Isn’t it the freelance writer’s dream to make a great living doing something they love?
No matter what type of writing you do, you can make good money from it as long as you put in the time and effort.
When I first started as a budding freelance writer, it took me a while to find the perfect lucrative niche. I made a lot of mistakes that cost me clients and cash.
I don’t want that to happen to you. Here’s a list of the various types of freelance writing careers available, what they all entail, and the average freelance salaries. While many of these offer some good salaries, there is the potential to make over six figures per year with every type of freelance blogging job. Some of these freelance careers can even complement one another and be used as cross-sells or up-sells.
For example, ghostwriting blog writing or offering white papers and case studies.
So let’s dive into the 12 lucrative freelance writing gigs.
Types of freelance writers
There are literally hundreds of different types of freelance writing services available today. Everything from technical writing about stock trading to writing business to business case studies: if you can read about it, you can write about it.
The idea is that you can fake it until you make it, and this is exactly what I did!
When looking at this list and seeing what type of work you will do, you can start thinking about offering that type of service. In the beginning, you might have to trade work for a testimonial, but you gain experience in the long run. From there, you can be confident in offering any one of these types of writing niches.
Average salary: $115,000+/year
As with any freelance writing type, it can take some time to work your way up the ladder. The average salary for freelance copywriters has continued to grow over the past few years as the need for them has also increased.
Copywriters write anything from long-form sales letters, video sales letter scripts, to social media content. They have to be able to collaborate with others to make sure that their copy is sending the right message. After all, the main point of copy is to move someone emotionally to get them to take the desired action.
While copywriting might be one of the higher paying freelance writing fields, it is also a little more difficult to get into. While you technically don’t need any specific education or experience for most gigs, you need to prove that you know what you’re doing. Many clients do prefer a few years of experience and a solid portfolio. Clients aren’t going to be willing to pay you thousands of dollars for a sales letter unless you can get them some results. Here are some places to find copywriting jobs.
Average salary: $50,000+/year
Ghostwriting is unique because you are not credited as the writer. So if that is not important to you, then ghostwriting can be a lucrative career choice. Two of the most common ghostwriting types are those for books and blog posts or other online publications.
There are a few reasons why businesses and entrepreneurs might use ghostwriters. Either they are too busy to produce enough of their own quality content. Or, perhaps, they just suck at writing or hate doing it. They use ghostwriters to help them handle some of their content needs. Because, as we all know, content is king.
Average salary: $56,000+/year
Blogging writers are those that write blog posts for other blogs. The awesome thing about freelance blogging is that you can do this type of writing right out of the gate. While starting your own blog is certainly an option, why not gain some experience (and a paycheck in the meantime) by writing for other blogs. As a freelance blogger, you will generally be writing blog posts for other blogs, authors, coaches, and other types of solopreneurs or businesses. Like what I mentioned with ghostwriting, you might get hired to write as a ghostwriter for these clients. Maybe they don’t like writing or simply just don’t have the time to produce enough content. You can very easily find freelance blogger jobs through job boards, searching for “write for us” pages on blogs you already read or connecting with other bloggers.
Case study writer
Average salary: $28+/hour
Case study writers create content that emphasizes customer testimonials. It’s similar to a copywriter in that your goal is to get people to take action. When it comes to case study writing, that action is to buy a product or service. Case studies can be extremely powerful marketing tools for businesses. They discuss how a certain product or service has helped people solve a real-world problem. A great case study writer can take a prospect on a journey and show them how the product or service they are writing about is the answer to their problem.
White paper writer
Average salary: $40,000+/year
White paper and case study writers are complementary to one another, and some writers even offer both services. While many people still might think of white papers as highly technical and hard to understand documents, they have come a long way. Businesses use white papers to provide information on solving a business problem or help people to understand a certain issue. Like case studies and copywriting, the goal of a white paper is to get a prospect to make a decision. They can help generate leads, close sales, and establish the company or individual as a thought leader. Like any other type of writing, a great writer who can show results can command higher fees. It’s not uncommon for companies to pay up to $6,000 for one white paper.
Average salary: $69,000+/year
While it’s not a new niche, technical writing has gained popularity over the past couple of years. Technical writers are in-demand, but many people don’t fully understand the scope of what they do. If you have expertise in a particular field, then technical writing can be very lucrative. Technical writing takes complex topics and breaks them down into easier to understand articles and guides. Technical writers can write about anything from particular products to how blockchain works. However, if you don’t have a specific technical background, then this might not be the right writing position for you. You really need to know what you’re talking about and how to convey that to an audience that doesn’t understand industry jargon.
Average salary: $60,000+/year
Financial writers cover a wide range of finance topics. They can work for agencies, freelance, or online and print publications. Writing about finances is more than just simple budgeting tips and frugal living advice. They need to understand and interpret things like stocks, investing, taxes, and credit. While you don’t technically need any financial degree to become a finance writer, it can certainly help. Financial writers can write anything from course textbooks to social media posts. Like some of the other, more complicated writing niches, finance writers need to prove that they know what they are talking about. It’s not easy to understand and interpret things like blockchain and cryptocurrency into layman’s terms.
Average salary: $50,000+/year
While freelance writer salaries for health writers aren’t as high as others on the list, kind in mind that this is a national average, and they have the potential to make way more. Health writing and medical writing can go hand in hand, similar to white papers and case studies. Health writers can write about anything from the latest diet fads to breaking medical news. Health writers can work for various clients, such as newspapers, government agencies, medical device companies, beauty brands, health and fitness bloggers, websites, journals, magazines, and even pharmaceutical companies.
Average salary: $51,000+/year
If you are a parent, I’m sure you’re qualified to be a parenting writer. While you don’t technically need any qualifications to become a parenting writer, having kids certainly helps. Parenting writers can write for magazines, blogs, and even eCommerce stores. As a parenting writer, you should be informative and provide your audience with a good sense of humor. Because let’s face it, while parenting can be stressful, it’s the little smiles that make it all worthwhile.
Average salary: $62,000+/year
If you have a passion for all things cute and furry, then you can certainly qualify to become a pet writer. Similar to parenting writers, pet writers can write for magazines, blogs, and eCommerce sites. From puppies to bunnies, pet writers can write about a variety of different topics and subjects. This can include things like pet food reviews to pet care. While you don’t need to be a veterinarian to be a pet writer, you need good research skills.
Digital marketing writer
Average salary: $75,000+/year
As with the explosive growth of digital marketing, so has the need for digital marketing writers. A lot goes into digital marketing, and writing topics can include social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, content marketing, and so on. While digital marketing writers can certainly write about these topics, they can also specialize and niche down. With digital marketing writing, you need to be able to take topics that the general publish wouldn’t understand well and break them down into simpler terms.
Average salary: $54,000+/year
When it comes to being a magazine writer, your ability to pitch needs to be top-notch. You should be able to present the editorial team with fresh ideas that their audience will love. As a magazine writer, you can search for publications opportunities for both print and digital magazines. As with any kind of writing, it’s good to have a niche to focus on; this rings true for magazine writers. Magazine niches can include women’s/men’s health, science, travel, pets, hobbies, design, lifestyle, stories and essays, technology, business news, and crafts.
No matter which freelance writing career you have chosen, there is the potential to make a great living, even without being chained to your computer 24/7.
So, which lucrative writing service are you interested in?