I hear this a lot from friends. Is it worth it? Is it stressful? Wouldn’t it just be easier if you got a full-time job?
It really depends what you mean by “worth it”.
There’s no denying that being a freelance writer is a lot of hard work. From finding clients to managing processes to actually doing the work to chasing invoices. It’s not a job you can sit back and relax in. But there are also loads of perks which I would never get in a full-time job.
What is a freelance writer?
To start with, we have to consider what kind of freelance writer you want to be. There are the freelance journalists who are forever pitching articles to news outlets in the hope that one of them will bite. And then there are the freelance content writers. These are usually marketers who are also well-versed in SEO and content marketing.
I fall into the second camp, so I can’t speak for the journalists out there.
I fill my days with many different writing projects. One day I’ll be working on website content and then the next day I’ll be doing keyword research for a new blog. It’s varied, and it allows me to put my marketing skills to work.
So, why not just work for an agency?
You’re right to say that I could just work for an agency and enjoy a pretty similar workload. I would also sleep soundly at night knowing that I would always get paid at the end of the month. But I would also be stuck.
I would have to work on the client accounts I am told to work on. I would have my earnings limited by my bosses. And I would have to show up to an office every day at set times. My holiday allocation would be limited to around 6 weeks per year. And I would have to ask permission to use it.
Why I believe being a freelance writer is better
- Freelancing gives you the freedom to choose the projects and clients that mean the most to you. You can take a jack of all trades approach to your client list or get hyper-niche.
- You can set your own working hours. I work best in the evening, so I don’t have to force myself into work at 9am just to sit there and be unproductive.
- I can work from anywhere. Sometimes. I like to take an extended vacation and work while I’m away. This means I can spend 2 or 3 months with my partner’s family in Philadelphia without taking 2 or 3 months off work or quitting my job.
- I have unlimited earning potential. I set me own rates and I decide
Could freelancing work for you?
I don’t think that everyone is suited to freelancing. But if you have the right skills and mindset, you might wonder how you ever coped without it.
You can read more about the ups and downs of freelancing on my blog.