Every time someone mistakenly believes that content writing gigs are easy, a freelancer sighs somewhere.
Sure, there’s a lot of flexibility in the job. But there’s so much more to a freelance writing career than meets the eye.
You might see a content writer working out for your favourite cafe and envy them for not being stuck in an office. Or you may even think: “How difficult is it to write posts, blogs, emails, etc., for websites? Isn’t this a basic skill everyone already has these days? How hard could it possibly be to pursue a content writing career?”
Well, we’re here to tell you that not everyone can become a successful content writer. It simply isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
That’s because a writer must have a certain level of dedication, commitment, passion, and self-discipline to make it work. But those who persevere also feel like there is nothing better than creating something unique and meaningful every single day.
With a freelance writing gig, the good far outweighs the bad. But that doesn’t mean one should overlook the latter.
In this blog, we wanted to discuss the double-edged sword that a freelance content writing career can be.
The Positives Of Freelance Content Writing
#1. No Formal Education Needed
First things first, you don’t need to have a degree in English or Journalism to become a freelance writer. What you do need, however, is a flair for writing, a penchant for adventure and research, the ability to engage and captivate readers with your weave of words, and the flexibility of mind to cater to people from all walks of life.
And in that sense, content writing gigs are truly inclusive.
You don’t need to put down any money upfront or get fancy certifications before you can start writing for clients. But you do need a laptop and a smoothly functioning internet connection.
Apart from these, everything that you’d need is freely available online. You can build a superb portfolio or learn about content management systems like WordPress, among other things, without worrying about loads of cash to cover the costs.
#2. Flexible Schedule
A big reason freelance writing gigs are so popular is that they allow you to structure your work day per your needs.
That means you get to choose when you want to work, how many hours you want to work, and how much time you should spend on different projects. No one is micromanaging you, either.
#3. Work From Wherever
Most freelancers work from home since they must remotely communicate and work for their clients who could be staying or working in any part of the country or the world. So, they also save on the time and cost of commuting daily.
#4. Decide Your Own Rates
As a freelancer, you get to decide how much you want to charge a client for a project. But you must be realistic about your expertise, skill level, knowledge, and your expectations when coming up with a figure.
Keep in mind that you can increase your rates as you gain more experience and expertise. And the right rates for your services will also set you apart from the competition.
#5. Explore Different Topics
No day is the same in the life of a freelance content writer. They work with a myriad of different clients, all of whom come from different industries.
So one day, you might have to do a brand review; another day, you’ll have to write emails and newsletters. The ever-changing nature of work also means you can easily diversify your portfolio!
#6. Choose Your Own Clients
Those in traditional nine-to-five jobs don’t have much choice in what projects they can take on. But a freelance content writer isn’t bound by the same constraints.
You get to choose which clients you want to work with and which types of topics interest you. That means you can build close relationships with clients you value. Over time, you can amp up your credibility and find consistent work. Plus, you’ll never get bored!
Are There Any Negatives Of Pursuing A Freelance Career In Content Writing?
Like everything else, every profession has its ups and downs, pros and cons. You should be ready to embrace them all if you pursue any line of work as a career.
As for freelance content writing, there are a few issues that you must be aware of and ready to deal with tactfully to thrive in the field.
#1. Freelancers Must Be Self-Disciplined
Being a freelancer means having a lot of freedom to do things your way. But with great power comes great responsibility.
Not only will you be solely responsible for creating quality content, but you’ll also have to find clients yourself, manage billing issues, scale your development, and establish your brand.
In short, freelance content writing is about more than finding the right set of words. Those who don’t have self-discipline rarely find success in this field as a freelancer.
#2. Inconsistent Flow Of Work
There may be some days when multiple freelance writing gigs come your way. And there may be other days when you’ll struggle to find work.
Such ups and downs are common in the life of a freelance writer
It can sometimes get really hard to find the right clients or the kind of work opportunities you like to keep yourself afloat.
Moreover, building your reputation takes time and consistent effort. And not everyone can handle such pressure when money is a constant requirement.
#3. Life Of A Self-Employed Individual
Say goodbye to health benefits, pensions, and other employee benefits if you want a freelance content writing career.
How much you earn is solely dependent on your efforts.
Additionally, you could run into difficult clients who don’t make timely payments. You’ll have to develop a workable strategy that doesn’t sour your image in the market.
Oh, and did we also mention that you’ll be responsible for filing your own taxes?
#4. Different Clients, Different Ball Games
As we mentioned a couple of points earlier, not all clients will treat you the same way or make payments on time. Some clients who are serious about their brand and its image may choose to be consistent with the payments. But you can’t be sure everyone will be.
Like every other field, some individuals could try to con you into doing their work with no intention of paying you. Others may be unable to pay you on time owing to their own financial constraints. You must be ready to face such problems.
Besides, not every client will offer the same rate or the same kind of workflow. Some may provide you with work on a daily basis, while others may need your services only once a week — or even once a month!
Again, some clients may be kind enough to offer guidance regarding how they want their write-ups to be. For instance, they may provide instructions that include a framework, keywords, reference articles, and the works. But you can’t expect that from every client.
#5. Must Know How To Negotiate & Work Your Way Up
Learning how to negotiate is an art in itself. Not every writer is good at this. Someone who is creative is rarely wise enough to negotiate a good financial deal.
That’s why it takes patience with oneself and an understanding of the industry. Understand what you’re worth in the content marketplace. Do some research. Find out how much people who perform at par with you are paid for their services.
And then approach clients for their projects. Don’t go in blind, lest you overcharge them, only to lose them, or undercharge them and lose out on hard-earned money.
Also, try to get some kind of guarantee that you’ll be paid for every project or assignment you work on.
#6. Learn How To Pick Clients & Projects
Assess your tolerance levels and the market expectations that people have from freelancers. Approach clients in a way that helps you understand their expectations correctly and also ensure those align with your preferences and expectations.
It is best to place your thoughts, ideas, and expectations at the negotiating table before you take up a client’s project if you don’t want to feel disappointed or dissatisfied later on.
So, Is A Career In Freelance Content Writing Appropriate For You?
As you can see, freelance content writers have to take the good with the bad — just like in any other profession.
This common notion — that you can start typing away on your keyboard and make tons of money — does not portray the correct picture of this line of work.
Don’t rush into this field without understanding what it entails. But if you have the tenacity and discipline needed to be your own boss, you, too, can have a fruitful career as a freelancer!