20 Freelance Online Writing Jobs

by Anne Wayman

freelance writing jobsThese days most freelance writing jobs that can also be considered online writing jobs. Even when you’re writing for print it often also shows up online. Here are 20 writing gigs that are more or less online-specific and it wouldn’t surprise me to find there are more.

  1. Website content. Generally any writing that shows up on a website. Often falls into almost any or all of the rest of the job types.
  2. Blog posts. Blogs are of course also websites, but blog posts tend to appear on a regular and fairly frequent basis. Many are as short as 300 words, with 500 probably being average. Most blogs allow readers to comment and that interaction is probably what separates a blog from a website. Many paying blog gigs are offered by businesses, large and small, that are trying to build their brand online.
  3. Ezines and Ejournals. Originally ezines and ezines were seen as online magazines delivered either thought email or on a website.  The term, newsletter, seems to be preferred today and I’m not aware of any difference between the two.
  4. Newsletters. An online newsletter is just that, information delivered via email or on a website that delivers news about the organization sending it. Online newsletters may include complete articles or only links and teasers. Freelance writers are probably hired to do newsletters more often by small organizations, both profit and non-profit. Associations and other membership organizations often need a writer to put together their newsletter.
  5. Copy writing. Copy writing can be defined as marketing or promotion writing that’s selling a person, a product or a service. It can be on a website, blog or via email, or some combination. Copywriting is potentially one of the highest paid freelance writing jobs one can get. Copy writing is also done for good causes, sometimes called cause marketing. By the way, copy writing is still used in print – you see it in every direct marketing piece you receive.
  6. Squeeze pages/Landing pages/Sales pages sales. Variations on a theme, each of these is copy writing designed to generate sales through a website. Squeeze pages capture a reader’s email address so more information can be sent to them. Landing pages can be thought of as the soft or information portion of the sales cycle. The landing page is where the reader actually buys whatever is being sold. Like any copy writing, these can pay a freelancer very well.
  7. Ghostwriting articles. Any time you write an article that doesn’t carry your name you can be said to be ghostwriting. Many ghostwriting jobs are poorly paid, sometimes offering a dollar or even less per 500 words or so. A more lucrative type of article ghostwriting is when you write under the name of a celebrity or well-known business person.  These articles are well paid, often a dollar or two or even more a word.
  8. Ghosting speeches. Many speeches you hear, including those of the President, have been written by a ghostwriter or speech writer. Although speeches are generally given off line, more and more of them are showing up on YouTube and even given online via webinars of one sort or another.
  9. Ghosting ebooks, and e-reports. Ebooks, which are generally shorter than books designed for print and e-reports are just reports delivered online, often via a .pdf file. Usually freelance writers write these for a decent fee and without receiving any credit.
  10. Ghosting books. Ghostwriting books dates back way before computers and the internet. These days, however, almost every book is also delivered as an ebook. Again, the writer takes no credit for the work, but is paid well for the writing.
  11. Ghosting authority content. Authority content is writing that demonstrates that someone is an authority on a particular topic. It’s a new term that’s generally used to explain to new bloggers what they should be writing. I don’t see the term used often, but it may be helpful to keep in mind when you’re looking for ghostwriting.
  12. SEO content. Search Engine Optimization is an ever changing target for freelance writers and the people who have websites and blogs. Essentially it involves finding the key words and phrases that will attract the desired readers and putting those words and phrase in articles in ways that the article still makes good reading. An art with some science.
  13. Article or content mills. Various websites that offer articles to others that pay writers very low wages for writing. Some, like Demand Media Studios and Constant Content are at least reliable. Others are probably best avoided.
  14. Private Label Rights articles. PLR articles are a variation of writing articles for people to use on the web. You write the article and license people to use it. Some writers are quite successful at setting up a PLR business; many are not.
  15. Forum posts (sometimes with community management). Occasionally you’ll see ads offering to pay you to post on various forums. Most of these are close to scams, pushing products and are low paid. Occasionally you’ll find decent jobs posting and managing forums. Go carefully when you find paid gigs for forum posting.
  16. White papers. Although historically this term referred to reports to and from governments, it’s moved into the mainstream. Essentially a white paper is a report about a business that’s used as a marketing tool. It can be particularly effective when it explains a technology in ways non-techs can understand it.
  17. Brochures. Brochures – online (which are usually web pages) need copy writing and that’s where the freelance writer comes in. There are templates available for brochures that can work for small business. Larger organizations will hire a designer so the result is polished visually.
  18. Press releases.  A press release or news release is just that – news sent to news outlets. Usually freelance writers write releases for businesses, non-profits, organizations or even, occasionally, individuals. These days the release most often get distributed through an online service. The effectiveness of online distribution can be enhanced with a brief email calling attention to the release sent to targeted news outlets.
  19. Online instruction. More and more teaching is moving online which means there’s a need for people who can write instructions for online courses. These gigs may be called instructional design, course writing, etc.
  20. Webinars. Webinars are becoming quite common. Freelance writers are sometimes involved to help script them. More often, however, the people who give webinars also want to give a booklet that further makes their points and, often, acts as a sales piece.

As you can see, many of these jobs have transferable skills – that is if you can ghost a book you can certainly ghost an ebook. If there are some here you’d like to know more about, either ask me or google the topic or both.

3 Things Freelance Writer Must Know About Online Writing

 

What online writing jobs have I left out?

 

annesig

 

 

Image: Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

WritersWritingWords (Eleni) February 15, 2012 at 12:28 am

Scripts for videos (promotional, humoristic, pitches, anything)
WritersWritingWords (Eleni) recently posted..Dionysus, The Greek God’s Heart updated Tue Feb 14 2012 5:25 pm ESTMy Profile

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annew February 15, 2012 at 7:00 am

oh good ones… do you know about writing scripts like that? I’d love a guest post.

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WritersWritingWords (Eleni) February 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

I am honored by the invitation :)
I will submit pretty soon, thank you.
WritersWritingWords (Eleni) recently posted..We Are Living HistoryMy Profile

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annew February 16, 2012 at 8:09 am
Valerie Bolden-Barrett February 14, 2012 at 10:35 am

Anne,
Thanks so much for this list. You’ve given us more online writing options than I knew existed. I can’t thank you enough.
Valerie

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Joy February 14, 2012 at 4:25 am

Thanks for sharing that other opportunity of making a decent income by becoming a book reviewer. I will look into this more!thanks:=)

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elizabeth February 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Anne,

I would like to transfer my writing skills from my former Government position to a way to make money working from home, if possible.
Knowing what is available and how to achieve this is all new to me.
Thank you for any advice on this subject.

elizabeth

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annew February 14, 2012 at 11:01 am

Glad it’s helpful, Elilzabeth,

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