Freelance Writer Over 50: How to Make Your Writing Better

By on March 9, 2020
Freelance Writer

If you’ve become interested in pursuing a writing career online, you’re definitely onto something. The freelance writer market is thriving, and there are plenty of opportunities within the digital sphere to showcase your writing skills. However, that’s not to say that it will be an easy niche to break into. After all, the field has never been as competitive as it is today.

That being said, it’s still an even playing field when it comes to the age of the writer if you intend to become a freelancer. To put it plainly, the quality of the writer’s voice takes precedence over everything. For all of you that thrive to become freelance writers after 50, yet hardly know where to start, it’s wise to invest time in honing your writing skills. Here’s how to fine-tune your articles and essays for the web.

Use the digital tools to your advantage

The technology used to be the domain of the young. However, the user-oriented goals of modern tech have enabled seniors to benefit from utilizing digital tools as well, not to mention the countless ways technology has improved their quality of life.

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One of the primary advantages of a tool like a computer or a smartphone is the accessibility of information. With just a few clicks, you can find invaluable insight on how to make your sentences more engaging, create hooks, and improve reader retention.

Even if you’re a native speaker – but especially if English is not your native language – you can turn to reputable online resources to improve your vocabulary and tweak your language use. For example, practical collocations vocabulary for IELTS offers concrete examples of words and phrases that are usually clustered together to form natural sentences with a flow. You can easily find a well-optimized thesaurus to your liking, as well as browser plug-in tools and programs that will efficiently check your grammar and syntax.

The possibilities are becoming more diverse, and just a bit of digging through online resources can yield tools that will improve your writing noticeably.

The basic structure of your think piece

Good essays and articles tackle specific topics. Whether it’s business or culture, your topic has to reach the broadest readership within the targeted niche, so you have to structure your think piece in a way that resembles a funnel. Here’s what we mean by that: 

You start with the broader picture – introduce the context of your think piece. For example, if you want to discuss the artistic merits of a painting, you might want to start by introducing the artist and the historical context of the time when they created this painting.

Then you narrow – or ‘funnel’ – the topic down until you reach the heart of the piece: the artistic merit of the painting or, even better, something more specific, such as the mood, the style, and what it says about the painter. This is what comprises the majority of your essay. However, you’ll have to take care of one specific thing before you get there.

Engaging the reader: the hook

If you already have a keen eye for quality writing, you’ll have probably noticed a potential issue with the funnel layout. How does an article or an essay that starts broadly engage an audience? What’s the hook?

This is where the introductory balancing act comes into play. You have to contextualize and engage, but thankfully, there are simple tools to do this. One of the obvious solutions is to address the reader directly by posing an exciting question that relates to the heart of the topic.

Another tool is authenticity. Don’t be overly academic as a writer – let your voice seep through unorthodox sentence structures that reproduce the way you’d argue something in person. In other words, don’t be formal or restricted.

Research the topic thoroughly

To feel confident enough to write in a way that reads as genuine, you’ll have to know the topic you’re covering, inside-out.

This might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many writers construct flimsy arguments and essays based on superficial knowledge. These articles usually end up dismissed by knowledgeable readers, and you know how fast the word spreads online.  

Besides, familiarizing yourself with the topic intimately will also open you up to a well of information and unique details. These interesting, lesser-known facts will be vital in creating a more engaging piece. 

Write for a specific readership

Have you ever heard of a blogger that writes for ‘everyone’? How does their success stack up against other bloggers that have grabbed the hearts and minds of a specific audience? Chances are it’s not that impressive.

As a writer over 50, you might want to tackle your peers, but ultimately the specific niche doesn’t matter as long as you’re certain there’s something unique you can offer. By focusing like this, you’ll find your footing and your ‘fanbase’ much faster.

The best method to improve your writing is practice. The beauty of this specific craft is that you can type away at your leisure, in the comfort of your home, and the stakes aren’t high. You can always cut, delete, or rewrite a particular topic. With every essay, you’ll become better at forming sound arguments, concise statements, and attention-grabbing narratives.

Add to that practice the set of tools and methods we’ve talked about in this article, and there’s virtually nothing stopping you from finding your voice in the vibrant online landscape.

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Freelance Writer Over 50: How to Make Your Writing Better