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What’s Happening With Freelance Writing Jobs and Writing Online?

More and more people are earning their living through writing, whether for a publication or online. To be sure, plenty of traditional jobs remain, but for those seeking a change of pace or wanting to delve into a new field, there are plenty of opportunities waiting to be seized. Here’s a closer look at some of the evolving roles and industries associated with freelance writing, as well as how to get started.

Why Do Writers Need To Freelance?

In a traditional job, you may be given lots of creative input and support from coworkers, but the real value you provide comes from your writing. It’s the same with a lot of other professional positions, including editing, proofreading, and project management, but when it comes to writing for publications or online platforms, the input you get from others may not be enough. For those seeking to freelance, the competition can be cut-throat, and if you want to succeed, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes.

The Rise Of Online Freelancing

While some have lamented the passing of the ‘golden age’ of print journalism, there has also been a renaissance of sorts for those who specialize in writing for the web. What was once the domain of bloggers and social media enthusiasts has become a viable way to earn a living for skilled writers thanks to the expanding use of search engines and social media platforms, among other things. Many top-tier news organizations have embraced online journalism, and if you’ve got a talent for bringing in readers, the possibilities for freelance writing may be endless.


Even in today’s ‘work from home’ world, not all online freelancing is created equal. While you may enjoy the freedom of working remotely, there are certain opportunities out there that may not present the flexibility you’re looking for. If you’re seeking a traditional job with a large organization, you may find yourself locked into a 9-5 with limited opportunities for advancement. In the same way, even in these days of Covid-19 you may find yourself unable to get a work-from-home gig if you’re highly sought-after by multiple publications or platforms. When you have a specialty in a field that can be helpful to many different industries and organizations, however, you can usually find work-from-home opportunities to research, write, and publish whatever you want, whenever you want. In an ideal world, you’ll be able to find a job that suits your schedule and enables you to work remotely when you need to. Still, as a digital nomad, you may enjoy the flexibility to travel the world and chase your dreams, so long as you’re able to maintain a sufficient work-life balance.

Higher Pay, Bigger Audience

The median income for a freelance writer according to the Freelancer’s Union is $22,000 per year, which is higher than the $20,000 reported by the American Institute of Stress and the $19,000 reported by the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Those are pretty impressive numbers, and if you happen to have a coveted skill in a niche market, like legal or medical writing, you may be able to make a whole lot more money than you would as a general arts writer for a newspaper. While it can be difficult to break into the field, once you’re in, the money tends to follow. According to the aforementioned Freelancer’s Union study, the most in-demand freelance writing specialties include:

  • Web content creation
  • Copywriting
  • Newswriting
  • Corporate communications
  • Strategic marketing communications
  • Press release writing
  • Digital marketing content
  • Product descriptions
  • Editing
  • Technical writing
  • Business writing
  • Training manuals

All of these are traditional ‘hybrid’ jobs that can be done remotely. If you can type, you can do most of these jobs, with the exception of editing, which needs to be done by a professional editor.

Getting Started As A Freelancer

For those interested in breaking into the field, a helpful place to start might be the Freelancer’s Union. This is the leading platform for finding digital work-from-home gigs for freelance writers, and it connects interested parties with a global community of freelancers looking for jobs.

One of the things that makes this platform so unique is that rather than offering one-off pieces of writing for hire, it focuses on matching writers with clients who need content at various stages of their business’ lifecycle.

This is a good place to start because it takes the guesswork out of finding your first few gigs as a freelancer, as well as providing you with a steady stream of work to maintain your income during those first few months. This is also a great option for those who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the freelancing scene but aren’t yet ready to dive in and commit to a decade or more of income stability. In addition, the platform provides you with a reliable source of earnings that you can add to your bank account each month, rather than depending on occasional piecework for those who need content urgently. Finally, the freelance work on this platform is completely diverse and comes with a range of job specs and a variety of different writing genres, so no matter what specialty you have, you’re sure to find a job that suits you.

If you’re ready to take the plunge and want to break into the field independently, there are plenty of different options available to you. You may want to consider looking into affiliate marketing, which earns you a commission when someone clicks a monetized link or buys a product that’s promoted on your blog. You can also try selling and displaying ads on your site, or take advantage of social media platforms like Twitter to find your first few clients. Finally, you can always try your hand at copywriting or editorial work for larger organizations until you find your feet in the field.

The sky is the limit when it comes to the different kinds of writing gigs available to you as a freelance writer. All you need is the skill to write and the determination to succeed. Good luck out there.