Types of Freelance Writing Jobs: Which One Is Right For You?

Written By: Trina Moitra

I know I have been quiet for an unconscionable period of time! Blame it on the summers. It makes one, especially febrile writer brains dull and listless! But the other day during a seminar arranged for graphics students, I had the epiphany of getting a trained professional to actually pick jobs off the portal I mobilize for and explain in detail, the time is to returns ratio. And miraculously…a whole room full of disinterested people sat up, nodding actively and asking questions.

So let this post be for the timorous would be writers out there fretting about which jobs to bid on and what genre to stick to.
Now let’s get one thing out of the way! This elephant in the room (or the blog) and say it outright: “Not everyone can be the epitome of versatility. Not every freelancer out there is comfortable juggling esoteric and engineering!! So please do not be depressed if you read some oracles stern advice: “You can’t succeed if you stick to the tried and the tested!”
You know what? It’s definitely not so. I have personally seen several highly placed authors on my portal build long and illustrious careers writing on the one and only topic that they have proficiency in. This just proves the fact that if you can be the master of one, it will serve you much better than being that lonely jack of all trades! And by the way…I think being “Jack” is highly over rated. This sticking to your comfort zone works and it works only because of the fact that freelance writing jobs are exploding right now! There are more opportunities than there are skilled fingers to tap the keyboard. And so you can afford to be choosy! Obviously what you pen to paper has to be excellent. Otherwise no one will hire you! Freelancing has become a synonym for high quality and thus clients come in expecting quite a lot.
But let us for the time being return to the main purpose behind this post. Which jobs should you choose? And in which genre? In the time that I have been freelancing I have seen that the big money is in:
  1. Web copy writing
  2. EBook creation
  3. Bulk article writing.
These are the three categories which always lead to more jobs in the future. If you create say a business plan, it is highly unlikely that the company which has favored you will need a plan regularly. If they do then it means your business plans aren’t working!!! Jokes apart, the big money is in the creation of SEO content for websites, in creating short and snappy EBooks and in getting commissioned to churn out keyword enhanced articles in bulk. An average 100 page eBook should take around a month to write and if you do a good job, you can be expected to receive up to $800 as recompense. Not bad for 30 days of labor. From the comfort of your home! Web site content needs to be updated regularly. So right here you have potential future jobs @ $20 to $30 per 500 words.
Bulk article projects are a touch difficult to land. And somehow all of them seem to originate in the 3rd world countries. So the pay is typically $1.5/300 words. But once in a while you can get to bid on really great projects where the client is looking for quality and can go up to about $10 per 700 words. The only reason why I mentioned bulk article creation is because most of the times you just need to spin content and even if the pay is dismal per article, together the monetary value becomes significant. In any case, it is a more viable source of steady income than press releases and grant letters.
I am sure you are thoroughly impatient by now! You must be thinking, “When is she going to reveal the secret of genre choosing!”
Well the time is now! Just look through the table to match yourself to the genre you should be working in. You can obviously diversify, but this can be a good little fillip to jump start your writing career.
           TELL TALE SIGNS
         B.Sc, B.Tech, M.Sc
You love puzzles and were a copious note taker in class! Yes even in the history class!
 A basic degree in psychology, MA in English literature
You were the resident college Agony aunt/ You love the sound of your own voice.
             Sales writing
      MBA, BBA, B.Com
You were perennially in debt in college and have sold your pair of old jeans to your best friend!
            Website content
You speak in pitches like “Visit me today”, “Get in touch now”, “Team is what matters”
Any will do but you know it better than me….if you are back bench material, you won’t love this!!
You were the annoying kid in class with your hand always up/ You have more friends on FB than in real life!!

So now you have it! Do not think for a moment that I am joking! This table is very much true and you will discover its verity gradually as you work more.

Till the next blog post, this is me Trina Moitra, Elance’s first Indian mobilizer signing off. So many of you write in to me with your queries! I love you and am eternally grateful to the inimitable Shuchi for the opportunity. Just in case you forget…you can register to be a part of Elance by going to www.elance.com/p/crp/kolkata/trina and you can mail your questions/doubts/suggestions to tmoitra@mobilizer.elance.com.


  1. Best way to Media Freelancers is to join for free: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mediafreelancers/


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