There are a lot of pros to becoming a freelancer that makes launching your own business seem quite attractive. Setting your own hours, not having to wait for time-off requests to be approved, and choosing what projects you want to work on are serious perks.
One question I often encounter is “Are resumes still relevant for freelance writers?”
The short answer is yes. [Read more…]
If you’re a freelancer looking to make some extra money in your spare time or even hoping to make a full-blown career out of your passions, congratulations! Taking that first step takes a lot of courage. However, it’s also to remember that this is an extremely competitive and saturated market to be in.
With this in mind, it’s time to find the ideal industry for you to spread your entrepreneurial wings. By focusing your efforts on hot markets that are looking for new and engaging content, this allows for less competition and possibly higher rates at the same time.
The only problem with this process, is knowing where to start. The good news is, we’ve already started that process for you and are highlighting four hot sectors that are not only making big money for freelancers, but they also look like they are going to thriving for the next several years as well.
If you’ve already rifled through the other five industries for freelancers we’ve highlighted, this guide will walk through another four amazing fields where you can let your freelance flag fly.
Let’s get started!
#1 New Age—Astrology and More!
These days, plenty of people have embraced alternative lifestyles and ways of thinking, attempting to step outside of traditional American or Western ideals.
People enjoy the amazing aesthetic and cultural values surrounding:
- Crystals (reiki, etc.)
- Eastern medicine
And it’s not just personal—there are tons of businesses seeking to cater to this growing market, which means there are business opportunities out there for any of the following freelance types:
- Graphic Designers
- Life Coaches
- And more!
With goods like astrology-themed crystal sets bridging the gap between several new-age favorites, there’s no limit to what you can do with your unique talents and skills. Even if it’s not your cup of tea (or kombucha), why not consider tapping into this revolutionary industry?
And with most ecommerce and product sites already having hundreds of products to sell through their sites, one of the most common tasks for such sites to hire freelancers for, is to write the actual product description and sales copy for their audiences. Sure, it’s one thing to sell online, but it’s another to be able to write winning content that actually sells. This is where a huge opportunitity for freelancers lie.
Not only could such new jobs and opporrtunities prove lucrative, that could also be quite enlightening as well.
#2 Legal Cannabis and CBD
Another somewhat unorthodox (but promising) trend that’s blooming into a booming industry?
To put things bluntly: Cannabis, baby (and CBD).
While marijuana is not fully legalized in every location in the US, it has become an incredibly lucrative industry in the areas where it’s legit.
CBD enjoys an even further reach, as it is legal in more parts of the country. Whether you’re a writer, business consultant, or a CBD connoisseur yourself, what better industry than that of delicious and relaxing CBD vape juice and other magical concoctions?
Outside of just traditional article writing, many freelancers are finding work in writing product descriptions, reviews, tutorials and FAQs for content on such sites as well. You can see a perfect example of this in the screenshot below.
Cannabis, CBD, and other related products are all part of a broader trend toward natural alternatives for healthy living. If you’ve already worked with wellness or lifestyle clients, it might be worth considering how much you can pack those experiences into this funky new joint.
#3 Personal and Business Management
With the rising trend of entrepreneurship shifting the tides of the working world, freelance opportunities in business management—for both individuals and large corporations—are rapidly bubbling to the surface. If you have a skill, talent, or passion that you have yet to capitalize on, this industry could be just the place for your own business to blossom.
Here are some ideas for making money with management gigs:
- Writers can apply their talents to legal writing, insurance contracts, email marketing campaigns, and web copy.
- Graphic designers can make a pretty penny revamping an influencer’s or business’s logo, website, or communications materials.
- Organizational experts can capitalize on Mari Kondo’s worldwide takeover and have a field day tidying up a busy parent’s cluttered office space.
- Freelance computer programmers can find excellent opportunities optimizing a business’s website back-end, customer service app, or online store.
- Business consultants can assist burgeoning startups with finding the right business insurance, drawing up contracts, and optimizing their workflow.
And as highlighted in this legal writing tips article on FWG, you will soon realize that the opportunities within the world of legal, business and attorney work expands way beyond just technical writing. Such benefits and writing areas include.
#4 Technology and Cybersecurity
Whether you’re a Luddite or a total computer nerd, you know full well that the technology train is coming through, and it isn’t stopping anytime soon (chugga chugga, CHOO CHOO).
With this rapid explosion in technological progress comes an equally impactful boom in cyber-related problems, like national and personal security, privacy, and data storage.
The demand for cybersecurity, data management, and information technology experts grows with every passing year—and that’s where you come in.
Here are some ways to take your freelancing skills into the virtual realm:
- Use your hardware and computer programming skills to reinforce a company’s network and streamline their data storage systems.
- Use your finance skills to implement new bookkeeping and supply chain software into a startup’s dashboard.
- Use your legal and business skills to ensure regulatory compliance on the part of an older corporation trying to catch up to the times.
- Use your consulting skills to teach a local business how to better train, manage, and empower their small team.
When it comes to writing about anything in the technology and cybersecurity space, it’s not just the traditional concepts and methods that you might be thinking of. For businesses, security and tech is completely different than what it might mean for average internet users or site owners. Below you can see some of the most interesting and hot topics in the world of regulatory compliance, which are often getting passed along to high-end and well-trained freelancers that have experience in this space.
Improve Your Expertise and Writing to Secure More Freelance Gigs
Any one of these industries could be a great place to start or expand your business as a freelance writer, programmer, artist, consultant, or whatever else makes your heart sing.
To narrow down your options, dust off your student hat and do some research. Read a handful of articles about each industry, and see what seems to stick. When you’ve found an industry that really speaks to you, reach out to smaller companies in that field and see what work you can find. We promise they won’t bite (unless they’re a Venus flytrap company—in that case, we can’t make any promises).
Before long, you’ll have more work on your hands than you know what to do with.
As of 2017, 3.9 million people in the US worked from home at least half the time.
Many of these people were freelancers.
For someone who has always worked for someone else, the freelance network can be scary. It requires confidence, skill, and persistence to be successful.
However, on the flip side — this can be one of the best and most important decisions you may ever make!
If you are looking to join the remote workforce, keep reading for some useful tips that can help propel your career and earnings past the competition.
Use Fear to Find Confidence
First things first.
You should know that confidence is not built in a vacuum. This means that trying something new and doing it well builds confidence.
The more familiar you are with a thing, the more comfortable you will be with the process of it. Also think about the many other ways that businesses are looking to find and hire freelancers as well. Not only will this help with better understanding the industry, you may also learn how to better stand out from the crowd and accommodate new clients as well.
Part of being a writer is isolating yourself in a blanket and coffee cocoon. You could literally go weeks without ever seeing another human being — should that be a main focus and goal of yours. Though it is recommended to make sure you break apart your day and writing/design work, so you don’t overwhelm yourself and your body in the process.
When you want to start freelance networking, this is a mistake. Your comfort zone is your enemy.
Start by reaching out to other freelancers and potential clients.
Do this using online forums and offline meetups. Face to face meetings build real relationships and can give you new leads.
Services like Meetup, Eventbrite, and Facebook regularly have public events centered around a topic. Also, platforms like Instagram are helpful for building your freelance career.
Find a Niche
Take stock of the knowledge you have accumulated thus far. Chances are you’ll find someone online in need of content around it.
Do you know a lot about fitness or personal development? These are jumping off blocks for you to begin reaching out to clients.
If you are unsure where to start, try picking a niche.
Specializing in a few areas will help you build a portfolio of content your clients can trust. While writing is a general skill, knowledge of a nuanced subject will land you the big bucks.
Choosing a popular niche will ensure that there will be ample work available.
If you don’t have a deep knowledge base in a particular subject, don’t worry. It is most important to show that you can provide quality work on a deadline.
The time has come to leave the research nest. Once you have an idea of what you want to write, start reaching out to people. There are many tools that can help with this process as well.
Pitching is usually the hardest part for entrepreneurs. They get into a constant loop of whether or not they are really good enough.
When this comes up, think about the worst-case scenario. The worst that will come of reaching out to a website is an ignored email. You may also get a letter that says “no thank you.”
Find a sustainable number and reach out to that many people a day. If you are in a niche, write a few sample articles and submit them to websites. Make it unique with an interesting headline to catch attention.
Be sure to set up an email for correspondence. Also, use a payment service so that you can send an invoice.
If you are hoping to go full-time as a freelancer, build up your client base first. You don’t want to leave your current job on a hunch with no prospects.
Self-talk is the voice that rolls over and over in our heads. It tells us, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not ready”, “maybe they don’t need my input.”
Negative self-talk is unsupportive language that keeps us paralyzed by intangible possibilities. Fear of the unknown is the major driving force behind negative self-talk.
Positive self-talk can be trained and developed as you develop confidence.
Psychologists and self-improvement leaders like Craig Beck assist with developing positive self-talk.
Just like ‘haters’ and negative feedback can deter you from your end goal, positive feedback and self-talk can help you get to where you want to be.
If you truly feel your work isn’t strong enough this is a constructive truth. It simply means you can improve your writing skills.
How to Succeed in the World of Freelance
The freelance industry, like anything new, can feel overwhelming at first — but those who stick with it and build a profitable and trusted clientele, can find great success for years to come.
Like many other industries, success in it can be summed up in a few words: persistence, confidence, skill.
Building your skill will build confidence. Meeting others in your field will boost creativity, leads, and confidence.
From there, be persistent. Continue to reach out to clients and improve your work.
Of the many different things I can teach and tell you about running a business and making money online, it is that you are up against the world. There is no reason for anyone to find success online if they aren’t willing to put in the time, work, and effort.
The opportunities are there for those who are willing to fight for them. Now show the world of freelance what you have to offer!
You love your day job, but you sometimes wish that it paid more.
You’re in the process of saving up a little extra cash to go on a dream vacation, plan your wedding, or even finally make it out of debt.
So, what’s the perfect side gig?
Taking on high paying freelance writing jobs is a great opportunity for anyone willing to put in the time, work and effort. But how do you make it happen, and how can you improve your writing skills when it comes to commercial writing.
In this post, we’ll tell you all about how to find writing jobs that aren’t only fun, but lucrative.
Read on to learn how to find out about opportunities before anyone else does, and how to establish your own web presence as a writer for hire.
We’ll even tell you how to write the perfect pitch, which often comes down to finding the right idea and purpose for your content, coming up with a reporting plan to document it all, and also knowing how much time to spend on the project.
Once you have a better understanding of how to focus your time and effort, and also where to look for new writing jobs, you may soon find that the world of freelance writing is a lot more lucrative than you originally thought.
1. Follow Social Media Writing Groups
If you’re looking for freelance writing jobs, social media is one of the best places to begin.
Make a list of magazines, blogs, online journals, and even businesses that you love. Also, do a search on social media for accounts related to the writing lifestyle, freelancing, and even commercial writing.
You might be surprised by just how many people post about high paying writing jobs — before these opportunities hit the rest of the market.
At the same time, also don’t discount the power of knowing how different websites, brands, and companies are putting their content to work for them on social media. Take a look at any effective social media strategy, and you will find that it starts with content. Once you start to notice what brands are continually pushing out new content, you may want to approach them directly to see if they are looking for new writers to add to their outsource team.
The great thing about working with big brands that need a lot of content is that they are likely to keep ordering more written work from you for the next several weeks, months, and even years to come.
2. Create a Writing Website
Especially if you’re ready to get into freelance writing for beginners, you’ll need to work to establish your web presence.
Companies are always looking for bloggers — and you want to make sure you show up in their search results. You also want to establish yourself as an experienced professional in the commercial writing world.
Start by including clips to your past published pieces — beginning with the most recently published first. Include your CV with information about your education, any scholarships or fellowships you’ve received, and other accomplishments within the writing world.
Don’t forget to set up a blog on your website dedicated to showing off your writing.
You can also see an example below of how an author bio with a real photo and detailed description can bring your content to life, while also putting a real face and person behind the writing.
Make sure that you include a brief author bio and headshot on your website so that people can get to know the person behind the words you’re writing. For tips on what to include in (and what to leave out of!) your author bio, check out this post. You can see a preview of each of their ten recommended tips below for improving your reach, authority, and success as an online freelance writing or author.
- You will need up to three versions of your bio.
- Go ahead — brag!
- Leave your demographics for the end and keep it brief.
- When listing book publications, should you have any, italicize the title and do not put in quotation marks.
- Refer to yourself in the third person.
- The credibility an award gives a book can change the life of it!
- BS? BA? BIS? MBA? Ph.D.?
- Your bio will change dramatically as your career advances.
- If you can, have a professional (or at least a really good) photographer take a quality author photo of you.
- Browse the Internet and look in the books on your bookshelves for ideas.
Also, include links to your social media profiles — in short, give companies that want to hire you to write for them as many ways to contact you as possible.
3. Check out Writing Job Boards
Knowing where to find writing jobs online is the bread and butter of a successful freelance career or even side hustle.
When you’re just starting out, companies aren’t exactly going to be approaching you with writing opportunities (but hopefully they will in the future!) Luckily for you, there are several well-known and reputable writing job boards that you can scroll through.
In addition to the awesome job board on Freelance Writing Gigs, you will also come across other great ones at ProBlogger Job Board, Dice, MediaBistro and Craigslist.
This makes it much easier for you to find the types of writing gigs that are the best fit for your skill set. Many of these job boards also have an email list. Make sure that you sign up for it so that you’ll get alerts the moment a potential job posting goes up.
Writing job boards will break down the opportunities by category, so it’s easy to find what you’re interested in.
For example, you can choose from copywriting jobs, editing jobs, blogging jobs, and even broader content writing gigs.
While some of these opportunities will be a “one and done” situation? In other cases, you’ll be able to build lasting relationships with these clients. That’s an awesome way to build up your client book for the future!
4. When in Doubt, Just Pitch
So, you’ve followed all of the above tips on how to find writing jobs — but you’re just not getting any results.
In addition to feeling the pain of rejection, you’re also concerned that all of your writing efforts might be in vain. However, just like any profession or opportunity in the world today, it all comes down to those who are willing to put in more work and stand above the crowd.
A perfect example of how to best accomplish this can be seen in finance writing articles. Let’s specifically take a look at the loans with bad credit article and how it breaks down different data points throughout the article.
With the title being “Loans for Bad Credit”, it’s important to actually provide the end user with value, and not just a lot of written text in large paragraphs. We can see this article is actually very well written and laid out nicely as it has bold headlines (the red arrows) through the content, while also further breaking down each point into sub-paragraphs and will bullet points (the green arrows).
This is not brain surgery here, but it makes the world of a difference to the end user, the site owner, and the freelance writer. Way too many freelance writers just want to create 500 or 1000 word articles and move onto the next job. This is great for them, but not so much for the end user and brand publishing the content.
To see more examples like these, be sure to read through some of the top personal websites you want to write for, and see if their content is laid out in this same way. This will allow you to get to know their overall writing style better, and understand the kinds of topics they’re interested in publishing. And again, put in the time to not only write the best content possible but to also provide the right outreach and opportunity for each site as well.
Send out a cold pitch email to a bunch of sites, but make sure they are somewhat personalized and offer real value. Explain the article you’d like to write for them, and discuss why you’re qualified to write it. Include a potential length, as well as the date you’ll provide the first draft for them to edit.
Make sure you include your contact information and a short “author bio” so they can get to know your work.
Above all, don’t forget to include the amount that you’re looking to be paid for this gig. If you don’t bring up payment in your first pitch email, many blogs will try to get you to work for free.
Aim higher than you’re OK with making. This will give the company a bit of room for negotiating with you.
How to Find Writing Jobs: Wrapping Up
We hope this post has helped you to understand how to find writing jobs that connect with your interests, skill set, and your creative side.
As long as you’re willing to stay persistent and to follow up with leads, you’ll be able to build a nice client book in no time.
Looking for the latest writing gigs in blogging, content writing, and even editing? Want to get more advice about how to live the writing lifestyle to the fullest?
As mentioned earlier, if you are still looking for freelance work, be sure to check out the FreelanceWritingGigs job board to see which opportunities might e right for you. Be sure to bookmark this blog for more tips on how to make life as a writer work for you.
Freelancing is a thrilling yet terrifying line of work. Getting started as a freelancer is the most difficult and challenging step. Especially if you’re coming from the stability and predictability of full-time work, freelancing can seem vague, threatening and terrifying. When you’re just beginning, you’ll be on a constant hunt for freelance writing jobs. Let’s consider some popular ways to can find freelance writing jobs for beginners and get your career off the ground. [Read more…]
“I have a computer and an internet connection. I want to quit my job and do what you’re doing. Anyone can make money writing online, right?
If I got a dollar every time I heard this – or some variation of it – I’d have enough to go to the Maldives for this year’s dream vacation.
There is some truth to the statement, though. Anyone can start writing online, but there is no guarantee of success or money. There is more to online writing than “I can write” – as you already know.
Even veteran freelance writers may have experienced feeling lost and doubtful at times, especially these days. The online writing scene is so crowded. Good jobs are difficult to find. Consistent and reliable clients are not as common as before. Rates are going down. [Read more…]
Author: Kenneth Waldman is a freelance writer and content creator. He draws his inspiration out of the traveling. Get in touch with him on Linkedin.
You might be surprised to learn the number of freelance writing aspirants out there. However, many don’t dedicate time to fulfilling their dream. Alternatively, they go about their 9 to 5 traditional work routines, take orders from irritable bosses, and get paid less their worth.
If you wish to be a freelancer and your current situation is similar to the one outlined above, it’s high time you make a change. You’ll only waste time if you keep procrastinating.
Just remember that it takes some time to grow a successful freelance writing business. The steps to actually start are simple. They do not guarantee that you’ll be swimming in cash, but they will set you on the right path to gaining a solid income in the near future. [Read more…]
- A lack of purpose and passion
- Working a dead-end job
- No one is investing in you
- Insufficient compensation
If you’re feeling any or all of these symptoms, you may be ripe for a change. The launching pad for this monumental shift? A bit of wisdom from Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Whether you’ve freelanced as a side-gig or are just jumping into the ring, taking on a full-time freelance career is not a decision to be made lightly. Full-time corporate employment offers paid time off for vacations, illness and holidays. Medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance are often part of a benefits package. So, too, is a guaranteed minimum income.
So, how do you leave all of that security? How do you transition to freelancing as your main source of income? How do you budget and plan? Very carefully.
Be a Business
Transitioning to full-time freelancing means you are going to be a business all on your own. If freelancing is your main source of income, you can’t be casual about it. You’ll have to start thinking like a business owner, even if your only employee is, well, you. By giving up that secure spot in corporate America, you’ve taken on the following roles (in no particular order):
- Head of Sales & Marketing
- Account Receivable
- Creative Director
- Client Services
- and more.
Are you ready and willing to manage both big and small picture details? Gone are the days of throwing receipts into a shoebox. Here are the days of detailed financial record-keeping. Gone are the days of, “Sorry, just saw this email from two weeks ago.” Here are the days of, “Please see attached for all deliverables due tomorrow. Please contact me with any questions.”
Don’t take this to mean you can expense everything and go on a spending spree to outfit a new office. You have to think about overhead costs, billing cycles, positive cash flow and more. Find a reliable and usable accounting platform. Learn it inside and out. Use it.
Research and apply for credit. American Express has some of the best business credit cards with benefits ranging from purchase protection to flexible payment schedules. Using a card (and paying it off monthly) is a great way to keep business expenses separate from personal expenses. It will make it easier for you to reconcile business expenditures by comparing the statement to your accounting records. You’ll also be building credit for your business. That way, if you’re ever in a position to seek out investors or loans for expansion, you’ll have a credit history.
Set Yourself Up for Success
After years of marching to another’s drum beat, it can be tough to stay productive without oversight. By now, you know what helps and hinders your personal productivity. Does a clean workspace keep you sane? Find and maintain a dedicated and orderly space for your business. Using the kitchen table might seem convenient, until someone spills fruit punch all over a very important piece of paper.
Start with a schedule. Until you’ve found your stride, it’s important to commit to a scheduled workday. It doesn’t have to be eight to five, but you must be fully engaged in work during whatever schedule you choose. Don’t let distractions like daytime television destroy your productivity.
If you need Internet to do your job, do you have a plan at home with adequate bandwidth? What happens if you lose access? Do you have a back-up plan? It wasn’t a big deal when your Netflix was down for a few days, but if your livelihood is resting on reliable email access, that changes things.
Every freelancer wants to be “too busy.” A freelancer’s best problem is having such an overflow of work that turning projects down is necessary. So, how do you get there? You have to make a name for yourself. Relying on a small client base would be nice, but what if the work dries up? Know who you are and what you do. Distill that into an elevator pitch. Imagine this: you run into a friend at a restaurant, and they introduce you to a potential client on the spot. What would you say? Will you have a business card at the ready? You’d better. You don’t have to plaster your face on a billboard like an aspiring realtor. You do need to constantly seek out business opportunities and be ready to pitch yourself at any moment.
Still ready to ditch the suit and forge out on your own? Have fun and stay organized!
This post was written by Amanda Kohn, a bookworm from Phoenix. Although a fashionista at heart, you can find her head in a book or online reading up on the latest headlines. Follow her on Twitter.
A former student of mine graduated with a degree in theater and set off to Hollywood to make her way in her chosen world. She soon learned an interesting twist about the requirements of Hollywood: in order to land a part you need a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) card. But in order to have the coveted SAG card, you must have acted in a legitimate production. So in the logic of the glittery world of movies, you can’t get a card until you’ve had a role, and you can’t get a role without having a card first. It’s a vicious cycle! Short of being “discovered”, she was going to have to pay her dues by acting in productions that earned her points towards her card, but were less glamorous than Hollywood.
Writing is very similar. Often, in order to write an article, an editor wants to see clips – or examples of material you’ve published in the past. But, it’s hard to get clips if no one will publish you without them. Just like acting, we writers may have to pay our dues.
For writers, “paying your dues” may mean writing a few articles that either don’t pay or pay in copies (sending you five copies, for example, of their magazine) or contributing to an online site or blog or searching out smaller markets. I have a couple stacks of magazines – copy payments – I don’t necessarily have a use for (other than making my mother proud), but now I have hard copies of clips I can scan and send along with my queries.
Get Those Clips!
So how do you find ideas and potential markets?
- Spend a couple hours at a local bookstore or library scanning the magazine section. Don’t limit yourself to the big names; there are almost as many magazines as there are interests: sports, kayaking, mountain climbing, dogs, cats, biking, literature, cars, farming, cooking, ranching, eco-living, art, etc. Let the magazines and their topics inspire you!
- Be sure to check out local and regional magazines. My first articles were published in a local arts journal and a regional interest publication.
- Writer’s Market is a well-known writer’s resource book. Flip through the thousands of pages of trade journal and magazine listings. Consider people you know who you could interview for articles. A few of my first publications in national magazines were written interviewing a local dog trainer, another came from spending a day with friends who grew organic, heritage potatoes.
- Go on the internet. There are a plethora of online magazines and blogs you can write for – they count as clips too! Many are very open to new writers. Are you a caregiver? Parent? Traveler? Athlete? There are sites for every interest you can think of.
- Look at job boards. They are an excellent resource to find publications, websites and businesses actively seeking writers.
Let your imagination and creative juices flow and come up with great ideas. Mine all your life experiences for topics and ideas – you’ll be amazed to find there is a market for almost anything. Now that you have a file full of ideas and potential publications, it’s time to sit down and write. Start gathering those clips, even if it means writing a few pro bono articles. You won’t have to do that for long. Soon, you will be savoring the satisfaction of producing and seeing your writing in print.
About the Author
Julie Luek is a freelance writer living in the mountains of Colorado and is published in dozens of regional, national and online publications including Farm & Ranch, Dog World, Vibrant Life, Today’s Christian, Colorado Central Magazine, Arts Perspective, Coaching and Athletic Directors and others and is the author of two blogs, A Thought Grows and In Fine Company. She is also a biweekly contributor to the international writing site, She Writes and appears as a guest blogger on sites like WOW (Women on Writing), Author Spaces and others with writer-based content. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter and enjoys supporting the community of writers.
Image via Brandon Giesbrecht