On Freelance Writing

For a freelance writer, writing non-fiction can be challenging, particularly if you’re attempting to write for profit. If you have a certain expertise, it only makes sense you’d want to write about that topic. If you’re a new freelancer, study the particular magazine or website you’re interested in writing for. What’s their style, what are the popular topics? How does your writing compare with those who’ve been published already? What about word count? (Typically, 600-1200 words for an internet article.)

isSometimes you may not have to be an expert in the field about which you’re writing. I once had a freelance job writing web content for a world-wide trucking corporation. I know very little about the transportation industry, but by studying what had already been written I was able to rewrite their web content and make it more contemporary and readable.

Another problem with non-fiction is creativity and originality. I have been writing a monthly article for a popular law enforcement website for the past fourteen years. Coming up with a hot topic or original concept is a constant challenge. How do I do it? Simply by following the news and seeing what’s current—what’s impacting the genre in which I write? However, remember what you write today may be old news by the time it gets published. So if you write your article and submit it a couple of weeks before deadline, be certain your article still has value when it appears online.

The good thing about freelance writing is there are myriad outlets to write for, both fiction and non-fiction. However, non-fiction will likely get you paid for your efforts. Regardless, seeing your byline will always have intrinsic value and put a smile on your face.


Published by John M. Wills

Award-winning author and freelance writer. Published ten books in addition to more thant 200 articles, short stories, and poetry. Writing professionally since retiring from the FBI in 2004.

2 thoughts on “On Freelance Writing

  1. Good information, thanks. I had the same issues going from non-fiction to writing fiction.

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