The Freelance Writing Market
- The global freelance platforms market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.3% during 2021 and 2026, to reach $9,192.9 million in 2026.
- By 2030, it is predicted that freelancers may account for 80% of the global workforce.
- Across 2020 and 2021, acceptance of remote work "has rocketed" in most industries. This acceptance across industries is majorly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the pandemic and its effect on work, "nearly half of hiring managers are more likely to hire freelancers than before."
Below we detail the market overview, size, and trends of the global freelance industry, that also includes global freelance writing platforms. While the research team endeavored to find information strictly pertinent to the global freelance writing industry, the desired data/insights was limited in the public domain.
Global Freelance Market Size and Overview
- Orbis Research found that the global freelance platforms market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.3% during 2021 and 2026, to reach $9,192.9 million in 2026. This figure is approximated to be $3,393.5 million in 2021.
- Some companies included in this research study include "Upwork, Toptal, Fiverr, Catalant, 99Designs, Freelancer.com, Guru.com, Skyword, TaskRabbit", among others. Regions and countries covered include the US and Canada (North America), the UK, Germany, France, Italy (Europe), Japan, South Korea, China, India (Asia Pacific), the Middle East, and Africa. More findings were sequestered behind a paywall. Open PR also claims to have a similar report but this too is hidden behind a paywall.
- DDIY, a freelancing website, posits that freelancers possibly represents about 35% of the global workforce, which amounts to approximately 1.1 billion people.
- The article further proffers that the share of full-time freelancers grew to 28% in 2019, up 11 points from 2014. At 45%, Europe is believed to have experienced the greatest growth between 2014 and 2019.
- According to giant freelancing site Upwork, the US freelancing industry contributes approximately $1 trillion to the US economy, which is said to be about 5% of the US GDP.
- Spend Me Not, a financial insights and research provider, predicts that by 2030, freelancers may account for 80% of the global workforce. There are already about 57 million freelancers in the US, the article adds.
- Flexiple, a freelance talent site, posits that at 78%, the US freelance market is the fastest growing market based on earnings. The UK is the second fastest (59%), followed by Brazil at (48%), as shown below.
Trends in the Global Freelance Industry
Global Acceptance of Remote Work
- Freelancer Map, a freelancer site for IT professionals, notes that across 2020 and 2021, acceptance of remote work "has rocketed" in most industries. This acceptance across industries is majorly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The site goes on to assert that due to the pandemic and its effect on work, "nearly half of hiring managers are more likely to hire freelancers than before."
- Further, more and more employees desire more flexibility with their schedules and are opting for freelance opportunities. Make a Living Writing, a blog that publishes freelancing opportunities and other resources, notes that more professionals are seeking flexibility in their work schedules and are increasingly resorting to becoming independent contractors.
- Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer, agrees. He says, "While COVID-19 has been the trigger of the already upward trending freelancer movement, this exponential growth can also be attributed to the strong demand for individuals to finally start their own freelance enterprise, work on their own terms and supplement their income."
- Forbes also notes that this broad acceptance of remote work "will continue lubricating freelancing". It asserts that the shift to remote work has proved "feasible, attractive, and productive". Jay Desai, CEO of Stratlancer, notes, "In countries like India, businesses are growing comfortable with remote freelance management consultants like our platform. It’s a significant change for the better, and will drive more freelance careers."
- Freelancing site Week of Saturdays adds that since the pandemic has necessitated a remote global workspace, more opportunities are emerging. It remarks, "Now that the global workspace is increasingly remote, work opportunities will increase across the world, and employers hire specifically for each need." Flexiple adds that in the coming 10 years, hiring managers believe that about 168% more work will be completed solely by freelancers.
Adoption of New Technology in Writing
- Writers are also adopting modern technological trends such as artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning and natural language processing platforms such as Grammarly and ProWritingAid to assist in writing. According to Grammarly, "30 million people and 30,000 teams around the world use our AI-powered product to strengthen their writing and say what they really mean."
- According to a 2018 study by Open PR, the AI writing assistant market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10%. The forecast period is from 2019 to 2026.
- According to Compose.ly, the use of productivity suites that support seamless collaboration through apps such as Google docs used to write collaboratively, has seen an increase in the "ever-growing remote workforce." G suite, for example, is believed to have nearly 2 billion monthly users.
For this research on the global freelance writing industry, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information that were available in the public domain, including reports from Orbis Research, Forbes, Payoneer, as well as insights from freelancing sites such as Upwork, Week of Saturdays, DDIY, Flexiple, Make a Living Writing, and Spend Me Not.
For both parts of this project, the requested data was limited in public domain. While the research team endeavored to find information specific to the global freelancing writing industry, all the sources appeared to group all freelance work together, thus the findings outlined above speak to the global freelance industry as a whole. Where available, we include any and all insights that particularly spoke to the global freelance writing industry, but we also presented all publicly available findings on the general global freelance industry.
The trends included in this report were determined as trends as they were repeatedly mentioned in our sources. Further, C-suite professionals and other experts were quoted weighing in on these trends. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the trends and their industry-wide impact/influence, we were unable to identify specific companies that were implementing the trends.