I want to talk about the different ways you can make money from freelance writing. This is an important topic to me because I see a lot of people limiting their income opportunities because they’re not creative!
And I don’t mean this as a slight at all. It just seems like we get stuck in a train of thought where freelance writing can only be one thing.
Like freelance journalism OR copywriting.
While you certainly can scrape out a living from one track of freelancing, most freelance writers I know have a variety of income streams. This can add a lot of variety to your work! Plus this approach can keep your business solvent when one income stream dries up.
Which happens. A lot. You were around in 2020, right?
But maybe you’re just getting into freelancing and you’re not sure where to even start. You know you want to write but…that’s it!
If that’s the case, you’ll definitely want to read this training on personal branding and then work on your positioning so you narrow down what you bring to the table and who you best serve with your skills and abilities.
I’ve also put together a worksheet to help you figure this out. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password for my resource library.
When you’re there, navigate to the freelancing section and download the “Freelancer Positioning Worksheet.”
Creative ways to make money from freelance writing
Below I’ve listed several of the ways I make money from freelance writing with a brief description. If I’ve written more on the topic I’ve linked to it in the heading.
There are many, many more creative ways to make a living from freelancing but I hope this initial list will help get the juices flowing! Income diversification. Yeah!
Freelance journalism is one of the more popular areas in freelance writing. Even moreso these days with so many newspapers shutting down or merging. However, there’s more to journalism than newspaper!
Reporting is the most common type of journalism, and this can be local news, current events, sports, arts, features, lifestyle and MUCH more. A reporter writes the story as an observer, without inserting themselves into the situation for the most part.
Editorial is another popular type of journalism. You see this type of writing in magazines or the opinion section of papers. These are person-driven, opinion pieces (also known as op-eds) but the writer still needs to be qualified to write the article and it should have mass appeal to get picked up.
While some purist journalists see copywriting as the “dark side” of freelance writing, I would argue a lot of good can be done in this space! And for the most part, copywriting pays more than journalism.
Copywriting is everywhere. You see it on websites, in marketing, for product descriptions, in advertising and much more. If you need the art of persuasion in a piece of writing…it’s probably copywriting.
Businesses often need copywriters, to bring their brand to life and give them a voice that resonates with customers. Freelancers can often find a nice balance of retainer (ongoing) and one-off clients from copywriting.
If you’ve heard of ghostwriting (and don’t worry if you haven’t), you probably think of it as authors writing books for someone else. And it’s accurate! This happens all the time. In many cases, a publishing house will hire a writer to write for a celebrity or other public figure to help them tell their story.
But there are more opportunities for ghostwriters!
There are many busy CEOs and thought leaders who want to add a blog, newsletter or social media presence to their content marketing strategy but have no time to make it happen. Ghostwriter to the rescue! You would write in their voice and help them enhance their profile.
While there are a zillion benefits to maintaining a personal blog for your business, you can also make a decent income from freelance blogging.
Likely, you’ve heard blogging is dead (or something to that effect). Great! Less competition! Blogging is most definitely not dead and is, in fact, thriving if you find the right niche.
If you’re not familiar with search engine optimization, then you may not want to dive into this until you get a bit of training. This is a specialized area in the writing world as it combines technical know-how with writing skills.
But I think you should get the training!
Businesses need to rank in search engines in order to find customers and they’re too busy doing what they do best to worry about figuring out the details involved with SEO. If you can handle that for them…you will find a nice income stream from SEO writing.
I also recommend taking stock of your skills and seeing what services you can offer clients, which are related to writing. For me, these types of services provide a brain break, to allow me to continue working but not burn out from doing one type of writing too much.
You can absolutely offer just social media writing for clients, but I like to add a bit more value by also handling management. This can include everything from sourcing images and creating graphics to scheduling posts and managing comments.
This is big in the blogging world but I don’t see traditional freelancers utilizing this income stream as much as I would like.
Essentially, you promote someone else’s product or service and receive a commission for every sale you refer. This can definitely become a bit slimy so it’s important to only promote things you actually recommend (and would even if you didn’t get paid).
If you aren’t familiar with this concept try and pay attention to social media influencers and watch them promote products. Sometimes they’re paid by a brand to advertise a product on their channel and sometimes they’re affiliates for the brand, which is more of a partnership.
Content marketing strategy
Content marketing is everywhere, because every marketing initiative generally requires content! So why not step up your game a bit by offering strategy services to clients? A strong strategy is the framework that holds marketing together. It takes the random buckshot approach and focuses the shot so it’s smart and effective.
If you want to make money from freelance writing, this is a valuable and important service you should consider offering!
Other articles you may enjoy
- Tips on Pitching for Freelance Writers
- How to Find Great Freelance Writing Jobs
- Want to Work from Home? Consider Freelance Writing!
One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.
This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.