There are many types of freelance writing, and, as a beginner, it can be hard to decide which type is right for you.
What is the difference between copywriting and content writing?
What is ghostwriting, blogging, or technical writing?
If you previously thought there were only two types of writing – fiction and non-fiction, you’re in for a shock!
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of freelance writing and help you decide which one is the best fit for your skills and interests.
We’ll also provide tips on how to get started in each type of writing.
What Are the Different Types of Freelance Writing?
There are many different types of freelance online writing jobs. It can quickly become very confusing, especially to new writers.
Here are the most popular different types of freelance writing in 2022 and how you can find work for each kind.
Content writing is a type of freelance writing that involves creating well-researched, informative, and engaging content for websites and other online publications.
This type of writing can include articles, blog posts, website content, product descriptions, and more.
Do you have strong writing skills and SEO (search engine optimization) knowledge? Then, this might be the type of writing you are suited to.
You’ll write content based on keywords for a specific target audience to improve website traffic and increase sales.
Content marketing is increasing in popularity each year, so high-quality content writers are always in high demand.
The majority of the freelance writing work I do now is content writing. I mostly write blog posts, articles, and website content for brands.
Copywriting is a type of freelance writing that involves creating marketing materials. These include brochures, website copy, PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads, newsletters, white papers, and email campaigns, to name a few.
You’ll need to create clear and compelling content that sells products or services and engages and educates consumers.
Copywriters are responsible for crafting the message that a company wants to send to its customers. Therefore, they must have strong writing skills and knowledge of marketing principles and be able to write persuasive content that converts.
Copywriters are always in high demand and are highly paid.
Blogging is one of the most popular types of freelance writing. It is also perhaps the best choice if you want to find ongoing work with clients rather than just one-off projects.
Gone are the days of personal blogs where people would write a blog as a hobby or a way to keep people updated about what they had for lunch.
Today, blogging has evolved and has become a serious business. It also continues to grow in popularity each year.
Every second there are an estimated 63,000 Google Searches and over 5.6 billion daily.
The higher companies can rank on Google Search, the more organic traffic they can bring to their business without spending large amounts of money on advertising.
If you are a freelance writer specializing in blog post writing, you can find clients to write a certain amount of blog posts per week or month on an ongoing basis.
It is better to specialize in certain types of freelance writing niches rather than just writing content for general blog post skills. You’ll likely get paid more and become that niche’s ‘go-to writer.’
After all, businesses want to hire a specialist rather than someone who does a bit of everything!
Another type of freelance writing is technical writing. It involves creating manuals, instructions, and other types of documentation.
As a technical writer, you must have strong writing skills and knowledge of the subject matter they are writing about. You’ll also need to explain complex concepts in an easy-to-understand way.
While technical writing may seem a bit boring, it is also one of the most high-paying types of freelancing writing you can do. Luckily, finding technical writing work is also not as competitive as other freelance writing, and there is a strong demand for it.
Ghostwriting is a type of freelance writing in which the writer creates content for someone else and does not receive credit for their work.
Ghostwriters are often hired to write books, articles, blog posts, or research papers.
As a writer, you must be able to capture the voice and tone of the author you are ghostwriting for.
As you are writing content for someone else to put their name to your work, it can often be somewhat lucrative and pay much higher rates than if you were being paid to write under your own name.
If you are ok with writing for someone else to take the credit for your writing, then Ghostwriting could be for you. It is also great if you want to write but remain anonymous.
I have done a lot of ghostwriting for many companies and brands. I’ve written everything from an eBook for an animal shelter to LinkedIn blog posts and articles for influencers.
6. Resume writing
Resume writing is freelance writing that involves creating resumes for job seekers. It can also include cover letters and answering job application pre-screening questions.
Professional resume writers must have strong writing skills and knowledge of what employers are looking for in a candidate. They also need to be able to lay out a resume in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Many people don’t regularly update their resumes, so they don’t have the knowledge or skills for how to create a successful one themselves. Because of this, resume writers are always in high demand due to people consistently applying for jobs.
Resume writing can be challenging, as you must ensure that all the information you include is relevant and concise.
A good resume can distinguish between getting an interview and being rejected for the role. Your success as a resume writer will depend on whether you can secure an interview for your client.
You can create a resume for yourself as a freelance writer to show to potential clients and also use it to apply for any writing jobs.
I previously did resume writing as a side hustle for a few years. I wrote resumes for many jobs, ranging from Nurse to Prison Warden! While it isn’t creative writing, there is always a lot of variety, and it is never the same resume twice.
Video content on platforms such as YouTube is more popular than ever.
While many videos focus on entertainment, many businesses provide informative and instructional content to their customers and potential customers.
They must have engaging and captivating scripts that turn viewers into subscribers and customers.
As a freelance script writer, you will create content to instantly capture attention and keep audiences engaged.
You’ll also help to grow the brand’s YouTube channel and increase likes, comments, and subscribers.
Scriptwriting is an excellent type of freelance writing to pursue because you will be working with brands long-term and have regular ongoing work.
Journalism writing is freelance writing that involves reporting on current events. Journalists must be able to write quickly and accurately and have a strong understanding of the news.
Journalism freelance writing is essential as it helps keep people informed about what’s happening in the world.
You’ll also need excellent communication skills as you will often be required to conduct interviews to write journalistic content.
Usually, you will require a Journalism degree to find freelance journalism writing jobs. However, having a degree may not be necessary if you have relevant experience and a strong portfolio.
A very popular type of freelance writing involves creating content for social media platforms.
Social media content creation can include writing captions for images and videos and may also involve creating pictures and videos.
Captions must be short and capture people’s attention while building brand exposure, loyalty, and increasing conversions.
Social media content creators need to understand their audience and create content that appeals to them. The type of content will differ based on each social media platform.
With social media more popular than ever, there will always be a strong demand for social media marketing writers and content creators.
Editing is a type of freelance writing that involves correcting and improving the writing of others. Editors must be able to identify mistakes and correct them, as well as improve the overall quality of the writing.
It includes fixing sentence structure, checking grammar, and reviewing the tone of the writing. Sometimes, you’ll also be required to fact-check content.
As a freelance editor, you must have great grammar and language skills, excellent attention to detail, and good communication skills.
If you enjoy editing more than writing, a freelance editor could be your ideal position.
You will most likely require an English degree if you’re looking to work as an editor for a publication. Although if you are freelancing and finding your own clients, then it isn’t as necessary.
I’ve done editing work as a side-hustle for many years. I’ve never been asked once for a qualification. Clients care about results and experience rather than a literature degree.
Also, they would rather have engaging and conversational content than something that may be boring to their audience.
If clients are happy with your work, they will most likely continue working with you, leading to ongoing work.
So we’ve looked at the different types of freelance writing, and hopefully, you’ve decided what type is best for you.
Now let’s look at different ways you can find freelance writing work and the types of freelance writing jobs available.
Each has its own pros and cons, so it really depends on your own preferences.
Here are the different ways to find freelance writing work:
This is the traditional approach, where you find a company advertising for writers and applying directly to them.
It is like an employee/employer relationship, where you work for them on a salary, and they provide you with set work to complete.
Depending on the company, it can be in person or remote.
You can find positions advertised on job sites such as:
Working with a company is the best for job security. But, it isn’t that great if you want flexibility, as you’ll usually be required to work set business hours with little flexibility.
You can also choose to work with digital marketing agencies. They provide marketing services to clients to help them grow their business.
Digital agencies offer services such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), social media marketing, content
generation, and more.
The way they work is the digital agency finds clients and then hires and outsources the work to freelancers (or agency staff).
Working with an agency is great for regular, ongoing work. They are constantly acquiring and onboarding new clients, so you can count on having plenty of work available.
However, the pay is not as high as working with clients directly. Agencies act as a ‘middle man’ and take their (sometimes substantial) cut from client payments.
I previously worked with a few digital marketing agencies for a few years. I would recommend it, especially if you want to focus on your own project and do some freelance writing work on the side.
But, you may also be assigned some very boring topics and some that don’t interest you. For example, I had to write SEO content on waste removal, forklift tires, drywall cleaning, online casinos, car mechanics, and everything in between.
The great thing about working with digital marketing agencies is that you don’t have to spend time trying to find clients.
You also have the freedom to work on your own schedule, as long as you submit it by the agreed deadline.
To find digital marketing agency work, I recommend you to Google ‘Digital Marketing Agency + city’ and then make a list of them all.
You can then reach out to them and see if they are hiring writers. Reliable, high-quality writers are always in demand. So chances are they will get you to write a (paid) sample.
If they are happy with your work, they will assign work to you or keep you in mind when they onboard new clients.
Freelance platforms connect businesses with freelancers who are looking for work. They are a great way to find clients and one of the best ways for beginners to get started.
You can work with businesses on a one-off project or find long-term ongoing work.
First, you’ll need to sign up and create a profile. Then you must upload your best and most relevant writing samples to your portfolio.
Each freelance platform works in different ways.
For Fiverr, you can list the types of freelance writing services that you want to offer and also set your own price. Then potential clients book your ‘gig’ directly.
For sites like UpWork, clients list a job and set a price.
Then you need to submit an offer for the projects that interest you. The client then reviews the submissions and chooses a freelancer to assign the job to.
After completing each gig, you leave a review for each other. The more reviews and great feedback you have, the more it builds your reputation on the platform, and your services become more in demand.
Also, if the client likes your work, they will most likely hire you for future assignments.
Freelancing platforms can be good for finding initial clients. However, they are not ideal for freelancing long-term, as the platforms charge significant fees, which can quickly eat into your earnings.
Want to be your own boss and start your own freelance writing business?
You’ll need to create a writing website with portfolio writing samples and your writing services.
You’ll then need to promote your business through social media and content writing to build a strong brand.
Over time, you will attract potential clients who see your content and contact you directly to work with you.
This will allow you to take on more clients instead of spending a lot of your time trying to find new clients continuously.
While having your own freelance writing business is something many freelancers hope to achieve, it also can take a lot of upfront effort.
It may be many months before you start to see any results and find regular clients.
So, combining some of the other methods in this blog post is best to help you find work while you are still growing your business.
Approach Companies Directly
If there is a particular company that you would like to write for, you can reach out and contact them directly.
But don’t just contact their general email address!
Then reach out to them on either LinkedIn or Twitter – interact with their content, like their posts, and send them a message saying you would love to connect with them.
After you’ve created a warm lead, send them a personalized message and let them know you would like to work with them.
Include links to a few writing samples also. They will usually give you a (paid) trial task if they are interested in hiring you.
They may offer you freelance work or a permanent position with their company if that goes well.
Write For Yourself – Affiliate Marketing
Another way to find freelance writing work is by writing content for yourself.
This can be done by starting a blog, creating articles, making scripts, and recording your own YouTube videos.
You can then make money from affiliate marketing, where you create content that includes information on how to do things and the products and services you need.
You will earn a commission if people purchase a product from your affiliate link. So, each person you refer to the brand you are promoting will be paid a percentage of the sale.
The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you are selling other people’s products – and you don’t have to deal with customer complaints, refunds, or shipping.
Over time, you can then create your own products to sell too.
However, it is vital to know that affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick overnight scheme. Instead, it usually will take a considerable amount of upfront work before you start to see results and make money.
Affiliate marketing is excellent to do on the side while offering freelancing services and can help you to create long-term passive income.
This is what I am doing with my blog.
Find Freelance Writing Work On Job Boards
There are job boards targeted explicitly toward freelance work rather than permanent positions like traditional job boards.
It is worth spending some time each day to check them and see if there are any online freelance writing positions you are interested in.
Many of them are free and updated daily.
The best ones include:
Final Thoughts – Types Of Freelance Writing
There are many different types of freelance writing, each requiring a different skill set. So, find the kind that you enjoy most.
What about if you’re unsure?
I get it. I know it wasn’t easy for me to decide at first either.
In that case, I recommend creating one or two samples for each type of freelance writing.
To have actual projects to write for, you could reach out to family and friends and ask if they need any writing done (for free).
- Does your uncle need a new resume?
- Does your sister have a small business and could use some blog posts to promote it?
If you do a good job, they will likely refer you to their contacts in the future anytime they know someone who needs writing services.
After you’ve written samples, which did you like doing the most? Is there any that you hated?
The great thing about doing this is getting real experience trying different types of writing. You can then use the samples as part of your portfolio to show potential clients.
Once you’ve decided what type of freelance writing you prefer, you can start finding work and clients from any of the methods mentioned above.
Good luck with your freelance writing!
Skyler Benson is a full-time blogger. Join Skyler on SkylerBenson.com and learn how to start an online business and create a life of freedom. Before starting this blog, Skyler worked online as a freelance content writer. He worked with digital marketing agencies and B2B companies for four years. Skyler reviews the best software for your online business and teaches you how to write better and start your freelancing career.