“Oh..” followed by an awkward silence. We have all heard it. It is a response given by many, when you out yourself as a freelancer. It seems to be the way people avoid saying what they are actually thinking. Things like, “Yeah, but what do you really do?” Or,”How do you pay your bills?” Or even better, “I hope that works out for you.”
Here is the important question. Are they right?
The growing freelance industry would say disagree. The United States Department of Labor posted the 2012 median salary for a freelance writer to be $55,940, or $26.89 per hour. That seems like a reasonable income. It gets better, all of the big names in freelancing and copywriting; Bob Bly, and Steve Slaunwhite agree that you get out of your business what you put into it. If you continue your education, learn new things like blogging, build yourself a website, and have a fairly concrete marketing plan, a six figure income is well within your reach. More importantly is knowing that you control your destiny, the freedom of your schedule. More work equals more money, but it also requires more work on your part.
Copywriting requires a special skill set, but it is one that can be taught. You need not be equipped with outstanding writing skills to find yourself making decent money. With great programs offered through American Writers and Artists Inc., (AWAI) and Makealivingwriting.com the average person can be educated in the field, and start a business of their own.
The advertising industry is expected to spend $189 billion, yes, you read that right, billion, in 2015. In 2014 they spent $180 billion, which was a 5.3% growth from 2013. This was the first time since 2004 that the industry grew by more than 5%. This trend is expected to continue.
So when I tell people I am a freelance writer, and I hear the “Oh..” as they fade off, I embrace the awkward silence. I know that the business of freelance writing is alive and well.