Updated: Jan 28
Freelance writing is one of the most active niches, fueled by the demand for written content by the digital marketing industry. Both large companies and small and medium businesses are looking for independent contractors who can deliver quality content for their blogs, guest post agreements, and social media accounts.
These claims are backed by statistical data and specialized surveys. For instance, SEMRush found out that in 2019 40% of businesses outsourced their content creation processes. The top three services these companies outsourced are:
34% graphic design
32% video design/animation.
What Prompts the Demand for Freelance Writers?
The competition between companies in both major lines of business (B2B and B2C) fuels the growing costs for digital marketing. From the bidding prices for Google AdWords and Facebook ads to the costs for creating and maintaining a website, there is a constant pressure on companies to grow their marketing budget. Thus, businesses need to cut overhead costs in order to stay competitive. Hiring in-house specialists for all the marketing activities is, thus, no longer sustainable.
An employee needs to be paid every day of the week, every month of the year, regardless of the need for their services. By comparison, freelance writing offers companies a sustainable choice. They can hire either agencies or independent freelancers on a project by project basis. Or, as Forbes recommends, freelancers should become a part of the long term strategy of the company, providing a fresh approach for each issue.
The Top Skills in Demand for Freelance Writers
The same SEMRush survey quoted earlier in the article indicates that businesses are looking for specific skills in freelance writers. Thus, the top five required skills for a content marketing specialist are:
50% social media
And this trend will also continue in 2020. According to Derek Lewis, author coach and business book ghostwriter, successful freelancers this year will have to create a “marketplace of one.” This is the approach of freelance writing agencies, which strive to find and collaborate with skilled and specialized writers. Thus, these agencies can offer professional content writing services for all niches, both in B2B and B2C industries.
Key Drivers for the Increased Demand for Skilled Freelance Writers
The demand for freelance writing services, as proven by surveys and statistics, comes from the ever-changing rules of the game in digital marketing. Getting found on Google or creating effective traffic and sales funnel on social media involves constant creation and sharing of quality content.
And these are some of the most important factors that require a steady flow of content in order to win the content marketing game in 2020:
1. Voice Search Changes the Way Consumers Look for Products and Services
Digital assistants like Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant have changed the way consumers interact with brands and search for products and services. Instead of short typing keyword in a text box, they speak out full sentences in the form of questions.
The digital assistants use complex algorithms to find the best match for the user’s intent on the web. Therefore, in order to rank in voice searches, written content must be adapted to this new style of search. Skilled freelance writers already know how to optimize content for voice search. Thus, companies who work with freelance writing providers have a higher chance of getting more quality leads from voice searches.
2. Long-Form Content Has a Higher Conversion Rate
Quality is the first requirement for content with a high conversion rate. But there is also another ranking factor, just as important: length. According to the most recent guidelines, long-form content (+2,000 words) has a higher conversion rate than shorter content pieces.
The reason for this is that long-form articles are usually in-depth and authoritative. They explain something in detail, bring proofs and quote reputable sources. Thus, a person who wants to solve a problem or learn something new is more likely to read a long-form article than a short blog post. And they are more likely to trust a company that provides this type of quality content.
Of course, these companies need to resort to specialized and skilled writers to create this type of content. To match the demand, there is a thriving freelance writing niche for white papers, technical tutorials, ebooks, and other forms of long-form content.
3. Audio/Video Rules – Who Writes the Scripts?
Video is the king of content on social media, with the highest engagement rates. It is closely followed by podcasts – live or recorded audio shows dealing with topics of interest for the intended audience.
The question is: who writes the scripts for videos or podcasts? They must appear to look and sound spontaneous, but they need to be carefully crafted to capture the audience’s interest, maintain them engaged, and determine them to follow the call to action at the end. Once again, freelance writers prove an efficient and cost-effective solution for companies that want to produce quality videos and podcasts.
4. Organic Traffic Is Not Dead
According to the findings of the Search Engine Journal, nearly 40% of all website traffic comes from organic search results. This type of earned traffic comes from:
Good keyword analysis
Adequate optimization of written content
A constant flow of high-quality content.
Therefore, brands need to create a constant flow of fresh and high-quality content, optimized for the keywords for which they want to rank in Google searches. Freelance writing services can meet this high demand for SEO content in the form of blog posts, guest articles, tutorials and other formats.
5. Local Searches Influence Written Content
A secondary trend stemming from the rise of digital assistants is the focus on local searches. Consumers use these assistants to solve immediate needs, such as finding a restaurant to have dinner with friends or a technician to fix a broken washing machine.
This means that content must include locations but in a natural and unobtrusive manner. Experienced freelance writers can produce location optimized articles and blog posts that will rank in local searches and with very good readability.
In conclusion, as all the above prove, freelance writing will continue to thrive in 2020 and meet the ever-growing demands of all industries for high quality and converting content.