10 Types of Freelance Writers You Can Become

1. SEO Copywriter

SEO copywriters are the generalists of the content writing world. It’s where most freelance writers begin their career. Typically, these generalist copywriters are hired by companies to create high-level content for their website and blog. Because these writers don’t have a ton of industry experience, they typically cost less than some other types of writers.

Unsurprisingly, it’s critical for generalist copywriters to understand SEO and how to weave keyword naturally into a piece of content.

2. Social Media Writer

Businesses love social media. It’s a way for them to connect with potential customers, build a community around their product, and generate some buzz. They also understand the more subtle differences between social media platforms and how to tailor a message to suit the channel.

The key to being a successful social media writer is to understand how to get people talking. Unlike an ad copywriter who would focus on craft messaging that speaks to people, social media writers are aiming to craft a message that speaks with people.

If you’re interested in becoming a social media writer, you should learn as much about each platform as you can. When are the best times to post? What are the most popular types of content? How do you most effectively use polls, surveys, hashtags, etc?

3. Technical Writer

Technical writers are adept at taking a complicated topic or product and explaining it in a way that’s easy to follow and understand. Some more common examples of technical content include product manuals, guides, FAQs, employee handbooks, other types of informative or educational content.

4. Ghost Writer

Ghostwriters are paid to write content under someone elses byline. While this role is typically thought of in the context of ghostwriting novels, it’s a common practice in the business world as well.

Ghostwriting for companies typically means creating expert content for an executive. Before you are able to land this type of role, you’ll need to gain a fair amount of industry experience.

While ghostwriting can lead to high-paying, consistent work with businesses, the drawback is that you don’t get credit for the article and can’t use it in a portfolio.

5. UX Copywriter

With so much done online and in apps today, it’s easy to take a good user experience (UX) for granted. It’s only when we’re facing a terrible UX that it becomes apparent how vital clear navigation and strong calls to action are.

And that’s where UX copywriters come in.

They know how to look at a website (or app) and understand the objective of each page, button, and link and how to guide users to achieve their desired results.

UX copywriters are part marketer and part behaviorist. They understand how to lead people through a digital journey and how subtle differences in word choice, color, and style can influence people’s understanding of a page.

6. Conversion Copywriter

UX copywriters and conversion copywriters are similar in that they are want to drive an action, but the latter is focused on driving specifically a sale or lead.

Conversion copywriter needs to have some understanding of psychology, and what motivates people to click. Incorporating psychology concepts like urgency, social proof, and anchoring can all be effective ways to improve the conversion rate of a landing page.

Some common jobs for this type of write include banner ads, landing pages, pop-ups, and sales emails.

7. Advertising Copywriter

Advertising copywriters are skilled at delivering a concise and powerful message. They understand that every word matters and know how to get the most out of each one.

One important skill for advertising copywriters is the ability to adopt a brand voice. Every brand has a personality, and it’s your job as a writer to have that unique tone show in the copy.

This type of copywriter is commonly found working at agencies and is great for writing things like home pages, online ads, and traditional ads.

8. Grant Writer

Grant writers are the most niche type of writer on this list. They specialize in writing the applications for a financial grant from governments and financial institutions.

Attention to detail is critical in this role. Most grants have a series of requirements that successful applications must follow and messing up a grant application could be quite costly for a business.

The process is a bit like writing a business plan. What is the business all about? What’s the company vision? How will you achieve this vision? What are the hurdles you anticipate? Etc.

9. Freelance Journalist

News media is a big field these days and freelance journalism is becoming an increasingly popular route for writers.

Journalists need to be able to tell a story. They know how to find the human element in a story and use that to invoke emotion, build anticipation, and create a narrative. It’s also a much longer-form than most copywriting. Journalistic articles can easily range from a few hundred to a few thousand words.

Companies often hire these types of writers to help articulate their company history or craft customers success stories.

10. Newspaper/Magazine Writer

Newspaper and magazine writers have some overlap with freelance journalists, but these writers are experts at presenting the facts a story in an interesting and unbiased way. Ideally, these articles should focus on stats, quotes, and objective storytelling without letting your opinion sway the article.

There are also editorial newspaper/magazine writers who meant to express their opinion on breaking news.

Get more freelance writing resources, tools, and tutorials at the Freelance Writing Stack.

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