Writing has been a lucrative industry for decades. Today, print is one of the largest industries in the entire world, one that rivals the auto manufacturing industry and is roughly eight times larger than the video game market. Though print articles are 59% more engaging than online pieces for readers, digital writers can still earn a solid living thanks to freelance.
Although online freelance writers won’t necessarily earn a steady annual salary like that of an engineer (between $50,000 and $150,000), as long as the freelance work is there, writers can earn plenty of side cash or even make a full-time career out of freelancing if they are persistent enough.
According to Forbes, as long as freelance writers are willing to put in the work, there are plenty of pieces to be written, but writers should proceed with caution as they enter the world of freelance digital writing. Because of the constant need for more work, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the writing requirements.
“When I was first starting out, I worked as much as I had to — nights, early mornings, and weekends — but I soon found work was taking over my life and I needed to establish some boundaries,” said Nancy Monson, a 20-year freelance writer covering health and medicine, nutrition, travel, pets, lifestyle, crafts, and creativity. “I stopped answering work calls at night or on weekends … I take frequent breaks.”
Forbes states that in addition to setting boundaries with the amount of time freelancers should work, selecting a niche that fits, creating a personal website, producing writing samples, and constantly pitching to publications are essential aspects of succeeding in this industry.
Perhaps the main advantage of having a career as a freelance writer is the ability to work and write anywhere in the world. Writers aren’t tied down to specific offices, cities, or even states. More than 3 million people fly around the world on commercial flights every day, and freelance writers have the option to go anywhere in the world or simply write in the sky.
That being said, writers should be cautious about their remote locations in relation to human interaction.
It’s easy for freelance writers to avoid contact with real people for weeks or even months at a time, but that can actually hinder a writer’s success. According to Skyword, freelance writers who learn how to effectively speak in public forums can actually improve their careers.
Because writers can go long periods of time without conversing with real people, getting up and speaking at a conference or group meeting can help stir up inspiration, purpose, and extreme confidence for writers, in addition to being a great networking opportunity.
“Networking can be practiced everywhere — standing in line at the grocery store, sitting in a waiting room, or even at a sporting event,” said Carrie Sharpe, a communications consultant and speaker. “Get in the habit of meeting those around you. Ask them questions so they talk about themselves. Open-ended questions and active listening are the ultimate networking tools.”
As of July 12, 2017, USA Today outlined seven thought leaders that every freelance writer should pay attention to:
- Abdullahi Muhammed
- Chase Jarvis
- Sara Horowitz
- Paul Jarvis
- Mridu Khullar Relph
- Carol Tice
- Brennan Dunn