Freelance Writing

While I was researching for my report on writing about film, I found that one way to break into the industry was by writing freelance movie reviews for local newspapers. I was somewhat surprised to learn that these newspapers and smaller publications heavily rely on freelance writers, even amateur ones at that. So that got me thinking more about freelance writing in general, regardless of the publishing field (which is why this post is in Trends and Future Speculation, rather than Publishing Fields).

A contributor on (a freelance contributor, as it happens) wrote an article about freelance writing trends in 2014. “Within the next six years,” she wrote, “The Intuit 2020 Report predicts that 40 percent of the entire labor force in the United States will be comprised of freelance workers. Further, 40 percent of all freelancers are in the writing field as writers, editors, or copywriters.”

I found these numbers pretty encouraging. I also found some information on a website that discussed average pay rates for freelance writing. It referenced the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which stated that in 2010, about 68 percent of writers in the U.S. were self-employed. Their salaries were varied based on the types of writing they did. In 2011, freelance writers on average earned around $97,300 a year, or $46.78 an hour. The article then broke down information based on several certain types of freelancers, such as technical writers and scriptwriters. It also referenced the 2011 Writer’s Market which discussed some rates that freelance writers receive when pursuing individual projects. I won’t get into all the numbers in detail, but I found this to be a great factual article and well worth the read. It really paints a solid picture of income for different types of freelance writing.

What are your opinions on freelance writing? A lot of us in the class have posted about self-publishing, which is a form of freelance writing. Could other forms be applicable in the publishing fields you’re researching? I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

Sources: (I recommend you read at least this one)


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