15 Professionals and Cons of Being a Freelance Author

On this submit, I’ll be discussing the principle professionals and cons of freelance writing. Whether or not you’re contemplating a radical profession change, or just focused on 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 a lot of – which is why I do it), there are positively just a few downsides as I’ll clarify under.

If this can be a profession you’re contemplating, be certain to take a look at my submit on the finest freelance writing programs on-line, and my assessment of the Knowadays course (which is at the moment providing a 25% low cost utilizing this hyperlink and promo code GOATS25).

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

It’s necessary that you simply bear these items in thoughts when deciding whether or not or not this can be a profession (or facet hustle) that can be just right for you. General, I feel the disadvantages of being a contract author are vastly outweighed by the quite a few advantages. However, you have to take into account what’s best for you.

Professionals of Being a Freelance Author

best apps for freelance writing to save documents

Listed below 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 people who 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.

Keep in mind that each job is totally different, and each freelance author is exclusive. So, the particular professionals and cons of being a contract author will fluctuate based on every individual and their particular person circumstances. Nonetheless, the next are some basic benefits which can be more likely to apply to most individuals.

1. Flexibility

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

One in every of my favourite issues about freelance writing is the massive quantity of flexibility it provides. As a freelancer, you’ve 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 children or different commitments.

It’s arduous to overstate fairly how a lot of a sport changer this flexibility is, significantly in comparison 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 day off, as you need. It’s superior!

For instance, if you happen to’re feeling burnt out, need to attend a buddy’s marriage ceremony in Italy, fancy a spontaneous street journey, or just want a change of surroundings, you possibly can take a day (or every 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 purchasers. 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 boss

One other main perk of being a contract author is the autonomy it supplies. This goes hand in hand with flexibility (see above). As a freelancer, you might be your personal boss. So, you set the principles – together with the way you need to outline “success” in your profession.

You could have complete freedom over which purchasers you need to work with, which tasks to just accept, and the way you need to deal with them. The period of time you need to spend researching and writing is completely as much as you, as is how a lot cash you determine 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 degree 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 growth, as I’ll develop on under.

3. Various Initiatives

get paid to write online

One of the crucial thrilling features 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 try this. Once more, you get to set the principles (therefore the autonomy, above)!

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

You’ll be able to develop your talent set and discover new subjects as a lot as you need. This not solely helps to maintain issues fascinating and difficult, however it additionally provides you the chance for steady studying and progress.

4. Talent Growth

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 manner of growing new abilities and broadening the vary of your experience.

For instance, as a contract author, you would possibly select to write a weblog submit for a web site someday, craft social media posts for a model the subsequent, draft advertising 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, monetary, enterprise, and many others.) which helps to make sure you’re always studying. Having a various vary of tasks helps make you a extra versatile author with a broader set of abilities.

Moreover, freelancers usually should handle their very own admin and enterprise operations. For some folks, this can be a drawback of being a contract author. Nonetheless, you might see it as a possibility to develop transferable abilities similar to time administration, group, and monetary admin. See Additionally: finest 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 wonderful 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.

Generally, your purchasers don’t care the place you might be, so long as you get the work carried out to a sufficiently excessive normal. 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 a secure web connection overseas and an influence outlet, you possibly can principally work from just about anyplace on the earth. 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 depart.

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

6. Networking Alternatives

mashable cathay pacific one day offline

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

That is clearly an effective way to develop 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 worthwhile connections sooner or later.

Plus, having a powerful community can even assist give you assist and sources that is perhaps helpful sooner or later. It’s additionally an effective way to construct your personal private model and get your identify on the market.

7. Work-Life Stability

benefits 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 “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 folks say that working for your self may give you a worse work-life stability. In line with these folks, as a result of freelancing is inherently much less secure than employment, there’s a bent for freelancers to overwork to compensate for it. That is positively true to an extent.

Nonetheless, in my very own private expertise, it doesn’t should be the case. Whereas being self-employed does, after all, include its personal pressures, and requires appreciable self-discipline and arduous work, autonomy is vital.

The massive quantity of flexibility you acquire means which you can select the way you need 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 the facility to engineer an incredible work-life stability.

8. Artistic Freedom

a variety of devices responsive on workspace creativity website graphic design

Artistic freedom is a serious benefit of being a contract author. As a freelancer, you’ve 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 need to do.

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

Should you select the best tasks (and purchasers), you will get a variety of private achievement out of your work. It additionally permits you to select to write down for publications or purchasers 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 good. (No job is, proper?) There are positively 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 resolution. That mentioned, not all of those points will have an effect on each freelance author, however I’d nonetheless advocate contemplating the next.

1. Unpredictable Earnings

how to earn money from programming

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

As a contract author, it’s the other. Your revenue can fluctuate 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. Should you don’t get any work, you don’t receives a commission in any respect.

This lack of economic predictability may be tough to handle. It’s necessary 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’ve got a quiet month or, for another motive, your revenue 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 have to be your personal boss. This implies setting deadlines and targets for your self, being organized together with your time, and making certain 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 identical time maintaining together with your different duties and basic life admin. Talking frankly, this was a little bit of a problem for me once I first began working for myself.

Generally 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 provide assist or recommendation.

Finally, you want to have the ability to encourage your self to work arduous 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. Probably 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 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 no less than all the time any person 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 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 character – together with how introverted or extroverted you might be, and the way a lot you wish to socialize normally. 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

best apps for freelancers

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

Most international locations all over the world have authorized protections in place that provide workers a level of job safety. These fluctuate 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 principally apply to workers solely.

As a freelancer, employment legislation protections typically don’t apply to you. If certainly one of your common purchasers instantly stops needing your providers or their enterprise goes underneath, that’s too dangerous for you – you’ll want to exchange that revenue from elsewhere.

This lack of stability may be robust, particularly when you’ve got monetary commitments similar to lease, a mortgage, payments, or childcare prices to pay. It’s additionally why I’d all the time advocate having a number of totally different purchasers to diversify your revenue streams and shield your self from sudden modifications.

5. No Worker Advantages

womens health while travelling

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

Which means you’ll have to cowl these bills your self, which may 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 necessary that you simply funds for these further prices.

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

6. Having Too Few (or Too Many) Purchasers

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 purchasers you’ve at one time. As mentioned above, as a freelancer, you’re typically not assured a gradual stream of labor, and it’s widespread on your revenue to fluctuate significantly.

Some folks select to try to fight this by doing numerous work for one or two purchasers. Nonetheless, what occurs if certainly one of these purchasers instantly stops providing 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 plenty of totally different purchasers comes with its personal challenges, together with managing competing deadlines, expectations, and usually greater ranges of admin and problem.

It’s a tough one and requires you to strike a great stability, which isn’t all the time 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 should deal with extra admin than an worker. This contains duties similar to shopper outreach, invoicing, establishing and paying right into a pension, retaining observe of your bills, and managing your personal taxes.

Freelancers are normally paid gross with none deduction for tax, so you have to make sure that you retain adequate information to allow you to file your tax return annually. You additionally want to make sure that you really have the funds 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 may also be time-consuming and, for many individuals, a bit overwhelming. However it’s essential that you simply carry on high of them to maintain what you are promoting working easily and forestall additional complications down the road.

Professionals and Cons of Freelance Writing: FAQ’s

Listed below are solutions to some continuously requested questions concerning the ups and downs of being a contract author.

Is freelance writing value it?

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

Is freelance writing a great profession?

There are numerous professionals 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 numerous advantages of working as a contract author. These embody the pliability to work everytime you need, the power to earn a living from home or anyplace else on the earth, 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 embody the dearth of a secure revenue, advantages, and job safety. It may possibly additionally typically be troublesome to seek out good purchasers that pay properly and on time.

Is it arduous to be a contract author?

It’s not significantly arduous 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 tough path to navigate. It’s completely doable although and properly definitely worth the effort.


Should you’re focused on being a contract author, it’s necessary to assume significantly 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 fluctuate from individual to individual and job to job. You need to weigh up whether or not the professionals outweigh the cons.

For me, the advantages of freelance writing enormously outnumber the disadvantages. However, after all, everyone’s totally different. Both manner, I hope this submit helped make your resolution just a little bit simpler.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *