Looking for freelance work in 2022?
A lot has changed for writers since the rise of the freelance economy, the global pandemic, and an insatiable demand for social media content.
If you’re a freelance writer just starting out, or you’ve been at it a while, chances are pretty good you’re wondering what the future holds for freelance work this year.
What’s keeping you awake at night?
The usual suspects include things like:
- Finding clients
- Charging pro rates or raising your rates
- Improving your craft
- Breaking into a new niche
- Making enough money from freelancing to quit your day job
- Overcoming imposter syndrome
- Self-publishing and book and marketing it
- And much more
There’s certainly some things to be worried about in 2022. Some types of freelance work aren’t in demand any more. And rates for some types of projects continue to decline.
But the future for freelance work is far from dismal.
In fact, there’s a lot to be excited about. The year 2022 can certainly be your year to move up and earn more as a freelance writer.
We asked 10 experts on freelance writing, content marketing, and copywriting TWO questions about freelance work in 2022:
- What are you most worried about?
- What are you most excited about?
What’s the future look like for freelance work in 2022? Check out the predictions:
1. Andrea Hubbert
Founder of Hub + Company
Embracing your own unique voice will help you stand out
I’m very concerned that the musicians and other creators I passionately and purposefully provide services to are crippled with so much uncertainty that it’s a constant struggle to see light at the end of the tunnel… much less the need for copywriting services.
The same can be said for other markets where freelance writers may have spent years building a name and reputation for themselves. Poof, it could all be gone in a flash.
The good news…
It’s been great to speak with prospective clients whose businesses are growing.
It’s refreshing how many of them are ready to fully lean into their personalities and market their offerings with intention…to connect in ways that feel natural and true to them.
Thankfully, the days of empty platitudes and regurgitation from “gurus” seem to be fading fast. The conversations I’m having are around ways to embrace their own unique voices, and have it showcased in their copy – with panache!
Andrea Hubbert is a public relations strategist, copywriter, and founder of Hub + Company.
2. Carol Tice
Founder of Make a Living Writing
Longform writing is making a comeback
I’m most worried about the continued unpredictability of COVID and how it will affect writer opportunities. Everyone will need to market more than usual to have options if clients pause things.
I’m most excited about the growth of interest in longform writing! 2022 looks like the year for ghostwriting books, ebooks and special reports. I took three prospect meetings in the last 2 weeks of the year alone-ton of pent up demand.
In an uncertain world, the one thing thought leaders and companies looking to stand out can do is create their manifesto and get it out there.
Carol Tice is a ghostwriter, freelance writing coach, and the founder of Make a Living Writing.
3. Chandler Bolt
Founder of Self-Publishing School
More companies are open to hiring freelancers + value a remote workforce
I’m most excited about the trend that more people and companies are open to hiring freelancers and people from home than ever.
I’m worried about the effect of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the freelance industry. Have you seen the type of content some AI-software can create? There’s potential for AI to take away some writing jobs from the market and drive costs for freelance work down.
Chandler Bolt is the founder of Self-Publishing School and author of the book: Published.: The Proven Path From Blank Page To 10,000 Copies Sold.
4. Jerry Jenkins
New York Times best-selling author of the Left Behind series & online writing coach
Why worry? The future is bright
I’m not worried about anything in 2022. I’m not a worrier by nature.
I’m most excited about the future of my son’s TV series The Chosen and my novels accompanying each season: I Have Called You By Name and Come and See.”
Jerry Jenkins is a 21-time New York Time bestselling author of the Left Behind series and an online writing coach.
5. John Soares
Freelance writer and author of five outdoor books
Niche marketing & self-publishing will boost your income
My concerns for 2022…We’ll soon enter the third year of the pandemic. While the burden has been greater for some than others, it’s been a trial for everyone.
Many of us are psychologically weary from all the adjustments and, for some of us, the deaths of people we love. I urge you all to be kinder to yourselves and to others, to try to improve your resilience, and to adjust your expectations of what you can realistically accomplish in 2022.
Regarding the latter, I’m just now finishing an excellent book about changing how we view and use time: Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. It’s a much-needed corrective to the “go-go-go, get-it-all-done-now” approach to time management that pervades much of modern society.
Key opportunities for writers in 2022
Freelance writers who specialize in one or more niches and excel at marketing will earn excellent pay in 2022, as they have always done.
Unless your plate is overflowing with high-paying projects, start expanding into new niches, either ones closely related to your current niches, or to niches that match your interest and expertise.
Self-publishing books is also a good option
I’ve been taking advantage of the pent-up demand for travel and outdoor exploration by publishing books on boondocking, hiking, and walking through Amazon.
It’s easier and cheaper than ever to turn your knowledge into a lucrative income stream. Numerous free resources online explain how to do it, and there are helpful groups on Facebook and elsewhere that will answer your specific questions.
John Soares is the author of four Northern California hiking guidebooks published by Mountaineers Books (Seattle), and several other books.
6. Kevin Duncan
Editor-in-Chief at Smart Blogger
Opportunities for freelance writers will keep growing
With artificial intelligence software for content creation continuing to grow in popularity, I worry that too many good, talented people will give up on their dreams of writing for a living.
There are good, talented people who will look at the popularity of AI and choose to be greedy when others are fearful. These are people who see opportunity where others see chaos.
People who see other writers and freelancers throwing in the towel and think to themselves, “If you’re good at what you do, you’ll always be in demand.”
These are going to be great writers, and I’m excited about the prospect of discovering them, helping them on their journey, and seeing the amazing content they create.
Kevin J. Duncan is the Editor-in-Chief for Jon Morrow’s Smart Blogger, one of the world’s largest websites dedicated to writing, blogging, and helping people earn a living by working remotely.
7. Matt Stone
Author, entrepreneur, & publisher
Expected Kindle Direct Publishing changes will make it easier to self-publish children’s books
In 2022 my biggest worry is that the march towards consolidation of books, blogs, and information of all kinds into narrower and narrower channels will continue to proceed.
Search engines, Amazon, and social media sites are all continuing to favor “approved” works from their cronies rather than provide an even playing field to all writers and authors.
Big corporate interests continue to gain more and more influence over who is allowed to compete in the information and entertainment space that writers occupy, and no one has figured out how to effectively resist it.
In 2022 I’m most excited about children’s books! I believe that 2022 will be the year that Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)…
- Takes their hardcover beta out of beta
- Makes typical children’s book trim sizes available in hardcover
- And allows us to publish quality print-on-demand hardcovers in full color at a reasonable price per copy
This will be a gamechanger, allowing self-published authors to better be able to compete in one of the most lucrative publishing niches.
Matt Stone (also known as Buck Flogging) has been in the publishing industry for over 20 years; writing, publishing, and serving the indie author community with a variety of high-quality, affordable services, such as 100 Covers, 1000 Storybooks, Buck Books, BookAds, and others.
8. Sarah Greesonbach
Copywriter, coach, & founder of the B2B Writing Institute
More companies will hire freelancers and pay pro rates
Most worried about: I’m seeing data that indicates a surge in demand for freelance writing. And that companies increasingly view external contractors as part of their team.
This is fantastic news for finding work and building long-term client relationships. But it comes with a risk of being priced as an employee.
Freelancers must understand their earning potential and the real value (and cost) of being a free agent to make sure they price themselves competitively.
When you’re not a full-time employee, you need to be earning 2-3X a “normal” salary to make up for the:
- And profits you’re missing out on
Anything less, and you’re likely taking on too much risk to make this worth it in the long run.
Most excited about: The other side of the “demand” coin is that clients are realizing how valuable freelancers are!
If you take the time and push through the awkwardness of writing your clips, gaining practice, and finding niches that excite you… the sky’s the limit for your writing income and the number of marketing managers and businesses that want your help.
I’ve said it before: no one’s going to pay a writer $200k. But I can find 20 companies that need $10,000 of writing work done in a year. That’s why freelancing is the future.
Sarah Greesonbach is a copywriter, coach and founder of the B2B Writing Institute.
9. Sophie Lizard
Copywriter & founder of Be a Freelance Writer
Self-care will help you write well & earn well
My biggest worry for freelance writers in 2022 is health and wellbeing.
I’m deeply concerned that far too few writers are taking time out to look after themselves — and with the obvious health concerns of COVID-19 hanging over all of us, we need to make staying well our highest priority.
Successful writer friends of mine have been cutting down their work hours to make more time for self-care, but many newer freelance writers are coming in with a “hustle” mindset that pushes them to work until they drop.
So here’s my PSA for 2022: It’s much harder to write well or earn well if you aren’t well!
The thing I’m most excited about for 2022 are the surprises we’re going to encounter this year.
Even in a “normal” year, we can’t predict some of the things that might happen — and right now things are not normal yet, so one thing we *can* expect is extra disruption.
Change creates opportunity, so it’s part of our work as business owners to make sure we’re in a good position to take advantage of great opportunities when they open up.
That means setting up your back-office systems to get shit done smoothly with minimal effort, and building your professional presence and reputation so that you’re confident to step up to the best opportunities you find.
Sophie Lizard writes copy for coaches, consultants, and course creators. She also shares freelance blogging advice and work opportunities on her blog, Be A Freelance Blogger.
10. Williesha Morris
Freelance writer & journalist
COVID will continue to require writers to adapt
I’m most worried that people still haven’t taken COVID seriously enough and that it will continue to affect every aspect of our daily lives for years to come.
So even though hybrid or online writing workshops are a welcome change, we won’t be doing in-person events any time soon.
This also hampers writers who spend a lot of their time doing interviews and prefer in-person ones. This will be another year of Zoom.
I’m also concerned the momentum behind the PRO Act is still leaving freelancers behind and, once passed, the confusing language will give the go ahead to companies to use us less frequently.
The good news…I’ve noticed editors and companies who have contacted me are more open to working together and negotiate when it comes to rates. This is a sign that quality writers are still very much in demand and that we should be demanding higher rates accordingly.
Williesha Morris is freelance writer and journalist based in Alabama.
Freelance work in 2022: Make this your year to move up and earn more
There’s a lot happening in the freelance economy in 2022. But the future is bright. There’s lots of opportunities for freelance writers to move up and earn more. And there’s plenty of well-paying clients out there that need your help. NOW is always the perfect time to get started.
What are your predictions for freelance work in 2022? Share your predictions in the comments.
Evan Jensen is a freelance writer based in Sandy, Ore. When he’s not on a writing deadline or catching up on emails, he’s training to run another 100-mile ultra-marathon.