The hottest gig on the freelance job market isn't coding or graphic design, as you might expect — it's writing.
That's at least according to new research from Freelancer.com, which found creative writing to be the most in-demand skill employers are hiring for on its platform, based on an analysis of nearly 300,000 jobs advertised on the site between April and June.
Even as more companies turn to AI for content creation, the demand for human writers to edit manuscripts, write SEO-optimized blog posts and draft scripts for creative projects has increased since the beginning of the year, says Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.com.
"AI can't replace creativity yet," he says. "We saw a similar trend occur in the first quarter of the year, as creative design jobs were flourishing despite interest for generative AI tripling."
Other writing-related skills that have become more popular on Freelancer.com include copywriting and ghostwriting, Barrie adds.
While some writers find success with a bachelor's degree, it's not a requirement to build a successful freelance career. What's far more important, per Indeed, is the skills you bring to the table: Most writing gigs require fact-checking, research, editing and a basic understanding of SEO.
You can create an online portfolio with samples of your writing, join a writing group and network with other writers in your area of interest to find paid opportunities.
Most freelance writing jobs are remote, too, requiring writers to submit and publish their work online. In some cases, writers are able to work from anywhere, and set their own hours, as long as they meet their deadline, according to FlexJobs.
The more experienced you are, the higher you can set your rate: Writers on Freelancer.com charge as much as $250 per hour. At this rate, working as a freelance writer full-time could earn you upwards of $400,000 per year.
Fiverr, another freelancing marketplace, has also seen steady demand for writers despite the rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, which was launched in November 2022.
Yoav Hornung, head of verticals and innovation at Fiverr, says the platform continues to see demand for general writing services, like book editing, but also more interest in hiring freelancers for AI-related writing services, like AI content editing — those jobs saw an 80% increase last quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2023.
Gabrielle Gerbus, a freelance copywriter and SEO specialist who splits her time between Thailand and Los Angeles, says she was "a bit scared" at first about the impact AI would have on her job prospects.
But she decided to leverage AI in her professional writing, learning the ins and outs of Chat GPT and other generative AI tools so she could add AI content editing to her repertoire. She charges $100 and up for the service.
That business, the 28-year-old says, has "grown significantly" since she launched it a few months ago.
"Business owners know that high volumes of AI-generated content isn't the end-all-be-all, it's more nuanced, it needs a human touch," she says. "I'm happy to support at any point along the creative journey, and I actually think I can make a sometimes more meaningful impact when I come in to add that human touch to something AI produced."
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