10 Things to Know Before Deciding to Become a Freelance Writer

So you have reached the point where you trust yourself enough to make the big and somewhat scary decision of making a career out of freelance writing. Kudos to you because the industry of freelancing is not a platter of bread and honey. Thus making such a decision means you are strong enough to leverage your income and career span on your solely on temporary gigs.

Whiles many people will kill for permanent jobs, you are confident enough that you can survive on contracts. Contrary to the name, which may sound like an easy thing to a layman because of the word “free”, freelancing needs as much or even more seriousness in order to succeed than the permanent gigs.

Freelancers are kind of self – employed individuals who go out to seek for temporary contracts to work on independently so I like to view freelancers as entrepreneurs. I am not wrong in thinking in that line, right? So just like entrepreneurs assume the risks in their job and keep their guard up with precautionary measures against these dangers, so do freelancers.

Precautionary measures are in so many forms but the effective ones are those hidden up our sleeves ready for combat. In the freelancing business, some effective precautionary measures are certain things you need to know about the industry once you have decided to be a part of it.

Nobody wants to get hit in the face or thrown off course by unexpected events because they are not fun at all and I know you have been there and have experienced it. Bet it still tastes like bile to somebody somewhere.

If you have certainly decided that you will become a freelance writer knowing well that you may face inevitable money issues, battle anxiety and work by yourself, then the following factors won’t frighten you into retracting your decision.

Struggles of the Freelance Writing Domain

1. It’s a Lonely World

Freelance writing is a solitary kind of work and requires spending time alone to work on all the assignments you have. In the starting stages, it will be exciting since you will have no boss to answer to and there will be no pesky colleagues to bother you. But what happens on the days when you have no assignments, no personal engagements or literally nothing to do? This is where it gets tough because times like this for a freelance writer will come.

2. You have to work hard to get good writing Contracts.

Ever heard that the best things in life require hard work and grits? In the freelancing industry, you need to make this saying your mission and vision. Of course amazing and well-paying contracts will fall into your laps by chance sometimes but majority of the time, you will need to get up and work towards it. In this business, remember that you are accountable to yourself so all meetings, calls, negotiations and proposals have to be made by you.

3. Assignments and Clients may be Awful

There will come a time when you may meet some clients who will become a nightmare in your life and give you assignments with impractical targets or expectations. If you can deal with them fine. But if it becomes too much to bear, they are not worth the money, move on. You don’t want a client badmouthing you to others even though they were responsible for creating the bad work experience.

4. You’ll Need to Know the Art of Self Marketing

Who knew that a freelance writer needed to have marketing skills? Freelance writers have to talk about themselves a lot. That’s one of the ways to promote and market themselves. Therefore as a freelance writer, you can’t be all private and quiet. You have to put yourself out there for business. Also, consider putting up your profile on top employment websites to be headhunted.

5. There will be a point where you will be broke

In the initial stages where you do not have enough clients to keep you afloat, your income pool may run dry. But once you strive to build a client base and do well in marketing yourself, your finances will shape up nicely.

6. Payments may delay or not come at all.

Some clients you work with may not pay you on time due to whatever issues may arise or some may try to find faults with your work not meeting the mark and withholding your payments. This is the reason why you have to save from all payments you get no matter how small they are to fall back on in case you find yourself in such unpleasant situations. Also, you will have to adopt some toughness to demand and take what is due you.

7. You will have to learn to say NO

As a freelance writer who is handling all aspects of the business by yourself, it could become overwhelming considering all the things you will have to juggle. When things are too tight, beware not to take on more writing gigs since it is highly possible you will mess up and anger your clients. Don’t think too much of the money, your reputation and consistency is much more important to keep since they are some of the indicators of your success as a freelance writer.

8. You are responsible for Motivating Yourself

In this kind of lonely job, you will have to constantly learn new ways to motivate yourself to work hard. If you don’t want your freelance writing career to be short-lived, this is a department you have to invest in. Merely switching up your workspace from home to a coffee shop could be the answer on certain days.

9. You have to master the skill of Communication

If you don’t communicate well with your clients, you may end up missing deadlines or producing wrong work. You don’t want to be at the other side of a misunderstanding so do well to avoid this by listening well and being assertive.

10. Be ready to face the Physical Effects Associated

As a freelance writer spending loads of time typing away or poring over research, the physical effects of this may manifest. You can have headaches, back, shoulder and neck issues including mental fatigue. What you can do is to find ways to avoid these by exercising, taking breaks to rest and eating properly.

These are 10 things you may have to face as a freelance writer but now that you know this prior to starting out, I am sure you will be riding over them when they arrive. And there are some you will totally swerve.

Have all the fun freelancing and use the free time you get to pick up a fulfilling hobby.


This post is contributed as Guest post by Dela Asiome.

Dela is a warm christian lady who likes to share her thoughts with others through writing. Her passion for guiding people through life with bits of knowledge rule her world.

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