|Source: Emma Larkins|
The main identifying factors when it comes to being a freelance writer are writing for other people and (almost) always getting paid a set amount. In general, you work for one or more clients. The clients specify the type of work they are looking for, and the amount of money they're willing to pay (although sometimes there is negotiating involved). The writer provides this work, and in return receives the agreed-upon payment. In order to increase income, freelance writers search for new clients and new writing markets.
There are a variety of different ways you can get paid as a freelance writer. You can write articles for online or offline newspapers and magazines, either as one-shot deals or as a regular contributor (at some point you might end up becoming a staff writer). You can write copy for marketing purposes, to be included in advertisements, brochures, websites, or other mediums. You can ghostwrite fiction or non-fiction pieces.
One thing remains the same: you are guaranteed to receive payment for your work, and that amount is almost always agreed upon before the work is completed.