Lately, I’ve had a lot of people ask me the following question, “How did you/do you get started in the freelance writing world?” Well, for me, I randomly quit my corporate job to pursue my writing passion, and was forced to make a plan quickly. Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know (well, except for those lucky people who sell essential oils), and I was able to create a working business in just a matter of months.
Anyway, it’s difficult to explain how to start a successful freelance writing business in one sitting, so I figured the best way to answer this question would be to create an online resource with some step-by-step guides of how to start a freelance writing business. This information will come in future posts and additional resources to help you grow your own freelance writing business.
Before getting into any of that, however, it’s important to determine whether or not freelance writing is a good fit for you. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of freelance writing to help you decide if this is the path for you!
10 Question Freelance Writing Career Assesment Quiz
Here is a fun and quick quiz to help you determine if freelance writing is a good fit.
Advantages of pursuing a freelance writing career
You are your own boss — No one can tell you what to do, except for you. This is awesome for obvious reasons.
Flexibility — There’s something so great about finishing your work whenever it’s most convenient for you. For me, I write early in the morning, when my baby takes naps, and at night. This allows me the freedom to mom it up during the day like a champ, and make money when I feel like it.
You negotiate your pay — With a corporate job, it’s nearly impossible to get paid more for working harder on a project and producing more results than your co-workers. Not so with freelance writing. With freelance writing, the more you work, the more you get paid. And, you can determine which clients are paying the right amount for your skill set. If someone wants to pay you pennies for an article, you can politely say “no thank you,” and write for a firm that values your time.
Choose your niche — Not only are your own boss, but you can also choose your topics of expertise. This means if you don’t want to write about finances, and would rather write about travel, you can! I personally like to write about marketing, travel, freelance writing, and mom-life, and skip out when someone wants me to write about something snooze-tastic.
Make more money in less time — It’s true there are many perks of working in the corporate world like benefits and budding relationships with co-workers, but one bummer is you’re stuck in the 8-5 no matter how much work you have on your plate. With freelance writing, you get your job done in the amount of time it takes to do your job, and then you’re free to get on with your day. Since I’ve started freelance writing, I make way more money an hour than I did with an 8-5.
Disadvantages of a freelance writing career
You are your own boss — While it’s great to set your hours, and decide what work you will complete, it’s also important to remember that there is no one there to make sure you follow through. This means you have to be self-motivated enough to set a schedule, and get your work done. Additionally, you’ll have to set goals yourself in order to grow in your business.
No group health insurance — This is a big one and kind of a bummer. If you’re in desperate need of a group health insurance policy, then freelance writing might not be for you. Of course you can get individual health insurance, but it’s often expensive with high deductibles.
You must find your own clients — Finding your own clients can be difficult at first, and you have to do some sales and some work in order to help someone see how perfect you are for them. Once you have a decent portfolio, however, your work will speak for you.
Sometimes clients won’t pay you — It’s important to have a contract and/or to get payment up front from clients, so you avoid the risk of writing for clients that don’t pay. I have had a few clients not pay me including clients that seemed reputable . For example, I wrote this article for free, but not on purpose. And, I got up at 5:00am on my trip to Dubai to meet their deadline. This will happen sometimes, and it stinketh.
So, do you think freelance writing is for you?
After understanding some of the advantages and disadvantages, do you think it’s a good fit for you? Do you have any questions? If so, please feel free to contact me, or comment below with your question.
For me, freelance writing is perfect, because I love writing and I love the freedom that comes with freelance writing. I am self-motivated and comfortable pursuing new clients. If this sounds like you, then I highly recommend starting a freelance writing blog or website, and starting your career.
I will post more information in the upcoming weeks on how to do just this. For now, you may want to get started on hosting your own blog or website. You can start searching for your domain on Bluehost by using the search box below (FYI, in my experience Bluehost is the best hosting company, and WordPress is the best place to start a blog).