The life of a freelance writer isn’t all glitz and glamour. Before you take the plunge into freelance writing at your work-at home career choice, there are a few things to consider. While you can work from home earning money in your pajamas, there are negatives to this career choice. Here’s a list of ten of the common drawbacks of freelance writing.
1. No sick days. Sometimes you have to work while you’re sick. If you don’t, you lose money and maybe a client. Clients aren’t very forgiving unless you have a solid relationship with them and even then, sometimes their deadline is more important to them than your health and well being.
2. No medical benefits, a 401K or even a guaranteed income. You have to pay your own taxes too. This can make budgeting tricky when you take the plunge into freelance writing for a living, especially if you’re the main breadwinner in your house.
3. Pay day is not guaranteed. You may go from famine to feast and then famine again regularly and payday doesn’t come every second Friday so it can be a tricky balancing act, especially in the early days.
4. Juggling deadlines and family responsibilities can be challenging at times. You may have to give certain parties and events a miss because you have a deadline. You may feel conflicted at times when you have to let the laundry or dirty dishes pile up so you can finish an assignment. You may have to learn write with a crying baby on your lap.
5. Chasing payments isn’t fun. There are customers who aren’t as eager to pay you as they are to take your hard work. Sometimes people don’t pay on time or try to short pay or not pay at all. You have to develop skills to protect yourself and may have to act as your own collections agent part-time.
6. Freelancers can have regular work, one-off gigs and can have a great paying regular deal that might suddenly disappear. The well can dry up regularly so you have to keep a constant lookout for work.
7. Reworking and multiple edits. You can slave over something for a client and they might hate it. You have to take criticism and might have to deliver work you don’t think is as well written after your client asks for changes. You need to develop a tough skin in this business.
8. Projects can be difficult to estimate. You can underestimate prep time and working time for a project and find that it has lost you money in the end. This can be difficult but until you’re very experienced, it will probably happen.
9. Sploggers, spammers and scrapers are rampant in online markets and want to steal your work and benefit from it! Be prepared to be plagiarized.
10. You have to have a really good eye for scams. When trying to establish yourself, it’s a learning process and many new writers are scammed a few times before they become wise to all the tricks and signs of a scam.
Regardless of the negatives listed here, freelance writing can also be a great gig that can earn you money, offer a flexible home based business and can be personally fulfilling if you love to write. With time and experience, you’ll find you are able to better deal with the downsides of writing for a living.