Freelance Writing on the Internet
by Mridu Khullar
So, youíve decided to take up a career in freelance writing. Youíve
hooked up the computer, installed the printer, and learnt the
nitty-gritty of your word processor. Youíve maybe even been
published a couple of times. Youíre all set to conquer the world of
publishing. But wait. Do you know all the options available to you?
Weíve compiled a list of all the jobs a freelance writer can find on
the Internet to keep the cash inflow steady:
Most of the freelance writing industry focuses on magazines, so
letís start there. Youíll find magazines on every topic imaginable.
From teen issues to running, youíll find at least one magazine to
fit your interests. But while magazine publishing is huge and
widespread, donít try to get published everywhere at once. Find a
few niche topics and start your way up from there. As your expertise
and interests grow, branch out to other magazines as well. Topics
most writers start out with include health and nutrition, computers,
parenting, teens, relationships, disability, travel, etc.
Fillers in Magazines and Newspapers
Not all writers make it to the cover pages of magazines. At least
not at first. In the beginning, you might just have to make do with
fillers. And they pay as much as theyíre fun to do. Jokes, opinion
pieces, short lists, news items and other short pieces are termed
fillers. Editors are always on the lookout for good fillers, so you
stand a good chance of breaking through.
With e-cards, paper greeting cards seem to have taken a backseat.
Nevertheless, the sale of paper cards is still ongoing and they are
still preferred when it comes to special occasions. Despite popular
myths, greeting card markets are not as easy to break into as they
seem, can take a long time to respond and an even longer time to get
your card into print. The upside is that greeting card markets pay
extremely well for short writing. Whatís more, though limited,
opportunities exist for e-card writers too. So when you need to take
a break from the regular work, dip your fingers into the greeting
Doormats, Magnets, Bumper Stickers, T-shirts, etc
If youíve wondered how those words made it to t-shirts, stickers,
doormats and magnets, think no more. Freelance writers are often
required to write the slogans for such material and are paid quite
well for it. If you have the ability to coin a catchy or humorous
one-liner, this could be your shot to riches. You wonít get a
byline, and certainly no fame, but you could be earning as much as
$50 per word!
Theyíre up in your room, youíve seen them in your friendís office,
and you often find a funny one at the fast-food place down the
street. Someone must have written them. Why not you? A lot of
companies sell posters and generate handsome sales from them. In
fact, writers of posters are usually paid in royalties, that is, a
percentage of each poster sold. So, instead of being paid one-time,
youíll be paid over and over again for something you wrote years
Practically every one needs a resume (yes, even us freelance
writers). Some people write them up themselves, some prefer to take
the help of professionals. Write up a resume for a friend or two at
work (even if she doesnít need one!) as samples and respond to
advertisements and calls for resume writers. Keep in mind though
that resume writing isnít your regular every day writing. Youíre not
supposed to decorate the page with flowery prose or funny anecdotes.
You need to be professional, crisp and attention-grabbing. Practice
with a few fake ones, and youíll soon be on your way.
Advertisers need writers, commonly known as copywriters. Theyíre the
flesh and blood of the campaign. Getting into advertising can be a
tricky business, but with a few credentials and a polished resume,
youíll have no trouble at all showcasing your talent to the world.
If you are indeed good at what you do, advertisers will line up to
get you to work for them. If you prefer not to work for someone, you
could set up your own copywriting business and promote it to get
With the Internet revolution finally having realized in its full
form, small and big companies alike are looking for writers to write
content for their websites. Not only do these companies pay well,
but they also give the writer a much-desired break. If youíve
written website copy, youíll have no trouble finding more
assignments of the same kind. Simply guide the prospective client to
the website and heíll know what kind of work he can expect from you.
Aim for start-up companies at first. Theyíll usually hand over the
whole work to you and you can make a great portfolio.
E-books are not here to replace print books. Theyíre here to provide
an alternative resource for distribution. However, as opposed to
print books, e-books are short, contain lots of web links and
usually provide answers to a customerís immediate needs. They can be
downloaded off the Internet in seconds, and you can profit from a
single e-book long after youíve written it. Donít get fooled
though-- writing e-books takes just as much time and dedication as
writing print ones. Itís only the mode of delivery thatís different.
Online newsletters, or e-zines as they are frequently called, are
becoming the rage of the publishing industry. Many of these e-zines
are paying markets and run regular features and columns. Many of
them have associated website,s too. While the pay in this market is
less, youíll be writing shorter articles in much less time.
Generally, when we think of newspapers, we think news. But
newspapers hold a lot more information than that. With regular
columns, reviews and updates, latest findings, and point-of-view
articles, newspapers are the writerís best bet. And if youíve gained
entry into one section of the newspaper, the other sections of
writing open up to you automatically. Though slow on the income,
getting published in your local daily is still a major ego-booster!
There are many households and small companies that publish
newsletters. And all the more are springing up each day. These
newsletters are a great way to break into freelancing and gather
clips. Their requirements are not as tough to meet as those of
magazines and most editors are quite quick in their response times.
To add to that, some newsletters also pay quite well, sometimes
almost as much as small magazines.
If itís the fame youíre after, you wonít get it here. But you can
earn a decent amount of money ghostwriting memoirs, books or even
articles for people who donít want to or canít write themselves.
Ghostwriters are quite in demand today with more and more people
trying to preserve their family history by getting memoirs or
biographies written. However, apart from the money, thereís nothing
else. You donít get the credit, the fame or sometimes, even the
The prospects for writers today are immense provided youíre ready to
experiment in different areas. The Internet has made it easier than
ever to find writing assignments not only in your own country, but
around the world. A simple e-mail is all it takes to apply for a job
and send in the assignment.
Itís easy for a freelance writer to get stuck doing the same old
thing over and over. Itís not only fun, but sometimes necessary to
introduce a little spice into your writing routine. If youíve been
writing articles all your life, try doing some greeting card writing
instead. If the money is slow, and you could really use some extra
money, apply for a resume writer job. If the book manuscripts are
lying unsold, try selling short stories for a change.
With a little variation now and then, youíll not only find your
income shooting up, but also your inspiration. So next time you find
yourself waiting for word on that manuscript, send out a few short
pieces instead. Itíll definitely be worth the effort.
About The Author
Mridu Khullar is the editor-in-chief of
, a free online magazine for writers. Sign up for the free weekly
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Also check out her e-book, "Knock Their Socks Off! A Freelance
Writer's Guide to Query Letters That Sell," available at
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