There are many people who think that the freelance writer career is all milk and honey. Yes, it is an exciting and fascinating career, but it’s also challenging and quite risky. It is not an easy decision to make if you choose to go down the freelancing path; especially if you have a stable job for some years now, children to raise and a mortgage to pay.
It is a big risk to give up on a steady income and work hard to build a clientele. But trust me when I say that in the end, you will see that it was worth it. It took me some time to get into this business, and there were many obstacles to overcome; such as getting distracted, especially if you have small children, chasing clients for payment,
Here are the pros of a freelance writing career:-
Freedom and flexibility
A 9-5 job does not give you much freedom. You have to stay in that office for 8 hours or even more. As a freelancer, you work from home or any place with a good internet connection. You can mix work and travel without any problem. You do not have a boss to tell you what to do and to always check up on you. You make your work schedule, and you report to yourself. How great is that?
Low overhead and high-income potential
To start your freelance writer career you need very little investment, so it’s great for people who cannot afford to spend a lot on a new career. Although the start income potential is not that high, you can get to a point where you may make more than you would have to work at a desk.
Work on a variety of projects
If you get bored quickly, you will love being a freelancer. You have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects from various industries, different people from all over the world and each day will be different. You will learn new things and how to overcome your limits.
Make your own decisions
Freelancing also means making your own decisions. It’s up to you when, where and how much you want to work, what assignments you take and what people you work with. There are few jobs that give you this opportunity.
Who does not hate to wake up at 6 a.m. and spend another hour or even more on commuting through cold, rain and snow? Well, being a freelancer means you can sleep in and make your own schedule. If you want to wake up at 10 a.m. or later or work in the evenings, it’s totally up to you.
You get creative
Having a routine day by day, getting into your car, driving to work, sitting at your desk for 8 hours, getting into the car again and driving back home can lead to depression, anxiety and kill creativity. Besides this, you have so many distractions, such as coworkers talking, phones ringing, meetings, doors slamming, that it’s very easy to lose your creative flow. Working from home means you have more control over your surroundings and be creative.
Here are the cons of a freelance writing career:-
It can take a while to find new clients and get new projects. That is why many freelancers fall into the trap of putting it off and stick with the clients they have and just wait for them to send other tasks. This is quite dangerous because if the client no longer needs content, the freelancer will be out of work. Freelancing means always searching for work and new options.
Feast or famine effect
As a freelancer, there are weeks and months when you feel there is nothing to write, and others when you are drowning in projects to be accomplished. In time you will be able to learn how to work extra when you have many projects to compensate for the slow periods.
Maintaining the work-life balance can sometimes be challenging. Some freelancers like to work many hours on creating content because this is what makes them happy, while others consider the feeling of being always on as stressful, tiring and interfering with their personal lives. Compared to a traditional job, you get paid even when you are not productive. In freelancing, you earn money only if you are productive, so writer’s block is not an option if you want to meet your earnings goal.
With a traditional job you know that you get paid once or even twice a month. As a freelancer, you have to be a little savvier when it comes to finances. You also have to know what you are worth and ask the right amount for your effort and time to complete the project, and also know exactly how and when you will get paid. It happens quite often for beginner freelancers to do the work and never get paid because they do not have a safe and reliable payment system.
As a freelancer, you do not have health benefits or pension funds like most people with traditional jobs have. You will have to rely on your spouse’s benefits or pay from your own pocket.
While working in an office can be very distracting, so can working from home. This will show the quality of your work and make you lose important clients. As a freelancer, you have to be disciplined and organized. Let the others in the house know when you are working, turn off the TV and other distractions, or even consider working from a library or a coffee shop.
How long does it last?
Every freelancer will ask himself/herself “How long is this job/project going to last?” Freelancing is a competitive market and clients can change their minds any moment and choose someone else over you. The numbers of freelancers is increasing every day, many of them offering their services for half the money you are asking. That is why finding a replacement and giving the project to someone else is very easy. You need to find ways to keep your customers, by offering high-quality content.
All in all, being a freelancer is an amazing job, filled with perks and satisfaction. But before going into freelancing and giving up on your current job, you have to carefully consider these pros and cons and see if this career would suit you. If your expectations are realistic, you will be less likely to quit out of disappointment and frustration.
Working as a freelancer is not for everyone, but if you do not give it a try you will always ask yourself ‘What if?’ You can try it after work, in your free time, and if you see that you start liking what you are doing, you could consider turning freelancing into a full-time job.