Home Travel 15 Execs and Cons of Being a Freelance Author

15 Execs and Cons of Being a Freelance Author

15 Execs and Cons of Being a Freelance Author


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

If this can be a profession you’re contemplating, make certain to take a look at my publish 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 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. Nevertheless, on the flip aspect, there isn’t a job safety and no assured paycheck every month.

It’s essential 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, you should contemplate what’s best for you.

Execs of Being a Freelance Author

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Listed here 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.

Do not forget that each job is completely different, and each freelance author is exclusive. So, the particular professionals and cons of being a contract author will differ in keeping with every particular person and their particular person circumstances. Nevertheless, the next are some common benefits which can 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!

One among my favourite issues about freelance writing is the large quantity of flexibility it affords. 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 might 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, notably when put next with a “conventional” job – i.e. full-time, in-person employment. You may set your individual hours and take as many breaks, or as a lot day off, as you need. It’s superior!

For instance, should you’re feeling burnt out, need to attend a pal’s wedding ceremony in Italy, fancy a spontaneous highway journey, or just want a change of surroundings, you may 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 essential 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 individual boss. So, you set the foundations – together with the way you need to outline “success” in your profession.

You may have complete freedom over which purchasers you need to work with, which initiatives to simply accept, and the way you need to sort out 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 to 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 understanding that I’ve complete company over what I do and the place my profession takes me. It additionally permits for lots of non-public development and growth, as I’ll develop on beneath.

3. Various Initiatives

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Probably the most thrilling features of being a contract author is the truth that you may 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 may 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 copy. As a contract author, you may select to do all of these items in the identical week, supplied you handle your time properly.

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

4. Ability Improvement

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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 expertise and broadening the vary of your experience.

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

Additionally, you may 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 continually studying. Having a various vary of initiatives helps make you a extra versatile author with a broader set of expertise.

Moreover, freelancers sometimes need to handle their very own admin and enterprise operations. For some folks, this can be a drawback of being a contract author. Nevertheless, you could possibly see it as a possibility to develop transferable expertise equivalent 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 large perk of being a contract author is the power to work from wherever. I’ve gotten paid to do freelance writing from some superb locations all around 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.

Basically, your purchasers don’t care the place you’re, so long as you get the work completed to a sufficiently excessive customary. 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 a steady web connection overseas and an influence outlet, you may mainly work from just about wherever on the earth. That is enormous for anybody who loves touring and with the ability to do it for various weeks per 12 months of annual depart.

It’s additionally one of many explanation why freelance writing is such a widespread job with digital nomads and different distant staff. Actually, that is the principle purpose 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. 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 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 recent job alternatives and but extra useful connections sooner or later.

Plus, having a robust community may also assist offer you help and sources that is perhaps helpful sooner or later. It’s additionally an effective way to construct your individual 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 steadiness 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 may give you a worse work-life steadiness. 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 positively true to an extent.

Nevertheless, in my very own private expertise, it doesn’t need to 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 you could 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’ve the ability to engineer an incredible work-life steadiness.

8. Inventive Freedom

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Inventive freedom is a significant benefit of being a contract author. As a freelancer, you’ve the chance to work on initiatives that actually curiosity and encourage you. And, conversely, there’s no person 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 you could select to deal with areas that provide you with extra artistic expression if that is one thing that’s essential to you.

In case you select the best initiatives (and purchasers), you will get numerous private success out of your work. It additionally permits you to select to jot 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 all the 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 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 suggest contemplating the next.

1. Unpredictable Earnings

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

As a contract author, it’s the alternative. Your earnings can differ 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. In case 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 essential to have a buffer of money in your account if potential so that you simply’re not left in a precarious monetary scenario if in case you have a quiet month or, for another purpose, your earnings 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 should be your individual boss. This implies setting deadlines and targets for your self, being organized together with your time, and making certain you retain your self on monitor.

It’s essential to have the ability to steadiness the workload of a number of initiatives, 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.

Typically I additionally discover that working alone for lengthy durations of time could make it more durable to remain motivated, given the shortage of colleagues and coworkers to offer 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 whenever you don’t actually really feel prefer it. It’s additionally essential to have the ability to steadiness 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 might be isolating at instances, particularly should 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 not less than 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 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 prefer to socialize typically. 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 earnings. Generally, being a contract author doesn’t supply the identical job safety {that a} conventional 9-5 job does.

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

As a freelancer, employment regulation protections usually don’t apply to you. If one in every of your common purchasers out of the blue stops needing your providers or their enterprise goes below, that’s too unhealthy for you – you’ll want to switch that earnings from some other place.

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

5. No Worker Advantages

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

Which means you’ll have to cowl these bills your self, which might be expensive. Medical health insurance, particularly, is usually a enormous expense for freelancers, particularly in nations the place healthcare isn’t free. It’s essential that you simply price range for these extra prices.

And, whereas that is positively not monetary recommendation, it’s extraordinarily essential to have monetary provisions to your retirement. In any other case, outdated 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 at one time. As mentioned above, as a freelancer, you’re usually not assured a gentle stream of labor, and it’s widespread to your earnings to fluctuate significantly.

Some folks select to try to fight this by doing plenty of work for one or two purchasers. Nevertheless, what occurs if one in every of these purchasers out of the blue stops supplying you with work or goes out of enterprise? Dangerous issues, so far as your funds are involved.

So, as we agreed above, it’s essential to diversify your earnings streams. Nevertheless, working for many completely different purchasers comes with its personal challenges, together with managing competing deadlines, expectations, and usually larger ranges of admin and problem.

It’s a tough one and requires you to strike a superb steadiness, which isn’t all the time simple. Actually, that is one thing that I typically 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 sometimes need to deal with extra admin than an worker. This consists of duties equivalent to consumer outreach, invoicing, establishing and paying right into a pension, conserving monitor of your bills, and managing your individual taxes.

Freelancers are often paid gross with none deduction for tax, so you should be sure that you retain enough information to allow you to file your tax return every year. You additionally want to make sure that you truly manage to pay 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 will 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 your enterprise operating easily and forestall additional complications down the road.

Execs and Cons of Freelance Writing: FAQ’s

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

Is freelance writing price it?

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

Is freelance writing a superb profession?

There are numerous professionals and cons of freelance writing, as you’ve seen from this publish. 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 various advantages of working as a contract author. These embody the pliability to work everytime you need, the power to make money working from home or wherever else on the earth, 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 shortage of a steady earnings, advantages, and job safety. It may possibly additionally generally be tough to search out good purchasers that pay properly 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 is usually a difficult path to navigate. It’s completely doable although and properly definitely worth the effort.


In case you’re serious about being a contract author, it’s essential to suppose 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 differ 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 vastly outnumber the disadvantages. However, after all, everyone’s completely different. Both method, I hope this publish helped make your resolution just a little bit simpler.


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