There seems to be some confusion regarding the two very different types of writing genres: online writing and traditional freelance writing. At first glance, the primary difference is apparent – online writers create content that is read over the internet and more traditional writers create writing pieces that appear in printed mediums (magazines, newspapers, journals, etc).
There is more to the different types of writing than where people read the finished work, however. The way the writer creates the documents is different, too. The audience of each writing method tends to have completely separate needs and requirements, and so the writing must cater to those needs.
Think about how you read information you find online. Do you usually read from top to bottom, left to right, in the same way you would read a magazine article? Or are you more likely to scan titles and headings, and skim the information until you find the piece you're looking for?
Writing for the typical online reader generally requires the use of headings and subheadings to break up the text and make it easier to spot information. Shorter paragraphs and sentences are commonly used for online writing than what you might expect to see in your favorite magazine article.
There tends to be a general belief of many “traditional” freelance writers that online content is written poorly. While it's true that most website owners are not editors of the English language, and that the publishing standards are much different, the fact remains that readers of online content are not typically reading for the pleasure of reading: they are in search of specific information. If the writer delivers the specific information in an easy to find, easy to understand manner, the job has been accomplished!
People go online when they need an answer to a problem. They are looking for information and they want it quickly with little effort. Magazine, book and newspaper readers, on the other hand, are often reading for the pleasure of reading. They're happy to read the information as it's presented, and are not really looking for anything specific. It's a more leisurely reading experience.
When you become a writer in the online world, these are the things you'll want to consider when crafting your articles, web page content, emails or eBooks.
The differences in writing online versus more traditional writing makes it easier for a new writer to find a means of publication. It can even be a source of income for people who don't consider themselves writers, provided they can construct easy to read information that offers accurate details people want to know about.