Freelance writing seems to offer viable job opportunities for people who are between jobs or underemployed or retired — and it can; but there are pitfalls that can fell the unwary. Many people think they can turn an interest in personal blogging into a new career path as a professional news or magazine writer, but such jobs are much fewer and farther between than people think. With today’s focus on the internet, newspaper and magazine sales are down and television news programs have also been losing viewer shares for a number of years. Print and visual media that once offered aspiring writers fertile grounds for employment have all but dried up.
What the internet has taken away, it has replaced but with a less lucrative product. The cold, hard reality is that, with the exception of the occasional star, freelance writing has never been the glamorous, well-paid occupation it has popularly been assumed to be. Today, competition from freelance wholesale sites and overseas “blog factories” have stripped the lucre from freelance writing. With pay per writing assignment low, most freelancers make their money on volume. That said, freelancing still offers enviable job flexibility and can offer decent earning potential to those able to avoid the pitfalls.
Developing a reputation as an expert writer in a specific field is a tried and true path to freelancing success. Draw on your personal or business experience. You may be qualified to write about certain business or technical matters. There is considerable need for technical writers with backgrounds in science or computers, but any comprehensive experience can lead to “expert” status. For inspiration, look beyond your work experience at hobbies, personal interests and everyday life. Many freelancers have drawn writing inspiration from their own experiences as parents, caregivers, teachers, hobbyists or gardeners. Sharing your experience battling chronic disease, cancer or a disability is another area that offers a fertile market for freelance writers.
To be continued