There are dozens of different writing services clients might require - from press releases to web content to articles - and your job as a freelance writer is to make sure you're providing exactly what they need.
To do that, you need to know the difference between the types of services you're capable of offering. (For example, I don't touch white papers - but I know people who do, so when those requests come along, I happily pass them on to others who are great at writing white papers.)
Here's the breakdown on a few major types of freelance writing services:
- Press Releases
- Web copy/web content
- Professional Biographies
- E-mail copy
Press releases are news stories. When freelance writers write press releases, we know they're not always "hard news," but we write them like they are. (They usually are, though.) When someone reads a press release, they need to feel as if they're reading front-page content on the New York Times. Press releases are very formal documents.
Blogs, like this one, are usually informative - but more informal than articles. You can rant and rave, you can provide information or generally do whatever the client would like to see on a blog. (Well, you provide whatever a client would like to see in any kind of freelance writing... but within certain parameters.)
Brochures are informative take-aways that consumers read to get more information about a company, service or product.
Web copy is writing that's designed to sell a product or service. It's got a call-to-action ("Hey, buy this because...") and is written specifically for the Internet.
Web content is everything else that's on a website. You're reading plain ol' content right now. It's what you see when you visit a site's homepage, their "About Us" page and everything else on a website that can't be classified as an article or a blog.
Professional biographies are a quick run-down of a person's (or company's) accomplishments, awards and who they are in general. A professional biography includes a brief history, all the person's (or company's) accolades and what they're doing now.
Newsletters are informative booklets that usually update people on what a company is doing. They may or may not include pictures, and your client may or may not want you to format them. A newsletter can be any length and include whatever hot topics the client wants to cover. The topics can be written in short article form, long article form or many other styles - it just depends on who the client is targeting and how they'd like to reach out.
E-mail copy is what you read when you're on a mailing list. E-mail copy can include incentives to do business (like coupons), new company news or anything else the client thinks their consumers would be interested in.
As freelance writers, there are many more services we're able to provide; these are just some of the most common. If you're starting a freelance writing business, these are the services you need to be able to quote to most new clients.
"Typing Hands" image courtesy of Zela at RGBStock.com
© Angie Papple Johnston, 2010; if you are reading this anywhere but on FreeFreelanceWritingTips.Blogspot.com, it's stolen.