Faith-Based Freelancing 101

Freelance writer's laptop on a wooden table.

Much of the advice that is available to new freelance writers is geared towards secular writing. However, faith-based freelance writing is a large and profitable marketplace. If you are interested in breaking into the faith-based writing market, here is what you need to know.

Writers pursue faith-based freelancing for a number of reasons.

Faith-based freelance writing appeals to people for a number of different reasons. Some people feel more comfortable writing for faith-based publications because they align with their beliefs. Plus, they don’t have to worry about being asked to create content that goes against their faith. In other cases, people enjoy writing about their faith and want to supplement the other kinds of writing that they are doing with faith-based work for the sake of enjoyment. Still others get into faith-based writing not because of their beliefs, but because they want to diversify the kind of writing that they do and take advantage of the opportunity to learn about religions and spirituality.

Many faith-based publications like first-person stories.

If you’re looking for freelance writing opportunities that allow you to write from the heart, then faith-based writing could be a good fit for you. Many faith-based publications place a heavy premium of stories told from a first-person perspective. Stories about your path to finding your faith, how your faith impacts your life, or even time that your faith has been challenged can all be relevant and interesting to a faith-based publication.

Try writing about your own experiences with faith and why it is an important part of your life. If you’re not comfortable sharing your own stories or if you are looking for more material, try interviewing other people and sharing narratives about their experiences with faith. These kinds of stories, whether they capture a lifetime of faith or tell the story of a transformation, are in demand with faith-based publications.

Faith-based writing markets have different reselling standards than other markets.

Most of the time, the rights to the pieces you create will transfer to the people buying them from you. This means that you can only sell them once. In the faith-based marketplace, and in Christian writing in particular, it is instead common to resell articles many times. Christian publications will often pay to reprint articles that have been published in other places, meaning that you can monetize the same piece of writing more than once.

Reprints can sometimes take the form of a full or partial reprint of an article that is older but contains evergreen content. In other cases, reprints involve repurposing an article for a different religious market. For instance, you may write a piece with one denomination in mind. Then, you can make minor tweaks for it to be relevant to a different denomination. This will allow you to sell it as a reprint. This is a foreign concept for most freelance writers, so be sure you are aware of this opportunity when you start writing for faith-based markets.

Research is critical for faith-based work.

Details are important in all kinds of freelance writing, but they hold special significance when it comes to faith-based work. Your writing should not only honor the basic tenants of the faith about which you are writing but also the characteristics that make one denomination different from the other. For example, if you are writing material for the Christian market, the material you write for a Protestant audience should be different than the pieces you create for a Baptist audience. You may have a broad understanding of different faiths; however, you will almost always need to invest time into researching specific denominations within that faith to create content that feels authentic and that is valuable to clients.

Research should also come into the picture before you even start pitching pieces or reaching out to potential clients. Get to know the publications, their approach to faith, the audience for which they write, and the kinds of pieces that they run. This will help you land clients successfully and avoid wasting time on crafting pitches and articles that don’t align.

Faith writing can have a broad definition.

The most successful writers in the faith-based market take a broad view of the opportunities that are available. Consider writing about faith from many different perspectives. You may want to create content about different religions. You can even write about the ways that people who don’t practice a mainstream religion approach faith and spirituality. If you don’t limit yourself, you have a greater chance of breaking into the market.

The Christian writing market tends to be the most competitive in the U.S. There is a large number of Christian publications looking for content. However, there is also a large number of writers trying to fill those needs. If you can consider writing about faiths that are less represented in terms of publications, that may be a good way to get started. Although the number of outlets for your work may be fewer, there are also fewer writers competing for the space. This can give you a chance to build up your portfolio and establish yourself within the niche of faith-based writing.

Additionally, faith-based writing doesn’t necessarily have to be about religion. Many faith-based publications publish general interest content, such as recipes, parenting tips, travel advice, book reviews, and movie reviews. This content does not always mention faith, but may be geared toward a faith-driven audience. For example, the movies and books selected for reviews may appeal to an audience that is likely to be reading faith-based publications.

You can find the right tools for your career.

Whatever niche you want to enter as a writer, Writers Work can help to take you there. Our Job Finder can help to connect you with clients who are looking for faith-based writing. You can also build a portfolio to show off your style. The right clients will be able to find you directly in our Writers Marketplace. Experience the benefits of Writers Work for yourself and sign up for a membership today! You’ll get our 30-day, money-back guarantee. You’ll quickly see why so many writers are launching their careers on our platform.

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