15 Execs and Cons of Being a Freelance Author

On this publish, I’ll be discussing the principle professionals and cons of freelance writing. Whether or not you’re contemplating a radical profession change, or just all for incomes a bit of additional cash on-line on the facet, 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 numerous – 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 that to take a look at my publish on the greatest freelance writing programs on-line, and my evaluate of the Knowadays course (which is presently providing a 25% low cost utilizing this hyperlink and promo code GOATS25).

For me, the largest benefits of freelance writing embrace the pliability to decide on when and the place you’re employed, in addition to the power to resolve precisely what sort of work you wish to do. Nonetheless, on the flip facet, there isn’t any job safety and no assured paycheck every month.

It’s essential that you simply bear these items in thoughts when deciding whether or not or not it is a profession (or facet hustle) that may be just right for you. Total, I believe the disadvantages of being a contract author are vastly outweighed by the quite a few advantages. However, you’ll want to think about what’s best for you.

Execs of Being a Freelance Author

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Listed here are among the key benefits of being a contract author. This listing 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 particular professionals and cons of being a contract author will range in line with every individual and their particular person circumstances. Nonetheless, the next are some common benefits which can be prone to apply to most individuals.

1. Flexibility

working from a campervan on the computer
Work from wherever you need, together with a campervan!

One among my favourite issues about freelance writing is the massive quantity of flexibility it provides. As a freelancer, you’ve gotten complete management over your schedule, together with when, the place, and the way a lot you’re employed. This flexibility will be particularly useful for individuals who have children or different commitments.

It’s exhausting to overstate fairly how a lot of a sport changer this flexibility is, significantly when put next with a “conventional” job – i.e. full-time, in-person employment. You may set your individual hours and take as many breaks, or as a lot day off, as you need. It’s superior!

For instance, in case you’re feeling burnt out, wish to attend a buddy’s wedding ceremony in Italy, fancy a spontaneous street journey, or just want a change of surroundings, you may take a day (or per week, or a month) off with out having to ask for permission out of your employer or boss.

In fact, you continue to must handle the expectations of your shoppers. Nonetheless, the dynamic is completely totally different from being an worker. You simply must allow them to know what you’re doing – you don’t must ask permission. It’s an essential distinction!

2. Autonomy

benefits 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 individual boss. So, you set the foundations – together with the way you wish to outline “success” in your profession.

You’ve complete freedom over which shoppers you wish to work with, which tasks to just accept, and the way you wish to deal with them. The period of time you wish to spend researching and writing is fully as much as you, as is how a lot cash you resolve to cost on 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 realizing that I’ve complete 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 increase on under.

3. Numerous Tasks

get paid to write online

One of the crucial thrilling facets of being a contract author is the truth that you may work on no matter tasks you need. Some freelance writers select to specialize and area of interest down greater than others. However, basically, 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 may completely try this. Once more, you get to set the foundations (therefore the autonomy, above)!

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

You may increase your ability set and discover new subjects as a lot as you need. This not solely helps to maintain issues attention-grabbing and difficult, nevertheless it additionally provides you the chance for steady studying and progress.

4. Ability Improvement

pros and cons of being a freelance writer

Following on from the earlier level, selecting to work on a various vary of tasks is, in my expertise, a sure-fire approach of creating new abilities and broadening the vary of your experience.

For instance, as a contract author, you may select to write a weblog publish for a web site someday, craft social media posts for a model the following, draft advertising emails the following, after which assist write an e-book or white paper the following… And so forth – you get the image.

Additionally, you may select to have a variety of shoppers throughout a broad spectrum of sectors (e.g. journey, advertising, 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 must handle their very own admin and enterprise operations. For some individuals, it is a drawback of being a contract author. Nonetheless, you could possibly see it as a possibility 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 lanka
I used to work in a company workplace, now my workplace is a poolside desk within the tropics!

One other huge perk of being a contract author is the power to work from anyplace. I’ve gotten paid to do freelance writing from some superb locations everywhere in the world, together with once I was dwelling as a digital nomad in Mexico, Costa Rica, Albania, Italy, Sri Lanka, and even a distant nook of the Scottish Highlands.

On the whole, your shoppers don’t care the place you might be, so long as you get the work completed to a sufficiently excessive commonplace. 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’ve gotten a steady web connection overseas and an influence outlet, you may mainly work from nearly anyplace 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 yr of annual go away.

It’s additionally one of many explanation why freelance writing is such a common job with digital nomads and different distant employees. The truth is, that is the principle purpose I selected to do it.

6. Networking Alternatives

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Being a contract author can open up alternatives for networking with individuals throughout a variety of sectors. When you select to work with a various unfold of shoppers, you’ll have the possibility to construct a wide-reaching net {of professional} relationships.

That is clearly a good way to increase your skilled community. Connecting with fellow writers, editors, shoppers, and different professionals in varied niches can result in a wealth of latest job alternatives and but extra helpful connections sooner or later.

Plus, having a powerful community may assist offer you help and sources that is perhaps helpful sooner or later. It’s additionally a good way to construct your individual private model and get your identify on the market.

7. Work-Life Steadiness

benefits of being a freelance writer work life balance

For my part, it’s a lot simpler to keep up a wholesome work-life stability as a freelancer than as an worker. I say “in my view” 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 individuals say that working for your self can provide you a worse work-life stability. In accordance with these individuals, as a result of freelancing is inherently much less steady 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 must be the case. Whereas being self-employed does, in fact, include its personal pressures, and requires appreciable self-discipline and exhausting work, autonomy is vital.

The large 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’ve gotten the facility to engineer a tremendous work-life stability.

8. Inventive Freedom

a variety of devices responsive on workspace creativity website graphic design

Inventive freedom is a serious benefit of being a contract author. As a freelancer, you’ve gotten the chance to work on tasks that really curiosity and encourage you. And, conversely, there’s no one forcing you to do any tasks that you simply 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 provide you with extra artistic expression if that is one thing that’s essential to you.

When you select the fitting tasks (and shoppers), you may get lots of private achievement out of your work. It additionally permits you to select to write down for publications or shoppers that align together with your private values and beliefs.

Cons of Being a Freelance Author

Whereas I actually take pleasure in 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 attempting 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 determination. That stated, not all of those points will have an effect on each freelance author, however I’d nonetheless advocate contemplating the next.

1. Unpredictable Earnings

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For me, one of many best disadvantages of being a contract author is the shortage 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’ve gotten a predictable earnings.

As a contract author, it’s the alternative. Your earnings 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 will be difficult to handle. It’s essential to have a buffer of money in your account if potential so that you simply’re not left in a precarious monetary scenario when you have a quiet month or, for some other purpose, your earnings drops off.

2. Requires Self-Self-discipline

pros 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, you’ll want to be your individual boss. This implies setting deadlines and objectives for your self, being organized together with your time, and making certain you retain your self on observe.

It’s essential 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 common 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 tougher to remain motivated, given the shortage of colleagues and coworkers to provide help or recommendation.

In the end, you want to have the ability to inspire your self to work exhausting and write creatively, even on days once you don’t actually really feel prefer it. It’s additionally essential to have the ability to stability work with leisure to assist keep away from burnout.

3. Doubtlessly Isolating

working 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 will be isolating at occasions, particularly in case you 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 at the very least at all times someone 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 aware effort to socialize with different individuals. 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 character – together with how introverted or extroverted you might be, and the way a lot you prefer to socialize generally. Working from coworking areas can be a great way to get a dose of social interplay and fight emotions of isolation.

4. Lack of Job Safety

best apps for freelancers

This one ties in with the purpose about unpredictable earnings. Normally, being a contract author doesn’t provide the identical job safety {that a} conventional 9-5 job does.

Most international locations around the globe have authorized protections in place that supply workers 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 workers solely.

As a freelancer, employment regulation protections usually don’t apply to you. If one among your common shoppers instantly stops needing your companies or their enterprise goes underneath, that’s too dangerous for you – you’ll want to interchange that earnings from elsewhere.

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

5. No Worker Advantages

womens health while travelling

Staff usually obtain advantages resembling medical insurance, paid day off, and retirement contributions from their employer. Sadly, these perks aren’t usually accessible to freelance writers. That’s the worth you pay for all that freedom!

Because of this you’ll must cowl these bills your self, which will be pricey. Medical health insurance, particularly, generally is a big expense for freelancers, particularly in international locations the place healthcare isn’t free. It’s essential that you simply funds for these extra prices.

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

6. Having Too Few (or Too Many) Shoppers

time management for freelancers use a calendar

One other main con of being a contract author is needing to strike a stability between the variety of shoppers you’ve gotten at one time. As mentioned above, as a freelancer, you’re usually not assured a gentle stream of labor, and it’s widespread on your earnings to fluctuate significantly.

Some individuals select to attempt to fight this by doing numerous work for one or two shoppers. Nonetheless, what occurs if one among these shoppers instantly 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 essential to diversify your earnings streams. Nonetheless, working for plenty of totally different shoppers comes with its personal challenges, together with managing competing deadlines, expectations, and usually increased ranges of admin and trouble.

It’s a tough one and requires you to strike stability, which isn’t at all times straightforward. The truth is, that is one thing that I usually discover most difficult about working as a contract author.

7. Extra Admin

how to create an invoice for freelance work

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

Freelancers are often paid gross with none deduction for tax, so you’ll want to be sure that you retain enough information to allow you to file your tax return annually. You additionally want to make sure that you truly find the money for to pay your tax invoice every time it falls due – don’t make that mistake!

These admin duties require you to be pretty organized. They can be time-consuming and, for many individuals, a bit overwhelming. However it’s essential that you simply 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 ceaselessly requested questions in regards to the ups and downs of being a contract author.

Is freelance writing price it?

For me, freelance writing is certainly price it. The flexibleness and freedom it’s given me have been completely life-changing.

Is freelance writing profession?

There are numerous professionals and cons of freelance writing, as you’ve seen from this publish. Total, freelance writing will be a superb 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 numerous advantages of working as a contract author. These embrace the pliability to work everytime you need, the power to do business from home or anyplace else on this planet, and the liberty to pursue subjects that curiosity you.

What are the principle cons of being a contract author?

The primary downsides of being a contract author embrace the shortage of a steady earnings, advantages, and job safety. It might additionally generally be tough to search out good shoppers that pay effectively and on time.

Is it exhausting to be a contract author?

It’s not significantly exhausting to develop into a contract author. However being a highly-regarded, sought-after freelance author who can command excessive charges of pay generally is a difficult path to navigate. It’s completely doable although and effectively definitely worth the effort.


When you’re all for being a contract author, it’s essential to suppose critically about whether or not it’s a profession that’s appropriate for you. There are numerous professionals 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 enormously outnumber the disadvantages. However, in fact, everyone’s totally different. Both approach, I hope this publish helped make your determination a little bit bit simpler.

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