The term freelance has been described as “A person who sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them.” This is essentially the truth of freelance writing. In many ways a freelancer works as a subcontractor. A freelance writer accepts work offered by a magazine or newspaper with no long-term commitment or promise of ongoing assignments.
It is possible that someone you have written for on a freelance basis will return to you with an additional assignment, but you have no guarantee.
The typical scenario for a freelance writer is to receive payment by the word, although some publishers will offer a specified fee for a word range. For instance they may offer $100 for a thousand words (within 50 words either side of 1000).
Most freelance writers do not rely exclusively on freelance writing for their income. Many freelance writers have part or full time jobs and will offer their skills with the written word as time allows.
Publishers enjoy the benefits of freelance writers simply because they do not have to pay a full time salary, nor do they have to provide benefits. They also have a choice of who they want to work with and on the specific jobs they determine the freelance writer is best suited for.
Much of the success of freelance work begins with speculative work. In essence, the beginning stages of freelance work means you write articles that may never be in print. By following submission guidelines carefully you have the best chance of having an editor take a look at your material and possibly consider your services as a good fit for their publication.
Many established freelancers will have clients return to them for additional work. Many freelancers find seasons when they simply fulfill writing requests with no additional push in finding new work.
Editors and publishers are looking for people that are capable of handling work in a timely fashion and with the skill and style that is a compliment to their publication. When they find a good freelancer they are likely to return to that individual regularly for additional assignments.
If you have considered working as a freelance writer begin your journey with research and speculative writing and then remain persistent.