Freelance Blog + [writing]

More Than Magazines: 5 Opportunities for Writers

Have a question about freelance writing? I'll be answering questions as a guest on Carol Tice's The Freelance Writer's Free-for-All this Wednesday at noon PST/3pm EST. The live phone chat is free but you do need to register in advance.
Last year, I blogged about eight alternatives to magazines. As the content landscape evolves, it creates new opportunities for writers, especially those who are adaptable and willing to think beyond traditional media. That was the reoccurring theme at the ASJA conference earlier this year and it's something I've really taken to heart. Here are a few more alternatives to magazine markets.

  1. Social media ghosting.
    Many companies and solopreneurs want an active social media presence but don't have time to actually tweet or blog themselves. Enter the social media ghost, often a freelance writer who's social media savvy enough to write tweets and status updates in the client's voice. I've done this for a few clients where I email a set number of tweets weekly and the client schedules the tweets she wants to use. I send a few extras with the understanding that she might tweak or nix a few tweets (hence why I send more than she actually needs) but she pays a flat rate per month. One strategy for finding these gigs is to pitch your social media skills to an existing client and use that to gain referrals.
  2. Conference coverage.
    This is not a new phenomenon but it's a niche I recently discovered. Organizations that host conferences often publish conference recaps for those who couldn't attend. It requires excellent note-taking skills and the ability to synthesize a large volume of information. Want to know more? Read my tips for covering conferences. I landed my conference coverage gig through networking but if you live in an area that attracts a lot of conferences, you might pitch yourself to some of the organizations that are planning conferences or introduce yourself to the conference planners at local hotels in case they're able to refer you.
  3. Video script writing.
    In case you haven't heard, video is the new hotness, so as more and more companies create instructional videos, webisodes, and other video content, they need writers who can translate a concept into a video script. I haven't done this myself, but Carol Tice reports on her blog that writing video scripts can pay a very decent hourly rate. Just remember that web surfers have a short attention span, so online videos are generally short and tightly focused to keep their attention.
  4. Case study writing.
    Yet another opportunity that's not entirely new but as the need for quality online content grows, case studies are often part of that equation. In her Writer Profits blog, Susan Carter offers tips on writing successful case studies. Since case studies are essentially based on stories, it's an ideal format for journalists with a knack for weaving together details and writing narrative.
  5. Teaching.
    Teaching writing or related subjects may not bring you big bucks but it's a great way to boost your credibility and network with others. I teach an intro to freelance writing course at Boston Center for Adult Education, and each class gives me something to think about (and write about) as students often ask interesting questions that give me a new perspective on writing. I've also made some new friends through BCAE and hope to offer an online version the class someday. If you're interested in teaching, scout around your local adult or community education center as a starting point. If you have a master's degree, you might be able to land an adjunct professor gig as well.
Have you tried any of these avenues? Which ones have you found most interesting? What other opportunities would you add to this list? Flickr photo courtesy of the Italian voice