Choose Your Plate: 10 In-Demand Freelance Writing Jobs Online
The demand for freelance writers continues to soar as new business breakthroughs for companies, businesses, and their audience in general unfold online. The field is teeming with opportunities. You can choose and decide which fits your writing style and would sustain business at the same time.
Here are the different types of freelance writing jobs online:
10. CORPORATE COPYWRITERS
Companies hire writers to help them develop their newsletters and other business communication materials, such as brochures, flyers, and even websites. Before you apply for such position, you might want to review documents, articles, or trends in the fields related to business and communication. According to the Western Michigan University, those fields may include linguistics, psychology, marketing, economics, and information technology. These are the areas covered by communication in business:
- Managerial Communication: The term, managerial communication, usually refers to an emphasis on communication strategies for achieving specific short-term objectives.
- Organizational Communication: Organizational communication usually refers to established communication networks and the communication flow within organizations.
- Human Relations and Team Building: Over the past 30 years or so, business and industry have increasingly recognized the importance of good interpersonal communication between and among those who work together. Such skills are also important to the success of customer relations programs and strategic alliances.
- Sales Communication: Sales communication includes all communication specifically designed to produce sales, from media-based advertising, to telephone solicitation, to direct-mail advertising.
- Report Writing: As the term suggests, report writing focuses on written reports, typically including everything from short, informational memos to letter reports (basically long letters that include headings and other report-writing techniques), to complete analytical reports.
- Communication Technology and Electronic Communication: Whether word processing, page layout and graphic design, electronic mail (email), electronic conferencing, Internet-based services, audio or video conferencing, or multimedia presentations, the technology we use to communicate—information technology—has changed radically over the past few years.
- International Communication: International communication, also referred to as intercultural communication, focuses on the ways in which cultural differences influence communication expectations and behavior, including the length of time it takes to establish business and personal relationships, differences in the conception of time itself, differences in nonverbal communication, and differences in perceptions as they are influenced by language and culture.
9. ADVERTISING COPYWRITERS
Known as “creatives,” advertising copywriters are usually hired by advertising agencies to help produce the text for their campaigns. According to UK’s National Careers Service, an advertising copywriter’s role involves:
- working with the art director to create original ideas that fit the brief
- presenting ideas to the agency’s creative director and account team
- helping to present ideas to the client
- making any changes that the client asks for
- writing clear and persuasive words
- making sure that ads meet the codes of advertising practice
- proofreading copy to check spelling, grammar and facts
- working with photographers, designers, production companies and printers
They are important part in the creation of ads for digital, social media, and mobile marketing campaigns. The National Careers Service forecasts promising growth in the number of job openings for this kind of job.
8. TECHNICAL WRITERS
The technical writing job is usually for those who are enthusiastic about technology and processes. The Georgia State University explains that a technical writer helps “design, write, and edit documents for engineering, scientific, industrial, and governmental organizations. These include technical reports, computer manuals, brochures, proposals, technical specifications, educational and training materials, and marketing or public relations releases.”
According to CV Tips, those who can employ you as a technical writer are scientists, IT companies, government firms, aircraft companies, firms dealing with mobile phones, music players, or video games.
Tom Johnson, a California-based technical writer, shares tips on how to get a job as a technical writer in his blog, some of which are apt for beginners like you:
- Look at the software requirements for the jobs you’re interested in applying for.
- Download trial versions of the software, and publish several sample help files demonstrating your ability with the tool.
- When possible, volunteer for internships to gain more experience. (I realize this option is often not feasible.)
- Write some help content for products that need help. You can visit about any open-source project and add a few pages of help content. Alternatively, pick a topic you know well (such as your cell phone) and write help content for it.
7. RESUME WRITERS
There are many resume writing businesses online. This sector has associations for regulation and courses as preparation for certification. Wendy S. Enelow, executive director of Career Thought Leaders Consortium, encourages aspiring resume writers to determine first which writing credential fits you. Here’s her quick overview:
- The Resume Writing Academy awards the Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) credential after you’ve completed a rigorous training program with classes, homework assignments, and multiple writing projects. RWA’s objective is to train great resume writers, and it takes time, effort, and real commitment on your part. There is no renewal required for this credential. Once you have earned your ACRW, you have it for life as we assume you will only continue to get better and even more confident. Course registration and credential: $2295. Complete details: http://www.resumewritingacademy.com/rwa.php
- The Career Thought Leaders Consortium awards the distinguished Master Resume Writer (MRW) credential. Requirements include submission of a prescribed portfolio of resumes and cover letters, along with an English language and grammar test. The size of the portfolio will depend on your existing resume industry certifications. $299 for initial credential. $99 for renewal every 2 years. Details: http://www.careerthoughtleaders.com/mrw/mrw-credential/
- The National Resume Writers’ Association awards the Nationally Certified Resume Writer credential to those who meet its 4-step certification process. This involves earning CEUs, submitting a sample resume and cover letter, and completing an English grammar test and a writing test. Note that you must be a member of NRWA to be awarded this credential. I could not find pricing but did note that the NCRW must be renewed every 3 years. Details: http://www.thenrwa.com/CareerExperts/Certification.asp
- The Professional Association of Resume Writers offers the Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) designation, the oldest resume-writing credential in our industry. It was the first that so many of us earned. It’s reasonably priced with 4 modules (multiple-choice test, English language test, essays, resume writing projects). $225 for initial certification. Check the website for renewal information and fees. Details: http://www.parw.com/pdf/PARWCC-CPRW-Info.pdf
- Career Directors International offers 5 resume-writing credentials, the most recognizable of which is the CARW – Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW). Two of CDI’s certifications are specific to military resume writing. Because there are so many options, it’s best to check the website for details about the requirements, which include sample resumes and cover letters, essays, testing, and more. Prices begin at $200 and go up from there. Details: http://www.careerdirectors.com/cert.htm#r
- The Resume Place offers federal resume training through a number of different program options taught by Kathryn Troutman, Diane Burns, and their team of instructors. Get all of the information about their programs: http://www.fedjobtraining.com/
Once you’ve been certified, you can also start your own resume writing business since many individuals are turning to professional assistance for their career tools.
In an interview, Dean Zatkowsky shares that most of his ghosting clients are “business executives who lack the time or inclination to write their own books and articles.” He said that this job is recommended for those who like privacy, solitude, and anonymity and that it allows one to write and get paid for it without the marketing tasks. He added: “In the corporate world, one frequently sees two glaring weaknesses: poor writing and poor public speaking. Over the years, I recognized these weaknesses as opportunities, and offered to write articles and speeches whenever possible.”
Marcia Layton Turner, founder and executive director of the Association of Ghostwriters, in an article, emphasized the following tips for those who want to try ghostwriting:
- Ghostwriting is not an entry-level writing position.
- You need to be ready, willing and able to capture your client’s voice and tell the story his way.
- You need to be a book publishing consultant in addition to being a writer.
- You shouldn’t think of yourself as a writer; instead you should think of yourself as the owner of a ghostwriting firm.
- Strong project management skills can separate you from the pack.
- Price yourself according to your level of experience.
5. E-BOOK WRITERS
According to Bowker Market Research, the number of self-published books released each year increased up to some 235,000 print and e-books in 2012. Joe Konrath, an Amazon bestseller who has written over 20 novels and a hundred stories, shares tips in his blog for those who want to write and publish their own books:
- Write a damn good book. This should be your main priority. I recommend joining a writers group and getting feedback. Seek criticism, not praise. If you want to bulletproof your manuscript, you want to find out what is wrong with it, and you need eyes other than your own to do that.
- Price it right. I believe an ebook should be priced at $2.99, because the Kindle royalty rate is 70% for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99. Above or below that, it’s 35%.
- Format it correctly. If you know HTML and MS Word very well, you can probably do this yourself. But you’d get more professional results using someone who knows what they’re doing.
- People judge books by their covers. Make sure your cover is professional, not something you slapped together with an istockphoto image with some Arial text laid on top using Photoshop.
- Choose your platform. I upload to Kindle directly at http://dtp.amazon.com. For iPad, Sony, Kobo (Borders), and Barnes & Noble, I use www.smashwords.com.
- Publicize your ebook. You should be on Twitter and Facebook, and have a website. You could have a blog and a newsletter. I recommend announcing your ebook at www.kindleboards.com in the Book Bazaar section.
4. PUBLICATION WRITERS
There is a lot of magazines and newspapers you can write for. The trick here is how you can get editors to accept your pitch or hire you as a regular contributor, a topic we will discuss in the future. Before you write to the editor, make sure you are aware of the following so they can see you fit for their publication:
- The topics they cover
- The overall style or tone of the articles and headlines
- Their type of sources, research, or statistics
- Their audiences
- The average length of their articles
- The key editor you need to email
Aside from writing, writers can also explore opportunities in editing. This will help you hone your editing skills that can eventually benefit you as a writer in the long run: editing can help you see your article in a different perspective and intensify your own revision process to improve your writing. As a freelance editor, you must have a solid grasp of the English language, grammar and mechanics, and strategies in organizing ideas and enhancing content. In an article, the Ooligan Press states that freelance editors, aside from editing skills, must have the following:
- Marketing skills. Keeping an up-to-date website and blog, printing business cards and networking, attending conferences, and participating in other marketing tactics will ensure that a freelance editor will always have good contacts and options for the future.
- Excellent communication and active listening skills. In her blog, “Brooklyn Arden,” Cheryl Klein describes the author-editor relationship as most similar to a close friendship. In a good friendship, one friend (writer) will come to the other (editor) for advice, to vent, to work out a situation, etc.
There are companies with business blogs who hire writers to update them regularly. Meanwhile, there are also writers who earn from personal blogging. In a Forbes article, Hero Brown, founder of Muddy Stilletos, shares tips on how to launch and sustain a successful (and profitable) blog:
- Meet a need. (What pain or issue of your readers can you solve?)
- Find your target audience.
- Make sure your readers know they can rely on you.
- Be disciplined. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked as hard as I work now. You have to post regularly: every day at 8.15am, a Muddy Stilettos post is in every subscriber’s inbox. It’s very rare that I have a day off. Blogging is bums on seats: you need to have the right numbers for people to advertise with you.”
- Support your advertisers. “For the first six months, I didn’t think about supporting my advertisers, and I lost a couple in the early days because I just left them to it. This isn’t about writing advertorials, which I don’t do, but now I’m much more active in other ways. I go and see them, make sure I know what they’re doing, Tweet them. You have to add value.”
The top three things you need to become a successful blogger:
- A blogging platform. Blogger or WordPress?
- A niche. What do you want to blog about?
- Quality content. At the end of the day, your blog will get supporters because of the value of your posts.
1. CONTENT MARKETING WRITER
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) defines a content marketing writer as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Holly Regan, managing editor for Software Advice, in an article, cited CMI Content Development Director Michele Linn saying that a content marketing writer should “have the ability to dig deeply into a topic they are unfamiliar with, conduct interviews with industry leaders and collect relevant data and statistics to help them tell an informative and persuasive story.” In the same article by Regan, Shivani Sharma, CEO of social media marketing agency Firefly Creative Inc., stressed that writers must understand the tone of the brand they are working with. The writers companies should hire are those who know their the target market and can create content that engages the desired community.