22 Freelance Writer Jobs and Content Types

22 Freelance Writer Jobs and Content Types from KrissiDriver.com

You may have tried googling “freelance writer jobs” and gotten a lot of mixed results. The moniker “freelance writer” is anything but constrictive and there are so many things freelance writers can do and services we can offer. There’s a fit for every fancy.

I often get asked how to create writing samples and what kind of work is “best” to take on. It got me thinking… Man, I wish I'd had a better understanding of what kind of stuff I could write for my portfolio when I started writing. So, I made a list.

Below, you’ll find an incomplete list of 22 (yes, TWENTY-TWO) freelance writer jobs and a short explanation for each. I’m willing to bet a few pique your interest.

 

Newspaper, Magazine, and other “Professional” Articles and Essays

This is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll explain anyway.

Both online and print media outlets are always looking for “outside” voices to tell stories, write journalistic reports, and share opinions. There are tons of calls for pitches on Twitter from editors of every newspaper, magazine and other online media outlet imaginable. Seriously.

The key to landing these types of gigs is to do your research, find the right editor name and email address, and to follow their pitch guidelines (if you can find them, and you probably can) to the letter.

If you don’t follow the publication’s explicit instructions about how to pitch, you won’t be given the time of day. It’s also important to remember that these places get potentially hundreds of pitches every day, too, so you’re just one in a very large sea of many.

Politely follow up and don’t get discouraged if you hear a “no” or don’t get a response at all. Keep at it and eventually, you might find the right person at the right time with the right story or angle.

The best part of these things is that while they don’t generally pay a ton, they have your name on them and you get to fly around the internet tooting your “I’m published in X, Y, and Z” horn.

 

Blog Articles

I wholeheartedly believe that every business needs a blog. This is so important to me that I talk about it all the time. If you like writing long-form, researched, informative content, this is definitely a writing form that should be up your alley.

Landing a client that is interested in having consistent blog content is a big bingo because this often means you have a promise of consistent work for at least a few weeks or months. This saves you the trouble of having to constantly be on the prowl to find new gigs and income.

Blog articles should be a minimum of 500 words (but they can be as long as 2,000 or more) and ideally need to include links to other pages on your client’s website as well as to other reputable outside sources. This is to help them look fair and informed while boosting their long-term search engine optimization efforts.

 

Email and Print Newsletters

Like blog articles, securing a client who wants you to write newsletters can also be extremely lucrative. I’ve become Instagram friends with a woman who exclusively specializes email newsletters and she’s totally killing it. (Check Lib out. She’s cool.)

Newsletter marketing is an ongoing thing and companies are always in need of someone to help create a strategy and write the copy. You could also learn how to plan and set up email automations – prewritten and scheduled email sequences that are triggered when a subscriber signs up, clicks certain links, or takes a specific action.

In fact, knowing a bit about automations and how to effectively craft them is another service businesses will gladly pay for. If you enjoy strategizing about content delivery, you can up your game by offering email marketing and automation services. This is a great ongoing freelance writer job.

 

Sales and Marketing Materials

This could take many different forms. You might find you enjoy creating things, like ebooks or journals or quizzes or surveys or coupon vouchers or a whole slew of other things. These materials are used by companies to market themselves every single day.

These things are often called “lead magnets” in the online world. In the print world, sales and marketing materials are literally anything used for sales and marketing. Once again, it’s not a surprise what this means.

From the actual creation of the thing – digital or physical – to the writing that goes along with it, somebody’s got to do that. It could be you. If you’re comfortable using design software like Canva* or if you’ve got a background in more robust systems like Adobe, you could offer a double-whammy to interested clients and handle both the designing and copywriting for their project.

 

Whitepapers

Whitepapers are essentially long-form (think more than 2,000 words) content pieces used by companies to promote specific products or services they offer. (Nonprofits may also use whitepapers.) These are rarely written to entice consumers to buy, but rather for marketing to other businesses.

Want to look over a few whitepaper examples? This blog article highlights a few good ones from big companies like Cisco.

 

Case Studies

Case studies are, in a way, similar to whitepapers as they serve a specific marketing purpose: They’re basically long-form testimonials for a company. Rather than writing a quick recommendation, case studies focus on specific pain points a customer or client had and how a business helped them solve their issue.

These require interviewing customers about their experience. (Your client may ask you to interview their customer or they may provide you with a recorded interview they conducted.) Your job is to turn it into an interesting cast study article or piece of content depending on your client’s preferences.

 

Product Descriptions

While pictures may say 1,00 words, we all still look at product descriptions before we buy things. Someone has to write them!

Product descriptions don’t tend to be high-earners simply based on their length, but if you find a client who has many products and needs descriptions for all of them, that gig could be very lucrative. That said, stores and shops are always adding to their inventory. If you can develop strong relationships with your clients, you’ll be more likely to get repeat business from them.

To pad your product description portfolio, see if you can get some statistics back from your clients. Things like conversion rate (a percentage of how many people visit the product page and ultimately purchase – you want this to be high) and bounce rate (how many people visit the page without taking any action – you want this to be lower) can help you make a case for your copywriting chops.

 

Media Kits

Media (or press) kits are what businesses use to pitch themselves to press and media outlets. They include company bios, statistics about the person’s or brand’s audience, and a number of different elements that might include notes of their previous partnerships or publication records.

These kits can be used in a couple of ways, too. Some brands use their media kits to pitch themselves as expert speakers or writers. Others may use their kits to court advertisers to buy ad space from their publications.

Depending on the brand or person, the media kit might be short and sweet (check out Jessica Stansberry’s very simple press kit). It might be a very-well decorated press kit like Susue Moore’s. Or it might be an extremely in-depth kit covering advertising pricing, audience demographics, and more, like Oprah Daily, the website covering all press kit materials for Oprah Winfrey’s media empire, or Mel Robbin’s, an internationally-known self-development author and speaker.

These media kits take time to build out and plan. Once again, if you can offer design services, you’ve got one more leg up on other copywriters offering this service. But don’t fret – if you’re not comfortable designing, your services are still in high demand.

 

Website Copy

Every website you’ve ever visited and read through was written by someone. It might have been a company staffer or it might have been a freelancer. Either way, every single page on the internet with writing had to be (obviously) written by someone.

You could specialize in specific types of website copy, such as “about pages” or any other common page. Or you might specialize in a specific niche and provide copy for company websites in that industry.

One of the best ways to go about this is to ask your clients to present you with an outline of what sections are most likely to be on their website. If they’re working with a web designer, ask for the “wireframe.” If they’re designing the site themselves, ask to see the “dummy” site so you know how things will look, how long your copy sections should approximately be, and where you might need to add little blurbs throughout the pages.

 

Technical Manuals

Once again, someone had to write the manual for your Texas Instrument calculator in high school and that new blender you just bought last week.

This may sound especially “technical” but it’s not. Any item that requires a how-to manual or written instructions has a “technical manual.”

This type of writing is generally referred to as “technical writing” and its main goal is to uncomplicate the complicated. It’s very dry language with little or no flourish. Perhaps most surprisingly, this is probably one of the easiest types of writing to break into because it doesn’t often require the writer to match a particular “brand voice.”

 

22 Types of Content You Can Create as a Freelance Writer from KrissiDriver.com

 

Books and Ebooks

Ebooks can be shorter and serve as marketing materials, like lead magnets. (For an example, check out my ebook, 7 Steps to Start a Profitable Freelance Writing Business.) Alternatively, they could be just as long as a printed book, like Kindle ebooks.

Either way, people want to write books but don’t consider themselves “good writers” or want to invest the time it takes to write a book. You could be a book or ebook ghostwriter and make literally thousands of dollars helping others publish their ideas. You may even be able to find postings for these freelance writer jobs on certain job boards. Google “book freelance writer” or “ebook freelance writer” or “ghostwriter.”

 

Advertising Copy

Advertising copy is one of the most common things freelancers write, especially if it’s for a special project or sale. It’s akin to copywriting and someetimes these two terms are used interchangeably (though “ad copy” is more specific than just “copywriting”).

This could be something long, like the written content in physical mailers (also called direct mail), or something short and snappy like you often see in sale flyers. If you manage to get feedback from your clients about conversion rates, you can use that to your advantage.

 

Social Media

Large companies likely have small teams of people (or just one person) dedicated to running their social media channels (generally called “social media managers”) but smaller companies may not.

Whether they’ve got help creating their images (you could do that as a freelancer, too!), managing posts and engaging with followers, or they just need someone to write the captions, this is a super lucrative freelancing opportunity.

Like with ad copy, if you can track numbers and have something tangible to show for your efforts, you can use that information to gain more clients and raise your rate.

 

Press Releases

Not everyone wants to hire a PR firm to help them make a splash in the media. Press releases are actually pretty easy to write and the same formula works for nearly every industry. Check out this template from Hubspot to see if this kind of writing is a good fit for you and what you or your client can do to get them in front of a wider audience.

 

Speeches

We all know that presidents and other world leaders often don’t write their own speeches (at least not all of them), but that they have a team doing it for them. And they’re not alone!

Plenty of people struggle to write their thoughts clearly or have such stage fright that they need help writing a public speaking script. If you have experience in public speaking or a particular industry, you could easily niche down. Alternatively, your client should provide you with particular talking points so you can craft a thoughtful presentation.

 

Scripts

Video has become a dominant force in how we consume media and most of it is scripted in some way. From newsrooms to YouTube videos to advertisements, someone has to make those plans and write those words.

Businesses hoping to make videos for their business on the platform or for their own websites likely don’t have someone on their staff specializing in script writing. Likewise, companies making promotional videos may need help writing scripts for their brands.

If you’ve got any background in video (or radio!) production or scripting, you’d be a natural freelance script writer.

 

Academic Papers

Researchers will often seek help to get their results and findings compiled into written form. These papers may be published in professional or academic journals, among other places.

You likely will need to demonstrate specific previous experience to get hired for these gigs. Depending on your level of expertise in a certain area of study and the budget of the organization that hires you, this could be a big money maker.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Content

There will never be a shortage of people who need to have an understanding of search enging optimization (SEO).

SEO is the “science” behind how brands get found online through search results. There’s a lot that goes into it, from optimizing website pages to checking keywords to writing keyword-based articles and beyond. If this is of interest to you, specializing in SEO will help you stand out from other “generalist” freelancers – bar none. There will never be a shortage of SEO-centric freelance writer jobs (including at companies. This isn't a freelancer-only thing!).

 

Grants

Grants are essentially like scholarships for organizations: money offered by government and aid groups to help fund research and other activities that will benefit the public.

Organizations of all kinds apply for grants and often don’t have anyone on staff whose sole responsibility is completing grant applications to secure funding for their organization. These applications require very special elements and take time to learn.

If you have experience writing grants for a previous employer or nonprofit, you can do it for other groups, too. Even if you don’t have experience, this is a great content-type niche to choose and learn.

 

Resumes

As a freelancer, you probably won’t have much need for a resume anymore. (This is one of the many perks of being a freelancer!) But everyone else still does.

People are always looking for help with their resumes. Once again, if you can keep track of your clients’ positive hiring record, you can charge more for your assistance.

 

Pinterest Descriptions

Did you know there are people who manage other businesses’ Pinterest accounts for a living? There are!

From creating the images for Pinterest (which you would be wise to offer as part of your service) to writing the captions and scheduling the pins, this is a great way to make money. You’ll need to provide some kind of report each month to show what your work has accomplished for your client, but these don’t need to be fancy.

SIDE NOTE: I spent 6 months in 2021 paying a Pinterest freelancer a whopping $700 a month to manage my Pinterest account. Imagine if you had a few clients paying that much on the regular. You’d be making great money!

 

Podcast and YouTube Show Notes

Podcasters and YouTubers make the videos and record the audios, but they often aren’t the ones to write their show notes (or edit their content!).

This could be a great opportunity for a long-standing partnership with a client and a great “in” for possible referrals – especially if your person does a lot of collaborations with other podcasters or YouTubers.

 

22 Types of Content You Can Create as a Freelance Writer from KrissiDriver.com

 

So there you have it – 22 different types of content and freelance writer jobs you can master and offer. It takes time to “get good” at any one of them, but the more practice you get, the better you'll be at creating killer content for your clients.

 

5 Profitable Niches to Target as a Freelance Writer

5 Profitable Niches to Target as a Freelance Writer from KrissiDriver.com

Freelance writing niches are types of writing specializations, whether it be a specific industry you’re targeting or a unique type of content you’ve mastered. 

As a new freelance writer, you may often hear that you should “find your niche” or “niche down” as a freelance writer or blogger… But what does that mean? 

Aside from focusing on industries where your writing chops will earn you higher pay, you need to understand the process behind actually choosing a freelance writing niche.

 

Choosing Freelance Writing Niches

Choosing which niche (or niches) to write for can feel scary, especially when you’re starting out in your freelance writing journey. You may be feeling a lot of pressure to niche down from the beginning and think your decision will dictate your writing career forever. 

I’m here to tell you that’s definitely not the case.

In fact, arguably, you don’t have to ever niche down. Is it wise to choose a niche? Yes – and it will often (though not always) result in you commanding higher pay rates. But is it necessary? Certainly not. You can still make great money writing as a “non-niched” writer.

When you’re starting out, it’s best to gravitate toward industries and topics that you have a personal interest in first. You have more authority to write about these simply because you actually know something about them. 

Writing about topics you know makes your work more enjoyable because you’re writing about something you’re personally interested in. This is a great way to get your feet wet if you’re new to freelance writing and build up your portfolio: If some of your interest areas aren’t as well-paying, you may be more willing to take them on as “starter” assignments.

 

5 Profitable Freelance Writing Niches

It’s easier to find high-paying writing jobs if you pick a niche and demonstrate your mastery of it through your portfolio. 

However, it can be hard to know what niches are profitable when you’re first starting out in your freelance career. In general, the highest-paying niches will involve clients who are looking for specific content that may need to fit a certain format or obey certain rules. 

If you’re not sure which niche you’d like to target in order to maximize your profits, here are 5 profitable freelance writing niches to consider. 

 

1. Travel 

You might be thinking I’m nuts to even suggest this one, but hear me out.

Yes, travel writing can be difficult to break into and yes, there’s a lot of competition. But if you look, there are lots of opportunities to write for the travel industry. 

This is especially true now that things are starting to pick up after Covid lockdowns. People were cooped up in 2020 and were forced to save their travel dollars. Now they’re ready to spend them and they’re not holding back.

Many luxury travel agencies and hotels are willing to pay a premium price for content that highlights their services. This is a great niche for writers with a creative flair, as it’s important to paint a compelling picture with your words when writing about a new location. 

Sometimes travel writing jobs will pay you to actually travel to the place you’re reviewing, and other times you might just be doing research from the comfort of your own home. Either way, if you enjoy writing travel guides, hotel and restaurant reviews, or articles about travel deals, this is the market for you. 

Keep in mind, though, that to be considered for many of these jobs, you’ll need to have actual experience traveling. If you’ve never left your hometown, this might not be a great place for you to start your freelance writing job search.

All that said, travel isn’t just a fun industry to write about. It’s a profitable one, too. 

 

2. Cannabis 

As medical and recreational marijuana become legalized in regions around the globe, cannabis clients are looking for writers capable of producing quality educational content. You could end up writing sales copy for a dispensary, cannabis law blogs for an attorney, or articles about marijuana for a health and wellness website. 

This industry is tricky because you need to be acutely aware of the legal implications of the language you use, so publications are usually willing to pay top dollar for experts in this area. If you know your stuff, this could be a great outlet. 

 

3. Finance 

Finance is a very broad niche that contains a number of very profitable topics you can master. Think cryptocurrency, budgeting, credit cards and scores, personal finance, accounting, the stock market, other investments, and more. 

I’d argue that finance is one of the most evergreen, forever-of-interest industries you can write for as a freelancer. (And I’m not speaking from experience here… I don’t write for this industry!) 

Why? Because everyone, at some stage in their life, is interested in some facet of finance. After all, money makes the world go round. There will always be opportunities to write about finance.

There are a number of outlets where you can either get published with your own byline or ghostwrite about finance. Of course, getting your name published with your work is harder when you’re just starting out, but if you prove your abilities, you can really make a name for yourself. 

Finance writing tends to be very specific and actionable, so you need to really know the right terminology in order to succeed in this industry. It definitely helps if you’re interested in the topic. Still, if you know a decent amount about finance and can write about it in a way that appeals to industry experts, you’re set. 

 

profitable freelance writing niches for new freelance writers

 

4. Technology

This is another broad field. But if you’re a tech geek who’s passionate about the latest trends or devices, there are lots of possibilities for you in the technology industry. 

Technology is ever-advancing. And like the finance industry, there’s always going to be a need for informed, well-spoken writers to explain the ins and outs of the “new cool stuff” to the laypeople. (And to the experts, for that matter.) If you’re able to turn jargon-heavy information into understandable content for non-technical people, you’ll have a fairly easy time finding freelance writing gigs in the tech industry.

Likewise, tech experts need to inform other experts and outlets of what they’re doing. If you can write in a way to help everyday people understand, you can most likely write for the professional audience, too. There are two sides to this industry and both need clear, concise voices.

You might end up writing about the latest Apple releases, advancements in virtual reality, tutorials on building or repairing computers – the possibilities are endless. 

 

5. SaaS – Software as a Service

This is kind of connected to the technology industry but given its prevalence these days, SaaS bears getting its own mention in our lineup.

“SaaS” is a term you’ll often see on job boards, and you might assume you’re unqualified for the job if you’re unfamiliar with what it means. 

But SaaS isn’t anything scary – it’s an abbreviation for “software as a service.” SaaS refers to software that’s hosted online rather than downloaded as a program on your computer, like Google Drive or Canva.

This industry is growing constantly as we continue to develop better technology. As such, there are so many writing opportunities available for this niche. SaaS startups are often looking for writers to help them craft their forward-facing image and, if they’ve got the funding, can be a great place to target for these gigs.

If you love highly technical language and know a lot of software jargon, this might just be the industry for you. SaaS clients want writers that understand the industry inside and out, so you’re not likely to get away with writing fluff pieces. If you’re experienced with software marketing, there’s money to be made in SaaS writing. 

 

Bonus: Content-Type Niches

There’s more than one way to “niche down” as a freelance writer. 

If you’re overwhelmed with trying to narrow your focus, don’t worry. Niches don’t have to be industry-specific. You can also choose to specialize in writing a particular type of content, and that can be your claim to fame no matter what industries you decide to write for. 

For example, well-researched long-form blog posts, white papers, video scripts, and case studies are all content types that clients are willing to pay higher prices for, as not just anyone can write them well. They’ll take longer to write than a typical blog post, but with that extra time comes a higher price tag. 

Personally, this is where I consider my niche to be. I love writing long-form blog content and researching the topics I’m writing about. This is where most of my freelance writing income comes from, though I’ve also written email newsletter content, website copy, social media blurbs, and more. 

I’ve written content for all kinds of industries and while I technically could choose to specialize in any one (or a few) of them, my personal preference is to keep my industry options open and instead, focus on writing great copy for businesses that don’t necessarily need an expert. There are plenty of those out there, too, just as there are industries that need well-informed writers.

 

While it takes time to master your chosen niche – whether it be an industry or a content type – once you’ve got a few high-quality portfolio pieces under your belt, you should have an easier time finding clients. If you’re curious about a specific industry or copy format, it’s worth your time to dive in and learn more about it. You never know when a high-paying gig will come your way! 

 

Copywriting vs. Blogging: All the Freelance Writing Things

Copywriting vs. Blogging: All the Freelance Writing Things from KrissiDriver.com

Copywriting vs. blogging: What's the difference? When it comes to freelance writing, it’s important to be specific about what types of work you’re looking for. One of the main pitfalls writers face is understanding the difference between copywriting and blogging. Both fall under the larger umbrella of “content marketing,” but that doesn’t mean they’re the same.  These terms are often used interchangeably by clients and in job postings, but they both require very different skill sets. You might be suited to one and not the other. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of freelance writing so you can find work that fits your skills. 

Blogging

Blogging is a type of long-form content marketing. While you might find some clients who request short blog posts, a typical blog will usually range from 500-2,000 words.  Blog posts can serve several purposes for a business. For one, if you optimize a blog post for search engines, it can help boost a website’s Google ranking and attract new potential customers to the business.   7 steps to start a freelance writing business by Krissi Driver krissidriver.com   For another, providing helpful information in a blog post puts your client in a position of authority. This builds loyalty with their readers and can encourage conversions in the future. At the very least, an informative blog post can demonstrate that a business can keep up with, if not surpass, many competitors in their industry that might not have a blog at all.  In order to be a successful blog post writer, you should be able to conduct your own keyword research. Some clients will do that part for you, but it’s good to be prepared just in case you’re on your own. Use tools like Ubersuggest or Keywords Everywhere (both of which you can use for free, by the way) to determine your target keywords so you can incorporate them in your posts.  You should also be up-to-date on all of the latest search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. Your clients will appreciate a basic knowledge of how to make their blog posts successful. While blog posts are an essential asset to any business with an online presence, they’re not typically the main source of conversions on a business’s website. That’s where copywriting comes in. 

Copywriting

The word “copy” refers to writing with an advertising focus – that is, writing that encourages the reader to take an action. While blog posts mainly aim to educate, copy aims to sell. Copywriters use marketing techniques in order to infuse their writing with a sense of urgency, persuading the reader to, for example, sign up for a newsletter or click “add to cart” on an ecommerce website.    Copywriting vs. Blogging vs. All the Freelance Writing Things from KrissiDriver.com   Copy can be seen all over the internet, from product descriptions to landing pages to ad text. That makes copywriting a lucrative industry with plenty of opportunities. Almost every business will have a need for copy at some point in their sales funnel and if you can provide it, you’ll always have a diverse pool of clients to choose from.  In order to be a successful copywriter, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, copy is persuasive. If your writing is too salesy or too forceful, it will drive customers away from your client’s business instead of encouraging them. You need to have a solid understanding of marketing and sales tactics in order to create compelling copy.  Much like blogging, it’s also a good idea to have a grasp of SEO best practices if you’re going to be a copywriter. While many copywriters aren’t responsible for optimizing the text they write, it helps to keep search engines in mind as you put your text together (although don’t forget, you’re primarily writing for human readers!).  While blog posts have some flexibility to be a little verbose, copy is concise and to the point. With every extraneous word, you risk losing your reader. Good copywriters can use every sentence to its maximum potential without getting too wordy. 

Other Types of Freelance Writing 

There are plenty of other types of freelance writing that don’t quite fall under the umbrellas of blogging or copywriting, so if neither of those seem like your style, don’t worry! Here are just a few of the other options you might want to consider: 

  • Technical writing
  • Press releases
  • Bio writing for authors or musicians
  • Email newsletters 
  • Social media posts and ad campaigns
  • How-to guides and tutorials
  • Case studies
  • Whitepapers
  • Scripts for videos or podcasts

At the end of the day, the type of writing you do doesn’t matter as much as how well you do it. If you know where your skills are strongest, you can carve out a niche for yourself and attract clients who want what you have to offer.

Pin It on Pinterest