The Downsides Of Being A Freelance Writer


freelance writing


Being a freelance writer, copywriter, content writer, blogger, author or wordsmith of any variety isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and pretty blooms.

Sure, it comes with a thousand plus points, like being your own boss, working from wherever the heck you want, indulging in varied projects, the chance to be agile, always be learning and always feeling fulfilled, but like that Isaac Newton chap said, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.

Translation: this job has some downsides that you need to be aware of and prepared to do battle with. Seriously. Being a freelance writer of any kind means having a strong chin, incredible perseverance and a resilience that out does that Little Orphan Annie.

That’s why we have pulled together a list of the most complained about parts of freelancerhood; to help you know what you are getting into, and more importantly, plan how you can overcome these things. 


1- Fighting For Yourself

Anyone that thinks their industry is a dog eat dog world has never been a freelance writer.

That’s a fact. Finding work is tough, landing projects is competitive, finding clients that are willing to pay well is near impossible and trying to do battle with writers that are willing to undercut you is disheartening. Woman’s gotta eat, right?

Our advice: Know how to sell yourself. Know the value you add and know how to pitch that to people.


2- No Life Rafts

We are humans and that means we are inherently prone to falling ill, getting run down, being caught in an accident or sustaining long-term disabilities.

It’s horrendous, but it’s life. When you’re employed, these things suck. But when you are out on your own, these things are life-shattering.

If you aren’t working, you aren’t earning.

Our advice: protect yourself, something like a quick visit here could be of great help. Critical illness cover, disability insurance, income protection insurance. It’s all must-have.


3- Work/Life What?

In employment, your boss might expect you to have your phone on all the time, but you know deep down that when you walk out that door at 5.30pm, you’re done for the day.

This is a lot harder to do when you are a freelancer because that thin red line between work time and home life becomes increasingly blurred.

As said above, if you aren’t working, you’re not earning.

Our advice: set yourself a routine and stick to it. One immensely successful creative copywriter we know starts his workday at 8.30am, has a brief break at 11.00, an hour at 1.00pm and then calls it a day the moment his alarm goes off at 4.30pm. No ifs or buts. If, however, anything is left on his to-do list, he picks it up again for an hour after his kids have gone to bed.


4- Loneliness Is Real

Being a freelance writer could mean loneliness in a very literal sense of working alone, which happens a lot because most copywriters work from home alone in a quiet room.

You may be missing the companionship of co-workers or even the travel time that you had to do between home and work which allowed you to go out and see people.

As a freelance writer, you can easily work 6 to 8 hours straight without seeing a soul, and you may have the feeling that you won’t be able to go on with this loneliness forever.

Our advice: work your socks off, build a business and then employ people. That’s all you can do.


5- Keep Learning About your Craft

Even copywriters who make more than the average freelance writer’s income never cease to learn more about their craft.

The more you learn about your trade, the more you will be paid well and sought after. After all, the ones who work the least are the copywriters who don’t have to fish for jobs anymore, clients are coming to them offering them big pay for their work.

However, that didn’t happen overnight. They had to work hard, perfect their writing skills and invent their irresistible style. And once they did all of that, they had to learn how to promote themselves by putting themselves out there.

Being a copywriter can have its downsides, but if you love to write and want to be financially independent, it might be worth the effort.


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