I had a lot of questions about freelance writing when I started out ... and many of you have asked me these same questions, too.
It is project-based text work, assigned and paid for by a client, and completed by a writer by a specific time.
A freelance writer is a self-employed writer who produces text in exchange for pay.
Freelance writers are business owners. Successful freelancers not only write but learn business and marketing skills to get, keep, and manage a steady stream of work.
Freelancers work independently. They choose when and where they complete their work, while a permanent staff writer produces written content during specific office hours and while working at a particular location. Freelance writers use their own equipment; permanent staff writers use corporate equipment.
Freelancers work for a variable number of clients. A freelancer may have one client or many clients at any one time; a permanent staff writer works for one client.
Freelancers write content.
Freelance writers often specialize in one topic or subject, called a niche, such as health, finance, or education.
Freelancers write whatever text their clients need, including creative, technical, feature, marketing, communications, business, SEO content, copywriting, and grant writing. Projects may include ads, articles, blog posts, business documents, applications, brochures, case statements, eBooks, email campaigns, guides, letters, memos, newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, resumes, speeches, web content, white papers, and more. A writer may specialize in one kind of writing, such as internet content or B2B copywriting.
Freelance writers may be contracted to provide additional services for a client, including loading web content, posting on social media, managing email campaigns, and conducting strategic planning. Some freelance writers also produce simple graphics for a client.
A client is any individual, company, or organization that needs something written. For example, an individual may hire you to write her resume. A small business may hire you to write email campaigns. A corporation may hire you to write in-house newsletter content. An agency may contract you to provide website content for its real estate clients
Freelancers work for small businesses, non-profits, ministries, political organizations, website owners, magazines, publishers, large corporations, colleges, local governmental offices, ad agencies, marketing agencies, and individuals.
There are as many ways to get work as there are clients, but they can be grouped into two categories.
Once finished with a project, the freelancer sends the client an invoice. The client pays by check, PayPal, or other electronic interface.
The word “freelancer” comes from the Middle Ages. Mounted knights were called “lancers” in deference to the spears they used in attacks. Lancers who defended whichever king paid them, rather than just one king, were referred to as “freelancers.”
More Freelance Writing Tips
Content by award-winning content writer and author Kathy Widenhouse, who specializes in writing for nonprofits and faith-based organizations.
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