Freelance writing is a great way for writers to make a full-time income while being self-employed. You are able to set your own schedule, take on as many or as few projects as you feel comfortable with, and enjoy the comfort of working from home. Although there are some disadvantages to freelancing, it can be such a rewarding career.
To learn about the pros and cons of freelancing and to discover how to be a freelance writer, keep on reading!
Being a Freelance Writer – How Freelancing Works
A freelance writer is someone who makes a living by writing content for other people. Freelancing is about finding and growing a clientele of your own while being self-employed. There are many services a freelance writer may offer, some of which include copywriting, content writing, proofreading, and editing.
Pros and Cons
Being self-employed is most certainly not for everyone, so it is important to know the pros and cons to see if it’s a good fit for you.
There are many advantages to working as a freelance writer, the biggest being that you work for yourself. There is no one to answer to, and you are free to take as little or as many jobs as you can handle. You set your own schedule, so you can take vacations, breaks, and days off whenever you want. Also, if you are someone who is most productive during the night, you can do your writing at that time—there is no 9-5 (unless you want to work during those hours)!
With all this freedom comes some disadvantages, however, and the most challenging of them is the amount of self-discipline that is required. There is no one forcing you to finish work and put down your phone or any other distractions. Freelancing can be challenging if you have a hard time saying no to yourself.
Besides the discipline that is required, your whole business is on you to run. You need to keep track of your income, expenses, write-offs, etc. And with that, if you aren’t working hard, you’re not going to make money. Freelancing is far from a ‘get rich quick scheme’, and it requires a lot of time and effort to earn a liveable wage.
Another thing to remember is that there is no set income with freelance writing. Your income could differ by a few hundred to a few thousand dollars each month. This aspect can be scary, but it also means that there is no limit to what you can make. You don’t need to wait for a promotion—the sky’s the limit with freelancing.
I don’t say all of this to scare you off as freelancing can be incredibly rewards. It is important to be prepared and know what it takes, though, as there are so many articles written that tend to sugarcoat the work that is necessary to be successful.
How To Freelance
As I mentioned, most beginner freelance writers start by using established freelancing sites to grow their clientele and get their foot in the door. Some sites have listings from potential clients available where the writer can apply, while some have people looking for writers who will contact the freelancer on their own.
Some of these sites include:
Check out this post for 11 sites for freelancers from Milo.co.
If you choose to create a website or portfolio for your freelancing, you will need to set up your services, contact information, testimonials, and the proper legal information. This is why many beginners choose to use established sites, but either option can be lucrative.
Pricing can vary based on experience, services, and the individual. The majority of freelance writers charge per word, but there are a few methods to pricing your service.
As I mentioned, you can charge per word, such as 10₵/word. So, if you’re writing a 1,000 word article, it would end up costing $100. To better understand what price you should set, research what other freelance writers with a similar service and experience are pricing their work at.
You may also end up charging a set amount up to a certain word count. For example, you may offer packages of $50 for 1,000 words, $150 for 5,000 words, etc. With this pricing method, many people also offer additional services for more expensive packages. You may offer formatting with a larger package or something similar.
Again, it’s best to look at other freelancers and see what types of packages and prices they have and use those as a foundation for your own.
Use social media to its fullest.
Social media is one of the best ways to grow your clientele, so don’t be afraid to promote what you have to offer.
Begin on a freelancing website.
If you are an absolute beginner or someone who hasn’t freelanced in a while, it’s best to start on an established freelancing website like the ones mentioned above. This will help you to grow your clientele and will take care of the more advanced stuff like contracts, communication, etc.
To learn more about establishing your brand as a writer, you can check out this post which will help you learn how to grow your clientele/audience.
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