Freelance UX Writing

Can You Be a Freelance UX Writer?

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UX writing and content design are exploding. We were the new kids on the block, and now we’re the cool kids on the block.

Products are becoming more and more complex, and companies large and small are scouting UX writers to come in and make life 10x easier for users.

UX writers already make above-average salaries compared to other kinds of writers, but what if I told you there was a way to make even more as a UX writer?

Well, being a freelance UX writer is totally a thing —  a thing that can pay 50% more than a full-time UX writing job. And you can become a freelance UX writer today.

Why would I want to do UX writing freelance style?

UX writing as a full-timer is great and all, but if you’re craving a lower barrier to entry to get into UX writing, higher earning potential, independence, and remote UX writing, freelance is where it’s at.

Freelancing has a lower barrier to entry for UX writing

Finding an entry-level role as a UX writer can be hard. It makes sense — more and more people are catching on to the mighty power and impact you can make on someone’s life as a UX writer (and the sweet paycheck.)

If you’re frustrated with the struggle of landing a full-time role, you can get up and going with freelance much faster.

With freelance, there isn’t an interview process, there’s a sales process.

If you have a defined niche, know your target customer through and through, and develop your personal brand, showing a client you’re an expert is cake. And clients will trust you’re an expert.

See, clients look for freelance UX writers to solve their problems. If you can speak to how you use UX writing as a tool to move metrics, they’re happy to hire you.

Clients don’t need to be impressed by your process or past big name employers — they just need to know you have relevant experience to improve their business.

In a week or so, you can position your freelance UX writing business and start getting clients in the door with a simple marketing plan.

Gone are the days of waiting to hear back from a recruiter. With freelance, you can open for business, promote your business, and can get clients coming to you faster than it’s already taken you to get through your current job search.

UX writing freelance style has a higher earning potential

As a baseline, freelancers make more bank than full-time employees.

According to Upwork, “44% of freelancers say they earn(ed) more freelancing than with a traditional job in 2021… up 39% from 2020 and 32% from 2019.”

When it comes to UX writing, this couldn’t be more true.

The average salary for a UX writer in the United States is $115,000.

When you do UX writing freelance in the United States, you could make $200,000 charging $100 per hour (a pretty entry-level rate) working the same hours.

I raise my freelance rates with every proposal I send out. Not more waiting for annual salary reviews — I finally control my earning potential.

Gain unheard of independence as a freelance UX writer

As a freelance UX writer, I’m my own boss.

Without the hierarchy of a company above you… 

You decide when you work (I’m talking to you, night owls and early birds.)

You decide how much you work (I average 25 hours per week.)

You decide who you work with (goodbye, toxic co-workers.)

You decide where you live (I was able to move out of Cali to Wisconsin.)

When you make the move to freelance, you make the move to gain control of your life. And that’s a pretty unreal feeling.

Remote UX writing is the default with freelance UX writing

Freelance is the ultimate hack to remote UX writing. 

You never have to worry about “return to office” — when you’re freelance, you choose where in the world you live your life. Remote UX writing isn’t just possible, but it’s the default when you’re UX writing freelance style.

How does freelance UX writing work?

If this all sounds fine and dandy, but you’re wondering what it looks like in real life, let me lay it out for you.

Expect to wear multiple hats

When you’re a freelance UX writer, you’re running a UX writing freelance business. And because you’re running a business, you do more than just write all day — you wear multiple hats. You do sales, marketing, accounting, legal stuff, and more.

It’s nothing to feel intimidated about, though — there’s a ton of tools out there to make it easier, and you’ll get the hang of it over time.

The kinds of work arrangements

Instead of clocking in between 9–5, freelance UX writers work with companies on an arrangement basis. 

That could mean you have a monthly retainer with a client, where you agree to work 20 hours a week for a monthly rate. Or it could be on a per-project basis, where a client pays you a flat rate to work on a specific project.

Getting UX writing freelance clients to come to you

If you go freelance, you’re gonna have to get clients to find you, as opposed to sitting back and watching a direct deposit come through twice a month.

In my UX writing freelance business, I do all inbound marketing, meaning I get clients to come to me. I don’t do cold outreach or anything like that.

You can promote your freelance UX writing business to get clients to find you by:

  1. Building an audience like a Kardashian
  2. Tweeting your way to freelance success
  3. Blogging your way to $100k proposals

Whatever marketing method jells with you, the key to UX writing freelance success is getting yourself out there and known.

Posting daily on LinkedIn has been an excellent tactic for me, and it can work for you, too. (Psst… wanna connect?)

While there are some pros and cons to being a freelance UX writer, if you want to make more and work less, UX writing the freelance way could be an exceptional path for you.

If you want a gal pal to help you pivot to freelance UX writing, head to The Gig Gal — your new virtual stomping ground (and friend of the UX Writing Hub,) spilling all the secrets to pivot to freelance UX writing.

Happy UX writing 🖖

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