Being a freelance writer is a little bit like being a mother. The work is long, hard, and never-ending, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. So, if you can string a couple of grammatically correct sentences together, that aren’t the online equivalent of watching paint dry, you should consider becoming a freelance writer.
And let me tell you, there can be few better jobs in the world as being a freelance writer. You get to pick your own hours, set your own prices, and get paid for what you do (and not what others do).
Of course, it doesn’t always go according to plan. The money can fluctuate dramatically, and the hours can be long, but it still beats the hell out of turning up for work every day for some crap job, surrounded by people you don’t like, talking shit you don’t agree with.
Mind you, that’s not to say that being a freelance writer is all beer and skittles, but that can wait for another post.
Finally, if you read till the end, I have a couple of free courses that will get you started as a freelance writer. Now, I know half of you will cheat and go straight to the end, so click this link and you’ll get taken there automatically.
So here, in no particular order of importance, is why being a freelance writer is the best job in the world.
1. You Don’t Have a Boss
Now don’t get me wrong, in many ways you do have a boss, but you don’t have one in the traditional meaning of the word. You can choose who you work for, and you can decide if the person you’re working for is worth it or not. For example, at the moment one of my gigs is for a company based in Australia. The person is easily contactable, easy to talk to, and knows what she wants, more or less. In my book, that’s a nice gig.
However, if she wasn’t, I could either decide that I wouldn’t work for her again, or I could make up my mind that it would be better to part ways. Never a great option but it is there if I want it. If you have enough work, quitting a job because the person you’re working for is a mess is a choice you’ll have. In a nine-to-five, you can’t do this.
2. You Make Your Own Hours
This really needs to be qualified a little bit. Yes, you make your own hours. However, at the start of your writing career, you are probably going to have to put in some seriously long hours.
When I first started, I was working from the early hours of the morning to the er… early hours of the next morning. If you’re not prepared to do the same, this life may not be for you.
Good news? At some point, you are going to get to the stage where you can start charging $50, $100, $250 or even more for an article. When that happens, you can make your own hours. Mind you, if I were earning $250 an article, which I sadly don’t get yet, I’d be working the same hours… just on a beach in Bali.
3. There’s Plenty of Work Out There
If you are just starting out and not too fussy what you do or how much you charge, the work is there. There are millions of blogs in the blogosphere, and most owners either can’t write or don’t have the time. The other plus side to this is that most blog owners are not too fussy about what you give them.
Remember when I said that if you can string a few grammatically correct sentences together, you can earn a living writing? I wasn’t lie. In the past, I have tested out quite a lot of freelancers to see what the competition was like and let me tell you, the competition is rubbish. Get yourself out there and get yourself known.
Just remember. Becoming a freelance writer means not being too proud about what jobs you take at the beginning. If you don’t mind taking any job until you make a name for yourself, then do it. After all, sitting on your butt doing nothing pays a lot less than writing a 1 cent per word, even if you think you are worth $1 a word.
4. You Can Work from Home
I have no idea if this is true, but you could go round your work colleagues and ask. If most people were given the option, I reckon they would prefer to work from home.
Although there are many things that are really attractive about it, most people want to work from home for just one or two reasons. It is the things we really hate about physically going to work that makes us wish we could work from home. Most of the time it is not the work itself. Or at least that was true in my case.
Personally, one of the best reasons for becoming a freelance writer is when the weather is crap outside, and home is nice and toastie. There is nothing better than getting up in the morning, making some tea and toast, and then settling down in from of my computer to start work, not having to experience the cold and wet of the outside.
Also, not travelling to work mean no mass scrums on the bus or underground during rush hour. The lack of people elbowing you in the ribs or stepping on your toes is another plus. And not having to pay for the pleasure to ride on buses that would be illegal if they were transporting animals is another positive.
5. The Money Can Be Great
The best paid freelance writers make serious money, and I mean serious money. Many can write one article a day, five days a week, and earn more than most people working a full-time job. By the way, I should point out that I’m not one of those freelancers, not yet anyway. But knowing that by becoming a freelance writer I may end up earning great money makes getting up in the mornings a heckuva lot easier.
But I think there is another, less tangible, benefit to this type of work. It’s that the money you are earning is set by you. Sure, you may have to accept a bit less to begin with, but as your reputation grows, so will your money. That’s a very powerful feeling of satisfaction to have, and is also a great motivating force to drive you forward.
6. You Can Earn What Your Want
I used to be a teacher. If I am honest with myself, I wasn’t the best teacher in the world. However, being equally honest, I like to think I wasn’t the worst either. I did my job, marked homework, and was nice to the kids. However, there were some real lemons, and they got paid exactly what I got, and in some cases more. No matter who you are, that is the kind of thing that pisses people off.
Now, keep in mind that the goal that you’re aiming for is to earn $50 per article (although you probably want more). Also, keep in mind how long it will take you to write an article. Personally, I like to go the extra mile so take my time when writing. Aim for maximum two hours. Now, sit down and think how much you want to earn.
Theoretically, a couple if articles a day is fine for me. That would pay the bills and give me and my family spending money each week. We live quite simply with our biggest outgoings being rent, as I always want a nice place to live. Having said that, I normally write about four articles a day to have a nice standard of living. Again, you need to decide how much you want to do.
The point being that becoming a freelance writer allows you to decide how much you want to work. And your earnings will reflect this. In other words, you’re in charge of how much you earn, not the person you work for.
7. You Will Be Happy in Your Work
I cannot stress how important this is. I want you to think how happy you are now doing what you’re doing. Don’t mistake thinking that things are okay is the same as happiness. That’s what keeps you doing exactly what you’re doing.
Think of all the things in your life that you’re unhappy about, and ask yourself if there is any chance that things will change in the future. I bet I know the answer. Now imagine all the reasons I’ve given above about why freelancing is so great, and ask yourself if there is any reason why you shouldn’t go for it.
I know what you’re saying to yourself, “I have too many responsibilities.” That may be true but you can still take action to achieve the lifestyle you’d like. For writing, just start doing it in your spare time, and only give up the day job when you feel comfortable enough to do it.
Bonus #8 – What If You Can’t Write
I’d probably say this isn’t possible and you can write but, as I don’t want to argue, let’s see what other options you have. In fact, I’m going to stop there because I realise I have gone on too long. Follow this link (coming soon) and find out what you can do if you don’t think you can make it as a writer.
Wrapping Becoming a Freelance Writer Up
And there you have it. Get started as soon as you can. If you need some help with writing, there are plenty of courses online. If you read this article, you can get access to two great courses, one on writing and one on Fiverr, which will help you start well and continue better.