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

For me, the most important benefits of freelance writing embody the flexibleness 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. Nevertheless, on the flip aspect, there isn’t any job safety and no assured paycheck every month.

It’s vital that you simply bear these items in thoughts when deciding whether or not or not this can be a profession (or aspect 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, it’s essential contemplate what’s best for you.

Professionals of Being a Freelance Author

best apps for freelance writing to save documents

Listed below are among 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 numerous overlap between every level, however I’ve damaged them down for the sake of readability.

Do not forget that each job is completely different, and each freelance author is exclusive. So, the precise professionals and cons of being a contract author will range based on every individual and their particular person circumstances. Nevertheless, the next are some normal benefits which are 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 all my favourite issues about freelance writing is the large quantity of flexibility it gives. As a freelancer, you will have whole management over your schedule, together with when, the place, and the way a lot you’re employed. This flexibility might be particularly useful for individuals who have youngsters or different commitments.

It’s arduous to overstate fairly how a lot of a recreation changer this flexibility is, notably in comparison with a “conventional” job – i.e. full-time, in-person employment. You possibly can set your individual hours and take as many breaks, or as a lot time without work, as you need. It’s superior!

For instance, in case you’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.

In fact, you continue to have to handle the expectations of your shoppers. Nevertheless, the dynamic is completely completely 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 vital 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’re your individual boss. So, you set the foundations – together with the way you need to outline “success” in your profession.

You’ve gotten whole freedom over which shoppers 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 totally as much as you, as is how a lot cash you determine to cost in 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 whole company over what I do and the place my profession takes me. It additionally permits for lots of non-public development and improvement, as I’ll broaden on under.

3. Various Tasks

get paid to write online

One of the crucial thrilling points 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 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 and marketing copy. As a contract author, you possibly can select to do all of these items in the identical week, supplied you handle your time effectively.

You possibly can 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, nevertheless it additionally offers you the chance for steady studying and development.

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 abilities and broadening the vary of your experience.

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

Additionally, you possibly can select to have a variety of shoppers throughout a broad spectrum of sectors (e.g. journey, advertising and marketing, monetary, enterprise, and so on.) which helps to make sure you’re consistently studying. Having a various vary of initiatives 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 folks, this can be a drawback of being a contract author. Nevertheless, you would see it as a chance to develop transferable abilities similar to time administration, group, and monetary admin. See Additionally: greatest apps for freelance writers

5. Work From Wherever

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 wherever. I’ve gotten paid to do freelance writing from some wonderful locations everywhere in the world, together with once I was residing 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’re, so long as you get the work accomplished to a sufficiently excessive commonplace. 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 will have 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 yr of annual depart.

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

6. Networking Alternatives

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Being a contract author can open up alternatives for networking with folks 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 an effective way to broaden your skilled community. Connecting with fellow writers, editors, shoppers, and different professionals in varied niches can result in a wealth of recent job alternatives and but extra priceless connections sooner or later.

Plus, having a powerful community also can assist give you help and assets that is perhaps helpful sooner or later. It’s additionally an effective way to construct your individual private model and get your title 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 folks say that working for your self can provide you a worse work-life stability. In response to these folks, 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.

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

The massive quantity of flexibility you achieve means which 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 will have the facility to engineer a tremendous work-life stability.

8. Artistic Freedom

a variety of devices responsive on workspace creativity website graphic design

Artistic freedom is a significant benefit of being a contract author. As a freelancer, you will have the chance to work on initiatives that actually curiosity and encourage you. And, conversely, there’s no one forcing you to do any initiatives 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 give attention to areas that provide you with extra artistic expression if that is one thing that’s vital to you.

When you select the precise initiatives (and shoppers), you will get lots of private success out of your work. It additionally means that you can 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 get pleasure from freelance writing for the entire 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 together with your eyes open, having made an knowledgeable choice. That mentioned, 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 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 will have a predictable revenue.

As a contract author, it’s the other. Your revenue 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 economic predictability might be difficult to handle. It’s vital to have a buffer of money in your account if doable so that you simply’re not left in a precarious monetary scenario if in case you have a quiet month or, for every other cause, 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, it’s essential 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 vital to have the ability to stability the workload of a number of initiatives, whereas on the similar time maintaining together with your different duties and normal 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 dearth of colleagues and coworkers to provide help or recommendation.

In the end, you want to have the ability to encourage your self to work arduous and write creatively, even on days while you don’t actually really feel prefer it. It’s additionally vital to have the ability to stability work with leisure 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 occasions, that’s why I like coworking areas

Being a contract author might 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 all the time 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 acutely 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 persona – together with how introverted or extroverted you’re, and the way a lot you wish to socialize generally. 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. Typically, being a contract author doesn’t provide the identical job safety {that a} conventional 9-5 job does.

Most nations all over the world have authorized protections in place that supply staff a level of job safety. These range from nation to nation (they’re notably robust in Europe in contrast with the US). Nevertheless, the important thing level right here is that these protections largely apply to staff solely.

As a freelancer, employment legislation protections usually don’t apply to you. If considered one of your common shoppers immediately stops needing your companies or their enterprise goes underneath, that’s too dangerous for you – you’ll want to interchange that revenue from some other place.

This lack of stability might be robust, particularly if in case you have monetary commitments similar to hire, a mortgage, payments, or childcare prices to pay. It’s additionally why I’d all the time suggest having a number of completely different shoppers to diversify your revenue streams and defend your self from sudden adjustments.

5. No Worker Advantages

womens health while travelling

Staff usually obtain advantages similar to medical insurance, paid time 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!

Because of this you’ll have to cowl these bills your self, which might be pricey. Medical health insurance, specifically, generally is a big expense for freelancers, particularly in nations the place healthcare isn’t free. It’s vital that you simply funds for these extra prices.

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

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 will have at one time. As mentioned above, as a freelancer, you’re usually not assured a gradual stream of labor, and it’s frequent in your revenue to fluctuate significantly.

Some folks select to attempt to fight this by doing a lot of work for one or two shoppers. Nevertheless, what occurs if considered one of these shoppers immediately 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 vital to diversify your revenue streams. Nevertheless, working for plenty of completely different shoppers comes with its personal challenges, together with managing competing deadlines, expectations, and usually greater ranges of admin and trouble.

It’s a difficult one and requires you to strike 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 must 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 individual taxes.

Freelancers are often paid gross with none deduction for tax, so it’s essential be certain that you retain enough data to allow you to file your tax return annually. You additionally want to make sure that you really come up with the money for to pay your tax invoice each time 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. Nevertheless it’s essential that you simply carry on prime of them to maintain your enterprise operating easily and forestall additional complications down the road.

Professionals and Cons of Freelance Writing: FAQ’s

Listed below are solutions to some regularly 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 professionals and cons of freelance writing, as you’ve seen from this submit. General, freelance writing might 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 lots of advantages of working as a contract author. These embody the flexibleness to work everytime you need, the power to make money working from 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 principle downsides of being a contract author embody the dearth of a steady revenue, advantages, and job safety. It may possibly additionally typically be troublesome to seek out good shoppers that pay effectively and on time.

Is it arduous to be a contract author?

It’s not notably arduous to change 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 concerned about being a contract author, it’s vital to assume severely 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 tremendously outnumber the disadvantages. However, after all, everyone’s completely different. Both method, I hope this submit helped make your choice just a little bit simpler.

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