Friday, June 14, 2024

15 Execs and Cons of Being a Freelance Author

On this put up, I’ll be discussing the primary execs and cons of freelance writing. Whether or not you’re contemplating a radical profession change, or just all in favour of incomes a bit of additional cash on-line on the aspect, this one is for you.

I’ve been doing freelance writing for a few years now. Whereas I completely love the advantages of being a contract author (and there are lots of – which is why I do it), there are undoubtedly a couple of downsides as I’ll clarify under.

If it is a profession you’re contemplating, ensure that to take a look at my put up on the greatest freelance writing programs on-line, and my evaluation of the Knowadays course (which is at the moment providing a 25% low cost utilizing this hyperlink and promo code GOATS25).

For me, the most important benefits of freelance writing embody the pliability to decide on when and the place you’re employed, in addition to the power to resolve precisely what sort of work you wish to do. Nevertheless, on the flip aspect, there isn’t any job safety and no assured paycheck every month.

It’s vital that you simply bear these items in thoughts when deciding whether or not or not it is a profession (or aspect hustle) that may give you the results you want. General, I feel the disadvantages of being a contract author are vastly outweighed by the quite a few advantages. However, you could take into account what’s best for you.

Execs of Being a Freelance Author

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Listed here are a few of the key benefits of being a contract author. This checklist displays my very own private expertise, in addition to the experiences of different those that I do know who work as freelance writers. There’s various overlap between every level, however I’ve damaged them down for the sake of readability.

Do not forget that each job is completely different, and each freelance author is exclusive. So, the precise execs and cons of being a contract author will differ in line with every individual and their particular person circumstances. Nevertheless, the next are some basic benefits which are more likely to apply to most individuals.

1. Flexibility

working from a campervan on the computerworking from a campervan on the computer
Work from wherever you need, together with a campervan!

Certainly one of my favourite issues about freelance writing is the massive quantity of flexibility it presents. As a freelancer, you’ve whole management over your schedule, together with when, the place, and the way a lot you’re employed. This flexibility might be particularly useful for individuals who have children or different commitments.

It’s exhausting to overstate fairly how a lot of a recreation changer this flexibility is, significantly when put next with a “conventional” job – i.e. full-time, in-person employment. You’ll be able to set your personal hours and take as many breaks, or as a lot day without work, as you need. It’s superior!

For instance, if you happen to’re feeling burnt out, wish to attend a pal’s wedding ceremony in Italy, fancy a spontaneous street journey, or just want a change of surroundings, you’ll be able to take a day (or every week, or a month) off with out having to ask for permission out of your employer or boss.

After all, you continue to have to handle the expectations of your shoppers. Nevertheless, the dynamic is completely completely different from being an worker. You simply have to allow them to know what you’re doing – you don’t have to ask permission. It’s an vital distinction!

2. Autonomy

benefits of being a freelance writer be your own bossbenefits of being a freelance writer be your own boss

One other main perk of being a contract author is the autonomy it supplies. This goes hand in hand with flexibility (see above). As a freelancer, you might be your personal boss. So, you set the foundations – together with the way you wish to outline “success” in your profession.

You’ve whole freedom over which shoppers you wish to work with, which initiatives to simply accept, and the way you wish to sort out them. The period of time you wish to spend researching and writing is completely as much as you, as is how a lot cash you resolve to cost in your work.

You even have management over your profession development. No extra inflexible employment hierarchy with another person dictating when or whether or not you get a promotion! Personally, I discover this degree of independence actually liberating and rewarding.

I’m a lot extra motivated realizing that I’ve whole company over what I do and the place my profession takes me. It additionally permits for lots of private progress and improvement, as I’ll develop on under.

3. Various Tasks

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One of the crucial thrilling elements of being a contract author is the truth that you’ll be able to work on no matter initiatives you need. Some freelance writers select to specialize and area of interest down greater than others. However, primarily, the selection is yours.

If you wish to tackle a various vary of initiatives and discover a number of completely different niches or industries, you’ll be able to completely try this. Once more, you get to set the foundations (therefore the autonomy, above)!

So, say you’ve at all times fancied dabbling in artistic fiction writing. However, you’re additionally a fan of doing a little bit of journey writing and completely love writing persuasive advertising copy. As a contract author, you’ll be able to select to do all of these items in the identical week, offered you handle your time properly.

You’ll be able to develop your ability set and discover new subjects as a lot as you need. This not solely helps to maintain issues fascinating and difficult, but it surely additionally provides you the chance for steady studying and progress.

4. Ability Growth

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Following on from the earlier level, selecting to work on a various vary of initiatives is, in my expertise, a sure-fire method of creating new abilities and broadening the vary of your experience.

For instance, as a contract author, you would possibly select to write a weblog put up for a web site someday, craft social media posts for a model the following, draft advertising emails the following, after which assist write an e-book or white paper the following… And so forth – you get the image.

Additionally, you’ll be able to select to have a spread of shoppers throughout a broad spectrum of sectors (e.g. journey, advertising, monetary, enterprise, and many others.) which helps to make sure you’re continually studying. Having a various vary of initiatives helps make you a extra versatile author with a broader set of abilities.

Moreover, freelancers usually should handle their very own admin and enterprise operations. For some individuals, it is a drawback of being a contract author. Nevertheless, you would see it as a possibility to develop transferable abilities similar to time administration, group, and monetary admin. See Additionally: greatest apps for freelance writers

5. Work From Anyplace

working as a digital nomad in sri lankaworking as a digital nomad in sri lanka
I used to work in a company workplace, now my workplace is a poolside desk within the tropics!

One other large perk of being a contract author is the power to work from anyplace. I’ve gotten paid to do freelance writing from some wonderful locations everywhere in the world, together with once I was dwelling as a digital nomad in Mexico, Costa Rica, Albania, Italy, Sri Lanka, and even a distant nook of the Scottish Highlands.

On the whole, your shoppers don’t care the place you might be, so long as you get the work achieved to a sufficiently excessive customary. Once more, that is completely completely different from most employment relationships. (I actually hated being employed, in case you hadn’t figured.)

So long as you’ve a steady web connection overseas and an influence outlet, you’ll be able to principally work from nearly anyplace on this planet. That is big for anybody who loves touring and with the ability to do it for quite a lot of weeks per yr of annual depart.

It’s additionally one of many the explanation why freelance writing is such a common job with digital nomads and different distant staff. Actually, that is the primary purpose I selected to do it.

6. Networking Alternatives

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Being a contract author can open up alternatives for networking with individuals throughout a variety of sectors. If you happen to select to work with a various unfold of shoppers, you’ll have the prospect to construct a wide-reaching internet {of professional} relationships.

That is clearly an effective way to develop your skilled community. Connecting with fellow writers, editors, shoppers, and different professionals in numerous niches can result in a wealth of recent job alternatives and but extra worthwhile connections sooner or later.

Plus, having a powerful community also can assist give you assist and sources that may be helpful sooner or later. It’s additionally an effective way to construct your personal private model and get your identify on the market.

7. Work-Life Stability

benefits of being a freelance writer work life balancebenefits of being a freelance writer work life balance

For my part, it’s a lot simpler to keep up a wholesome work-life steadiness as a freelancer than as an worker. I say “in my view” as a result of it’s a little bit of a contentious debate, and I’ve had discussions with different freelancers who disagree with me on this.

I’ve heard individuals say that working for your self can provide you a worse work-life steadiness. In response to these individuals, as a result of freelancing is inherently much less steady than employment, there’s an inclination for freelancers to overwork to compensate for it. That is undoubtedly true to an extent.

Nevertheless, in my very own private expertise, it doesn’t should be the case. Whereas being self-employed does, in fact, include its personal pressures, and requires appreciable self-discipline and exhausting work, autonomy is essential.

The large quantity of flexibility you acquire means that you would be able to select the way you wish to construction your work life. So long as you’re in a position to handle your time successfully, together with consciously permitting your self sufficient downtime, you’ve the ability to engineer an incredible work-life steadiness.

8. Artistic Freedom

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Artistic freedom is a significant benefit of being a contract author. As a freelancer, you’ve the chance to work on initiatives that really curiosity and encourage you. And, conversely, there’s no one forcing you to do any initiatives that you simply actually don’t wish to do.

Moreover, the elevated choices and management over your profession trajectory (mentioned above) means that you would be able to select to concentrate on areas that offer you extra artistic expression if that is one thing that’s vital to you.

If you happen to select the proper initiatives (and shoppers), you will get quite a lot of private success out of your work. It additionally permits you to select to write down for publications or shoppers that align along with your private values and beliefs.

Cons of Being a Freelance Author

Whereas I actually take pleasure in freelance writing for the entire causes mentioned above, it’s not good. (No job is, proper?) There are undoubtedly a couple of downsides to being a contract author, which I’ve set out under.

I’m not attempting to place anybody off right here from turning into a contract author. I simply need you to enter it along with your eyes open, having made an knowledgeable choice. That mentioned, not all of those points will have an effect on each freelance author, however I’d nonetheless advocate contemplating the next.

1. Unpredictable Revenue

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For me, one of many biggest disadvantages of being a contract author is the shortage of monetary stability. As an worker, you usually receives a commission each month, on the identical day, usually the identical quantity. This makes it simpler to plan financially as you’ve a predictable earnings.

As a contract author, it’s the other. Your earnings can differ drastically from month to month, and never all shoppers pay on time. Some months you would possibly earn extra, some months you would possibly earn much less. If you happen to don’t get any work, you don’t receives a commission in any respect.

This lack of monetary predictability might be tough to handle. It’s vital to have a buffer of money in your account if attainable so that you simply’re not left in a precarious monetary state of affairs you probably have a quiet month or, for another purpose, your earnings drops off.

2. Requires Self-Self-discipline

pros and cons of being a freelance writer having to be organizedpros and cons of being a freelance writer having to be organized

Freelance writing requires a substantial quantity of self-discipline. Since you work for your self, you could be your personal boss. This implies setting deadlines and targets for your self, being organized along with your time, and making certain you retain your self on monitor.

It’s vital to have the ability to steadiness the workload of a number of initiatives, whereas on the identical time maintaining along with your different duties and basic life admin. Talking frankly, this was a little bit of a problem for me once I first began working for myself.

Typically I additionally discover that working alone for lengthy intervals of time could make it more durable to remain motivated, given the shortage of colleagues and coworkers to offer assist or recommendation.

Finally, you want to have the ability to inspire your self to work exhausting and write creatively, even on days whenever you don’t actually really feel prefer it. It’s additionally vital to have the ability to steadiness work with leisure to assist keep away from burnout.

3. Doubtlessly Isolating

working at a coworking space around the worldworking at a coworking space around the world
working for your self can appear isolating at instances, that’s why I like coworking areas

Being a contract author might be isolating at instances, particularly if you happen to work remotely by your self.

Earlier than turning into a contract author, I used to work in an workplace in London. Whereas I actually didn’t benefit from the workplace politics and performative tradition, there was at the very least at all times any individual to go for a espresso with, or to cease by and have a chat.

Now I work for myself, I discover myself needing to make extra of a acutely aware effort to socialize with different individuals. It’s not an excessive amount of of an issue for me, however it’s one thing to consider.

Whether or not or not this is a matter for you relies upon, partly, in your persona – together with how introverted or extroverted you might be, and the way a lot you wish to socialize generally. Working from coworking areas can be a great way to get a dose of social interplay and fight emotions of isolation.

4. Lack of Job Safety

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This one ties in with the purpose about unpredictable earnings. Typically, being a contract author doesn’t supply the identical job safety {that a} conventional 9-5 job does.

Most nations world wide have authorized protections in place that supply workers a level of job safety. These differ from nation to nation (they’re significantly robust in Europe in contrast with the US). Nevertheless, the important thing level right here is that these protections largely apply to workers solely.

As a freelancer, employment legislation protections usually don’t apply to you. If certainly one of your common shoppers immediately stops needing your providers or their enterprise goes underneath, that’s too dangerous for you – you’ll want to interchange that earnings from some other place.

This lack of stability might be powerful, particularly you probably have monetary commitments similar to hire, a mortgage, payments, or childcare prices to pay. It’s additionally why I’d at all times advocate having a number of completely different shoppers to diversify your earnings streams and shield your self from sudden adjustments.

5. No Worker Advantages

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Workers usually obtain advantages similar to medical health insurance, paid day without work, and retirement contributions from their employer. Sadly, these perks should not usually obtainable to freelance writers. That’s the value you pay for all that freedom!

Which means you’ll have to cowl these bills your self, which might be pricey. Medical insurance, particularly, generally is a big expense for freelancers, particularly in nations the place healthcare isn’t free. It’s vital that you simply price range for these further prices.

And, whereas that is undoubtedly not monetary recommendation, it’s extraordinarily vital to have monetary provisions in your retirement. In any other case, outdated age goes to suck – critically.

6. Having Too Few (or Too Many) Purchasers

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One other main con of being a contract author is needing to strike a steadiness between the variety of shoppers you’ve at one time. As mentioned above, as a freelancer, you’re usually not assured a gentle stream of labor, and it’s widespread in your earnings to fluctuate significantly.

Some individuals select to try to fight this by doing a lot of work for one or two shoppers. Nevertheless, what occurs if certainly one of these shoppers immediately stops supplying you with work or goes out of enterprise? Dangerous issues, so far as your funds are involved.

So, as we agreed above, it’s vital to diversify your earnings streams. Nevertheless, working for many completely different shoppers comes with its personal challenges, together with managing competing deadlines, expectations, and customarily larger ranges of admin and trouble.

It’s a tough one and requires you to strike steadiness, which isn’t at all times simple. Actually, that is one thing that I usually discover most difficult about working as a contract author.

7. Extra Admin

how to create an invoice for freelance workhow to create an invoice for freelance work

As a self-employed freelance author, you usually should deal with extra admin than an worker. This contains duties similar to shopper outreach, invoicing, establishing and paying right into a pension, maintaining monitor of your bills, and managing your personal taxes.

Freelancers are normally paid gross with none deduction for tax, so you could be sure that you retain enough information to allow you to file your tax return every year. You additionally want to make sure that you truly come up with the money for to pay your tax invoice every time it falls due – don’t make that mistake!

These admin duties require you to be pretty organized. They can be time-consuming and, for many individuals, a bit overwhelming. Nevertheless it’s essential that you simply carry on high of them to maintain your small business operating easily and forestall additional complications down the road.

Execs and Cons of Freelance Writing: FAQ’s

Listed here are solutions to some continuously requested questions in regards to the ups and downs of being a contract author.

Is freelance writing price it?

For me, freelance writing is unquestionably price it. The flexibleness and freedom it’s given me have been completely life-changing.

Is freelance writing profession?

There are numerous execs and cons of freelance writing, as you’ve seen from this put up. General, freelance writing might be a wonderful profession so long as you don’t thoughts the downsides an excessive amount of and are ready to place within the work wanted.

What are the advantages of working as a contract author?

There are lots of advantages of working as a contract author. These embody the pliability to work everytime you need, the power to work at home or anyplace else on this planet, and the liberty to pursue subjects that curiosity you.

What are the primary cons of being a contract author?

The principle downsides of being a contract author embody the shortage of a steady earnings, advantages, and job safety. It could possibly additionally generally be troublesome to seek out good shoppers that pay properly and on time.

Is it exhausting to be a contract author?

It’s not significantly exhausting to turn into a contract author. However being a highly-regarded, sought-after freelance author who can command excessive charges of pay generally is a tough path to navigate. It’s completely doable although and properly definitely worth the effort.


If you happen to’re all in favour of being a contract author, it’s vital to suppose critically about whether or not it’s a profession that’s appropriate for you. There are numerous execs and cons of being a contract author, which differ from individual to individual and job to job. You need to weigh up whether or not the professionals outweigh the cons.

For me, the advantages of freelance writing significantly outnumber the disadvantages. However, in fact, everyone’s completely different. Both method, I hope this put up helped make your choice a bit bit simpler.

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