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15 Execs and Cons of Being a Freelance Author

On this submit, I’ll be discussing the principle execs and cons of freelance writing. Whether or not you’re contemplating a radical profession change, or just serious 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 a number of downsides as I’ll clarify under.

If it is a profession you’re contemplating, be certain to take a look at my submit on the greatest freelance writing programs on-line, and my overview 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 flexibility to resolve precisely what sort of work you need to do. Nonetheless, on the flip aspect, there is no such thing as a job safety and no assured paycheck every month.

It’s necessary that you just bear this stuff in thoughts when deciding whether or not or not it is a profession (or aspect hustle) that can give you the results you want. General, I believe the disadvantages of being a contract author are vastly outweighed by the quite a few advantages. However, you have to contemplate 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 those who I do know who work as freelance writers. There’s numerous overlap between every level, however I’ve damaged them down for the sake of readability.

Keep in mind that each job is completely different, and each freelance author is exclusive. So, the precise execs and cons of being a contract author will differ based on every particular person and their particular person circumstances. Nonetheless, the next are some basic benefits which are 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 large quantity of flexibility it provides. As a freelancer, you’ve got complete management over your schedule, together with when, the place, and the way a lot you’re employed. This flexibility may be particularly useful for individuals who have youngsters or different commitments.

It’s laborious to overstate fairly how a lot of a sport changer this flexibility is, notably compared 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 without work, as you need. It’s superior!

For instance, when you’re feeling burnt out, need to attend a good friend’s wedding ceremony in Italy, fancy a spontaneous street 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 must handle the expectations of your purchasers. Nonetheless, the dynamic is completely completely 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 necessary distinction!

2. Autonomy

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

You may have complete freedom over which purchasers you need to work with, which initiatives to just accept, and the way you need to deal with them. The period of time you need to spend researching and writing is solely 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 degree of independence actually liberating and rewarding.

I’m a lot extra motivated understanding that I’ve complete company over what I do and the place my profession takes me. It additionally permits for lots of private progress and growth, as I’ll broaden on under.

3. Numerous Tasks

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Some of the thrilling facets of being a contract author is the truth that you possibly can work on no matter initiatives 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 initiatives and discover a number of completely different niches or industries, you possibly can 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 inventive fiction writing. However, you’re additionally keen on 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 this stuff in the identical week, offered you handle your time nicely.

You may broaden your ability set and discover new subjects as a lot as you need. This not solely helps to maintain issues attention-grabbing and difficult, however it additionally offers 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 initiatives is, in my expertise, a sure-fire method of creating new expertise and broadening the vary of your experience.

For instance, as a contract author, you would possibly select to write a weblog submit 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 purchasers throughout a broad spectrum of sectors (e.g. journey, advertising and marketing, monetary, enterprise, and many others.) which helps to make sure you’re continuously studying. Having a various vary of initiatives helps make you a extra versatile author with a broader set of expertise.

Moreover, freelancers usually should handle their very own admin and enterprise operations. For some individuals, it is a drawback of being a contract author. Nonetheless, you possibly can see it as a chance to develop transferable expertise reminiscent of 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 large perk of being a contract author is the flexibility to work from wherever. I’ve gotten paid to do freelance writing from some wonderful locations everywhere in the world, together with after 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 purchasers don’t care the place you’re, so long as you get the work executed to a sufficiently excessive customary. Once more, that is completely completely different from most employment relationships. (I actually hated being employed, in case you hadn’t figured.)

So long as you’ve got a steady 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 having the ability to do it for various weeks per 12 months of annual depart.

It’s additionally one of many the explanation why freelance writing is such a common job with digital nomads and different distant staff. In actual fact, 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. In case you select to work with a various unfold of purchasers, you’ll have the prospect to construct a wide-reaching net {of professional} relationships.

That is clearly an effective way to broaden your skilled community. Connecting with fellow writers, editors, purchasers, and different professionals in varied niches can result in a wealth of latest job alternatives and but extra invaluable connections sooner or later.

Plus, having a powerful community can even assist give you assist and sources that may be helpful sooner or later. It’s additionally an effective 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 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 individuals say that working for your self can provide you a worse work-life stability. In line 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 should be the case. Whereas being self-employed does, in fact, include its personal pressures, and requires appreciable self-discipline and laborious work, autonomy is vital.

The massive quantity of flexibility you acquire means you can select the way you need to construction your work life. So long as you’re capable of handle your time successfully, together with consciously permitting your self sufficient downtime, you’ve got the facility to engineer a tremendous work-life stability.

8. Inventive Freedom

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Inventive freedom is a significant benefit of being a contract author. As a freelancer, you’ve got the chance to work on initiatives that really curiosity and encourage you. And, conversely, there’s no person forcing you to do any initiatives that you just actually don’t need to do.

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

In case you select the best initiatives (and purchasers), you will get a whole lot of private achievement out of your work. It additionally lets you select to put in writing for publications or purchasers that align along with your private values and beliefs.

Cons of Being a Freelance Author

Whereas I actually take pleasure in freelance writing for all the causes mentioned above, it’s not excellent. (No job is, proper?) There are undoubtedly a number of 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 along 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 Earnings

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For me, one of many biggest 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 got a predictable revenue.

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

This lack of monetary predictability may be difficult to handle. It’s necessary to have a buffer of money in your account if attainable so that you just’re not left in a precarious monetary scenario when you have a quiet month or, for every other purpose, your revenue drops off.

2. Requires Self-Self-discipline

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Freelance writing requires a substantial quantity of self-discipline. Since you work for your self, you have to be your individual boss. This implies setting deadlines and objectives for your self, being organized along with your time, and making certain you retain your self on monitor.

It’s necessary to have the ability to stability the workload of a number of initiatives, whereas on the similar time maintaining along with your different duties and basic life admin. Talking frankly, this was a little bit of a problem for me after I first began working for myself.

Typically I additionally discover that working alone for lengthy durations of time could make it tougher to remain motivated, given the shortage of colleagues and coworkers to provide assist or recommendation.

Finally, you want to have the ability to inspire your self to work laborious and write creatively, even on days if 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 world
working for your self can appear isolating at instances, that’s why I like coworking areas

Being a contract author may be isolating at instances, particularly when 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 any individual 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 persona – together with how introverted or extroverted you’re, and the way a lot you prefer to socialize on the whole. Working from coworking areas will 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. Generally, being a contract author doesn’t supply the identical job safety {that a} conventional 9-5 job does.

Most nations around the globe have authorized protections in place that provide workers a level of job safety. These differ from nation to nation (they’re notably 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 considered one of your common purchasers all of the sudden stops needing your companies or their enterprise goes underneath, that’s too unhealthy for you – you’ll want to exchange that revenue from some place else.

This lack of stability may be robust, particularly when you have monetary commitments reminiscent of lease, a mortgage, payments, or childcare prices to pay. It’s additionally why I’d at all times suggest having a number of completely different purchasers to diversify your revenue streams and defend your self from sudden adjustments.

5. No Worker Advantages

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Staff usually obtain advantages reminiscent of medical insurance, paid day without work, and retirement contributions from their employer. Sadly, these perks aren’t usually obtainable to freelance writers. That’s the value you pay for all that freedom!

Which means that you’ll must cowl these bills your self, which may be pricey. Medical insurance, specifically, is usually a big expense for freelancers, particularly in nations the place healthcare isn’t free. It’s necessary that you just price range 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, previous age goes to suck – significantly.

6. Having Too Few (or Too Many) Purchasers

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One other main con of being a contract author is needing to strike a stability between the variety of purchasers you’ve 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 individuals select to try to fight this by doing numerous work for one or two purchasers. Nonetheless, what occurs if considered one of these purchasers all of the sudden stops providing you with work or goes out of enterprise? Dangerous 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 completely different purchasers comes with its personal challenges, together with managing competing deadlines, expectations, and usually greater ranges of admin and problem.

It’s a difficult one and requires you to strike stability, which isn’t at all times straightforward. In actual fact, 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 should deal with extra admin than an worker. This contains duties reminiscent of consumer outreach, invoicing, establishing and paying right into a pension, retaining monitor of your bills, and managing your individual taxes.

Freelancers are normally paid gross with none deduction for tax, so you have to be sure that you retain enough data to allow you to file your tax return every year. 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 will 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 what you are promoting operating easily and forestall additional complications down the road.

Execs and Cons of Freelance Writing: FAQ’s

Listed here are solutions to some continuously requested questions in regards to the ups and downs of being a contract author.

Is freelance writing value it?

For me, freelance writing is unquestionably value it. The pliability and freedom it’s given me have been completely life-changing.

Is freelance writing profession?

There are numerous execs and cons of freelance writing, as you’ve seen from this submit. General, freelance writing may 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 various advantages of working as a contract author. These embrace the pliability to work everytime you need, the flexibility to work at home or wherever 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 revenue, advantages, and job safety. It will possibly additionally generally be troublesome to search out good purchasers that pay nicely and on time.

Is it laborious to be a contract author?

It’s not notably laborious to turn into a contract author. However being a highly-regarded, sought-after freelance author who can command excessive charges of pay is usually a difficult path to navigate. It’s completely doable although and nicely well worth the effort.


In case you’re serious about being a contract author, it’s necessary to suppose significantly 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 differ 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 tremendously outnumber the disadvantages. However, in fact, everyone’s completely different. Both method, I hope this submit helped make your resolution a bit bit simpler.


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