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15 Execs and Cons of Being a Freelance Author

On this put up, I’ll be discussing the principle execs and cons of freelance writing. Whether or not you’re contemplating a radical profession change, or just curious about 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 undoubtedly a number of downsides as I’ll clarify beneath.

If this can be a profession you’re contemplating, be sure that to take a look at my put up 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 most important benefits of freelance writing embody the flexibleness to decide on when and the place you’re employed, in addition to the flexibility to determine precisely what sort of work you need to do. Nevertheless, on the flip facet, 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 this can be a profession (or facet hustle) that can be just right for you. Total, I believe the disadvantages of being a contract author are vastly outweighed by the quite a few advantages. However, you must contemplate what’s best for you.

Execs of Being a Freelance Author

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Listed below are a few 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 completely different, and each freelance author is exclusive. So, the particular execs and cons of being a contract author will differ in line with every individual and their particular person circumstances. Nevertheless, the next are some common benefits which might be prone to apply to most individuals.

1. Flexibility

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

Certainly one of my favourite issues about freelance writing is the large quantity of flexibility it gives. As a freelancer, you’ve gotten 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 onerous to overstate fairly how a lot of a sport changer this flexibility is, notably when put next with a “conventional” job – i.e. full-time, in-person employment. You may set your personal hours and take as many breaks, or as a lot day without work, as you need. It’s superior!

For instance, for those who’re feeling burnt out, need to attend a pal’s marriage ceremony in Italy, fancy a spontaneous highway journey, or just want a change of surroundings, you’ll be able to 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 have to handle the expectations of your purchasers. 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 necessary distinction!

2. Autonomy

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

You’ve 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 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 degree of independence actually liberating and rewarding.

I’m a lot extra motivated figuring out that I’ve complete company over what I do and the place my profession takes me. It additionally permits for lots of private development and growth, as I’ll increase on beneath.

3. Numerous Initiatives

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Probably the most thrilling facets of being a contract author is the truth that you’ll be able to 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 completely different niches or industries, you’ll be able to completely try this. Once more, you get to set the principles (therefore the autonomy, above)!

So, say you’ve at all times 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’ll be able to select to do all of this stuff in the identical week, supplied you handle your time effectively.

You may increase your talent set and discover new matters as a lot as you need. This not solely helps to maintain issues attention-grabbing and difficult, but it surely additionally offers you the chance for steady studying and development.

4. Talent Growth

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Following on from the earlier level, selecting to work on a various vary of tasks is, in my expertise, a sure-fire approach of growing new expertise and broadening the vary of your experience.

For instance, as a contract author, you may select to write a weblog put up for an internet site in the future, 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’ll be able to select to have a spread of purchasers throughout a broad spectrum of sectors (e.g. journey, advertising, monetary, enterprise, and so forth.) 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 expertise.

Moreover, freelancers sometimes should handle their very own admin and enterprise operations. For some individuals, this can be a drawback of being a contract author. Nevertheless, you might see it as a chance to develop transferable expertise akin 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 flexibility 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 residing 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’re, so long as you get the work executed to a sufficiently excessive normal. 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 gotten a steady web connection overseas and an influence outlet, you’ll be able to principally work from just about anyplace on this planet. That is big for anybody who loves touring and having the ability to do it for quite a lot of weeks per yr of annual go away.

It’s additionally one of many the explanation why freelance writing is such a well-liked job with digital nomads and different distant staff. In truth, 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 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 internet {of professional} relationships.

That is clearly a good way to increase your skilled community. Connecting with fellow writers, editors, purchasers, and different professionals in numerous niches can result in a wealth of recent job alternatives and but extra helpful connections sooner or later.

Plus, having a robust community may assist offer you help and assets that is likely to be helpful sooner or later. It’s additionally a good way to construct your personal private model and get your title on the market.

7. Work-Life Stability

benefits of being a freelance writer work life balance

For my part, it’s a lot simpler to keep up a wholesome work-life steadiness 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 individuals say that working for your self may give you a worse work-life steadiness. In line with these individuals, as a result of freelancing is inherently much less steady than employment, there’s a bent 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 should be the case. Whereas being self-employed does, after all, include its personal pressures, and requires appreciable self-discipline and onerous work, autonomy is essential.

The large quantity of flexibility you achieve means that you would be able to 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 gotten the ability to engineer an incredible work-life steadiness.

8. Inventive Freedom

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Inventive freedom is a serious benefit of being a contract author. As a freelancer, you’ve gotten 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 just actually don’t need to do.

Moreover, the elevated choices and management over your profession trajectory (mentioned above) means that you would be able to select to give attention to areas that provide you with extra artistic expression if that is one thing that’s necessary to you.

In case you select the proper tasks (and purchasers), you may get a variety of private success out of your work. It additionally permits you to select to put in writing 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 undoubtedly a number of downsides to being a contract author, which I’ve set out beneath.

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 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

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For me, one of many best disadvantages of being a contract author is the dearth of monetary stability. As an worker, you sometimes receives a commission each month, on the identical day, typically the identical quantity. This makes it simpler to plan financially as you’ve gotten 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 may earn extra, some months you may 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 potential so that you just’re not left in a precarious monetary scenario in case you have a quiet month or, for some other cause, 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 must be your personal boss. This implies setting deadlines and objectives for your self, being organized together with your time, and guaranteeing you retain your self on observe.

It’s necessary to have the ability to steadiness the workload of a number of tasks, whereas on the similar time maintaining together with your different duties and common 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 tougher to remain motivated, given the dearth of colleagues and coworkers to present help or recommendation.

In the end, you want to have the ability to encourage your self to work onerous and write creatively, even on days if you don’t actually really feel prefer it. It’s additionally necessary to have the ability to steadiness work with leisure 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 for those who 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 not less than 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 basically. 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. Most often, being a contract author doesn’t provide 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 staff a level of job safety. These differ 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 principally apply to staff solely.

As a freelancer, employment regulation protections typically don’t apply to you. If one among your common purchasers all of a sudden stops needing your providers or their enterprise goes beneath, that’s too unhealthy for you – you’ll want to exchange that revenue from some other place.

This lack of stability may be powerful, particularly in case you have monetary commitments akin to hire, a mortgage, payments, or childcare prices to pay. It’s additionally why I’d at all times advocate 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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Workers sometimes obtain advantages akin to medical insurance, paid day without work, and retirement contributions from their employer. Sadly, these perks aren’t sometimes obtainable to freelance writers. That’s the worth you pay for all that freedom!

Which means that you’ll have to cowl these bills your self, which may be expensive. Medical health insurance, specifically, is usually a big expense for freelancers, particularly in international locations the place healthcare isn’t free. It’s necessary that you just funds for these extra prices.

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

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 steadiness between the variety of purchasers you’ve gotten at one time. As mentioned above, as a freelancer, you’re typically not assured a gentle stream of labor, and it’s widespread in your revenue to fluctuate significantly.

Some individuals select to attempt to fight this by doing a number of work for one or two purchasers. Nevertheless, what occurs if one among these purchasers all of a sudden stops supplying 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. Nevertheless, working for plenty of completely different purchasers comes with its personal challenges, together with managing competing deadlines, expectations, and customarily larger ranges of admin and problem.

It’s a tough one and requires you to strike a superb steadiness, which isn’t at all times straightforward. In truth, that is one thing that I typically discover most difficult about working as a contract author.

7. Extra Admin

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As a self-employed freelance author, you sometimes should deal with extra admin than an worker. This contains duties akin to shopper outreach, invoicing, establishing and paying right into a pension, holding observe of your bills, and managing your personal taxes.

Freelancers are normally paid gross with none deduction for tax, so you must be sure that you retain adequate information to allow you to file your tax return annually. You additionally want to make sure that you truly find 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. Nevertheless it’s essential that you just carry on high of them to maintain your online business operating easily and forestall additional complications down the road.

Execs and Cons of Freelance Writing: FAQ’s

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

Is freelance writing price it?

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

Is freelance writing a superb profession?

There are numerous execs and cons of freelance writing, as you’ve seen from this put up. Total, 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 lots of advantages of working as a contract author. These embody the flexibleness to work everytime you need, the flexibility to earn a living from home or anyplace else on this planet, and the liberty to pursue matters 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 steady revenue, advantages, and job safety. It could actually additionally generally be troublesome to seek out good purchasers that pay effectively and on time.

Is it onerous to be a contract author?

It’s not notably onerous to develop 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 effectively well worth the effort.


In case you’re curious about being a contract author, it’s necessary to assume severely 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. You must 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 completely different. Both approach, I hope this put up helped make your resolution a bit bit simpler.

Rafael Gomes de Azevedo
Rafael Gomes de Azevedo
He started his career as a columnist, contributing to the staff of a local blog. His articles with amusing views on everyday situations in the news soon became one of the main features of the current editions of the blog. For the divergences of thought about which direction the blog would follow. He left and founded three other great journalistic blogs,, and With a certain passion for writing, holder of a versatile talent, in addition to coordinating, directing, he writes fantastic scripts quickly, he likes to say that he writes for a select group of enthusiasts in love with serious and true writing.


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