15 Execs and Cons of Being a Freelance Author

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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 desirous about 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 various – which is why I do it), there are undoubtedly just a few downsides as I’ll clarify under.

If it is a profession you’re contemplating, be certain to take a look at my put up on the greatest freelance writing programs on-line, and my assessment of the Knowadays course (which is at present 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 flexibility to resolve precisely what sort of work you wish to do. Nonetheless, on the flip aspect, there isn’t a job safety and no assured paycheck every month.

It’s necessary that you just 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, it’s worthwhile to take into account what’s best for you.

Execs of Being a Freelance Author

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Listed here are a number of the key benefits of being a contract author. This checklist displays my very own private expertise, in addition to the experiences of different folks 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 totally different, and each freelance author is exclusive. So, the precise execs and cons of being a contract author will range in accordance with every particular person and their particular person circumstances. Nonetheless, the next are some normal benefits which might be prone 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!

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

It’s onerous 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 break day, as you need. It’s superior!

For instance, if you happen to’re feeling burnt out, wish to attend a buddy’s wedding ceremony in Italy, fancy a spontaneous highway journey, or just want a change of surroundings, you possibly can take a day (or per 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. Nonetheless, the dynamic is completely totally 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 necessary 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 gives. 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 may have whole freedom over which shoppers you wish to work with, which tasks 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 to 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 stage of independence actually liberating and rewarding.

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

3. Numerous Initiatives

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One of the crucial thrilling facets of being a contract author is the truth that you possibly can work on no matter tasks 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 tasks and discover a number of totally different niches or industries, you possibly can completely do this. Once more, you get to set the foundations (therefore the autonomy, above)!

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

You’ll be able to develop your ability set and discover new matters as a lot as you need. This not solely helps to maintain issues attention-grabbing and difficult, but it surely additionally offers 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 tasks is, in my expertise, a sure-fire manner of growing new abilities and broadening the vary of your experience.

For instance, as a contract author, you may select to write a weblog put up for an internet site sooner or later, craft social media posts for a model the subsequent, draft advertising and marketing emails the subsequent, after which assist write an e-book or white paper the subsequent… And so forth – you get the image.

Additionally, you possibly can select to have a variety of shoppers throughout a broad spectrum of sectors (e.g. journey, advertising and marketing, monetary, enterprise, and so forth.) which helps to make sure you’re consistently studying. Having a various vary of tasks helps make you a extra versatile author with a broader set of abilities.

Moreover, freelancers usually need to handle their very own admin and enterprise operations. For some folks, it is a drawback of being a contract author. Nonetheless, you may see it as a chance to develop transferable abilities resembling 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 flexibility to work from wherever. I’ve gotten paid to do freelance writing from some superb locations all around the world, together with once I was residing as a digital nomad in Mexico, Costa Rica, Albania, Italy, Sri Lanka, and even a distant nook of the Scottish Highlands.

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

So long as you have got a secure web connection overseas and an influence outlet, you possibly can principally work from just about wherever 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 12 months of annual go away.

It’s additionally one of many explanation why freelance writing is such a well-liked job with digital nomads and different distant staff. In reality, that is the primary cause I selected to do it.

6. Networking Alternatives

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Being a contract author can open up alternatives for networking with folks throughout a variety of sectors. When you 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 a good way to develop your skilled community. Connecting with fellow writers, editors, shoppers, and different professionals in numerous niches can result in a wealth of latest job alternatives and but extra invaluable connections sooner or later.

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

7. Work-Life Stability

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

In my view, it’s a lot simpler to take care of a wholesome work-life stability as a freelancer than as an worker. I say “for my part” 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 folks say that working for your self can provide you a worse work-life stability. In keeping with these folks, as a result of freelancing is inherently much less secure than employment, there’s an inclination for freelancers to overwork to compensate for it. That is undoubtedly true to an extent.

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

The massive quantity of flexibility you acquire means that you could 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 have got the ability to engineer an incredible work-life stability.

8. Artistic Freedom

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

Moreover, the elevated choices and management over your profession trajectory (mentioned above) means that you could select to give attention to areas that offer you extra inventive expression if that is one thing that’s necessary to you.

When you select the appropriate tasks (and shoppers), you may get plenty of private success out of your work. It additionally means that you can select to jot down for publications or shoppers that align together with your private values and beliefs.

Cons of Being a Freelance Author

Whereas I actually get pleasure from freelance writing for the entire causes mentioned above, it’s not excellent. (No job is, proper?) There are undoubtedly just a few downsides to being a contract author, which I’ve set out under.

I’m not making an attempt to place anybody off right here from changing into a contract author. I simply need you to enter it together with your eyes open, having made an knowledgeable resolution. That stated, not all of those points will have an effect on each freelance author, however I’d nonetheless suggest contemplating the next.

1. Unpredictable Revenue

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For me, one of many best disadvantages of being a contract author is the dearth 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 have got a predictable revenue.

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

This lack of monetary predictability could be tough to handle. It’s necessary to have a buffer of money in your account if potential so that you just’re not left in a precarious monetary state of affairs in case you have a quiet month or, for another cause, your revenue 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, it’s worthwhile to be your personal boss. This implies setting deadlines and targets for your self, being organized together with your time, and guaranteeing you retain your self on observe.

It’s necessary to have the ability to stability the workload of a number of tasks, whereas on the similar time maintaining together with your different duties and normal 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 dearth of colleagues and coworkers to present assist or recommendation.

Finally, you want to have the ability to encourage your self to work onerous and write creatively, even on days while you don’t actually really feel prefer it. It’s additionally necessary to have the ability to stability work with rest 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 occasions, that’s why I like coworking areas

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

Earlier than changing 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 not less than at all times anyone 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 folks. 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 typically. Working from coworking areas may also 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 revenue. Normally, being a contract author doesn’t provide the identical job safety {that a} conventional 9-5 job does.

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

As a freelancer, employment legislation protections usually don’t apply to you. If one among your common shoppers all of a sudden stops needing your companies or their enterprise goes beneath, that’s too dangerous for you – you’ll want to interchange that revenue from elsewhere.

This lack of stability could be robust, particularly in case you have monetary commitments resembling lease, a mortgage, payments, or childcare prices to pay. It’s additionally why I’d at all times suggest having a number of totally different shoppers to diversify your revenue streams and defend your self from sudden modifications.

5. No Worker Advantages

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Staff usually obtain advantages resembling medical health insurance, paid break day, and retirement contributions from their employer. Sadly, these perks are usually not usually obtainable to freelance writers. That’s the worth you pay for all that freedom!

Because of this you’ll have to cowl these bills your self, which could be pricey. Medical insurance, specifically, could be a big expense for freelancers, particularly in nations the place healthcare isn’t free. It’s necessary that you just funds for these further prices.

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

6. Having Too Few (or Too Many) Shoppers

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One other main con of being a contract author is needing to strike a stability between the variety of shoppers you have got at one time. As mentioned above, as a freelancer, you’re usually not assured a gradual stream of labor, and it’s frequent to your revenue to fluctuate significantly.

Some folks select to attempt to fight this by doing plenty of work for one or two shoppers. Nonetheless, what occurs if one among these shoppers all of a sudden stops supplying you with work or goes out of enterprise? Unhealthy issues, so far as your funds are involved.

So, as we agreed above, it’s necessary to diversify your revenue streams. Nonetheless, working for many totally different shoppers comes with its personal challenges, together with managing competing deadlines, expectations, and usually larger ranges of admin and trouble.

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

7. Extra Admin

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As a self-employed freelance author, you usually need to deal with extra admin than an worker. This contains duties resembling consumer outreach, invoicing, establishing and paying right into a pension, holding observe of your bills, and managing your personal taxes.

Freelancers are normally paid gross with none deduction for tax, so it’s worthwhile to make sure that you retain ample data to allow you to file your tax return annually. You additionally want to make sure that you really come up with the money for to pay your tax invoice at any time when it falls due – don’t make that mistake!

These admin duties require you to be pretty organized. They may also be time-consuming and, for many individuals, a bit overwhelming. But it surely’s essential that you just carry on high of them to maintain your online business working easily and forestall additional complications down the road.

Execs and Cons of Freelance Writing: FAQ’s

Listed here are solutions to some incessantly requested questions concerning 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 an excellent profession?

There are numerous execs and cons of freelance writing, as you’ve seen from this put up. General, freelance writing could 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 flexibility to work at home or wherever else on this planet, and the liberty to pursue matters that curiosity you.

What are the primary cons of being a contract author?

The primary downsides of being a contract author embody the dearth of a secure revenue, advantages, and job safety. It might additionally typically be tough to seek out good shoppers that pay properly and on time.

Is it onerous to be a contract author?

It’s not significantly onerous to develop into a contract author. However being a highly-regarded, sought-after freelance author who can command excessive charges of pay could be a tough path to navigate. It’s completely doable although and properly well worth the effort.


When you’re desirous about being a contract author, it’s necessary to assume 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 range from individual to individual and job to job. It’s important to weigh up whether or not the professionals outweigh the cons.

For me, the advantages of freelance writing vastly outnumber the disadvantages. However, in fact, all people’s totally different. Both manner, I hope this put up helped make your resolution slightly bit simpler.


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