Thinking about becoming a full-time freelance writer? Anyone with solid writing skills can become a freelance writer. Here are few challenges you should consider before making the transition to full-time freelance writer.
If you’ve always had a knack for writing or you’ve worked as a writer for different businesses, you might be considering venturing off on your own. You certainly wouldn’t be alone in your endeavors. Freelancers are considered workers of the gig economy, which had over 1.6 million workers as of 2019.
Thanks to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s likely we’ll see a boost in freelance/gig workers. Technology has made it possible to do many jobs from virtually anywhere, including writing.
But it takes more than just a passion for the word to have a successful career as a freelance writer. While it’s possible to make money blogging or writing for different companies quickly, it often takes freelancers a lot of time, effort, and self-promotion to establish themselves within the gig economy — especially when the writing market is so saturated.
So, if you’re thinking about becoming a full-time freelance writer, what should you keep in mind? What are the potential risks and rewards, and how can you continue to find gigs to pay the bills?
What Are the Benefits of Freelance Writing?
You probably already know about some of the benefits of freelancing, or you wouldn’t be interested in the first place. Even though there are a lot of freelance writers in the gig market, there is still a growing need. If you can find consistent work, some of the biggest benefits of being a contract writer include:
- Setting your own schedule
- Earning a flexible income
- Building your experience
- The ability to work wherever you want
- Interacting with a variety of clients
If you know how to write incredible blog posts that target specific audiences, have captivating headlines, and use images effectively, you can easily succeed as a freelancer once your work starts to get noticed.
But for as important as it is to consider what benefits you might expect in your new career, it’s even more important to know the potential risks you’re getting into before you make that leap of faith.
Understanding the Risks
Freelancing can provide you with a lot of different freedoms. But it can hold you back in other ways. The gig economy has its own set of problems that freelancers have to consider. Remember, when you choose to be your own boss … you’re your own boss! That means you get to set your hours and how you fill your time, but you also miss out on some of the benefits of working for a company, including:
- A retirement fund or 401k
- Health insurance
- Paid sick leave
- Paid time off
You even have to pay for all of your own equipment, including a computer, cellphone, Internet usage, and even office supplies. There is also very little job security in freelancing unless you can work on contract positions with different clients. While the amount you can earn is essentially limitless based on how much you want to work, it’s not always easy to find jobs right away, especially when you’re just starting out and transitioning from a part-time side hustle into a full-time career.
Additionally, it’s important to know whether you’re the right kind of person to become a full-time freelance writer. Are you organized? Do you meet deadlines easily? Are you able to market yourself in order to grow your personal business? How would you handle times of distress and keep your writing business afloat when many other industries are struggling? Many freelancers are having to figure that out right now in the wake of COVID-19.
While these potential risks aren’t meant to scare you away from the idea of freelancing, understanding the ups and downs of the career choices can help to realign your expectations and allow you to think more realistically.
Finding Frequent Jobs
Being able to find consistent work is the bread and butter of any freelance writing career. Some writers are lucky enough to hold onto clients and work with them on a regular basis. But, for others, it’s about regularly searching for jobs that fit their writing styles and can also pay the bills.
Thankfully, because there are millions of blogs online (over 550 million, actually), there’s also a constant need for content. As a writer, you just have to know where to look in order to find these jobs.
Some of the best places to check, especially when you’re just getting started, are websites specifically catered to freelancers, like Upwork.com or Flexjobs.com. Individuals and businesses alike post their gig jobs on these sites along with everything from word counts, price, and writing prompts. While sites like Upwork do take a small cut of whatever you make, it’s a great way to get your name out there and build up your writing portfolio.
Once you do have several professional pieces under your belt, you can start expanding your job search to online job boards, colleges and universities, recruitment portals, and even with affiliate marketers.
Building a Professional Online Portfolio
Building a website that perfectly highlights your knowledge and years of experience is crucial if you want to make it as a freelance writer. We have published an article on why building an online portfolio or a website is crucial for freelancers. Check it out.
Becoming a Full-Time Freelance Writer – Final Thoughts
There will always be a need for writing. Don’t let the fact that there are so many other freelancers out there deter you from following your dream and passion. If you understand the potential risks of becoming a full-time freelance writer and you’re willing to dedicate yourself to the job, you can find success on your own terms, doing something you love.
If you’re wondering how to start a blog and grow a side business, we have published a blogging guide for you. Also get instant free access to our Blogging Masterclass.
You may also like to read:
- 11 proven strategies to increase your blog’s traffic
- Ultimate guide on how to monetize your writing skills
- Best material design website examples to draw inspirations
- Digital marketing tips to help grow your business
- Best web hosting for freelancers
- Tips for an awesome and seo-friendly blog posts
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James Cole says
Damn ! This article is really helpful thanks a lot for sharing. Keep up the great writing.