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10 Types of Digital Freelance Writing Jobs: They’re “Hot” and They Pay Well

In 2008, I wrote The Freelance Writing Jobs Report (updated version here). The whole purpose of the report was to explain where the work was in freelance writing and how to get it. The reason I went into such detail in the report is that I get a lot of email from new freelance writers, as well as experienced ones (usually because they’ve hit a dry patch) about how to find work. I responded:

Many wonder why I’m able to stay busy as a freelance writer, while they struggle to bring in work. It’s due to a number of things. Perhaps one of the smartest things I do is pay attention to trends . . . Based on . . . this, I’ve come up with a list of “hot” industries in freelance writing. Target these and it should make landing freelance writing gigs that much easier.

When I started writing SEO content in 2007, it transformed not only my freelance writing business, but the way I do business online – period. How/why?

Because it taught me how to market online – which helped me to earn more not only as a freelance writer, but as an internet marketer and self-published ebook author. You see, all of my income streams stem from being a web entrepreneur, which brings me to today’s post.

Opportunities in Freelance Writing in the Digital Age

There are a lot of opportunities in freelance writing — in the digital sector. So in line with what I wrote in The Freelance Writing Jobs Report, I wanted to point out just where some of these opportunities are.

I. SEO Content Writing

This is an obvious one that is discussed in detail on this blog’s companion blog, SeoWritingJobs.com.

Digital Freelance Writing Job OpportunitiesII. Ebook Editing

There are a lot of ebook writers (aka self-publishers) out there – and this is only growing. Proof?

. . . according to Bowker’s newest figures of books produced, last year there were 211,269 self-published titles (based on ISBNs) released, up from 133,036 in 2010. [Source: Publisher’s Weekly, June 4, 2012]

Note: While self-published authors can obtain an ISBN, which is simply an industry standard number that identifies each book and its various formats, having one is not essential for an ebook to be published. I don’t bother with ISBN’s – and I’d venture to say that many other self-published authors don’t either. So the number of self-published ebooks is much higher (much!) than what’s stated in that Publisher’s Weekly piece.

The point I want to get across is that digitally self-published authors need help with the editorial process, eg, editing, proofreading, copy editing, marketing, etc. All of these are services you can provide.

And if you’re wondering if they can afford to pay you, here are some inspiring self-publishing success stories that show – “Oh yeah, they can!”

III. SEO Press Releases

Marketing is always essential for every type of business. One old-school, popular marketing method that has evolved into the digital age is the press release. Nowadays though, to be effective, press releases need to be written with SEO in mind.

Everyone from self-published ebook authors, to independent web marketers, to Fortune 500 companies use and need them. You can be the freelance writing specialist they run to to get’em.

IV. Social Media Writing

More and more businesses are realizing just how important social media is to their bottom line. But, the thing that stops many of them from investing in it is time – as in, they say they don’t have time to do it. As the first stat shows just below, this may be because many aren’t outsourcing their social media marketing (I’ve seen personally in my business where this is starting to happen more).

Following are some more interesting findings from the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report:

Social media outsourcing underutilized: Only 30% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing, only a slight increase from 28% in 2011.

We began by simply asking marketers if they use social media to market their businesses. The overwhelming majority (94%) indicated they were employing social media for marketing purposes.

Top five social media networks/tools for marketers: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube were the top five social media tools used by marketers, in that order.

Remember: Content is what drives social media – whether it’s blog posts, or white papers, or press releases, or case studies, or videos, or infographics, – etc., etc., etc.

Related Post: What Is Social Media Writing and How Does It Differ from SEO Copywriting?

V. Landing Pages

Many companies – large and small – use landing pages to generate leads; leads that can be turned into paying customers down the line.

VI. Content Marketing

Piggybacking on the last point, one thing companies offer to entice prospects to give up some contact information on landing pages are special reports. This is known as content marketing – and it’s huge.

My SEO writing company has written special reports for many types of companies, eg, educational firms, internet marketing firms, and web training companies. Usually, these reports are 5-10 pages long, take anywhere from 20-30 hours to produce and we charge anywhere from $750 to $1,500 for them.

In this digital age, producing just one a week as a freelancer is a very good living.

VII. PPC Ads

In case you’re wondering, Pay-per-click ads are those ads in the bar on the right side of the page you see when you conduct a search on Google, for example. And, as I wrote in the article, High-Paying Freelance Writer Jobs in Demand Right Now:

Companies pay freelance writers skilled in composing these little ads a mint for their services. For really, the less copy used, the more skilled a writer has to be. And, this is why this type of writing job demands a high rate. Furthermore, learning to write these ads requires knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO), as well as the ins and outs of internet marketing overall.

It’s getting harder and harder to stand out on the web, so if you can write web copy that gets clicked (eg, get people to click on a headline), then you can make really good money doing this kind of writing.

VIII. Writing for Mobile Devices

I have a sister who is almost 15 years younger than me – and she lives on her iPhone. She checks email, the internet, videos and even watches TV programs on her phone.

I have to admit, this is an area that I don’t know much about as I tend to be a latecomer to technological advances (I upgrade almost everything only when I have to and I do it kicking and screaming – yeah, I’m ole school!).

But, I have to get with the program as mobile technology is only growing. An article on Science Daily states that, “Mobile computing devices will probably overtake the personal computer as the most common means for accessing the Internet worldwide sometime in 2013.”

Text has to be written in a certain way for mobile devices. For example, I had one newsletter subscriber contact me about a year ago. She asked if I could start including shortened links (eg, ow.ly, bit.ly) links in the text because she read most of the newsletters on her mobile phone and couldn’t click on hyperlinks covered with anchor text (the link had to start with an http://).

Learn more about how to write for mobile devices.

IX / X. Blog Posts and Web Articles

Every website / blog needs basic content like this to get recognized in this digital age. And research has shown that the vast majority of companies outsource at least some of it (a lot of them much of it) to freelance writers. Proof?

On average, 60% of respondents indicate that they plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. This compares to 51% of marketers who were planning to increase their budgets in the previous study.

As content marketing budgets increase, so too does the percentage of companies that outsource. Last year, only 55% of marketers used outsourcing in some capacity. This year, 62% of B2B marketers use a mix of insourced and outsourced content.*

*Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends [Research Report.

Digital Freelance Writing Jobs: Conclusion

As you can see, there are a wealth of freelance writing opportunities brought on by this digital era in which we live. The foundation of all of it is knowing SEO. Once you grasp the fundamentals of this, finding freelance writing jobs in this technologically advanced age is only limited by your imagination.

Share Your Thoughts?

Do any of these digital freelance writing opportunities appeal to you? Did you realize just how many online writing opportunities there were in this area? What type of “digital” freelance writing have you done? Please share in the comments section below.

P.S.: Get FREE SEO Copywriter Training.

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    Comments

    1. corporate videography philadelphia says:

      First off I would like to say superb blog!I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I’ve had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems likethe first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out howto begin. Any suggestions or hints? Cheers!

    2. @Charles Khazar:

      You’re welcome!

    3. @Cheryl Lynn:

      I’m so glad you’re finding my sites useful. I try to make people aware that, “Hey, there is another way to make a living; you CAN do it — with the right info and attitude.” So I’m always pleased to hear when someone ingests what I dispense in that vein.

      Much success to you! 🙂

      @Natalie Jones:

      You know, when I started that post, I was only going to talk about 5 digital freelance writing opportunities. But, the more I thought about it and did some web surfing, the list exploded to 10. So, when I hear ppl say that they can’t make a go of it as a freelance writer, it quite frankly astounds me b/c there are sooooo many opportunities out there.

      I’m pleased that you found the post useful, and thanks for stopping by.

    4. Very insightful article, thanks for all the useful advice. There are several things here that I hadn’t contemplated before and will definitely take a closer look at!

    5. O9/07/2012. 5:51 P.M. CST.

      RE:

      Hello, Y u w a n d a, I hope all is well, in (spirit and health.)
      This Charles, I receive your email message. . . yesterday but I
      was much too tired to respond. That why I’m writing you back now:
      to say thanks, for sending me the information____ about “Special-
      Report writing.” Which I’d had requested, for the not long ago. . .
      about writing special reports. And by my surprise you sent it to so
      fast! (You are so wonderful.) I really mean it.

      Sincerely,

      Charles Khazar

      P.S. Enjoy your weekend be safe, and stay healthy,
      (Hare Krishna, may “GOD” be with you and bless you.)
      Who knows maybe I’ll see you, in Jamaica sometime in
      the near FUTURE. Take-care enjoy! BYE. My email at,
      ckhazar@ymail.com

    6. Fabulous post, as per usual Yuwanda. I’m gathering so much information from you, particularly regarding affiliate and article marketing. I’ve been followng you for some time and am truly grateful to have such a wealth of information on one of my favorite topics at the touch of a keyboard. Keep up the good work!

    7. Thanks Andy; glad you found the post helpful too.

      I’ve been getting so many questions lately — I think many who’ve been out of work are starting freelance writing careers (at least that’s my guess on the uptick in questions poring in). I hate to “promise” to do a post, then not follow up. I’ll put this idea in the queue and try to get to it.

      Keep up the good work at your site, http://write2profitonline.com. It does indeed take “a village” of sharing info and resources to keep all of us successful.

      Best!

    8. Hi Yuwanda,
      Another useful, well-written and informative post, as always! But I do echo Paul’s comment about a possible follow-up with pointers on where writer’s might find e-book editing and special report writing jobs. At Write2Profit online, we obviously appreciate that it’s really up to the individual to seek out new work assignments, and markets, etc., and it takes a lot of time and work to come up with the best possible work opportunities and client resources. But with your experience so far, I’m sure a few extra hints and tips on likely places to find this work would be very much appreciated. Keep up the great work, meantime! Thanks. Andy.

    9. Thanks Paul; glad the post turned you on to some new possibilities as a web writer.

      As for where to find ebook editing jobs, this a fragmented market. You’d have to approach ebook writers individually. Later I may do a more in-depth post on this, as I’ve done several of these types of jobs and have been approached to do more.

      As always, good to hear from you.

    10. Great post Yuwanda! Lots of good ideas to expand our reach, and a couple I had not considered, like ebook editing and writing special reports. I think as a follow up to this post, some may want to know the best places to find work in these various specialties. Like for example ebook editing, this is not a service that SEO/Web Design companies typically ask for. Any thoughts on what type of marketing works best to find people who need this service?

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