What is Freelance Writing? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:00 Definition of…
  • 0:55 Types Of Freelance Writing
  • 1:33 Why Hire A Freelance Writer?
  • 2:28 Examples Of Freelance Writing
  • 3:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Bryanna Licciardi

Bryanna has received both her BA in English and MFA in Creative Writing. She has been a writing tutor for over six years.

Freelance writing is writing that you get paid for without being hired full time. Want to try your hand at it? This lesson will explain freelance writing and go through common uses and examples.

Definition of Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is, more or less, professional writing done by freelancers. To be freelance is to work on different jobs or for short periods of time, without being a permanent employee. The word 'freelance' itself comes from the Middle Ages, to describe the knights who would defend whichever king paid them, rather than being loyal to just one king. These knights were referred to as 'free lanced'.

If you are a freelance writer, you do not belong to one publication or organization, and instead submit your writing to whomever pays you for it. Freelance writing can be both creative and technical, but either way it is a short-term commitment. For creative writing pieces, a freelance writer usually writes first, and then seeks a publication to house it. For technical or specialized projects, a freelance writer will generally be sought out first.

Types of Freelance Writing

Technically, any writing paid for by a person or company that doesn't employ you full time makes the writing freelance. The most popular freelance writing can be found in publications online or in print, in areas like business, marketing and journalism. They can also be found in businesses and organizations that have single projects to complete, such as grants and proposals.

There are many types of freelance writing gigs:

  • Newspaper article
  • Grant writing for a nonprofit organization
  • Program proposal
  • Website blog
  • Training manual
  • Book review
  • Interview published in a magazine
  • Translation of a story written in a foreign language

Why Hire a Freelance Writer?

Companies might contract out writing assignments for several reasons. Some businesses do not have in-house employees who specialize in writing, or know a topic or field well enough to write about it. Hiring a freelance writer means getting the work done correctly, accurately, and professionally without putting pressure on an unqualified employee. For publications, keeping their doors open to freelance writing is important. This way, they have access to many different writing styles, subject matters, and voices.

If you are a freelance writer looking for a home for your story, look into publications such as newspapers, journals, and magazines to see if your writing style is suited first. If you want to get into freelance writing, there are online groups you can join such as and Groups like these, once you are allowed to join, give you access to businesses seeking freelance writing jobs.

Examples of Freelance Writing

Let's see some scenarios of when freelance writing should be used.

Example One

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