“What is the difference between freelance online writing and writing for print?”
“How to I find online writing gigs?”
“How do I actually land an online writing once I find one?”
Writing online vs. print
The biggest difference between writing for the online world and the print world is that reading online requires a screen.
Not only that, sometimes the screen is closer in size to a 3×5 card than even an 8-1/2×11 piece of paper. When you write online you’re not only writing for computer monitors, but for cell phones as well. Although screens get better and better, it still isn’t as comfortable to read onscreen as it is on paper.
The best way to improve on screen readability is to write short paragraphs.
- Since we know readers tend to scan, writing short paragraphs creates white space and makes comprehension in a hurry easier.
- Making use of headings, subheads and bulleted or numbered points also helps break up the writing to make it easier to read.
Online writing has many things in common with print, at least the best of it does. One way to think of the difference is recognizing that the presentation is different.
Finding online writing jobs
You find online writing jobs the way you find any writing gig really. You can:
- Search writing job lists like the one here.
- Market yourself by telephone and/or email.
- Networking and referrals.
If there’s any secret to finding writing jobs it’s to do whatever you’re going to do consistently, day after day after day.
Actually, probably the very best ways to find those great online writing jobs is to use a combination of all three.
Landing those online writing jobs
Getting an online writing job is partly a matter of timing and partly skill.
Timing seems to be a quirk of fate or luck.
But as has been said, we often make our own luck. In this case if you market yourself over and over again you’re apt to land a gig. It’s that kind of persistence that puts you in the way of luck as it were. For example, if you do a brief search with your favorite lists daily, and perhaps a more thorough search once or twice a week, you increase your odds of getting hired.
The skill part of the equation is recognizing that your job is to solve the client’s problem. When you demonstrate you can do that you’re more likely to get hired – you certainly won’t get hired if you don’t convince them you can.
You demonstrate this by reading and responding to ads as carefully and completely as possible. When you’re talking with a potential client, you need to listen deeply and question adroitly so you understand their problem and then offer a solution you can perform, or point them in a direction that is truly helpful if you can’t. Of course, this skill isn’t automatic and it takes some time to develop your version of it – but it’s worth the effort.
What else do you think you need to know to be successful writing online?
Write well and often,