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What Can I Write as a Freelance Writer?


When I first started writing, I was writing anything I could get my hands on.

I created fake wedding brochures. I created resumes and wrote cover letters. I wrote bios.

The point is, I was doing a lot of different things. Copywriting, content writing, writing that I don’t even know how to categorize…

Anyway, I finally got into a groove with my clients and discovered I am a content writer.

Read on for a break down of the different types of writing jobs available.


Writing White Papers

A white paper is a technical document, sort of. These can also be called research papers or case studies. (You’ll learn that there is a fluidity in freelance language.) These are typically written by subject matter experts (SME.) I can’t think of a better way to put than Purdue OWL does…


“…the purpose of a white paper is to advocate that a certain position is the best way to go or that a certain solution is best for a particular problem. When it is used for commercial purposes, it could influence the decision-making processes of current and prospective customers.”

If you want to see examples of white papers, google can help. Alternatively, you can visit LinkedIn’s library with tons of examples.


Rates for White Papers

I am probably not the best resource for this question. I have never written, nor had the urge, to write a white paper. Because they are technical documents requiring an expert or an expert researcher, you are going to make more money as a white paper writer (probably) than as a content writer.

From what I can find, the rate varies widely from$1200 to $6000 per paper. These papers are probably around 5000 words. (Please remember, this is a very broad overview from someone who is in no way an expert.)

Bylined? Maybe yes, maybe no. Depends on the client.


Ghostwriting can be appealing if you’re nervous about having your name out there in the world with your work attached. It’s also appealing because it pays well!

The basic contracts will all state that once you submit your writing, it is no longer yours. You are giving up complete rights to your work. This can pose a few problems.

  • Finding other work without bylines could be hard.
  • You can’t tell even potential clients the specifics of the previous ghostwriting work you’ve done.

However, once you are hired as a ghostwriter and work starts coming in, you can share samples of your work with potential clients (as long as it’s not another client’s work) and you can be specific such as “I’ve ghostwritten a full-length romance novel that has sold over 10,000 copies and has a 5-star rating on Amazon.

Typically, you’re only going to get hired and paid the big bucks as a ghostwriter if you’re already a successful writer with published work under your own name.

Rates for Ghostwriting

Again, ghostwriting rates run the gamut. You can charge hourly ($30-150), or you can charge by word ($1-5.) On the other hand, you can charge by project. A 100-page novel can start at $1200 and go up to $6000.

Bylined? Nope. You’se a ghost.

B2B and B2C

You’ve probably seen this everywhere. It stands for Business to Business. B2B writers are tasked with creating content that helps one business sell their services and products to another business. This would be like a shampoo company selling haircare products to salons.

B2B content is going to sound more professional, and possibly more technical. The material is written specifically for industry specialists, and some research may be required.

A B2B writer also generates leads and creates email campaigns that drive brand awareness. This is the perfect niche for marketers.

B2C is, you guessed it, Business to Consumer. As a B2C writer, you create content for a business to sell their services and products to consumers, or an audience of potential clients. Think of a salon selling their haircutting services to customers.

B2C content is going to be consumer-friendly, devoid of professional jargon. This content is written for the general public, and it explains how readers can benefit from a product.

Rates for B2B and B2C

I’m lumping these together because they are similar in their rates.

The rates for B2B content vary wildly. Do you see a pattern?

First, anything that requires research will pay more. Moreover, if they aren’t paying higher rates based on the research needed, you should kindly inform the client that research-based content requires more work and should, therefore, be paid accordingly.

B2B and B2C content writing rates depend on the length and the project. They can start at $0.25 per word or $150 per 500 words.

The more profitable and high-ranking a company is, the more likely it is that they are going to pay expert rates. If you’re writing B2B content for a local mom and pop business, you’re probably going to make significantly less.

Bylined? Maybe, but probably not. This type of content doesn’t typically have any byline.





Journalists write the news. They write for newspapers or websites that report the news. They interview experts or witnesses. They report factual content. Journalists typically make more money than a content blogger. Their work requires lots of research and following up on leads, getting quotes, and maybe even traveling the globe.

Bylined? Big yes.




Content and Copywriting

Content writing is what a blog is. Essentially it’s writing that makes you want to read from beginning to end, hanging around a website longer to see what else they offer. This post that you are reading right now is content writing.

Copywriting is promotional. These are things like banners, or advertisements you get via text. It’s flashy and enticing. It’s what gets you to go the boutique sale or click on the “free assessment” button.

Content and Copywriting Rates

I know the most about content writing rates because that’s what I mostly do. Copywriting rates are lumped with content writing rates because they are similar.

Starting out, you may find companies that use content mills will pay $0.01-0.02 per word. This is common on sites like Steady Content, Textbroker, and Upwork.

There is nothing wrong with finding work on these sites. It’s how a lot of new writers get their start, learn the ropes, and hone their writing skills. You won’t make enough to quit your day job, but it’s a good jumping off point.

Bylined? Maybe yes, maybe no. Usually, if you’re working through an agency, you won’t get a byline. If you work directly with the client, there is a good chance you could be bylined.



Social Media

Social media managers are typically distinguished from writers because they also schedule content and research social media algorithms and the like. They create popular hashtags and have their pulse on the trends before they become trendy.

More and more, however, I am seeing that clients want their writers to create social media content as well. While you may not develop schedules or research trends, you’ll need to understand what sorts of tweets or Instagram posts will be the most eye-catching and entertaining. (And if they want you to research and create schedules, beware of scope creep!)

Bylined? No. You’re working behind the scenes here, tweeting and posting on someone else’s behalf.



BEWARE! This is not some be-all, end-all definitive list. There are exceptions to everything, especially when it comes to writing. The freelance writing world is evolving every day.

Some writers consider themselves generalists. They do a little bit of everything. This frees them up to write for a variety of clients on lots of different topics.

Did I miss anything? Let me know what you think.



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