Beyond Print: 6 Alternatives for Writing Assignments

6 ways to find your next writing assignment

As a freelance writer, you’ve probably seen some of the outlets you write for close down. Fear not, there are still plenty of assignments out there for you. You may just need to look in new places.

While newspapers and magazines aren’t dead, stories now are being told in many different ways, and information is disseminated via many channels you may not have considered before.

Whether it’s via consumer-facing company websites, blogs, white papers or infographics, there are multiple channels for freelance writers looking for assignments. Often, these alternative outlets pay far better than traditional media.

As media outlets shift from print to digital, writers must adjust their strategies in order to survive and thrive. Here are six ways, beyond newspapers and magazines, to find writing assignments:

1. Consumer-Facing Company Websites. Sites like P&G Everyday (from Procter & Gamble), Backing America’s Backbone (U.S. Cellular) and HSBC News and Insight (HSBC Holdings) tap into the millions of consumers that use those brands. For freelancers, corporate sites are a great avenue for assignments. These sites need content, and who better to write it than professional writers who understand how to write content for a specific audience? Here are some tips for breaking into this market: How Writers Can Break Into the Corporate Market

2. Association Publications. Every profession, field and interest group has an association, and all of them need good, well-written copy for magazines, websites or newsletters. Found out how to find them and how you can break in: Writing for Association Publications

3. Marketing/Sales Collateral. As a writer, you’ve seen enough press releases and marketing material to know what works and what doesn’t from a journalist’s point of view. Copywriting and sales material can also benefit from your experience on the media side. Read these tips from experts in the industry before pitching: Writing for Corporate Markets

4. White Papers. White papers are a form of corporate writing that falls somewhere between journalistic articles and marketing materials. White papers are an attractive market for writers because they pay well. Because they are used by a variety of organizations — companies, nonprofits, government agencies, think tanks, there are also a wide range of prospects. Here are some tips from the pros: Writing White Papers

5. Speechwriting. In corporate work, speechwriting can be the most lucrative. One speechwriter I spoke with gets anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 per speech. With those rates, this is definitely a market you want to tap into. Here are some great tips from top speechwriters: 16 Tips From Top Speechwriters

6. Book Ghostwriting. The demand for ghostwriting is on the rise, and the average nonfiction book nets rates in the $20,000-$50,000 range. Find out what you’ll need to know to succeed as a ghostwriter: Book Ghostwriting 101: What Authors Need to Know to Succeed.

Of course, as you’re writing content for these assignments, ProfNet is here to help you find the sources you need. Our service is always free for writers. Once you have your assignment, just fill out the ProfNet Query form to find experts, and we’ll take care of the rest. It’s that simple!

Maria Perez is director of online community relations at ProfNet, a free service that connects journalists with quotable experts.

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