The internet is filled with moviegoers who share their opinions about the films they see. To become a freelance film critic who earns a paycheck, it takes more time and perseverance. Tony Macklin, a freelance film critic with decades of experience, says the world of film criticism is different from when he started. “I’d recommend trying to find a specialty. One potential, growing field is independent films. I think one could concentrate on doing criticism on independent films – the filmmakers want and need any recognition or support they can get.” Obviously, a love of films is a must for this type of writing, but it goes beyond what you liked and didn’t like about the big-screen story. A good film critic analyzes all aspects of the film, including plot, directing, editing, cinematography, and acting. With the rise of online technology and social media, you can begin to build your portfolio by submitting your film critiques to user-submitted sites like Rotten Tomatoes, create your own review website, or start a podcast that analyzes films. Also consider reaching out to local newspapers, radio stations, and magazines to offer freelance film reviews.
In a digital age where we rely on a company’s website to learn about the services and/or products a business offers, well-written content is crucial to providing information to potential clients and customers. Many businesses hire freelance writers to create compelling and informative website content that is also mindful of being found online via search engine optimization (SEO).
Jordan Rosenfeld, an accomplished freelance writer and author of six writing craft books, says, “It’s important for writers to adhere closely to style guidelines and the client’s expectations. Ask questions if you aren’t sure.” The goal of this type of work is to produce solid, informational, optimized copy that will allow potential customers to discover a client’s business online. Rosenfeld has found success as a freelance website content writer because she works fast, turns her work in on time, and produces clean copy that requires little editing.
Blogging for businesses
Many businesses have blogs to drive traffic to their websites, provide useful content, build trust with customers, and generate leads, and many companies hire freelance writers to write them. Many digital marketing firms work with corporations and subcontract the blogging work to different freelancers. Working for an agency like this can be easier than seeking out individual opportunities, but the pay is often lower than gigs you’d find on your own.
Over the years, I’ve blogged for various businesses and created posts on topics from wallpaper to cooking with kids to writing tips. If you have experience writing for magazines, the transition to blog writing is easy. They are similar in regards to knowing your audience, researching the topic, and creating interesting content, but blogs tend to be shorter, be very mindful of SEO, and include links. If you have no magazine or blogging experience, consider creating your own blog. Think about a topic you want to focus on. It can be parenting, cooking with an air fryer, fishing – anything you’re interested in, as long your posts relate to your main topic, or “niche.” This provides boundaries and makes it easier to find your target audience. Find a blogging platform you want to use, like WordPress, and start writing. To build your audience and become familiar with the style and formatting of blogs, read and comment on other blogs. Look for blogging gigs at sites like bloggingpro.com/jobs or
One word of caution when looking for blogging jobs: Many “content mill” companies hire writers at an extremely low wage to crank out content. If you are looking into these, proceed with caution and always do your research.
Social media manager
Social media is a vital component to many businesses – and a time-consuming one to boot. Many companies hire freelance social media managers to oversee this aspect of their business. This job entails more than just understanding the different platforms and writing witty or poignant posts. Effective social media managers focus on the company’s brand to create strong campaigns, generate editorial calendars, analyze the data to see what is and isn’t working, produce engaging posts, respond to comments and feedback, and have an understanding of visual design strategies. They stay current on trends on each platform. For writers who enjoy being creative, communicating with an audience, and studying analytics, a social media manager job might be right for you. You can find plenty of job opportunities on places like indeed.com or venture out and seek your own clients. Create a professional website highlighting your services and experiences, and then pitch your services and the value you will bring.
Early in my freelance career, I explored ways to expand my writing and looked into public relations. After researching and studying effective press releases, I became efficient at writing them for clients such as the local convention and visitors bureau and a nearby bank. The purpose of press releases is to inform the press (magazines, newspapers, television, radio, etc.) about an upcoming event, exciting changes at a company, highlighting certain employees’ accomplishments…anything that would make a great news story. A good press release writer will find an interesting angle and craft their release in such a way that a newspaper or magazine could run the whole release in their publication. To find these jobs, reach out to your local CVB, marketing, and PR agencies to see if they are looking for writers. Study press releases at outlets like prnewswire.com.
Many freelance opportunities await you. With a little research, perseverance, and upfront prep with your resume, LinkedIn profile, and website, you can generate income from your writing. Make 2022 the year you step out and make it happen.
—Kerrie Flanagan is an author, writing consultant, and freelance writer from Colorado with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. She is the author of WD Guide to Magazine Article Writing. She moonlights in the world of romance with a co-author under the pen name C.K. Wiles (ckwiles.com) and in the sci-fi/fantasy realm under the pen name C.G. Harris (cgharris.net). Sign up for her newsletter at