Never did I expect to write a blog post on writing trends of 2020 in May. That’s what January’s for—to predict all up-and-coming trends for writers while the new year is still fresh.
But we are entering something new. This post-pandemic world is something that a few months back we never anticipated. Yet it’s a harsh reality that we’re all facing together hesitantly.
And right now, we can all use a little guidance.
It’s Time to Strategize for These Writing Trends of 2020
We are all too familiar with an everchanging landscape of writing. After all, writers don’t go into the business because it’s a secure 9-to-5 job. Our creativity thrives on change, so our ability to adapt and grow even during these uncertain times is inevitable.
The question now is how we as writers should adapt to post-pandemic life. I predict these five writing trends of 2020 will revolutionize the writer’s role in today’s unforeseen economy.
Expect Industry Jumping
Being laid off or furloughed is no longer taboo. Hundreds of talented writers went from full-time to zero hours as companies and agencies froze their spending. Even as businesses start to reopen and customers start to reopen their wallets, businesses are cautious to bring back employees.
That doesn’t mean no one’s hiring. In fact, many companies in niche industries stayed afloat—even thrived—during the pandemic. As life slowly adjusts back to business as usual, these companies need the help of writers who can keep consumers and clients engaged.
This is the best time for a writer to cross into a new industry. Most companies are quickly realizing that a strong writer can write for anyone, despite their previous background. Some businesses initially won’t budge from this old mindset, but they too must stop requiring past field experience to survive in this new economy.
As one of the most opportunistic writing trends of 2020, writers should submit their resume to companies across all industries. A strong writing portfolio paired with your application says more than a lack of experience in their field.
Freelance Writers in High Demand
Articles published back in January about writing trends of 2020 didn’t predict this—companies today need to hire freelance writers more than ever.
Why? Depends on the company you ask.
Some companies are so busy with business that they can’t support demand with their internal team. Some companies can’t afford to bring employees back to full-time status, yet can still budget for freelance projects. And some companies want to try out working with a freelance writer before making a full-time commitment.
In short, 2020 is a prime year to make a career out of writing for a variety of clients.
Established freelance writers can expect an uptick in requests. Writers transitioning to freelance work can create accounts with online freelance platforms that make it easy to connect with potential clients.
A Boost in Guest Blogging
Don’t underestimate the power of one blog post. Many businesses receive outstanding ROI from their company blog. With the right content marketing strategy in place, companies can better connect with their loyal customers and potential consumers by providing genuine, valuable content on their blog.
With so much changing so quickly, businesses can have a hard time keeping up their blog cadence. Yet now more than ever do readers want to connect with their favorite brands or to gain access to exclusive content created just for their needs as decision-making buyers.
The solution? Guest blogging.
Creating guest blog posts isn’t anything new. Yet I anticipate it to quickly become of one of the most budget-savvy writing trends of 2020 for varying reasons.
Businesses without a blogging budget for can still publish guest blog posts. Professional bloggers are more than happy to provide guest blogging services as an additional way to further promote their blog on a respected company’s website. And a partnership between two companies can lead to featured blog posts across both company blogs.
Bloggers, there’s no better time than now to ramp up your blog marketing efforts. Established bloggers can expect to receive more guest blogging requests in their inbox. And new bloggers can jumpstart their efforts on the scene by exploring these guest blogging communities.
A Growing Audience for eBooks & Audiobooks
Good news: book sales were higher than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more time and nowhere to go (including libraries), readers turned to online booksellers. And many indie bookstores rushed their ecommerce efforts in hopes to stay in business.
Books aren’t going anywhere anytime fast—but don’t count on finding new reads on store shelves.
Bad news: being signed as a new author by a publisher is even harder than before. With bookstores and warehouses closed for months, it will take time for publishers—the ones that do reopen—to ramp up their sales efforts.
Authors-to-be shouldn’t fret. The pandemic saw a 30% boost in eBook readership as well as a spike on audiobook purchases, including those in the indie and self-publish market. And since the self-publish market is now more accessible than ever, this may be one of the smartest writing trends of 2020 that writers pursue.
Writers can define their own destiny by publishing their manuscripts as eBooks with these self-publishing companies. And it’s still possible—and surprisingly manageable—to self-publish an audiobook today.
The Stage, Reinvented
All the world may soon be a playwright’s stage. If my predictions for upcoming writing trends of 2020 prove to be sound, we may experience theatre outside the box—that is, off the stage.
Broadway is no longer a booming business. With shows suspended or stopped from NYC to Las Vegas, the pandemic brought theatre to a halt with no set calendar dates in sight.
Even as we crawl outside of our safe spaces and assimilate back into the real world, it still may be too soon for theatregoers to step inside a dark theatre and sit next to a stranger.
Playwrights need to get creative. How you present your play impacts your survival in this industry today.
Expect open-air theatre concepts like parks and beaches where attendees can space out. Anticipate larger performance venues, particularly those already outdoors, to receive renovations or makeovers that accommodate today’s social distancing demands.
Unlike in years past, people are more eager to support local. Now is a great time for newer playwrights to put on their own production within the community to grow their following and credibility in the business.
Why These Writing Trends of 2020 Matter
With half of 2020 already behind us, it’s time to look forward. While there’s little certainty for the big businesses that supported the art of writing for decades, it’s now making room for the underdog writers to cut into the scene.
Never in history has there been a better opportunity for wannabe writers to pick up a pen. Saying yes to opportunity is only half the battle—how you approach that opportunity determines if you succeed. Quality writing is always the foundation of a writer’s success, but execution is how a writer is discovered, appreciated and recognized.
Life in 2020 isn’t going to be easy. As history has proven, the toughest of times have produced the greatest writing. It’s up to you as a writer to withstand the aftermath of this post-pandemic world so that you can become the writer you are destined to be.