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Writing Freelancers and Outsource Market Shifts

It is increasingly common for freelancers from abroad to take over jobs formerly occupied by individuals in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. In some cases, this situation is called “job transfer.” A sizable number of countries have become targets of “job transfer” activity, China and India among them. “Job transfers” affect different sectors of the economy very differently.

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Jobs such as programming and freelance writing are particularly subject to the movement of the actual work offshore, even if the company remains in place. Any position or profession that can be pursued without leaving home, over the Internet, is going to present a particularly appealing target for offshore workers.

For many companies, the over-riding concern is cost reduction. Under these circumstances, native speakers may actually be at a disadvantage compared to non-native speakers – the remuneration expected by a native speaker is likely to be higher.

Until recently, job transference has been an issue largely for the Information Technology market, wherein, for example, an Indian programmer could compete for head to head with a U.S. U.K. or Canadian citizen. Programming, after all, has been almost a universal language.

However, this situation has been evolving. Our project –, has generated some intriguing statistics from internal reports

  • 2009: Non-native speakers engaged in freelance writing for RWC – +21.3% (compared to 2008).
  • 2010: Non-native speakers engaged in freelance writing for RWC – +43.7% (compared to 2009).

It is hard to escape the conclusion that people from all over the world are targeting Western job markets, and not just in programming! The quality of their writing products is usually at a lower level than that of native speakers, without question. However, these less qualified freelancers seem willing to accept fines/penalties that result from the inevitable mistakes and confusion their work contains. Even the minimum payments are more than average earnings in their home countries.

In this emerging scenario, a freelance writer who wants to secure a stable income needs to be able to offer something that distinguishes him/her from all the rest, just in order to stay afloat. If you have been doing business for some time, you may be well set-up. You have your established clientele, and you have your experience, which speaks well for you.

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Nevertheless, for a new writer, there should be a way to establish oneself. Offering freebies might be a solution.

It is commonly accepted and well known that freebies are a great marketing tool. A freebie is like an appetizer for the customer, seducing the customer into ordering a lavish “main course” – namely, the product/service a particular company is trying to sell.

Speaking of freebies – if you are a freelance writer, you should be careful about those too. A lot of companies looking for freelancers may offer you freebies, as well.

However, these may not do you much good.

Freebies are usually designed to be attractive, attention-grabbing, small, and ultimately insignificant. Job freebies may include an extra day off or a bonus for undertaking specific tasks or meeting certain benchmarks,

Job freebie can be compared to retail prices ending with nine. As you have doubtless noticed, $79.99 sounds somewhere close to 80 but not exactly. $999 sounds like a thousand, but not really. It is all simply marketing! The same issue concerns job freebies.

Anyone dedicating substantial resources to job hunting should be cautious about such freebies and their implication for their personal and professional lives. In many cases, writers become dissatisfied with their work after beginning employment. They complain about “great job offers” and “wonderful deals,” which were so enthusiastically represented to them, perhaps untruthfully. One can agree that their disappointment is understandable. However, an individual must be cognizant of the ‘facts of life’ regarding the business activities of their society. In many cases, the way we are treated is difficult and even unfair. Nonetheless, people must be ready for it and cope with it.

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A general and discouraging conclusion from all of the above is that freelance writing will become a more hostile environment in the foreseeable future. Available jobs and opportunities for stability and advancement will be harder to secure, especially for newcomers, who have just recently decided to switch to freelancing as their main job.

The Internet is full of advice on how to become a successful freelance writer. This article is on the list too. However, you have to keep in mind that most of the information here and elsewhere is generalized to fit a wide audience.

Ultimately, it is mostly up to you to find the right formula for your own success – will you go for a company that you will cooperate with on a long-term basis, or will you choose to go with a wider range of customers, with potentially more significant offers? It is your decision to make, and I sincerely wish you all the best in your career.

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