The Freelance Writing Market (1)

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Global Freelance Writing Market Growth

With writing being the third most popular freelancing task, representing about 17% of all freelancing in both the UK and US, the market size of the global freelance writing market is assumed to be about 204 million freelance writers. The growth rate of the global freelance writing market could not be found or calculated due to limited information in the public domain.

Market Size

  • There are an estimated 1.2 billion freelancers globally. Writing/editing is the third most popular freelancing task, representing about 17% of all freelancing in the UK. A report focusing on the US market also showed that 17% of freelancers were engaged in writing, journalism, or content services in 2020.
  • Assuming this figure (17%) applies globally, in terms of the number of freelance writers, the market size of the global freelance writing market is about 204 million (17% of 1.2 billion).

Related Findings

  • As of 2019, 35% of the US workforce were freelancers. The total number grew to 57 million, up 4 million or 7% (4 million / 57 million * 100) since 2014.
  • This number grew to 59 million in 2020, representing a 1% growth of freelancing in the US from 35% to 36%. Moreover, there is an expected surge to over 90 million by 2028.
  • In the UK alone, there are about 238,000 freelance writers out of about 2 million freelancers.
  • Over the past year, while demand for freelance IT and telecoms-related services saw the fastest growth, growing by almost 10% in the UK, demand for other freelance services stayed more or less consistent.

Research Strategy

In this research to determine the growth rate and market size of the global freelance writing market, we searched through freelance industry reports and articles from Upwork and similar sources, but there's limited information specific to freelance writing. While we found data points that helped make a reasonable triangulation of the market size of the global freelance writing market, info is too limited to estimate the growth rate of the global freelancing writing market. However, we have provided the most related information we could find in the Related Findings section above.


Part
02
of two
Part
02

Global Freelance Writing Market - Trends

Key Takeaways

  • The need for freelance writing services will remain on the upward growth path and will continue to evolve as companies are expected to engage the services of freelance writers more for specific fields.
  • As more firms and website owners compete for audience attention online, copywriting has become an in-demand freelance writing job.
  • Freelance writing jobs that involve video captioning and scriptwriting are now becoming more in demand as businesses compete for the audience's shrinking attention span.
  • Around 46% of freelance writers had their job negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Introduction

Details of the current trends in the global freelance writing industry have been provided below. These trends revolve around the continuous growth and evolution of the global freelance writing industry, the domination of the copywriting field, the increasing demand for video scripts, and some additional insights on the impact of COVID-19 on this specific sector. For each trend, we provided a brief overview and some available data on how these trends impact actual freelance writing professionals.

Continuous Evolution and Growth of the Global Freelance Writing Market

  • According to several stakeholders in the freelance writing sector, the need for freelance writing services will remain on the upward growth path and will continue to evolve.
  • Companies are also expected to engage the services of freelance writers more for specific fields.
  • Some bloggers are also expected to go into the path of engaging the services of paid freelance bloggers.
  • It is also considered a good financial decision for businesses as they are not required to provide benefits such as time-offs or medical plans to these contractors.
  • In the evolved global economy, freelance writers can also earn more by carving out a niche. Those who are expert writers in certain fields have the capacity to earn more as it will be easier for them to save time and find clients in those specialized spaces.
  • As the freelance writing world becomes more competitive, freelance writers will need to transform from being just another "commodity" to be a "marketplace of one." They can be "geographic, demographic, or subject matter" specialists.
  • Even those who are already working successfully as freelance writers are advised to further narrow down their portfolios.
  • Clients are also more likely to engage the services of freelancers who are specialists in particular fields as they believe that these writers are more credible.
  • As the freelance writing industry evolves further, freelance writers who can quickly adapt to the dynamic landscape of remote work and technology will find more work opportunities.
  • The evolving freelance writing industry is also expected to provide more opportunities for freelance writers who know how to balance the use of technology and how to convey human touch with their content.
  • Furthermore, as more people continue to create new websites, the demand for freelance writers is expected to increase. As the audience of these websites continues to grow, the need for more relevant content is expected to increase as well.

Copywriting Will Dominate the Market

Writing Video Scripts Will be in High Demand

  • As the human attention span is shrinking with each passing day, video content is now becoming a standard fixture in websites.
  • People are expected to increase their consumption of content from videos, images, texts, and other media forms to access information.
  • Given this trend, freelance writing jobs that involve video captioning and scriptwriting are now becoming more in demand.
  • Businesses and website owners need to have good video scripts to promote their companies.
  • Based also on a Week of Saturday survey, the increasing need for academic and entertainment-related video scripts has pushed the demand for this type of content.
  • Videos also have lower production costs. This is expected to generate more opportunities for freelance writers to create storyboards and scripts for these videos.

Trends Revolving Around the COVID-19 Impact

  • Based on surveys and analyses from Week of Saturdays, Prowriter, Payoneer, and Writers in Charge with regard to the COVID-19's impact on the freelance writing sector, 46% of freelance writers had their job negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • Some reported diminishing work volume as a result of the pandemic.
  • Around 56% of the respondents also mentioned that they have no job security to rely on if they will lose their freelance writing job.
  • According to several freelance writers, some of the markets where writing opportunities dried up due to the pandemic are the hospitality and legal industries.
  • However, some freelance writers for agencies reported that the volume of their work increased during the pandemic as more people are now online.
  • Some freelance writers also reported that there are actually more opportunities that came up to write about the pandemic itself. Writers see an uptick in demand for topics about the pandemic and its impact.
  • Several freelance writers are still hopeful that the job volume will eventually go up to make up for lost earnings.

Research Strategy

To determine the current trends in the global freelance writing industry, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information that were available in the public domain such as freelance writing reports, surveys, media publications, including reports from the freelancing writing sector such as those from Prowriter, Make a Living Writing, Location Rebel, World Writers Hub, and other sources.
Some reports mentioned trends about freelancing in general but we focused on the trends that pertain only to the global freelance writing market. We then considered those freelance writing trends that were mentioned in several sources such as reports and surveys. We also included those trends that were mentioned by global freelance writing professionals to further justify their inclusion in this report. We considered the current ones as those from the past year onwards as these are the most recent ones available with regard to the global freelancing trend topic. Some reports contain slightly outdated data to show the history of a trend but we picked only those excerpts that are current.
Sources
Sources