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Freelance Writing: For the Web or Print?

As I have mentioned before, there are many different types of freelance writing projects available. The more that you are willing to consider the better chance there is that you will get your career moving in the right direction. With that being said, one common question comes to mind: what is better, writing for the web or print publications? As you can imagine, the answer to this question varies greatly. The best way to answer this question is to consider the factors that are tied to each option.

Writing for the web has become very popular over the past few years for several. First and foremost, the old cliché “content is king” definitely holds true when it comes to the internet. Every webmaster needs content in order to succeed, and if you can offer a quality service at an affordable price you will be able to find plenty of work.

Additionally, many freelance writers find it much easier to locate work online. In most cases, work can be found on forums such as DigitalPoint, bidding sites such as GetAFreelancer, or through a personal website. This is in contrast to print jobs that usually only come from a query letter of some sort.

On the down side of things, most of the work that is completed online will be in a ghostwriting capacity. In other words, your name usually will not appear on the work. If this is going to be a problem for you, staying away from writing for the web may be a good idea.

When it comes to print publications, you will almost always receive a byline. In fact, I have never written a magazine or newspaper article in which my name has not appeared next to the work. If you like to see your name in print, this is the way to go.

Additionally, many people feel that they are not a “real” freelance writer unless they can physically show off their work. While this is far from being the truth, it is the mind frame that many writers have.

On the downside of things, as noted earlier, it can be more difficult to break into print publications. Not only can it be more difficult to break in, but the work that goes into this can be quite extensive. After all, it can take a lot of time to write a killer query letter.

But which one pays better?

When it comes down to it, most new freelance writers will opt for the markets that pay the best. Although this feeling usually goes away after you are established, there will always be something inside telling you to chase the highest paying jobs.

Generally speaking, there is no way of saying which pays better, web or print. At this time, I have one web client that pays me $.20/word for daily content. Is this my best paying job? No. But with that being said, it offers a lot because the work is not backbreaking.

Of course, there are hundreds of print publications that pay better than $1/word. As you can imagine, this is just about as good as it gets. But even though the pay is great, you need to weigh the time and effort it will take you to break into these markets.

Personally, I like to keep a good mix of both web and print clients. This gives me the ability to work on a wide range of projects, while also taking advantage of the benefits of both options.

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Comments OffFreelance WritingMay 3rd, 2008

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