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freelance writing tips

Being a Freelance Commercial Writer: How to Make Money on Your Hobby

Have you ever listened to a radio ad and been nauseated by the poorly written script? Sometimes an entire advertising agency is behind the travesty and other times it’s the work of a single overconfident freelancer who should have known better. If you’ve made a hobby of rewriting commercials in your head, here are some ways you can turn those day dreams into profit:

Learn the rules of the industry

Freelancing as the ghost writer of mystery novels is different from freelancing bulk content and both of those are different from selling commercial scripts. Make sure you properly understand how to approach companies with your services. Some companies may expect you to not only write a script but to also provide voice talent who will act it out and a studio to record the ad. Understanding the rules will help you know how best to prepare.

Figure out the basics of script writing

There are many books that teach new writers how to compose a script. Read as many of these as you can get your hands on because learning good script writing technique can help you to get work with playwrights, screen writers and many other professionals. This can help you to expand upon your hobby to make money in ways you may not have even considered before.


Like most jobs, writing commercials goes much more smoothly if you know who to market your skills to and that person knows and likes you. Having the right connections often matters more than having the right combination of skills, qualifications and experience. If you have the time to do it in person, attend industry events looking your best and engage people in conversation. If you can’t meet up in person, check forums that your potential customers are likely to frequent.

In the meantime…

Show what you can do. All the ideas that usually stay in your head need to be put together in a format where other people can see how genius they are. This may cost money if you decide to go all out and get them recorded. This gives potential clients the full experience. If you can’t afford that, type the script out so it can be read. If it’s truly exceptional it will still stand out and draw clients to you.

Follow those tips and the next commercial you hear may be one you came up with yourself.

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