How To Get Started In Freelance Writing
Write what you love!
I began freelance writing by writing book reviews for payment in free books. These have been very good through exceptional works of non-fiction, mystery, science fiction, poetry, essay collections and classics. I have also reviewed business handbooks, Christian literature, global literature; graphic novels, academic text books and computer manuals. It has been fun and provided me with free books for entertainment and practicall uses, as well as good writing practice.
Through these first reviews, my writing has been noticed by publishers and others seeking writers. I have gathered a growing number of writing jobs, including research papers, medical articles, literature analyses and many more projects of different varieties.
It all started with a few well-written book reviews from a fresh perspective that used solid writing techniques with good grammar and the creative use of powerful phrasing.
So practice writing every day - a journal entry, a poem on an envelope, lists of things to think about. Just write. Additionally, read all kinds of writing. The more you read, the more you'll find you have to say.
Specializing Your Freelance Work
Some writers specialize in just one type of writing, but other writers continue to do a variety of works.
In the beginning, it is wise to write about what you enjoy. Perhaps you can simply decide between the two categories of fiction and nonfiction at this point. As you accept and complete increasing numbers of jobs, you will find what type of writing is the most successful for you and which are the most enjoyable.With this knowledge, you can begin to specialize in one or a few types of assignments.
Writers can also decide whether to write for themselves, by publishing books or booklets and related materials, or to work for clients, accepting a variety of assignments. Some writers continue to do both throughout their careers.
Here are some of the types of work available to freelance writers:
- Ad Copy
- Articles - Be prepared to see and to turn down work that pays only $1.00 per 1,000 words or even less. Accepting this work brings the price down for all writing online, as it has already done since 2005.
- Book Reviews
- Business Plans
- Character Dialogue
- Character Descriptions
- eBay and Amazon Listings
- Grant Proposals
- Ghost Writing - Autobiographies, especially.
- Greeting Card Copy
- Job Descriptions
- Marketing Materials
- Plays and Screen Plays
- Press Releases
- Research Documents
- Resumes and Portfolios
- Statistical Analysis and Charts
- Training Manuals
- Web Content
- White Papers
Getting Started In Freelance Writing
Hundreds of "freelance writing" sites appear across the Internet, but many of them are scams, because:
- They gain your personal information, but offer no work, then use your information for ID Theft,
- Never pay you for your work at all, but sell it to multiple customers,
- Charge a fee and/or require you to go through their expensive online writing course (These particularly nefarious sites make income through fees and writing tuition, but never offer any writing assignments), or
- Require you to sign a contract in which you agree that if a customer is not satisifed with your work on th efirst draft, then you will pay a) a fine and b) the listed customer's price of the assignment to the company yourself. This scam is usually run by two or more partners that list themselves under dozens of URLs. A particularly large scam is run out of Ontario, Canada.
A few sites that have used unethical practices include:
- Express Services
Avoid writing scams at all cost. Here are a few good sites to use to look for freelance jobs of all kinds.
- inkygirl.com - A well written blog that contains many guidelines and resources.