Why Freelance Writing Is a Great Career for English Majors

Why Freelance Writing Is a Great Career for English Majors

  • Oct 11, 2023
  • 4 min read

If you’ve just finished your degree, chances are you are starting to think about and research careers for English majors. Perhaps you are interested in becoming a freelance writer, but you are not sure that you have the appropriate skills. Rest assured, English majors tend to have many of the skills that freelance writers need to succeed in their careers. Let us explain.

What Does a Freelance Writer Actually Do?

Hollywood would have you believe that writers are tortured souls who rummage between the couch cushions for spare change as they unsuccessfully pitch pilot after pilot to big production companies, but that’s a very bleak picture (although the excessive caffeine intake may be true). The reality is that there are many types of freelance writing out there, and you can choose which direction you want to take your career. The control you have over the work you take on is one of the many benefits of becoming a freelance writer.

Why Is Freelance Writing a Great Career for English Majors?

You Already Have a Firm Foundation in Writing

Anyone who has an arts and humanities degree knows how much writing is involved in the course. Indeed, sometimes it feels like that’s all you do. But this gives you a fantastic foundation for content or copywriting. You know the grammar rules and how to use language to convey your meaning. It is worth investing in a writing course that teaches you how to become a freelance writer, if you can.

You Have Experience Researching New Topics

One of the most important skills in freelancing writing is the willingness to constantly learn about new topics. Writing for The Independent, Sacha Zackariya found that being curious about new subjects can help both your career and mental health, concluding that an inquisitive mind is a happy mind. Knowing how to research new topics, which you are likely to have done in university, will help you branch out into new subjects and expand your client base.

You Know How to Manage Your Time

As a student, you have probably had to juggle multiple tight deadlines at some point during your studies. That will stand you in good stead for a freelance career! Many freelance writers have multiple projects on the go at any one time, and knowing how to manage these deadlines without becoming overwhelmed is an essential skill to master. Having finished an English degree, you have already developed some time management skills.

You Know How to Construct and Present an Argument

As an English major, you have had to form a thesis for your essays and construct an argument that supports that thesis. Being able to present evidence that backs up an argument in an accessible and compelling way is a skill that is massively underappreciated in writing. You also know how to spot a credible source and incorporate other sources without plagiarizing them.


All the above are skills that freelance writers need to be successful in their careers. If they don’t have them when they begin, they need to develop them. Having finished your degree, you are already a step ahead and have mastered some of these skills. Of course, having a degree, in any subject, does not automatically guarantee success. The final skill you’ll need to develop is perseverance.

Becoming A Freelance Writer

Despite all the experience you already have, it can feel like a bit of a jump from writing essays and theses to writing for the mass market. It never hurts to get some extra training.

Our Becoming A Freelance Writer course, written by a team of content writing experts, takes you through the writing process from preparation to publication, including how to make the most of search engine optimization. You’ll have the chance to get feedback on your writing, and if you achieve a distinction score in your final assignment, you’ll be offered the chance to write three articles for Knowadays to kick-start your freelance writing portfolio. Try it for free today!

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