Since I’ve been back home for the summer, I’ve had a lot of family members ask me what exactly I’m doing to make money. It’s a valid question. I’m not working a “traditional” summer job. Instead, I’m working for myself. When most people ask, I just say “freelance writing.”
For those who want to know a bit more, I thought I’d write this post explaining in a bit more detail.
Here’s the sexy, elevator pitch version of what I do: I write and edit online content for clients in a variety of different industries.
What exactly does that mean?
Let’s break it down a bit further.
This is the hardest part for most people to understand. People of my parents’ and grandparents’ generations are familiar with the idea of writing, certainly. And editing’s not that hard to explain, either. The confusing bit is what exactly I write and edit.
The easiest way to think of it is this: every word you’ve read online was written by someone. Whether it’s a blog post, an About page, or a description of the latest electronic gadget, somebody like me wrote it.
Despite the increasing prevalence of video, the internet is still composed mostly of text. Someone has to create all that text, craft words that people can relate to. That’s my job.
At the moment, I write and edit for clients in the following fields:
- A college advice website
- A plant nursery blog/catalog
- A self-improvement website
- A WordPress content agency (WordPress is the blogging platform that powers a good percentage of the Web, including this site)
- A freelance advice site
So what does the writing process look like? It depends what I’m writing about. If it’s for a blog (the majority of my writing is), the process looks like this:
- Submit a topic idea to the client.
- Once the client approves the topic, research and create a basic outline.
- Write a rough draft.
- Edit the rough draft.
- Add media, formatting, and links to the draft.
- Submit the draft to the client.
- Get paid!
If it’s for something else (say a catalog entry or site page), the process is basically the same, although there’s usually a lot more research involved.
The editing process is a bit different. Depending on the work, it can take much less or much more time than writing. It also involves a lot more back and forth with the client.
The general process is as follows:
- Receive the writing from the client.
- Add the piece to Google Docs.
- Read through the piece and make comments on:
- Anything else relevant.
- Give the edited piece to the client.
- Discuss any changes until we have a something we’re both happy with.
- Get paid!
And that’s the procedure for most everything I’ve edited so far.
A Good Gig
I have to say that this beats any other summer job I’ve ever had. My hours are flexible, the pay is decent, and the work is enjoyable. It’s not without its challenges, of course. With no boss and not set work hours, I have to motivate myself to do the work. But it’s fun, for the most part. Beats flipping burgers or bagging groceries, that’s for sure.
I hope this clears up the ambiguity about what I do all day.
If you happen to be reading this and think you’re in need of editing or writing services, I’d love to chat. Contact me to find out if we can help each other.
Also, if you’re a college student and think this sounds like something you’d like to do, I’m happy to help you get started. Contact me about that as well. I got here because someone gave me the chance to write for them. It’s only right that I pay it forward.