Making Money As a Freelance Writer

Freelance writing can be a highly satisfying and rewarding way to earn money, either as a part time or full time career. Some of the qualities you need for success in freelance writing are good writing skills, saleable ideas, and an ability to meet obligations and deadlines.


  • Fiction – adult and children’s books, short stories for magazines and newspapers
  • Non-fiction – newspapers, technical (specialist) books and magazines, government publications, trade journals, general interest magazines
  • Copy writing– advertisements, press releases
  • Script writing – TV, movie, video and radio scripts
  • Web writing – ezines, advertising copy

    The following steps are a broad guide to getting started as a freelance writer:

    1. Identify the area(s) of writing that interest you.

    2. Research the market place to get a feel for what other successful writers are doing. Visit bookshops, and buy newspapers and magazines to see what’s currently being published. Get a feel for what publishers want and look for gaps in the market.

    3. Develop your writing skills. Start off small and hone your skills by contributing to newsletters published by your school, work or social club. You could enter short story competitions or even try writing short articles for local newspapers or hobby or trade magazines. Don’t be disappointed if your articles are rejected – at this stage the aim is to practise your writing and to get a feel for what is acceptable in the marketplace.

    4. Develop a personal reference library. Collect examples of other writers’ work in the areas that interest you. Books, newspaper articles and magazines are not only a useful information resource, they also help you to develop an awareness of how other successful writers write!

    5. Develop your selling skills! Build up contacts with publishers and organisations in your chosen area of writing.

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