In the last couple of years, millions of Americans have quit their 9 to 5 jobs to join the freelancing industry. According to Statista, by 2020, the number of freelancers in the US was 59 million, up from 53 million in 2014. Many Americans are joining the freelance sector because of its benefits, such as the freedom to work from wherever you want and at a time you find appropriate.
If you want to become a successful freelance writer but are not sure of the kind of freelance writing jobs you can take on, this article is for you. We will share with you the top 10 freelance writer jobs you can start doing today to earn money online. But first, let’s discuss a few things you need to know before becoming a successful freelance writer.
How to Become a Freelance Writer with No Experience
Writing is a skill that anyone can learn even if they didn’t receive formal training in writing-related subjects. You just need to be committed and willing to put in the time. Of course, it is an added advantage if you love writing. To help you find online writing jobs, below are the steps you can take to build your writing skills from scratch.
Step 1: Take a short writing course
There are plenty of beginner writing courses on the internet that you can take to kick-start your freelance writing career and improve your writing skills quickly. Some of these beginner courses are available for free on YouTube. However, platforms like Skillshare, Coursera, or Udemy are better alternatives if you need more in-depth courses for your freelance writing career.
You can get most of these in-depth writing courses on Udemy for less than $20. You may also use your 30-day Skillshare trial to get free access to several writing classes. When choosing a course, it is always best to choose one conducted by someone with a proven track record in freelance writing. They should probably own a successful blog as the bare minimum.
Step 2: Start publishing articles online
As you take your course, make sure you practice your article writing. You can publish the articles on platforms like LinkedIn or Medium. Of course, you need to start by choosing a niche and then come up with several topics you can write about. It is important to choose a freelance writing niche that you find interesting if you want the article writing process to be easier.
At this level, you shouldn’t be worried much about the engagement you get on these platforms. The goal should be to publish articles and then improve them over time. You can set a goal of publishing at least two to three articles every week. Start with shorter articles of about 500 to 1000 words.
Step 3: Consider creating a blog
Most clients will always want to look at your previous writing samples to evaluate your skills as a freelance writer before giving you their freelance jobs. Your own blog will make it much easier for them to check out your previous writing samples and evaluate if your niche and writing style suits their needs.
If you can’t create your own blog, at least have writing samples ready to send to potential clients who want to check your previous work. Later, when you become an experienced writer, consider creating your blog to get more visibility and in turn more freelance writing job opportunities.
Step 4: Sign up on a freelance website
After practicing (for at least one to three months), it is time to start hunting for clients and freelance writing jobs. There are plenty of freelance job sites with thousands of freelance writing jobs that you can do even if you don’t have much experience in freelance writing. Such websites include Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, etc.
Make sure you create a professional profile to convince your potential clients that you are the right person for their freelance writing needs. Keep in mind, you likely won't have reviews to back up your profile in the freelance marketplace since you are new on the platform; that’s why having a blog or sample articles is necessary at this point in your freelancing career.
Add sample articles to your freelance writing portfolio or a link to your blog if the freelance platform you choose allows you the option. It is also important to charge lower prices than the competition. You need to get the first ten to twenty freelance writing jobs as fast as you can in order to earn reviews.
Good reviews are paramount for success in any freelance marketplace. Perform in-depth research about the topics requested you write about and avoid plagiarism or duplicating content from other websites. You may also use writing assistants like Grammarly to fix grammar errors and check for plagiarism.
Finding freelance writing jobs becomes easier if you have good reviews and a wide range of skills. It is important to keep an eye on the freelance writing job board and the job listings on the platform. Many clients post freelance writing jobs looking for freelance writers. Regularly following the job postings is the best way to land writing gigs for new writers.
Step 5: Read as much as you can
Reading should be part of your daily routine if you want to be a good writer. You can always read articles on some of the top-rated blogs or news websites in your niche. For example, if you are into technology, articles on websites like TheVerge, Mashable, TechCrunch, and Wired should be on your daily reading list.
Besides reading articles on blogs and news websites, you should also read books that you find interesting. As you read books or articles, try to learn a thing or two that you can implement in your freelance writing. Learn how different successful freelance writers introduce topics for their articles and how they capture the reader's attention in the first few paragraphs of the article.
How Much do Freelance Writers Make?
According to ZipRecruiter, many freelance writers earn around $66,935 /year. But of course, your earnings will largely depend on several factors, including your experience, the platforms you choose to offer your services from, your writing speed, etc.
If you want to earn more as a beginner freelance writer, ensure to do your best every time you are given a freelance writing project to work on.
As a new freelance writer, your goal should be to build a solid reputation. Retaining your clients is one of the easiest ways to ensure a stable income as a freelance writer. Freelance writing jobs pay more as your level of experience grows. You can expect to start with low prices but grow them over time as your experience and overall reputation improve.
Now that you know what you need to do to become a freelance writer, let’s review our list of the top 10 types of freelance writing jobs.
Top 10 Freelance Writing Jobs
There are millions of job seekers in the USA and the rest of the world. Most of these people are in need of professionally written resumes or CVs by a freelance resume writer that they can use to apply for their dream jobs.
Writing Resumes is one of the easiest writing jobs for beginners. The starting point to becoming a good resume writer is researching different types of resumes and how they are written.
Most of your clients will need three common types of resumes. These include chronological, functional, and combination resumes. Let's explain these in more detail.
This is a type of resume that focuses mainly on the working history of an individual. All relevant jobs one has had should be listed in chronological order, with the most recent one at the top of the list.
The next section after the professional experience is the educational background, followed by additional skills. Of course, freelance writers will have to start with a resume summary and the header.
This type of resume is the most common and is considered the standard for most industries. Chronological resumes are usually preferred by individuals with no major gaps between their previous jobs, consistent progression throughout their careers, and a long record of accomplishments and skills in the industry to which they are applying. If your client doesn’t specify the type of resume they need, write them a chronological one.
There are several templates that you can use for writing a chronological resume. These templates usually come with the format of the resume already created for you; you simply have to fill in the information that the client provides and a few more details in the sections that require your creativity.
This is the type of resume that focuses more on the relevant professional skills and not the chronological order of ones working history. For instance, if someone is applying for a software engineering job, their professional experience should start with previous jobs in the software engineering or computer science industry.
With functional resumes, all the relevant skills have to be categorized. For each skill, one has to add bullet points of their accomplishments to prove that they possess the skill. These accomplishments are usually written in terms of figures. For example, if one adds a skill like coding, they have to specify the number of projects they have been part of, either as an individual or team.
Functional resumes are usually preferred in industries where an individual's technical skill is vital. Most hands-on jobs, such as doctors, engineers, or technicians, require functional resumes. These resumes save time for a recruiter since most of them simply focus on the relevant skills section only.
This type of resume combines the most useful elements of functional and chronological resume formats. It focuses on the relevant skills of an individual, just like the functional resume, but also allows room for adding professional experience that is usually written in chronological order.
This kind of resume is usually preferred for jobs that don’t look at one’s technical skills but rather the overall individual as a professional. Managerial jobs are a typical example of jobs that don’t rely mainly on one's technical skills but rather their professionalism and experience in the industry.
As a freelance writer, you won’t get a lot of freelance writing jobs that need these kinds of CVs. However, if they show up, there are plenty of combination resume templates that you can use to get the job done without having to start from scratch.
Besides the three resume types, there are several other types that your potential clients could ask you to write. Some of these may include nontraditional resumes, federal resumes, mini resumes, targeted resumes, and many more.
Tips for Writing a Good Resume
Make sure it’s relevant to the job being applied for: All the information you add to your client’s resume needs to be relevant to the job they are targeting. So, before you start your freelance writing, do some research to learn more about the job role and industry.
Limit it to two pages: Your target should always be two pages maximum unless your client requests more than that. Keep the resume concise and clear; avoid including any information that doesn’t add value to the resume.
Make sure the accomplishments are quantified: This mainly applies to functional resumes where each skill needs to be backed up with an accomplishment. Ensure every accomplishment has numbers to back it up. You will have to request the client provide this information to you.
Proofread the resume multiple times: Any minor grammar errors in the resume could cost your client a job. Take your time to read through the resume several times before sending it to them. Consider using AI writing assistant tools such as Grammarly to help detect and fix any grammatical issues present in the resume.
Article/Blog Post Writing
Most of the awesome freelance writing jobs you will find on freelance websites are article writing for websites and blogs. There are millions of websites on the internet that need writers for blog posts and articles.
Most of these websites prefer using freelance writers instead of hiring a full-time writer. Typically, only large companies can afford to have full-time in-house writers.
Writing a blog post is not difficult if the topic is within your area of expertise. It is always recommended to stick to writing articles in a specific niche that you understand. But even when the article is about a topic you are well conversant with, you should always get your facts right before putting them on paper.
Start by doing a Google search and read through a couple of articles related to the topic you intend to write about. Clients that need articles usually hire freelance writers to do in-depth research about the subject. Before writing, take time to research the topic thoroughly.
Types of Articles/Blog Posts
Some clients may specify the kind of article they need in their order description. However, most clients will only provide the title of the article they need, and it is up to the freelance writer to figure out the category where that particular article falls.
In this section, we shall help you understand the common types of blog post writing jobs and how freelance writers should approach each of them.
These are sometimes referred to as “listicles.” These are blog articles that are written in a list-based format. Some examples of titles for list articles include; “top 10 smartphones in 2022,” “5 tips for reducing weight in 2 months,” etc. With these blogging jobs, you will be required to number your points and also provide an explanation for each.
Most readers love listicles because they are easy to skim through if you don’t have time to read the entire article. You will get several freelance writing jobs that need listicles because they are among the most popular content types that blogs use. Always remember to start your listicles with an introduction and end them with a conclusion.
These are the type of articles that are usually written to help the reader understand the steps to accomplishing a specific task. For example, if someone wants to learn how to cook rice, they will go to a search engine and type in something like “how to cook rice.” The articles ranked for this kind of search query are usually how-to articles.
While writing, do your research to ensure the article includes all the necessary steps to do the activity your client has specified in their title. For each step, provide a proper explanation to make it easy for the readers to understand what to do and the tools they need to do it. Of course, these articles need an introduction and conclusion unless the client specifies otherwise. These are the best online writing jobs for a new freelance writer to start their career.
These are some of the easiest writing jobs to do since they do not need much research. Most of the time, your client will present you with an interview in video or audio format. Your job is to listen to the interview and turn it into an article.
The best format for doing such freelance writing gigs is to start with the questions asked by the interviewer and then follow each of them with the answer provided by the interviewee. You should also put the interviewer’s and interviewee's names followed by colons besides the questions and answers, respectively.
This will make it easy for the readers to perceive the article as a real conversation. Interview articles may need an introduction, but most of the time don’t need a conclusion. You can invest in transcription software like Speechelo to help you with these types of articles but don't solely rely on the transcription to complete the work. You need to ensure the transcribed version is clean, formatted, and has no errors.
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These are usually brief articles (usually between) 500 to 1000 words talking about a trending event that has just happened. For instance, if Samsung announces their latest lineup of Galaxy S smartphones, tech blogs will always report on the highlights of the announcement.
Clients who need such articles usually have short timelines, so you may have just a couple of hours to complete these freelance writing gigs. These writing jobs don’t usually need much research like journalism jobs, which makes them high-paying freelance writing opportunities for experienced writers.
It's critical with these articles that you get your facts right because most readers typically have an idea about the event you are writing about. News articles usually don’t need an introduction and conclusion. You will just go right into the story.
These freelance writing jobs require writers to provide in-depth insights into a product or service. Writing a good review article will require you to understand the product you are writing about, including how it is used, its advantages, and its limitations.
The goal of review articles is to give readers the information they need to determine whether they should buy or use the product/service or not. These are good writing jobs for beginners to start their writing careers with. It is very easy to get these freelance writing gigs completed in a short time and gain experience.
As a freelance writer, it is important to avoid bias while writing a review article about a product you like or hate; try to be neutral as much as possible. You may share your personal opinion about the product, but make sure you make it clear to the readers that it’s your opinion and not factual advice.
Tips for writing good blog posts
Understand the client’s needs: Before freelance writing, make sure you clearly understand what the client needs, including the title of the article, the target audience, and the tone of voice to be used. If possible, request the client share any sample articles that use the kind of language and tone they want you to use.
Read frequently: If you want to improve your blog writing skills and consistently find freelance writing jobs, reading other people’s articles should be part of your daily routine.
Have your headings and subheadings ready before writing: Headings and subheadings give the article structure and help streamline your research. When your heading and subheading are already written, you fill in the relevant information required to attach meaning to your headings.
Add images: They say a picture is worth 1000 words, which is valid for blog posts. Adding images to your articles will attach more meaning to them, making it easier for your client’s readers to understand the article as a whole. Some freelance platforms will give you the option to charge extra for adding photos to the articles.
Don’t forget SEO: Be sure to consider SEO in all the articles you write. Don’t forget to include relevant keywords in the subheadings and first paragraphs of the article. Ask the client what keywords they want to be emphasized if you are not provided with this info from the beginning.
Readability matters: You need to write an article that the target audience finds easy to understand. Avoid using complicated words that your client’s target audience can’t comprehend. In addition to your language, make sure the different paragraphs of the article are well-spaced; each paragraph should have a maximum of 5 lines.
An eBook is a book published in digital form and consumed using a digital device such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer. An eBook can be written any length, depending on the topic you are writing about and the depth of your explanations. Most eBooks usually have less than 10,000 words. However, getting freelance writing jobs that need more than that is still possible.
Most people that are new to writing may find it a little scary to write an eBook. However, writing one is not that hard if you understand the subject and follow a process. You can look at an eBook as a more detailed blog post with many words. The language used in eBooks is usually similar to that used in blog posts.
Steps for Writing an eBook
Step 1: Choose a title
Most of the time, your client will give you the topic to write about as part of your freelance writing job. However, some might just give you a topic to write about and leave the job of figuring out the title to you.
In these instances, you will need to choose a catchy title that will entice people to want to read the eBook. You can always browse eBook platforms like Kindle to find out the kinds of titles other freelance writers in your niche use.
Step 2: Create your chapter outline
An eBook must be divided into chapters, each focusing on a specific section of the topic you are writing about. Before you get into the body of the book, you need to figure out the different chapters that your eBook will have.
You don’t have to be rigid on the number of chapters the eBook should have. The goal is to have enough chapters required to fully explain the topic at hand. Think of chapters as subheadings of a blog post. For most eBooks, these chapters usually have a chronological order. Having your chapters listed ahead of time will make it easier for you to do your research.
Step 3: Focus on one chapter at a time
While writing an eBook, avoid the temptation of thinking about the total number of words you have to write. Instead, focus on only one chapter at a time. You will notice that most of your chapters will have about 2000 to 3000 words. Thinking about the eBook as a whole could overwhelmed you, which may affect your productivity.
You may also consider adding images to give more meaning to the content in each chapter. The client can provide these, or you can get them from Creative Commons license photo websites such as Pexels, Pixabay, or Unsplash. Remember to credit the photographers for each photo you use in the article.
Step 4: Write the introduction/summary and conclusion at the end
It is always best to write the summary/introduction of your eBook after writing the entirety of the eBook. The role of the introduction is to give the readers of the book an idea of what it is about. It is easier to draft an introduction when the rest of the chapters are written. Of course, the conclusion should come last to wrap up everything you have covered. The conclusion could also include a call to action if your client needs one.
Step 5: Proofread the eBook
After putting the content together, proofread it to ensure all grammatical errors are fixed. Again, tools like Grammarly will make it much easier to proofread the eBook and detect errors. While proofreading, you should also focus on making your sentences more readable and well structured.
You should also make sure there is a smooth transition between the chapters of your creation. Readers will find it much easier to follow if the connection between one chapter to another is smooth.
After writing the eBook, you can send it to your client for review. Sometimes your client may request revisions to be made across chapters or across the entire eBook. To avoid such situations, it is always best to submit each chapter to the client as soon as you finish it. It is much easier and less overwhelming to deal with revisions at a chapter level than the entire book.
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Social Media Post Writing
Companies rely on social media to stay in touch with their audience and market their products. With over 4.6 billion people worldwide on social media platforms, a business that doesn’t take advantage of social networking websites risks missing out on the opportunity to reach millions of potential customers.
The increase in social media usage has created many job opportunities for new freelance writers and social media managers. Platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork have many copywriting jobs related to creating posts and social media management. Unlike blog posts and eBooks, social media posts are usually much shorter and easier to write.
The goal is to understand your client’s needs and target audience and create a post that communicates with that specific audience.
How to Write High-Performing Social Media Posts
Understand the audience
When having the first conversations with your client, take time to ask them questions about their target audience. This will make it easier for you to understand their needs and create content that addresses them. Knowing your client’s audience will also help you figure out the voice and tone of the posts.
For example, if your client sells marketing automation software, their target audiences will likely be digital marketers and small business owners. When creating posts for these audiences, using some of the commonly used marketing jargon might be okay. But it wouldn’t be appropriate to use the same terminology if the audience includes everyday users who don’t know anything about marketing automation.
Know the rules of the different social media platforms
Content that works on one social media platform may not necessarily work on another. For instance, the voice and tone you use while creating a caption for an Instagram post should differ from LinkedIn. These two platforms have different rules, and the content people expect from each is different.
Some social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, may require you to include hashtags to increase the visibility of your client’s posts. Using the same strategy may not deliver the same results as Facebook since it treats hashtags differently.
Research the facts
Most of the time, the audience you are creating the content for will have some understanding of the topics you are writing about. To avoid negative feedback on your posts, take time to research the facts and ensure they are spot on before including them in your writing.
Suppose you are writing a LinkedIn post about a new iPhone that Apple has just released; it is important to ensure that the specs you quote are correct because most people who read that post already have assumptions about those iPhone specs.
Use relevant hashtags
Almost every social platform supports hashtags. Hashtags make it easier for social media users to quickly find posts about a specific trending topic or person. Most of your freelance writing jobs may require the inclusion of hashtags in the articles to reach more people. Some of these clients might give you a list of hashtags you should add to the posts.
But if the client doesn’t provide these hashtags, do your research to find the relevant hashtags that you can easily integrate into their posts; make sure you use them naturally. Don’t throw in a hashtag just for the sake of having one.
Add a call to action
A good social media post must tell the audience what to do after reading it. Adding a call to action leads to more engagement and conversions if the posts you are creating are geared toward selling a product or service. Without a call to action, most people won’t take any action after reading the post, even if they enjoyed it and got value from it.
Even if your client doesn’t request you to add a call to action, you should add one. Remember, your goal is to ensure your client’s social media grows. You will be able to charge your clients more when they see the results of your work.
Harness the power of emojis
Emojis will obviously add some element of humor to your posts, which could lead to more engagement, including likes and comments. Studies show that adding emojis to a Facebook post can lead to 57% more likes and 33% more comments and shares. With over 2,666 emojis in the Unicode Standard, it should be pretty easy to find a couple of them that you can add to the posts.
However, it is essential to use these emojis in a way that makes sense to the audience. That’s why you need to know the meaning of each emoji before you add it to the post.
Know how to use social media marketing tools
Some freelance writing jobs may require you to post the content directly on their pages. Posting and scheduling multiple posts on different social media sites is effective when using social media management tools like SocialPilot or Zoho Social. If you are into creating content for social media, understanding how these tools work is a bonus.
You don’t need to know how to use every social media management tool because there are many. Usually, they all serve the same purpose, so knowing how one of them works is good enough to get the freelance writing job done.
Have a good understanding of how the platforms work
You will often get into scenarios where the client doesn’t know what exactly needs to be done to grow their social media. In such scenarios, you should guide them using your experience to help them make better decisions. For example, if your client wants to publish long-form posts, you can recommend the best social media sites for content.
Acquiring this knowledge requires researching these platforms to discover what experts suggest for different scenarios. You should always know the updates that these platforms receive and how they may impact the performance of your client's posts.
Know how ad campaigns work
Some of your freelance writing jobs may need you to create a copy for your client's next ad campaign. As a freelance writer, it is important to know that the way you create an ad campaign is not the same as for organic posts. The messaging in an ad campaign is usually precise and directed toward making a sale.
Some of your freelance writing jobs may require you to run ad campaigns for the client. You will need to determine the demographics of their target audience. You will also need to be familiar with the ad management tools of the different social media platforms.
Guest posting refers to the act of writing and publishing an article on someone else's website or blog. You will often see freelance writing jobs that include writing articles for clients that they can post on another website. In some situations, clients may request you publish these articles on their behalf as part of the freelance writing jobs. There are a couple of things that make guest posts a little different from regular blog posts.
The content of the guest post may be similar to that of an ordinary post, but the way it is delivered is a little different. With a guest post, the objective is to redirect some of the users on the website where the post is published to your website. Achieving this objective requires you to know the core guiding principles of guest posting.
Tips for Effective Guest Posting
Content should add value to the audience
It is natural for readers to check out your website if they find value in the content you publish. As you create guest posts for clients, take time to research and ensure your content adds some value to the readers. When someone finds an article helpful, they naturally want to read more from the same writer.
This will force them to click the link to your client’s website to discover more content that is related to the article they have just read.
Let the links blend in naturally
One of the ways you will get people to click the links to your client’s website is when they blend in naturally with the content. Don’t simply add links for the sake of driving traffic. The links you add should offer the reader more information about one of the concepts included in the article.
Adding about 2 to 4 links in 1,000 words is ideal. However, adding links to the same website in almost every paragraph of your article could be a turn-off to some of your readers. So, plan out your article linking strategy before you start.
Follow the rules of the host website
Every website has guest posting rules freelance writers must follow for their articles to be accepted. These rules may include the minimum and maximum number of words for each article, the maximum number of external links per 1000 words, the language used in the articles, etc. Freelance writers that don’t follow these rules may have their article declined by the website admins.
When your clients tell you to write them a guest post, always take time to read the rules of the host website before writing the article.
Know the audience of the host website
Remember that the article is being written for the audience of the guest website. So, the language and tone used in the article have to communicate to this particular audience. Your client will provide these details most of the time. You should also consider reading articles on the host website to figure out the language and the tone they use. Some will provide a style and writer's guide, which is helpful.
Check to see if the topic is covered already
You may have to check on behalf of your client to find out if the topic of the article you are going to write about was already covered. This will save your client the disappointment of having their article rejected just because they chose a topic already covered on the host website.
Most of these host websites have thousands of articles, so browsing the site to check if the topic was covered may not be helpful. The best way to go about this is by using Google to do the search. Your search query should include the article title followed by the website domain name of the host website.
This is an advanced Google query and can be accomplished by running a command like this in Google's search bar:
site:https//webtoolsadvisor.com/ “marketing automation software”
Google's response will be an index of all the articles it has for the website in order of relevance. If you see articles that match your proposed topic, they likely will not get accepted and you'll need to rethink your proposition.
Follow the basic SEO principles
Host websites also want guest posts that will generate organic traffic from search engines. That is why it is essential to follow all the SEO best practices, including using relevant keywords, appropriate backlinking, and ensuring the articles are easily readable. You may have to use tools like Yoast SEO to implement some of these SEO best practices into your writing.
Add a professional bio at the end
Most host websites allow guest authors to add their bio beneath the article. If allowed, after writing the article, add your client’s bio. The bio should have at least one link to your client’s website to make it easy for the readers to find more of your client’s content if they like the article. The bio should also be precise and professional.
Add images to the articles
Always include all the necessary images in the article to make it easier for the readers to follow. Some of the concepts you will add to the articles will only make sense to the readers if there is an image they can refer to. There are plenty of websites that offer license-free images that you can use for your articles.
Remember not to add too many images to the article as this may make the webpage load poorly, thus impacting SEO performance and the reader's experience. Experts recommend using 1 to 2 photos for 300-600 words, 3 to 4 for 1000 words, 4 to 5 for 2000 words, and 7 to 8 for 2500+ words.
Proofread and Edit Content
As a freelance writer, you may receive editing and proofreading projects. These are usually much simpler than writing articles from scratch. You won’t have to do any research since the article is already written. Some freelance writing jobs may require you to rewrite some of the sentences and paragraphs that were not well-written by the original freelance writer.
The main goal of proofreading an article is to spot and fix grammatical errors and improve the article's readability where possible. Spotting these errors will sometimes require reading the document more than once. You can focus on fixing the grammar in the first phase of reading and readability in another phase.
Tips for Handling Proofreading Projects
Use reading assistant software
There are several reading assistants that you can use to easily detect common grammatical errors in your client’s documents. Grammarly is one of the most effective tools for detecting such errors. You will, however, have to pay a $139/year subscription, which is a worthy investment considering the time it will save you.
But even when using a reading assistant, you still have to manually reread the sentences to make sure the suggestions you accept make sense. AI is advanced, but it still can’t match human judgment. You will realize that some of the suggested corrections these tools make are not appropriate. In such cases, you simply have to maintain the current state of your sentence.
Concentration is key
Effective proofreading is only possible if you focus on that one task. Put away any device or item that could potentially distract you from the full focus on the article you are proofreading. Some errors require laser-sharp focus to detect. Don’t multitask while proofreading, it will make you less effective and inefficient.
Pay attention to Homonyms
For those hearing about this term for the first time, homonyms are words that share the same pronunciation but have different meanings. For example, a freelance writer may use a word like ‘right' instead of ‘write.' These are common writing mistakes you will find in articles.
The easiest way to detect such errors is to read each sentence and ensure it makes sense before moving on to the next. Even writing assistants such as Grammarly may at times fail to detect these errors.
Carefully check the punctuation
Wrong punctuation can change the meaning of a well-written sentence. That is why you need to take time and evaluate each sentence to ensure commas, question marks, colons, semi-colons, and all punctuation was used appropriately by the freelance writer. Advanced writing assistants like Grammarly can detect over 80% of punctuation errors, so make good use of them.
Check the numbers and other facts
The other common mistake that freelance writers make is eliminating a digit in a given number, which can change the sentence's meaning. It is common for freelance writers to miss a zero on numbers like 10,000; some readers could be misled by this simple mistake. Detecting these kinds of errors requires you to understand the sentence first.
Unfortunately, writing assistants have not advanced to the level of detecting errors in numbers. This requires the freelance writer to reread the sentence several times to determine if the figures used make sense. For instance, if you come across a statement like “the latest Tesla Model S costs $12,000,” it should be pretty easy to spot that error if you know the EVs' prevailing price.
However, some number-related errors are not easy to spot. It will be difficult for a reader to spot a pricing error in a particular car if they are not well-versed in car prices. It is always best to do a simple Google search if you don’t seem to understand one of the numbers used in the article.
Take breaks between phases
If you are proofreading long documents, it is always best to group your work into phases and assign each phase a specific amount of time. You should then take breaks between each phase to regain some focus before you proceed to the next. The length of the breaks may vary depending on how long it takes the freelance writer to refresh. However, 10 to 15 minutes would be ideal for most people.
Pay attention to contractions and apostrophes
A contraction is a way to combine two words to make them shorter. Some of the common contractions include can't (can + not), don't (do + not), I've (I + have), etc. Most people usually mix these contractions in with single-word phrases with almost identical pronunciations.
Common examples of these kinds of errors include using “their” instead of “they’re,” “its” instead of “it’s,” “your” instead of “you’re,” and more. Advanced writing assistant tools should be able to detect most of these errors. However, there will always be a few that have to be found manually.
Read the article more than once
You will need to read through the sentences more than once to spot some errors. You could decide to reread the entire article more than once or reread each paragraph more than once before proceeding to the next. The choice between these two approaches largely depends on which you find more effective and comfortable as a freelance writer.
However, for most people, it is much easier to reread a paragraph a couple of times before proceeding to the next. Rereading the whole document may be overwhelming and less motivating than rereading a single paragraph.
Transcribe interviews, speeches, or meetings
Transcription is the process of turning speech into text. There are plenty of clients on freelance platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork that need transcription services. Most of these projects include podcasts or YouTube videos that you will be tasked to turn into blogs.
These kinds of projects are also pretty simple to do because they don’t require research. You simply have to listen carefully and put the words of the speaker into writing. The only time transcribing can be a challenge is when you are working on a project that involves a speaker with a relatively hard accent to follow.
Use high-quality active noise-cancellation headphones
You will need to be totally attentive to ensure you don’t miss a single word while working on your transcribing project. Using noise-cancellation headphones will make it much easier for you to listen to every word since they filter out all external sounds. Using headphones makes even more sense if you work in a relatively noisy environment.
There are plenty of noise-cancellation headphones on the market today. If you have the budget, go for the premium models such as Apple’s AirPods Max, Sony WH-1000XM5, or the Bose 700 Series. These models will cost you around $400 to $550. However, there are several cheaper models (below $200) from brands like Anker, JBL, and many more.
Use audio players with variable speeds
You will often get transcription projects where the speed of the speakers makes it hard to listen to every word. In such scenarios, slowing down the speed will make capturing every word being spoken easier. You may also encounter scenarios where the speaker is too slow, and speeding up the audio is the only effective way to listen to their words.
There are several apps that you can use to slow down or increase the playing speed of an audio file. VLC is one of the most reliable options for all desktop operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. It is free and can be used to play both audio and video at variable speeds.
Use AI-powered transcription software
There are plenty of AI-powered tools that can convert an audio file to plain text. Some of the most reliable options you may consider include Speechelo, Otter, Trint, Rev, Sonix, and Audext. These tools are not 100% perfect but will help you save a lot of time if well utilized. You could start by transcribing the entire audio file using any of the above tools.
You should then listen to the audio file as you fix any errors and the words the software may not have accurately captured. The accuracy of most transcription tools usually depends on the accent and the speed of the speakers.
Use a writing assistant tool
A writing assistant will help you quickly detect some of the common errors, including missed punctuation marks and misspelled words. Some advanced ones like Grammarly can even help you fix sentences to make them easier to read. It is important to note that even when the speaker makes an error in their speech, it is part of your freelance writing job to fix it while transcribing.
Practice touch typing
Touch typing refers to typing without looking at the keys. This method of typing will enable you complete transcription projects faster. The goal is to reach a point where you can almost type at the same speed as the person speaking. You will notice a significant improvement in your productivity when you adopt touch typing.
You will notice that after some hours of constant work, your accuracy and speed will start to diminish. This will usually happen when your brain is starting to get tired. That is why taking 10 to 15 mins breaks every 45 mins or an hour of constant work is important. These breaks will refresh your mind, boosting productivity when you resume working.
You can always regulate your breaks based on your brain's ability to stay focused for a certain period. Some people may need to get breaks more frequently than others.
Put away distractions
Transcribing requires maximum focus to avoid missing words in the audio file. Before you get started on any transcription project, make sure you remove any devices or items that could distract you.
Web Page Content
Blogs and articles are usually written in a conversational and sometimes opinion-based format, with long sentences grouped to form a paragraph. On the other hand, content writing for websites usually involves short and precise sentences that may not necessarily flow like a conversation.
Tips for Creating Website Content
Go straight to the point
Don’t forget SEO
Search engines, including Google and Bing, will index and rank all web pages of a website. So, remember to add keywords to all the content you add to your client’s web pages to increase their rank in search engine results. You need to know the search queries most people could use to find the page where you are creating content.
Add the necessary images
Most website content includes images that are aimed at adding more meaning. For example, if your client requests you to add the names of their team on the about us page, it would be best to include a headshot of each team member. In such a scenario, your client has to provide the images. In some instances, you may have to procure images from license-free image platforms such as Pexels or Pixabay.
Understand the values and vision of the company
The focus of web page content is usually the company or the products/services they offer. Writing this kind of content requires you to understand the company's values and vision to guide you in deciding what language to use and how exactly to communicate with their target audience.
If you check out web pages for big companies like Tesla or Apple, you will notice that their web page content aligns well with their values and vision. Before you start writing content, it is essential to ask your client to provide all the necessary information about their company.
Product Description Writing
In this era of eCommerce, many businesses have an online store on their website, or at least they sell on other mainstream marketplaces like eBay or Amazon. Most small business owners don’t have enough time or the necessary skills to write well-optimized product descriptions.
If you are a content creator, this is one of the niches that you should give focus on because there is plenty of demand. Product descriptions are usually considerably shorter than articles, so you will write them in less time if provided with the necessary information. If the client sells unique products, they will need to provide you with all the details you need to create its description.
Tips for Creating a Well-Optimized Product Description
Think about the audience
You need to consider the people the product is targeting to ensure the language used in the description is not confusing to them. For example, if you are selling a gaming PC, the language you use to describe it should be tailored to gamers and not professionals or everyday users.
Make sure you get all the facts correct
A product description is a piece of critical information a potential customer uses to make a buying decision. There is no room for mistakes when writing a description. Description details are vital and could lead to bad reviews if a buyer later finds out that the description was misleading.
As an example, if you are buying a shirt, the color or material indicated in the description helps you decide if it is the shirt for you. Take time to double-check the details; as they matter.
Use benefits to entice the ideal buyer
The goal of the product description is to provide potential buyers with all the information they need about a product. It is essential to present this information in a way that entices them to make the purchase. Start with the most significant features of the product and end with the less significant.
If one of the strong points of the product you are selling is battery life, ensure its battery capabilities are up on the list of features. Always be honest about a product's features but present them in an enticing manner.
Make them SEO friendly
One of the places your target customers may look for products is Google and other search engines like Bing. If your description is SEO friendly, your client’s product stands a chance of being in a prominent location on the search results. When writing descriptions, it is important to use relevant keywords to boost your client’s product visibility in search engines.
Besides mainstream search engines, you may have to optimize your product for Amazon’s or eBay’s search engines if your client intends to publish their products on these marketplaces. You'll need to understand the specific guidelines for the desired marketplaces.
Learn from the best
There are plenty of great product descriptions on mainstream marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. Check out the best-selling products to find out how their descriptions are written. Pay attention to how they use keywords, benefits, and the order of the product's features to entice potential customers to purchase the product.
Besides mainstream marketplaces, check out descriptions of products on leading brands. Your goal is to find out how these brands use the benefits of their products to their advantage. You should then replicate this technique when writing product descriptions for your client.
Make the description scannable
If your client needs a lengthy product description, use subheadings. These subheadings will make it much easier and faster for potential customers to find the information they need. Every buyer has specific features they need the most.
Suppose you are writing a description for a gaming console. Categorize your features such as design, processor, memory and storage, video capabilities, ports, and connectivity. If a customer is only interested in the video capabilities of the console, they will scroll to that section of the description.
Most script-writing clients are YouTubers and podcasters who may not have time to write scripts. Writing scripts is not hard if you know the subject and the information that needs to go into the video or podcast. Scripting will require researching the topic to be discussed.
Most YouTube video scripts will have 1000 to 1500 words for a 10-minute video. If you choose to offer scriptwriting services, it is essential to choose a niche you understand. This will reduce the hours of research you might spend on a topic.
Understand the flow of the creator
Before writing a script, take time to watch previous videos your client has published to ensure you understand their presentation style. This will make it easier to determine how to write the most crucial parts of the script, including the introduction and the different concepts within their videos.
You could also request your client share previous scripts to help you understand the information they require in a script.
Know the audience of your client
Knowing your client's audience makes it easier to choose the proper words to use in a script. It will also provide you with information on how to structure the sentences.
Research the topic at hand
Your clients will usually share the video title and the goal. Use this information to research and write down the information about the topic that will help your client hit their goal. Some videos may not need a lot of research, especially if the topic at hand doesn’t require explaining concepts to the viewers.
Freelance Writer Jobs Wrap-up
If you love writing and want to be your own boss being a freelance writer is a great option. Freelance writer jobs are some of the most in-demand freelance opportunities available. Of course, their availability largely depends on the freelance platforms you choose.
Most of the mainstream freelance platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr, have the freelance writing jobs discussed in this article. You should peruse their freelance writing job boards to find suitable online writing jobs for you.
Next, choose any of the above freelance writing jobs you feel comfortable with. It is a good idea to join communities like Freelance Writers Den to get help from fellow writers who have already paved their way to successful freelance writing. Another benefit of joining communities is to build up your network, which can help you land more online writing jobs through referrals.
Any path you take, remember to continue to learn and hone your skills to ensure your writing career has the longevity you desire. You want your road to success to be short, but your success to be long-lived.