The State of Freelance Writers in 2015 [Infographic]

Freelance Writing Statistics 2015

We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who supported us when we ran our survey last November. As we promised, we are sharing the results of the survey with everyone.

We asked freelance writers questions that provide insight into our work and industry as a whole and put together the data into one graphic.

To give you a quick overview of the results, here is a summary of the key points. 

Freelance Writing Statistics 2015 highlights

  • Majority of freelance writers are female (67 percent)
  • Most freelance writers fall under the age range of 25 and 34 years old
  • Most writers freelance part-time and started because of the need to earn money on the side
  • The best thing about freelance writing is the ability to work whenever and wherever one wants
  • Uncertainty in income and difficulty in getting clients are the biggest issues freelance writers face
  • The average freelance writer works three to five hours a day
  • Pay, or rate, is the most important consideration when applying for a gig

Freelance Writing Statistics 2015 infographic

freelance writing statistics 2015


Apart from the data points and trends mentioned above, the survey has revealed some (arguably) less expected findings that are worth mentioning. For example, almost a quarter of all respondents agreed that avoiding face-to-face meetings was their primary motivation for freelancing, hinting on an introvert’s struggles on a typical day job. Another interesting statistic was the importance of non-specialized platforms such as Craigslist in finding work – 38% of respondents reported it as their go-to platform for new gigs; personal websites or blogs have been mentioned much less frequently as a source of new clients, which implies that freelancers rely mostly on third-party intermediaries as sources of work. Finally, a correlation could be spotted between the 37% share of freelancers which have zero regular clients and almost two-thirds of respondents citing income uncertainties as the number one challenge, suggesting that focusing on persistent client relations and persistent streams of revenue can potentially lead to higher stability and therefore less stress for a freelancer.

Did you take part in the survey? Were you surprised at the statistics, or did you expect the results? How are they going to play a role in your plans for your freelance writing career next year?

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Go further than the numbers: 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Freelance Writers






4 responses
  1. Brian Avatar

    How many total respondents were there, or did I miss that? Just curious how large the pool was.

  2. Krista Avatar

    Wow, the average income is VERY disheartening to say the least.

  3. Kathleen Krueger Avatar

    Don’t let the income numbers discourage you. You have to remember that the majority of the people answering the survey are only part time freelancers, not full time, like I am.

    I’ve been in that top 10% for income every year since I first started freelancing full time, $30-$50000. I have more than 6 ongoing clients (big key to success), I’m over 55 and I am not writing a novel.

  4. Erica Fink Avatar
    Erica Fink

    Great statistics. However, the data on income is quite not relevant. I worked as a freelance writer for 6 years in a raw but I didn’t earn that much. I think I wrote articles with great content. You can check them here

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