Freelance Writing Glossary: Writing Terms for Beginners

Freelance Writing Glossary

Hi, I know you are new to freelance writing or have been writing online for a while but don’t know the meaning of some freelance writing terms.

Enter my freelance writing glossary for you! These are the typical online writing terms we use in the industry, and some can be pretty confusing or similar. 

I’ll keep this post short and sweet!

Let’s start!

Freelance writing glossary

Online Writing Terms

#1→Freelance writing

What is freelance writing? 

Freelance writing is an online job where you offer writing services to individual clients on a contractual basis.

There are no employer-employee relationships in this scenario, and you get paid as agreed with your clients.

The best thing about freelance online writing is that it is flexible, and you can work with more than one writing client at a time. And you can set your writing schedule.

Also, you can raise your freelance writing pay that is commensurate with your experience. That means as you gain more online writing experience, you can charge more to write online content. 

There are a thousand and one proven ways to get freelance writing jobs!

#2→Article writing

What is article writing?

Article writing is freelance writing where you can write for either print, digital media, or both. There are magazines, newspapers, journals, and other publications that need articles from freelance writers. 

Some article writing jobs can pay up to $1 per word, depending on the topics and intensity of research.

Here is a massive list of magazines looking for articles from freelance writers.


What is copywriting?

Copywriting is the type of writing where you intend to prompt an action from your readers. 

Often, you will do copywriting for marketing and to drive sales, boost email signups, or drive traffic to your website. 

As a copywriter, you can create emails, social media copy, product descriptions, landing pages, service page copy, blog posts, white papers, ad so much more.

#4→Blog post writing

What is blog post writing? 

The blog content you are reading right now is an excellent example of a blog post. 

Businesses create blog posts as an inbound marketing strategy. And that means creating brand awareness and authority in the industry through blogging. 

Some crucial things that go into blog post writing include SEO and research. 

#5→Pillar pages

What are pillar pages?

A pillar page is a type of content that covers a broader topic in detail but still offers an option to break down that topic into subtopics. Think of it like long-form guides and ebooks.

Pillar pages offer some incredible SEO benefits because it boosts audience engagement and page sessions. 

#6→B2B content writing

What is B2B content writing?

B2B content writing is another freelance writing term that you must know and commonly use in the industry. 

In case you didn’t know, B2B stands for business to business. So B2B writing is a type of content you create to attract other companies. 

For instance, you create content for SaaS companies. These companies sell software to other companies or businesses, making them B2B.

B2B content aims to boost brand awareness, increase sales and generate leads. 

Some of these content include blog content, email newsletters, podcasts, video, and much more.

#7→B2C content writing

What is B2C content writing?

B2C content writing stands for business to consumer content writing. This is a type of content marketing strategy where you create content that raises brands awareness among the consumers.

#8→Email copywriting

What is email copywriting?

You’ve probably sent someone an email but have you created or received an email that persuaded you to take action? Like purchase something, click a link, or sign up for a freebie.

Email copywriting is another crucial freelance writing term that you should know. It is a type of email content that uses a persuasive strategy to get your email subscribers to take action.

You can be an email copywriter for eCommerce brands, bloggers, influencers, etc.

#9→Cold email

What is a cold email?

Another item that frequently appears in our freelance writing Glossary is the cold emails. Cold emailing someone is sending an email to a prospect who is new to you, and you’ve never had an interaction with in the past. 

I often send out cold emails to my prospective freelance writing clients and have had luck getting gigs here and there, haha.

So if you are starting as a freelance online writer and need jobs, you can try sending out cold emails. 

#10→Landing pages copy

What is a landing page copy?

A landing page copy is the type of content designed to pull, engage, and prompt the audience to take action. Landing pages aim to generate leads and prospects. 

#11→SEO Writing

What is SEO writing?

Have you heard about SEO? The whole aspect of SEO gave me a real hard time when I started my freelance writing business. Everyone hiring a writer seemed only to hire people with SEO experience.

I had to take several SEO courses, and of course, I started practicing writing SEO content on my blog.

Anyway, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO writing is creating content and optimizing them to rank in Google SERPs(Search Engine Results Pages)

#12→Meta descriptions

What is a meta description?

Meta descriptions, also known as HTML meta tags, are like blurbs that summarize the content on your web page and play a massive role in SEO. 


What is pitch writing?

Pitch writing is writing an email to a prospect and convincing them to hire your writing services.

As a freelance writer, you may need to pitch to magazines, blogs, and other digital publications to get your by-lines.

#14→Call for submissions

What is a call for submission?

Call for submission is a request from publishers, editors, and content marketers for writers to submit their articles or story ideas for publishing consideration.

#15→Web copywriting

What is web copywriting? 

Web copywriting refers to writing that aims to provide engaging web content that often prompts the readers to take action. 


What is a writing portfolio?

A freelance writing portfolio is a collection of your writing projects that showcase your experience as a content writer. And your portfolio can be in print or digital, like on your writer’s website.

#17→Style guide

What is a writing style guide?

This is a document that shows you the style you should follow when writing that particular content. It can have directions on SEO, audience, paragraphs, grammar, etc. 

#18→Call to action(CTA)

What is a call to action in writing? 

This is the message that prompts your readers to take action. For instance, your CTA can be “sign up for your free course” or “book a free call now.”

#19→Long-form content

What is long-form content?

These are explicit content like blog posts that discuses a broad topic in detail. It is more like style guides, ebooks, and white papers. Often, these long-form content are in the word range of 2000-2500.

#20→Content management system

What is a content management system? 

A content management system A.K.A CMS is a software that simplifies how you create and post content on your website. WordPress platform is an example of a content management system.  

#21→SEO tools

What are SEO Tools?

You already know something about SEO. Now there are tools both free and paid to help you achieve your SEO goals. 

These tools help you pull data about keyword searches, ensure your site is good, and guide you on the right SEO path. 


What is an invoice?

An invoice or a bill is a document you send to your client that features the product or service you offered, cost, and payment due date. 

Some clients in the freelance writing industry may request you to send them an invoice, or you may have to send one. 

Some companies like PayPal have free invoices that you can fill in and send to your clients.

You can also check out software like invoice generators and create your customer invoices.

#23→Content marketing

What is content marketing?

Content marketing refers to the digital marketing strategy that uses digital content to attract, engage and convert an audience into buyers.

Bonus!→Job boards

What is a job board? 

These are websites that post writing jobs consistently. These sites include All Freelance Writing, Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Pro Blogger, Blogging Pro, Freedom with Writing, and much more.

Freelance Writing Glossary for you!

Well, I now hope that these online writing terms and definitions make it easy for you to start your freelance writing business.

Do you have any other words or a freelance writing term that I should include in this freelance Writing Glossary? Let me know in the comments.


Charity is a freelance personal finance writer and blogger for hire. She specializes in personal finance, digital content writing and marketing, blog post writing, and intriguing history articles. She's written for major brands and blogs like The Penny Hoarder, Autonomous, Self-Publishing School, Penny Calling Penny, Inkwell Editorial, Freelancer FAQs, and more.

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