According to Flexjobs, writing is one of the most popular professions in the remote work community. Unlike other positions where set hours and daily team collaboration may be a requirement, the nature of remote writing jobs allows for greater flexibility.
Professionals interested in remote writing jobs can strike out on their own as freelancers, take on part-time hours, or seek out a full-time writing position with benefits. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of possibilities when it comes to working as a remote writer.
Because of the flexibility, writing jobs are perfect for remote work. While it does help to be in contact with a marketing team to keep up with branding and content standards, writers can typically work alone while also making their own hours as long as they meet deadlines.
Another benefit of this flexibility has been the impact of freelancing on remote writing jobs. Freelance marketing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr, have made it easier than ever for freelance writers to begin making money quickly. Even freelancing outside of these websites can be lucrative.
Now, I'm realizing that freelance work has unlimited potential for earning, if I'm willing to put in the time to find the right kind of clients or be willing to negotiate more aggressively with my clients. It's definitely something that takes me out of my comfort zone, but it is also exciting at the same time. - Andrew Pourciaux, freelance writer
Also, companies that want to save money on benefits and that only have short-term writing needs are also more likely to seek out freelance writers, adding more jobs to the market.
On average, a writer's salary is $48,489 a year, depending on the location, cost of living, and the lack of typical expenses associated with commuting to an office, this can be an acceptable salary.
So, if you are interested in stepping into a remote writing job, here are some of the common types to look out for:
If you are seeking a remote writing position, below are steps for standing out in each job mentioned above along with input from some of our talented RemoteHabits interviewees.
Copywriting is the act of writing material for advertising or other forms of persuasive marketing. It can be in the form of web copy that describes a product, or prose on a brochure that promotes a company's brand.
The average salary for a copywriter is $49,661 a year, and those with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn approximately $55,000. While copywriting can occur whenever marketing prose is needed, the most popular positions are related to social media copy, general marketing copy, and website copy.
However also be sure to look into Jobspresso, WeWorkRemotely, and Remote.co since they all allow you to search specifically for remote writing jobs. Also, Mediabistro and Behance are two other job posting sites that cater to writers and creative workers.
You can also pursue copywriting as a freelancer. Here are a couple of tips for jumping into freelancing from Debabrata Deb, a freelance copywriter:
If you have currently have a job, start remote-working gradually by getting your feet wet, one project at a time. It takes time to build your brand, get positive feedback, and build a pipeline of projects/clients. So be careful before jumping all in if you have the option.
Be sure to have an established portfolio – Potential employers and clients want to see what you can bring to the table. So, be sure to include photos or links to your relevant work. It also doesn't hurt to include any data that shows your copywriting brought success to your previous employer or client.
Network – Network as much as possible! While general professional networking events are suitable to attend, also be sure to switch it up. Try visiting incubator, accelerator, or start-up pitch events. They will likely have small business owners and start-up founders there might be in immediate need of a copywriter.
Resume and Cover Letter – Always lead with data. These documents are definitely where you want to show off the impact you have made on previous employers and clients. Quantify your impact and include milestones and achievements. Did your copy directly impact sales or spur conversions? Include this information in your resume, and then flesh out a few of these accomplishments in your cover letter.
A technical writer takes highly complex and sophisticated technical knowledge and writes it in a way that can be understood by the general public. Considering the influence technology has on our daily life, the job of a technical writer is crucial.
Before concepts like Wi-Fi, radar, machine learning, and automation became commonplace in our society; a technical writer had to write these concepts in a way the public would understand them.
Depending on the subject matter, technical writing can require a deep understanding of complex technical concepts and terminology. Technical writers need to have the ability to break down the challenging language in a clear and straightforward way.
While the skill of comprehension is essential, it is not the only required trait. Technical writers also have to be adept at collaborating with technology professionals to gather information.
Freelance technical writer, Vernon, provides some insight on his career as a technical writer:
As a technical writer, most of my time is spent either testing, researching or writing. As such, the tools that I use support those functions. Specifically, I am a software technical writer; that's my specialty. So 'testing' involves using the software that I'm working with. I use a Windows 10 laptop, but if I'm writing documentation for a Mac app such as Focus, then I'll use a Mac Airbook that I have access to.
According to Payscale, a technical writer with five to ten years of experience will probably earn a salary of $63,000. However, this is likely an average of those who work full-time. For those with part-time or freelance arrangements, this salary is likely to be lower. Nevertheless, technology will always be a significant part of our society, so writers in this niche will have many options.
Be sure to check out the job boards and job listing sites already mentioned above, but in addition to those. Here are a few others to check into:
Carve out a technical niche – All technology is not created equal. While you can learn as you go, it helps to have a base knowledge of a specific type of technology. For example, writing about the development of an app is very different from crafting language about the usability of a new piece of robotic technology. So, start by working on projects that allow you to focus on a specialized niche.
Become a subject matter expert – When it comes to technical writing, social media and blogging are your friends. Strengthen your credibility by becoming a subject matter expert. Share your thoughts and insights about your specific technology niche on social media. You may even want to go as far to attach a blog to your portfolio site to allow you to expand on your thoughts.
Network with technology companies – If you want to work with technology professionals, be sure to go where they are. Search out and participate in technology-related Twitter chats, join technology-based Facebook groups, and be sure to attend events where you can meet with technology companies. These could include tech-start-up pitch events, developer meetups, and hack-fests. Meetup.com, General Assembly, and local universities are great places to look for these types of happenings.
Before we get into the steps you should take to get hired as a copyeditor; it first helps to discuss the differences between editing and copyediting. Many individuals use them interchangeably, but when it comes to getting hired, it is crucial to know the difference.
Editing is more so about the overall development of prose. Editors are meant to help develop the structure, flow, and plot of your content. In contrast, copyeditors are a lot more specific in their approach. They are more focused on grammar, sentence structure, and language content.
The average salary for a copyeditor that has five to ten years of experience is $42,000. According to Payscale, one of the most popular ways copyeditors are working is as a self-employed professional, which carries an average salary of $62,400.
Again, the job boards and job listing sites that have already been mentioned should be on your list to visit. However, one great way to easily have access to remote copyediting jobs across a variety of job boards is to set up an RSS feed.
Sign up for the RSS feeds of the various job listing sites, and also set up email alerts for remote copyediting jobs that fit your niche. Also, in addition to the sites already mentioned, be sure also to check out:
Networking – Take the time to determine who your target audience is, and make sure you are putting yourself in situations to meet these people. For example, if you want to be a copyeditor for a start-up or work with these companies as a freelancer, find events around your city that cater to this group. It also doesn't hurt to see if there are any copyediting meetups in your area. If there isn't, feel free to start your own.
Resume and Cover Letter – Since your goal is to edit the work of others, make a point to have another editor look at your resume and cover letter. Also, don't be afraid to see how other copyeditors are representing themselves. Take a look at templates and examples for inspiration. However, ultimately, it is all about skills and abilities. Highlight your accomplishments in your resume, and use the cover letter to discuss what you can bring to the table.
Testimonials and Portfolios – These are going to be critical to getting your foot in the door. While your competition will have a resume and cover letter, they may not have testimonials, recommendations, and portfolios. Hiring managers want to know what they can expect from you and input from a previous client and employer as well as a look into your copyediting work is sure to put you at the top.
Also, don't be afraid to use your own blogs and projects as part of your portfolio. Writer, Hannah Kowalczyk-Harper, discusses the importance of this approach:
No matter what your field, I highly recommend spec work whether it be redesigning a popular website to show design skills, coding your own app, or writing your own articles. But do it for yourself and keep all the rights.
Proofreading and editing are also two positions that are interchangeably used but are not the same. Much like copyeditors, proofreaders are concerned with looking for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes.
Their goal is to help writers adhere to specific writing standards as well as ensure that the writing is free of errors. Again, in contrast, editors are there to help writers better organize their prose for more comprehensive understanding.
The average base salary of a proofreader is $50,943 according to Salary.com. However, the average range can fall between $44,704 to $58,171 depending on years of experience, qualifications, and education level. Proofreading does require much skill, but the actual practice can be learned by anyone with a keen eye for detail.
There is a variety of proofreading sites and agencies that you can join to begin working as a proofreader. Here is a list of some proofreading work at home sites to start your search. Many may offer a decent amount of work with lower pay. However, they are likely only useful for those who want to get their foot in the door and build experience.
If you are looking for something more concrete and long-term, look into jobs on Mediabistro, LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, or Flexjobs. Also, this is a popular job type for freelancing, so don't forget to check into places like Upwork, Freelancer, PeopleByHour, or Fiverr if you are prepared to go it on your own.
Networking – While it helps to be a generalist, as this can provide more hiring opportunities, it can also benefit you to hone in on a niche. Do you have a specialty in education, nonprofits, or technology? If so, attend events and join online groups that are within these sectors. You will be able to leverage your familiarity with the subject matter when marketing your proofreading skills.
Resume and Cover Letter – Much like the copyeditor, have another proofreader or copyeditor go through your resume and cover letter. Since you are working to fix grammatical and spelling areas, you want to ensure that these mistakes are non-existent. Also, discuss any remote work experiences you have been a part of in the past. Remote work companies are more likely to look at you if you already have some location-independent work experience.
Testimonials and Portfolio – It is excellent if you have any recommendations or testimonials from previous employers or clients that can go into detail about your services, how it helped their business, and why you are the perfect person to hire. Also, have them touch on some of the qualities and characteristics that make a remote proofreader exceptional. Regarding portfolios, make a point to include written prose before your edits, and show how you changed it to its final form.
One of the excellent things about remote work writing jobs is how broad these jobs can be. Because of how important writing is to creating content, many writing jobs intersect with general marketing and digital marketing. Here are a few remote marketing jobs that likely involve writing:
Networking and Digital Networking – There can be much competition for remote marketing jobs, so it helps to be in the right place at the right time. You may want to think about joining the American Marketing Association chapter in your city. This organization holds multiple marketing-related workshops and networking events per month. Also, don't forget about digital networking. Be sure to follow and interact with distributed companies you want to work for on social media.
Marketing Agencies – Start building relationships with marketing agencies. Many do hire remote workers, and might definitely give you a shot if they get to know you. Also, be sure to check into staffing agencies that have a focus on digital marketing. Many of those agencies can keep an eye out for remote digital marketing opportunities.
Portfolio – Again, this is likely going to be the most critical piece of your hiring plan. Whether you are a content writer, social media writer, or digital marketing specialist, always have examples of your work. Having these not only increases your credibility, but it also gives you a better chance to be hired at a company that is the right fit.
Editing is another popular remote work position that is related to writing. It is a position you can do anywhere, and for almost any industry. For an individual remote editing position, check the job boards already mentioned.
However, if you are just stepping into remote editing, be sure to check out this list of companies that typically hire for remote editing jobs.
Also, don't hesitate to check into freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Freelancer, PeopleByHour, and Fiverr to build your portfolio and make contacts. You never know if a freelance editing contract can evolve into a part-time or full-time position.
Note: While we do our best to research and post legitimate jobs, postings, and groups, we always advise you to do your own additional research to ensure jobs, websites, and groups are above board.
Also, if you are a writer and are looking to branch out into other fields, you can differentiate yourself by looking into other remote writer professions. Here are a few other popular online writing jobs to check into:
Remote work writing jobs allow you to build a career from anywhere around the world successfully. Since writing can be done outside of strict team collaboration, and with minimal supervision, it is an excellent candidate for remote work.
However, because these jobs are such a perfect fit for remote work, they can be competitive. So, be sure to make networking a priority, always tailor your resume and cover letter to your preferred job, discuss your remote work experience, and develop a robust portfolio of your work.
If you follow these steps, you will significantly increase your chances of landing an ideal remote work online writing job. If you are still in the job search, we invite you to visit the RemoteHabits job search site.
Also, whether you are a current or aspiring remote worker, we encourage you to check out our RemoteHabits interviews and articles. Our interviewees offer tips, advice, and an insightful look into what life is like as a remote worker.
We wish you the best of luck in your job search, and we hope the information above can help you get started!
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