Start Freelance Writing?

Starting as a freelance writer requires compiling a selection of writing pieces to utilize as a portfolio.

Once you have that, settle on your rates and decide on the types of writing and subjects you can start looking for and applying to jobs.

How Do You Start Freelance Writing With No Experience?

While it can take time to get your start in freelance writing if you don’t have experience, it is possible.

You must be patient while applying for opportunities and continue adding to your portfolio to display your talents.

How To Find Freelance Writer Jobs Online

There are various websites online that can help freelance writers secure writing opportunities.

  • Upwork – This platform is one of the freelance websites that lets you pitch to clients on jobs you find interesting or within your niche.
  • Fiverr – When you sign up with Fiverr, you make your own gigs, and people can purchase your services directly from your profile.
  • Freelance Writers Den – This platform brings freelancers together and gives them community job boards and support.
  • Flexjobs – This job board gives you access to jobs that are specifically remote or gig work.
  • LinkedIn – As a networking platform, LinkedIn helps you to connect with people in corporations and review job postings.
  • Jobs Newsletters – Signing up for newsletters from various job board companies will give you access to newly posted positions.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of questions that people have before they branch out into freelancing.

Below we cover some of the inquiries about the topic.

Is freelance writing easy?

If you are a fast and efficient writer that turns out high-quality content, then freelance writing is easy.

However, if you are the type that struggles with writer’s block and it takes a great deal of time to turn out a solid piece of content, then you are likely to find freelance writing difficult.

Is freelance writing a good career?

For many individuals, freelance writing is a promising career.

It permits people to have a tremendous amount of discretion in their responsibilities and who they work for in those jobs.

You get to hold the position of being your own boss and decide what work hours you will keep.

For those who enjoy writing and can do it well, being a freelance writer is a great career choice.

Wrapping Up

Many people dream of having the ability to work from home at their own pace and schedule.

However, those individuals often don’t go after that goal because they don’t consider it possible.

As a freelance writer, you can accomplish all of those things and more.

This guide addresses the different places to find work, what type of writing jobs you can specialize in, and what you need to become part of the freelancer market.

Ultimately, there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of becoming a freelance writer.

If you think you have what it takes, go for it!

Do you have any questions about the path to being a freelance writer? If so, be sure to leave them in the comments!

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