PS has worked as a freelance writer since 2012. When she's not traveling and writing, she helps people with web design and development.
Financial writing is a lucrative and high-paying job averaging $0.30 to $0.50 per word. The field covers every aspect of the financial world from personal finance to stock analysis. The target audience is very huge ranging from investors to fund managers.
If you come from a finance background, then it is comparatively easier for you to attract potential clients from the very beginning. But in case you don’t have an advantage, it is still possible to build your resume to become a successful financial writer.
You can boost your trading experience into expertise by finding out how to personalize your query as per the clients’ needs. If you faced money loses in stock, then write about what to be taken care of when planning to invest. There is a possibility you or someone who you know fought the debt to build a constant income. Write about that creative solution. You can also submit your stories to personal finance blogs or build one’s own to help the readers.
Needless to say, everyone from a young teenager to super senior adult knows a bit about finance. As a writer, it’s your job to transform any raw topic into an entertaining piece of information. So if you want financial writing to be your forte, then here’s how to excel in it.
What’s the job of a Financial Writer?
Before reading about the required educational qualification and experience, it is imperative to know what does a financial writer actually do.
As the name suggests, a financial writer
- Writes educational content
- Writes personal views on business news
- Writes own analyses about earning trends in executive compensation
- Writes learning guides and textbooks
What are the Educational Qualification of a Financial Writer?
Unlike other careers in finance, finance writing doesn’t ask for any set rules of qualification. Most of the financial writers have either of the following:
- Graduation in business, journalism, economics and digital media.
- Online or offline classes ranging from few weeks to few months.
- Attended conferences and seminars to deepen their writing skills.
- Master’s degree in Finance, Journalism, Economic or Management
What level of Experience does Financial Writer have?
If you go through the profiles of successful financial writers, you’ll see most of them have experience as
- Stock Broker (either retail or institutional)
- Portfolio Manager
- Finance editors
- Junior writers
The experience includes both sell- and buy-side of the investing.
Most of them choose to wet their feet in the writing field because they have better sources and contacts with the right persons in the industry. These persons help them come up with the article ideas. Also, they have better skills to translate financial news than those with no finance background.
What if you don’t have this Experience?
Certainly, an individual with no prior experience finds little difficult to become a successful financial writer. Yet many of them do become successful and high-earner in this field.
The two most important things a non-experience financial writer must do is:
- Extensive research work
- Interviews with experts and other professionals in the industry
You can also specialize in fields like financial markets, investments, global finance, consumer financial planning, equities and so on.
Financial Writer Specialization
By learning about the below-mentioned fields and skills, you will realize how wide is finance, it is certainly difficult even for the experienced ones to get hold of everything.
- Accounting techniques
- Analyzing financial data
- Cash flow management
- Compliance policies
- Data analysis
- Cost analysis
- Cost reduction
- Financial advising
- Financial engineering
- Financial analysis and management
- Financial modeling
- Estate planning
- Forecasting commentary
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Investment management
- Performance planning and reporting
- Excel understanding
- Team leadership
- Risk analysis
- Quantitative data analysis
- Project management
- Profit and loss statements
- Strategic planning
- Wealth management
- Relationship management
- Taxation planning
- Finance and Technology
- Value-added analysis
What are the skills required for Financial Writer?
A financial writer needs to be like an investigative journalist.
- You must know how to write a clear and coherent article.
- You must know how to ask probing questions.
- You must know the skills to convert complicated financial transactions and jargons into layman’s terms.
- You must know how to produce instant commentary piece in a matter of hours or minutes from the news.
- You must how to produce content that fits print publication, websites, and social media.
- Your content must appeal to the masses and should be able to find its place in top rankings at search engines and social media channels.
As a financial writer, you are required to deliver your articles on different platforms. Every platform has its own style of the content presentation:
- Print: Write content with quotes from industry professionals and must be at least 1000 words long.
- Website: Write content in a conversational tone with words limit ranging from 200 to 2000 words or can be even more.
- Social Media: Write short content with appropriate visuals.
What you must charge as a Freelance (Financial) Writer?
There are not strict rules that you need to follow while charging for your work. Freelance writers' charges are based on:
According to several surveys conducted in the last decade, the income of freelance writers varies from $35k to $200k annually. Here are some suggestions that you can use to decide your charges:
- Check out what other writers are charging
- Decide how much you want to earn annually
- Add that amount with the Wi-fi fees and other expenses such as repairs, insurance, and house rent
- Calculate the sum and divide it by 12
- That’s the amount of money you need to earn each month.
- If you are just starting out, then the month estimates can be a little difficult to get through.
- But as you will progress with different jobs and start receiving more and more clients, you will reach your monthly target.
- Your estimated annual income must be realistic. Successful writers earn $500 or more for a single article, but being a newbie you can’t expect to earn the same.
- Do a market analysis and find a realistic charging amount.
Freelance Job Boards
- As a newbie, you should try looking for jobs on freelancing sites like Upwork and Freelancer or try your luck with content mills such as Demand Media Studios.
- The payment may not be huge, but you can build your portfolio and gather the courage to apply to the clients, you were dying to work for.
- Other job posting sites such as ProBlogger have lots of opportunities to find suitable work. Most of the jobs offer minimal payments, you can still find jobs that offer almost $0.25 per word.
- Many freelance job sites offer different types of writing assignments in a single job description. Pay close attention so you don’t miss out any one of them.
- Sites like Writing White Papers, Media Bistro, International Freelancers Academy and Urban Muse are one of the best resources to help out with accessing high-paying jobs, especially for rookies.
- Having networking skills is a very attribute you must inherit to gain more clients in a short period of time. Maintain healthy work ethics and prefer quality over anything else, even money.
The best way to show your expertise and impress your clients is by doing a guest contribution to the financial blogs. Pitch the blog’s author with a unique idea that matches with their blog content and in return, you get credentials to show on your resume. Make sure you know the blog content before pitching the idea.
Enhancing your Niche
If you are already into freelancing business, then the above suggestions may not hold much appeal to you. Nor you have to start from the scratch to build your credibility in the financial writing.
You have the opportunity to turn your specialized niche into a financial genre through some tricks and creativity. For example, if you write about computer hardware. You can mix it up with finance by writing something about - how to reduce the cost investment in a laptop by buying affordable hardware pieces and building one’s own.
Here you are not only talking about computer hardware, but also budgeting and business. You can transform that into a long-form article for a finance blog to help you get bigger writing gigs.
Popular Financial Blogs
You need to get through some famous financial blogs to know what actually sells in the market:
- Business Insider
- Real Time Economics
- Free Exchange
- The Wealth Report
- Deal Broker
- Money Under 30
- Credit Donkey
- Deal Book
- The Big Picture
- Calculated Risk
- Ezra Klein
- Paul Kedrosky
- Christian Personal Finance
- Zero Hedge
- Marginal Revolution
- Block Talk
- Grasping Reality with a Sharp Beak
- The Consumerist
- Saving Advice
- Planet Money
- Street Sweep
Writing for financial publications can offer you up to or more than $1000 per article. Since the payment is so lucrative, you can’t expect them to offer these opportunities to newbies or entry level writers. Here are a few of the best financial publications:
- Advisor’s Edge
- Credit Today
- The Federal Credit Union
- AFP Exchange
- Collections & Credit Risk
You need to have immense knowledge of stocks and bonds, which is definitely not hard to learn. Even if it sounds hard, remember there is a big payout waiting for you ahead. You can also write for newsletter with the hope of receiving at least $300 per article helping you with a steady income.
You can also submit articles for sites like Seeking Alpha. Keep a track of what’s trending in the finance sector and how to deliver idea into writing to match the industry standards. Don’t get nervous by the numbers of published articles and a wide range of topics.
You must also attend investment seminars and read books related to stock analysis. You don’t need to write exclusively on finance. Being open to various opportunities will help you build a strong portfolio that will generate better clients irrespective of the industry they’re working in.
Some Common Topics Famous with Finance Publications
- Traded Stocks
- Retirement savings
- Analyzed stocks and commodities
- Business Taxes
- Mortgage Plans
- Insurance savings
- Property Dealing
Websites where You can Submit Your Financial Articles
Here is a list of some of the most famous finance-related articles that’ll pay you to write outstanding finance material:
- The Penny Hoarder
- The Motley Fool
- The Dollar Stretcher
- Doctor of Credit
- Funds for Writers
- eCommerce Writers
Finance is a field everyone knows about and everyone wishes to know more. Even if you know nothing about it, then start now. As an experienced writer, you’ll have the opportunity to work with big companies and earn big money.
Gupi on June 21, 2019:
Thanks for sharing the advice. I found it very useful.