Have you been toying with the idea of becoming a freelance writer, but feel too hesitant to take the plunge? Now might just be the best time in history to start freelance writing, since there are more opportunities out there than ever before. What, you still can’t make up your mind? Here are some reasons why the switch to freelancing could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
Why Should I Start Freelance Writing?
You might think that freelance writing is not as stable and secure as a regular job, but The Quiet Type points out employers can hire and fire you in the blink of an eye. The salary you depended on can go away when companies need to downsize, replace you with someone at a lower salary, or close down for good. Once you get established as a freelance writer the amount of work you get can fluctuate, but you can continually search for more during your downtimes.
Full-time positions offer set salaries unless you work on commission, and you will be working at least 40 hours a week. If you are lucky enough, you may earn bonuses and a chance for salary increases each year. With freelance writing, there is no limit on how much money you can earn. You will likely start out with lower-paying assignments, but can earn more once you are established. Also know that you will be saving money on commuting costs, going out to lunch, work clothing and having to contribute towards birthday gifts for your co-workers!
FreelancingGig describes another great perk about freelancing: No office politics. Of course clients can be demanding and even annoying, but your boss can be just as bad or worse. Working as a freelancer means that you no longer have to listen to or take part in worthless office gossip, wait for the bathroom, or get upset when a poorly-qualified colleague gets that job you wanted because they are best friends with your boss. Who needs that?
You Will Be Your Own Boss
Again speaking of bosses, one of the best reasons to start freelance writing is not having to answer to a supervisor who is constantly breathing down your neck. You will be your own boss and have control of your career like never before. This kind of independence influences everything you do surrounding your work, with the flexibility to change things to best suit your needs.
Let’s start by thinking about your schedule. Do you like getting up early? Think about it: You could wake up at 6 a.m., start working at 7 a.m. and be done for the day by 3 p.m. If you want to take a day off during the week to run errands when there are less crowds this is also an option, but you may have to make up your work at night or on a weekend day. The choice is up to you, as long as you meet your deadlines. And don’t forget that you will have more time since you won’t be commuting!
Since you won’t have to report to an office each day, you can set up your workstation or office wherever and however you like. It does not require much investment to start freelance writing – all you need is a computer and an internet connection. Many freelancers combine work and travel, bringing their assignments and equipment with them to work in exotic locations. Most of them, however, do their work from home offices and bring their laptops along to other places from time to time.
Tips for Becoming a Freelance Writer
Like anything else that is worthwhile, becoming a successful freelancer takes time – many start out by taking in extra writing work on the side while they have full-time jobs. This is a great way to gain experience and develop a client base. Master Class explains that freelancers who are just starting out need to know how to budget their money, be willing to cold-pitch their services and have a portfolio of writing samples. At the start of your career, you can start building up a network that can offer you work and provide you with leads.
Search for online freelance writers’ groups and join them – most will not cost you a penny. Other freelancers can provide valuable tips, like websites that list freelance gigs and what to charge for your services. You can set up a pricing list, but be aware that you will have to negotiate them often. Companies pay different rates for the same services, and some are much lower but may be willing to adjust them.
Local business associations can also be good for networking but usually have membership fees. And instead of zeroing in on one type of writing, try to expand your skills by searching for other kinds of assignments. If you have only written website content, you might want to try your hand at social media posting; retail copywriters can look for B2B marketing writing work. Keep an open mind and be willing to try your hand at other kinds of writing; you may be surprised at how much you like it!