4 Reasons Freelance Writing Rates Will Rise in 2016

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average wage in the U.S. in 2014 (the latest year for which statistics are available), was $47,230. For writers and editors, it was just above $66,000 the way I calculated it. How I arrived at that figure?

I took the categories listed below from this chart and did an average of the five categories listed in this snapshot.

4 Reasons Freelance Writer Salaries Will Continue to Rise in 2016

Following is why writers and editors earn more than the average wage in the U.S. in my opinion, and why rates for these professions will continue to rise.

(i) Content Marketing: Companies are investing in it like never before. Proof? According a recent Content Marketing Institute (CMI) report 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing and 51% expect to increase their content marketing budgets next year.

(ii) Venture Capitalist Dollars: Venture capitalists are pouring millions into publishing startups. Yep, you read that right. If you watch the popular ABC show, Shark Tank, you know these guys don’t invest in anything that they aren’t pretty sure they’re going to get a return on.

2016 Freelance Writer Salary

The article, Why venture capitalists are suddenly investing in news, explains why this sudden interest in publishing/news companies.

 “Suddenly, the market for content just opened up,” said Sarah Lacy, founder of PandoDaily, which has secured about $4 million in venture capital since 2012. … “… there are starting to be a lot who say, ‘I see, you have scale and leverage on the internet with social and mobile that will allow you to rebuild great media from the ground up.’ … The shift doesn’t simply reflect a renewed confidence in publishing. It’s also a signal that some online media ventures are finally perceived as being sophisticated and agile tech companies, as well.

Why freelance writing rates will increase in 2016(iii) Results! More than ever, companies are seeking content that delivers results. In past years, it was just – “Get me on the first page of Google.” And you could do that with a slew of keyword-stuffed SEO articles written by hack writers for $5 a pop.

But those easily gotten gains soon disappeared when Google kept changing its algorithms, eg, Penguin, Panda. Now, they know that quality trumps quantity – and they’re starting to really invest in good, in-depth content, which of course costs more.

(iv) Strategy: Piggybacking on this last point, according to the CMI report reference above, 32% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, and 44% of them hold weekly or daily content marketing meetings.

In order to get those all-important results they’re seeking, companies are putting in the work to create documented content strategies that yield optimum results. Ya think they’re going to hire a $5 per article writer to carry out that strategy.

Na uh. Not on your life buddy! They’re willing to pay – handsomely – for content providers who can deliver the goods.

How to Make Money as a Freelance Writer

There are so many ways to earn money as a writer, it’s crazy! And, your earning power is only limited by your willingness to work — truly.

How I Make Money as a Writer

I have several income streams, ie:

(i) Self-publishing my own line of fiction and non-fiction ebooks;

(ii) Developing and teaching online seminars; and

(iii) Writing for clients, via my writing company NewMediaWords.biz (yeah, it’s getting a makeover this year!).

Trade Publishers Come a’Knocking

On top of all of this, recently, I landed a traditional book deal. A trade publisher hired me to write a book about, get this … freelancing! It came with a nice four-figure, upfront payment — and ongoing backend earnings on sales of the hard copy and e-book versions of the book. Not bad, huh?

Is all of this it a lot of work? Yes. I’m swamped right now!

Is it worth it? Without a doubt, yes.

Types of Freelance Writing Jobs Available

The types of writing projects are all over the map; it’s just cray cray how many opportunities there are, eg:

Case studies;

Web copy;

White papers;

Online journalist;

Textbook writing;

Auto responders for email campaigns;

Lead generating ebooks;

Landing pages;


Grant proposals …

The list is endless, and a lot of it is high-paying work.

Is 2016 the Year You Make the Freelance Leap?

If this is the year you finally decide to take the leap into freelancing, just know, the work is there. All you have to do is decide on a niche and get going.

Next Week’s Post: 2016 Freelance Writing Goals: 3 Ways to Boost Your Income This Year

Share Your Thoughts

Do you think freelance writing rates will increase, decrease, remain the same? What’s your experience/insight? Please share in the comments section below.

P.S.: Ready to freelance? Get the in-depth training you need to become a successful online (SEO) writer.

FYI, the average salary for SEO writing is $66,000 (it’s hovered around that mark for the last few years), and freelancers can earn even more b/c they set their own rates and can take on as many/few clients as they want.


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    1. Super informative writing; keep it up! 🙂