The benefits of freelancing have always been enticing. Working for yourself on your own time and in a setting of your own choosing — what could be better?
Now more than ever, people are recognizing the benefits of going freelance, and freelance writing is fast becoming a way of life. In fact:
- 28% of Americans currently freelance full-time.
- The number of Americans who freelance full-time has gone up by 17% since 2014.
- 53% of Generation Z currently chooses the freelance lifestyle.
If you’re considering trying your hand at freelance writing, you should be aware of the pros and cons that come with the job. Understanding some of the benefits of going freelance, as well as some of the setbacks, will help inform your decision and set you up for success in your new freelance career.
Check out our quick list of the benefits and challenges of freelance writing.
Pros of Freelance Writing
Having the courage to leave a dead-end job and seek independence by starting your own business can be rewarding in and of itself. But here are four other appealing benefits of being a freelancer.
1. Every field needs freelance writers—meaning lots of job opportunities.
You don't have to be an English graduate to become a freelance writer. Companies from all industries and fields need professionals who can communicate the issues, products, and services in their line of work. Oftentimes, the best people for the job are the ones who have actually worked in the industry themselves.
You will find freelance writing work in fields such as:
- Information technology
- Food and beverage
- Business and marketing
- Religion and politics
- Sports and fitness
Don’t view your non-writing background as a hindrance; it could actually be an asset to help you find high-paying niche work.
2. You make the rules.
Everyone dreams of being their own boss. With a freelance career, you get to live that dream and choose your own:
- Work setting
- Daily schedule
The control and flexibility that come with freelance life allow you to select work opportunities that not only best fit your schedule, but are also interesting and meaningful.
Freelancing doesn’t have to be your entire life. Maybe you’re only looking for a side gig and want to work a few hours each week. Or maybe you want to adjust your schedule to work weekends and nights to balance childcare with your spouse. Whatever your circumstances, you have the freedom and agency to make these decisions as a freelancer and find the work that will best suit your needs.
3. You determine your salary.
One of the biggest benefits of freelancing is the ability to earn more.
If you know a little about the basics of SEO and marketing, you could position yourself to compete for top clients and gigs online. Setting flexible hours also increases your earning power — if you choose to dig into the workload.
Even when client work is sparse, many channels and platforms exist to help you make money — for instance, perhaps you might create tutorials on YouTube. After all, there are always people looking for resources in whatever industry you work in.
4. There's always something new to learn.
There is no room for stagnancy as a freelance writer. The job is anything but an assembly-line lifestyle. Whether you are tasked with writing white papers, creating social media content, or crafting email marketing newsletters, as a hired freelance writer you are responsible for learning new things about a variety of topics, industries, and clients. Feeding your brain with a range of new information keeps the job fresh and engaging.
Cons of Freelance Writing
Of course, no job is perfect. The glimmering benefits of freelance writing come with a few lifestyle difficulties.
1. Jobs aren’t always well-compensated.
You need to do your homework before taking on any freelance job.
There are numerous “content mills” — companies in the business of churning out tons of cheap content — that pay mere pennies per word that you write. These companies are always looking to generate as much content as possible, so the work is always there. But in many cases, freelance writers get paid as little as possible because demand is on the company’s side.
Research the companies that fairly compensate freelancers before accepting offers for work. It will save you enormous amounts of time and money.
2. It can be a legal and financial headache running your own business.
When you work for yourself, you're responsible for a number of things that you might take for granted in a more traditional job, such as:
- Paying taxes. Being a freelancer means paying for self-employment taxes quarterly and keeping track of all deductions yourself.
- Figuring out your benefits. Unlike a conventional full-time position, your freelance career doesn't come with benefits like health insurance or a retirement plan. You’ll have to set these up on your own or go without.
- Having systems in place. From a checking account to software that accounts for expenses and income, you'll have to spend your own time setting up systems that will keep your business running on track.
3. It can get lonely.
If one of your favorite parts of your current job is the social interaction with coworkers and clients, then you might be in for a shock if you switch to a freelance career.
Working for yourself means working by yourself. Yes, there is the occasional client meeting or communication, but for the most part, your typical day involves you with yourself on your computer in silence.
The benefits of freelance work tend to outweigh the challenges, but that doesn't mean that freelancing is the right fit for everyone. It takes dedication, a willingness to learn, and the ability to adjust and be flexible with your time and effort.
Do the benefits of freelancing feel too good to pass up? Start a new career today and become a freelance writer with Compose.ly to start gaining client work quickly and easily.
This article was written by Compose.ly writer Andrea Tharp.