Freelance writing can be an incredibly lucrative career. However, it takes the right kind of mindset if you want to be a success. I’ve seen a lot of people get excited about the prospect of making money from home only to give up shortly after starting. In some of these cases, people have been known to quite their regular jobs. Before diving in, consider these points of interest.
There is a Great Deal to Freelance Writing
It takes more than simply sitting at your desk and writing in order to be successful as a freelancer. It’s not like a regular job where you get an hourly paycheck regardless if your actually working or not. It can be a very high-stress environment. Since 2012, I’ve found many of the following to be true when freelance writing.
Pros of Freelance Writing
Many people are drawn to the idea of working for themselves. You can benefit from many perks by freelancing from home. Most of these can be the convincing point to put more effort into being self-employed.
- Setting Your Own Hours: As a freelancer, you can set your own hours for work. However, you want to be mindful of optimal times for your prospective clients.
- Working From Home: One of the points I like about freelancing is that it can be done from virtually anywhere. I don’t have to worry about travel, and it winds up saving us a lot of money in gas alone.
- Quicker Payouts: With the exception of a couple of sites I use, the payouts are quick. Personal clients pay instantly while services such as Textbroker pay authors every Friday.
- Making More Money: Because you can set your own bids in most instances, the potential for income is great. You could easily make more money as a freelancer than you would at a local business, especially if it’s hard to find work in your area.
- Freedom to Do Other Things: It’s nice to be able to hit the golf course in between jobs. Just make sure you don’t take too much fun time. Your clients are depending on a fast turn around.
- Vast Market for Work: Because freelancing is such a viable option for many, the market is vast when looking for online work. Technology of today makes this possible, and it’s much easier to find work today than it was in the 20th century.
- Work From Anywhere: One of the perks I like the most about freelancing is the ability to work from anywhere. If I’m out of town visiting family, I can jump on my laptop – as long as I have Internet.
Cons of Freelance Writing
Unfortunately, freelancing isn’t without its troubles. In fact, a lot of these points have caused many to quit and go back to a traditional job. It takes a certain type of person to move past the negative to make freelance writing beneficial.
- Income Is Controlled By Clients: Sure, you can set your own prices for a lot of freelance writing gigs. That doesn’t mean you’ll attract clients. Without a client, there is no income.
- Requires Greater Focus: Unlike other jobs, a freelancer needs to have a greater professional focus to remain successful. It takes determination, motivation and time management if you want to get ahead. It can be incredibly easy to get side-tracked with life.
- Highly Competitive: Because freelancing is so popular, it’s very competitive. You need to develop excellent skills and market yourself well if you want to gain reliable clients.
- No Vacation Time: For the most part, vacations are all paid by you. If you’re not working, you’re not getting paid. However, you can still take a vacation as long as you plan ahead and make sure you have money to cover yourself while away. Or, you can always work while on vacation.
- No Sick Leave: If you’re unable to complete a task because of an illness, then you don’t get paid. Fortunately, some people can work through an illness from home.
- Revisions and Rejections: Not all clients will accept your work. There have been times when I would spend almost a week fixing an order for a special client, which greatly reduces the amount I make on average. If your piece was rejected, you don’t get paid.
- Most Work is Ghostwriting: Being a ghostwriter isn’t all that bad. It just means you cannot put your name to any piece you create. Someone else will get the credit for your articles. You have no rights to a piece once it’s sold.
- Credit, Taxes and Insurance Issues: Financial needs such as credit, taxes and insurance are more difficult to come by as a freelancer. There’s some things you have access to as a self-employed individual. However, it’s more difficult to get the things you need when there isn’t a wage attached to your career. And you need to be especially conscious about taxes every year, which are paid by you.
Personal Experience is the Ruling Factor
To decide whether or not freelance writing is right for you, it’s going to take personal experience. No one can say with certainty that you’ll love or hate it. For me, I enjoy writing professionally. But lately, I’ve been exploring my abilities as a novelist. Until my books can make some money, however, I’ll continue to write for my clients. I need to pay the bills.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
If there is one piece of advice I can give anyone it’s to not quite their day jobs. If you quit and decide that freelancing isn’t for you, it could be difficult to get your job back. I suggest giving your freelance career a few months before deciding if it’s something you want to do. When I first started, I was working full time at the school district. I didn’t quit for more than a year after I started writing. I wanted to make sure that I could still pay the bills without the school district’s paycheck.
Whether you live in a big city or have a home out in the middle of nowhere, such as myself, opportunities for freelancing can give you more options. It can be hard to find work in your specific location. Being your own boss on the Internet can alleviate many of those issues. Be mindful about what you’re getting into. Not everyone is cut out to be a full-time freelance writer.