Getting Creative with Content
Expert Guest Post by Award-Winning Author, Mark Plets
Last year proved just how viable remote work can be. From companies that required their employees to temporarily work from home to innovative individuals who turned disheartening layoffs into opportunities for crafting independent income, 2020 transformed the way we look at jobs.
This shift in the job market has created a plethora of new online work, much of which includes—or is entirely focused on—quality writing. Freelance writing offers both a means to generate multiple income streams and to free yourself partially or entirely from the ever-increasing constraints of the new in-person work world.
Blog posts are often a freelance writer’s bread and butter, but writing blogs is also very common and a highly competitive market, frequently reducing the pay rate to one-quarter minimum wage (U.S.) when all is said and done… discouraging, to say the least.
If high-paying blogging doesn’t come your way, think creatively about other types of content that you could provide.
Alternative Freelance Writing Gigs
When I realized one day that I was making about five bucks an hour for the amount of time I invested into finding, negotiating, writing, editing, and revising some clients’ blog posts, I started second-guessing this sort of work.
That’s when I made a list of topics I was both interested in and had at least some knowledge about or wouldn’t mind spending the extra time researching.
Here are some of the new target content writing areas that arose from that search:
Many online stores have dry ad copy as well as mechanical-sounding product descriptions. While it is sometimes important to have plain language to be user-friendly, products need more than just weight and dimensions in their descriptions to really sell. Spicing up these sections can turn a save-for-later into a buy-it-now!
Beyond obvious products like clothing, coffee beans, and cosmetics, think about other businesses that constantly require new descriptions. Real estate agents need copy written for houses and property all the time and, if you have basic photography skills, can make a little extra if you take pictures of the places as well.
Brochures, flyers, business cards, menus—you name it—both large and small businesses need creative copy written for promotional materials.
This is where I find it useful to list your topics of interest and knowledge because it will set you apart when approaching a given business and likely make your work experience smoother.
I find yoga teachers, independent coffee shops, and other small businesses and classes welcome promotional copy on their social media and websites since these individuals tend to already be busy running their businesses.
You will find that a lot of entrepreneurs and independent businesses are only too happy to hand over writing tasks to you.
Class schedules, different coffee bean roasts, alternative health providers, all need their blank pages filled with attractive copy.
I’ve never met anyone who likes writing about themselves (including myself!). By the time we writers have finished an article, a book, a blog, we usually are eager to publish it, not dissect our life story for the twelfth time.
When we are required to fill in those “about me”, “my story”, etc. blanks, then begins the back-and-forth conflict of the writing sounding too self-congratulatory or not flattering enough, or too bland because it falls in the middle safe ground. Sheesh! And we are writers!
Imagine how it feels for small businesses and entrepreneurs that have sweat blood to get their business going and now they have to write 500 words here, 1,500 words there, like they’re back in a college English class.
You, freelance writer, are their best friend in these situations.
Writing bios is a great freelancing niche since this work varies from social media “about” sections to mini-biographies for entrepreneurs.
Who knows? You may just end up writing the bio for another writer or author who doesn’t want to write it themselves.
The interesting dichotomy of bios is, while the work is usually a one-off, there is so much need for it that it can almost always be readily found.
A major advantage of this freelance writing niche is the never-ending need for this sort of work. I’ve had bio writing work come to me without seeking it.
I get to talking to people in line at the coffee shop or in the gym without self-promotion and somehow or other they start talking about a project they are working on or a friend who needs a bio written and before I know it, I have some extra work. Keep your ears open out there for people who need help telling their story.
Pique Your Perspective
Words are needed everywhere. When the glow of freelance writing first started to wane because of long hours and low pay, it was finding less-obvious content writing avenues that renewed my interest and boosted my income. Suddenly I saw content writing in everything and casual talk with people generated jobs without the back-breaking constant pitching on freelance websites.
Acknowledge your knowledge, get close to topics that interest you, and see the possibilities of freelance writing in the world around you.
Niching your writing skills is key. This topic and much more are discussed in my new book Content to Cash, a start-to-finish guide on making it happen and keeping it going in the arena of freelance writing.
About the Author
Mark Plets is an award-winning author who writes fiction, non-fiction, web content, and blogs.
With a love of writing combined with a passion for languages, Mark’s life is driven by the power and beauty of words.