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What does it take to be a freelance writer?

The Road to Freelance Writing

If someone would have told me five years ago I’d be writing articles about my favorite television shows, interviewing writer2celebrities, covering Comic-Con, the Red Carpet at award shows, and producing my own Blogtalk Radio shows, I’d have told them they were crazy!  Recently, I realized just how early my writing career began when I stumbled across a poem I had written in the sixth grade, that actually won an award and was written up in the local newspaper.

When, later, I began a career in criminal investigations, my writing skills flourished as needed to communicate each side of the story: victim, witness, and law enforcement through forensic interviews.  It’s been a interesting road to say the least, but I’m one of the lucky ones, able to chase after my dream of becoming a professional writer.

Question is, can just anyone write? Lord knows there are thousands worldwide who believe they can; however, honestly I feel it’s a gift. You have to be great communicator–a storyteller, and I believe that’s something you either have or you don’t. I have lots friends that wish they could write that novel in their head or create content for their websites, blogs, etc., but just aren’t blessed with that particular ability. Then there are those who are hoping for a chance to make a living doing what they love.  While making a living as a writer is something I personally am still pursuing, there are ways along that path to put your skills to use and earn some decent money.

In this day and age where employers and small businesses are barely getting by, employment opportunities are slowly dwindling and everything is about the online universe, is it even possible to work as a writer?  For my own experience, I know hundreds of writers blogging about their favorite subjects, television shows, movies, music, etc. The lucky few that gain employment from their writing skills is a very small percentage considering how much content is on the net in the 21st Century.  We’ve only just recently, within the past five years, seen everything change now that the Internet plays a huge factor in advertising, marketing, web-based content.  Long gone are the days of door-to-door salesmen, and even telemarketers, are fading into the woodwork as millions cruise the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, able to look up or research pretty much anything on the planet.

In my quest to expand and become a writer, it’s clear the key is to find a niche, something that you are either uniquely qualified to write about or a subject you are interested in.  I’ve learned the entertainment industry banks on publicity, with networks now seeking free advertising via fans, who write, post, Tweet about their favorite shows, movies, books, and more.  The Internet explosion has allowed writers of all ages a voice, a chance to create their own content via websites, blogs, and radio shows.

This happens to be my niche and the coverage I provide is about shows I’m passionate about.  But it’s not just the entertainment industry that is seeking out writers to promote.  Marketing directors in all types of industries are attempting to harness the worldwide web to ensure their content is front and center, especially via social media platforms.  The need for good writers is in high demand as companies have begun to realize a presence on the net is crucial, to increase their revenue via website traffic and across social media platforms.  However, it takes those with the ability to write thoughtful commentary and insight.

In this age of advanced mobile technology, it’s become easier for writers to work pretty much anywhere they want and the need to head to a stuffy office every day has diminished.  Now many work from home or on the go, able to file their content no matter where they are in the world.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau Statistics Occupation Outlook Handbook 2014-2015 Edition, the demand for writers and authors is expected to grow three percent by 2020 and is highly competitive because of its flexibility, as well as earning potential.  Unlike working in corporate America, you get the luxury of setting your own hours and the ability to pursue subjects of interest.

What is a freelance writer and why is this type of occupation so desirable?  “Freelance” is a term for the self-employed, someone that is not specifically tied to a company or corporation, who has qualifications in their field. There are freelancers in pretty much any type of occupation you can think of, but for those who are passionate about writing that might not have enough experience to apply for the job of their dreams, freelance writing opportunities allow you to build up a portfolio, and give you the freedom to write about subjects of interest.

There are hundreds of companies, organizations (profit/non-profit), and individuals that need your expertise to provide content on their websites and blogs, or provide assistance to those writing in print in any industry you can think of, from medicine to travel, to building trades–to just about anything.  Even news organizations like CNN and BBC offer qualified writers freelance opportunities. The sky’s the limit and the ability to earn an income (or just build a portfolio) is out there.

Ultimately, it’s really up to each individual and whether or not they have a fire in their belly (and both the ability and skill) to pursue a writing career. Freelance allows those interested to gain experience writing content for various individuals, organizations no matter where you are in the world or what the subject.  Whether you’re writing for a website, an individual or creating content for a company, the need for quality freelance writers will continue to grow in demand and all one has to do, is go for it!

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About Chrissy Piccolo

Chrissy Piccolo the founder of RHeart Network, the Fan's Voice, the #1 Fan Connection Destination, supporting daytime, prime-time and online scripted digital content. Currently the host of RHeart Radio, the Fan's Voice, as well as Storytellers On The Net, and Sleepy Hollow Addicts on Blogtalk radio. In addition to writing for Blogcritics, she is also an author on Examiner.com. Web Series Today and currently co-hosts with Barbara Barnett and Jerome Wetzel on 'Let's Talk TV' on Blogtalk. She is also working on adapting her her first novel in The Kirsten Kelly Chronicles series into a webseries. Passionate about keeping scripted content alive, she continues to be an advocate for all forms. When she’s not working managing several websites or writing, one of her hobbies is investigating the paranormal with other enthusiasts and searching out possible cases through historic sites in the Northwest. Chrissy believes in being a positive influence in such a vast medium as the Internet.

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One comment

  1. I admire your skill and persistency. I love skillful and evocative writing, and I’ve read quite a bit in 77 years. So, I’ve tried a little writing myself, but if I let it alone for a couple weeks it seems far less interesting than I hoped it would be. I’m fortunate I don’t have to earn my daily bread by writing: I never realized it could be so daunting.