Is Freelance Writing Dead? An Insider’s Take on the Current Climate
Within the last year, I’ve noticed a pretty big shift in the freelance writing community. Many of the buddies I’ve been writing alongside with for years are slowly (and some people more swiftly) moving towards other ventures. Some are now coaching, creating products, becoming subject matter experts, transitioning into project managers, or dabbling in virtual assistance.
I learned after speaking with a few of them that they’re finding fewer lucrative jobs in the freelance writing space. It’s true that freelance writing is evolving, but I don’t believe it’s flatlined.
At one point, businesses and content creators could put out quantity over quality and move the needle. This isn’t the case anymore, and businesses that no longer see ROI from old strategies are canceling projects.
Since there’s such a large supply of eager writers, when jobs do become available, some clients can get away with paying freelancers an unlivable rate. To be a successful writer in this landscape, you will need to go where the money is.
Keep Up With the Trends
Video is the new wave. Here are some 2017 marketing stats from HubSpot:
- By 2017, video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic.
- More than 60% of marketers and small business owners said they planned to increase investment in video marketing in 2017.
- Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and clickthrough rates by 65%.
Blogging is still considered an important piece of content in this report from HubSpot, but there’s no denying that video is getting a great deal of attention. Just think about the content that you’re most likely to engage with on your own social media feed — It’s video, right?
There are ways writers can cash in on video as well. You can do scriptwriting, transcribing, or even appear on video if you’re a subject matter expert.
Specialize in Content That Will Never Die
Sales copy, white papers, and other forms of writing that make a business money will always be on trend. It may be less fun — and even boring — compared to writing casual blog posts, guides, or email campaigns. However, the bottom line is, projects that take more time and have a high ROI are more lucrative for writers.
Make a Name for Yourself
Some writers are staying ahead of the curve by becoming more visible. Instead of being a behind the scenes player, they’re building a brand name for themselves.
When companies or publications are looking for content, writers with visibility are able to negotiate a high price for their services because of their influence. You’re probably an authority on a topic if you’ve been writing about it for several years. Own up to your expertise and build your brand.
Beyond the compensation aspect of freelance writing, a few of my freelancer friends have shared that they’re experiencing boredom after doing the same type of tasks for years. It’s no secret that writing can lead to burnout, so evolving in your business can help you both financially and creatively.
To wrap things up, I’d love to know your take on the freelance writing climate. What are your thoughts on the present state of the business?