Why you should do UX writing freelance style

Becoming a freelance UX writer has massively changed my life. If you want to make more, work less, and live flexibly, read this.
ux writing freelance
ux writing freelance
In: Freelance

Let’s be real — pivoting to UX writing freelance style is a *major* life decision. It’s not just a career change, it’s a whole lifestyle change.

Maybe you know how to do UX writing, maybe you don’t. Maybe you know how to freelance, maybe you don’t. From going from an office to remote UX writing, it’s a lot of new, a lot of learning, and a lot of change.

And if you’re like me, I know change is good for me, but I’m also good staying all comfy cozy in my current bubble. But, three years ago, I made the change to UX writing freelance style. And BOY, am I glad I did.

Pivoting to freelance UX writing has completely changed my life, and it can definitely change yours, too. Since switching to freelance UX writing, I’ve:

  • Upped my income by 185%
  • Traveled the country while working
  • Bought a home in Wisconsin
  • Delighted my inner early bird with a 6am start to my work day
  • Worked on some of the most meaningful projects of my career

And so much more… It’s the best UX writing job I’ve ever had.

If you want to make more, work less, and live flexibly, here are 3 (of the many) reasons why you should consider becoming a freelance UX writer:

  1. You can make A LOT more money (and work less)
  2. YOU decide what kind of life you want to live
  3. You’ll actually make life easier for people

Let me explain…

1. You can make A LOT more money (and work less)

There are two ways freelance UX writers make bank:

  1. UX writing and content design pay more than content writing or copywriting
  2. Freelance pays more than full-time

UX writing can pay 133% more than other types of writing

If the headline didn’t say it all, you can make way more as a UX writer, content designer, or content strategist than a copywriter or content writer.

Just look at my history of rates:

  • Freelance content writer: $40 per hour
  • Freelance copywriter: $70 per hour
  • Freelance UX writer: $200 per hour

That’s a 133% jump in my hourly rate. And while I avoid hourly nowadays, with up to $200 per hour as my base, I get to charge a lot more on a per project or monthly retainer basis.

Overall, moving to freelance UX writing upped my income by 185% in ~3 years (and it can for you, too)

Freelance can pay 50% more than full-time for UX writers

Again, if the headline didn’t say it all, you can make way more freelancing than in a full-time job.

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

That’s freelancers overall, so what about UX writers? It’s even juicier.

The average salaried UX writer in the United States makes $119,983 per year. A freelance UX writer charging $100 per hour (a pretty entry-level rate) for the same hours would make $200,000 per year.

Going freelance can increase a UX writer’s income by 50%.

And you still make more, even if you work less.

Again, the average salaried UX writer in the United States makes $119,983 per year. If the same freelance UX writer charging $100 per hour only worked 30 hours per week, they’d still make $150,000 per year.

That’s a 22% increase in income for working 10 hours less per week.

The proof is there.

2. YOU decide what kind of life you want to live

When you go freelance, say hasta la vista to the days of a boss dictating your life. Now…

YOU decide when you work.

YOU decide how much you work.

YOU decide who you work with.

YOU decide where you live.

Your life is finally 100% in your control.

When I was a full-time UX writing employee, I had to live in San Francisco, commute, and start work at 9am. Now, I get to live near family in Wisconsin, work from home every day, and start work whenever I please. Remote UX writing is the best.

Becoming a freelance UX writer has given me more freedom in my life than I could have ever imagined. And it can for you, too.

3. You’ll actually make life easier for people

Digital products and mobile apps are becoming complex.

Just look at Tinder — the dating app started off as a simple swiping tool, and now they’re layering on features, badges, forms, and much more.

ux writing example

With more complexity comes more content. And if the content is confusing, users and the business suffer. UX writers come in and wrangle complex concepts into simple and easy-to-understand words that benefit everyone involved.

The *right* words make life a lot easier for users. Just take the before and after of this error message:

ux writing example

The before would cause confusion and frustration for anyone. The after makes problem-solving easy. Good UX writing makes life easier for people, because going about their day, or completing the user journey, becomes seamless.

That said, it also creates a positive relationship with the product, which helps bottom lines.

Take a look at these examples:

ux writing example

Changing one word on a button increased engagement by +10% for Julia. And Google increased engagement +17% with a simple word change, too.

UX writing makes a difference, and your cursor could be the mastermind behind major change.

Happy UX writing 🖖

Written by
Slater Katz
As founder of The UX Gal, my mission is to make learning UX writing fantastically-simple and landing a job easy. I've held UX writing jobs at companies like Netflix, Fitbit, Verizon, Afterpay, & more.
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