Freelancing has become more common as the Internet and Wi-Fi allow people to work from just about anywhere. For businesses, hiring freelancers helps balance the budget and get talented work exactly when it’s needed. However, freelancing is a unique experience, different from working for an employer and owning a traditional business.
Working by oneself is not new. Artists, writers, and craftsman have worked commissioned jobs for centuries. Patrons commissioned work for their homes, the church, and public works. If you take a walk through Rome, Italy, you will see numerous examples of work done by famous artists who were, in essence, freelancers.
Much of current freelance writing is used for marketing on the Internet. Freelance blog writers, article writers and social media experts ply their talents for a range of customers. However, there are some unexpected surprises for new freelancers that need to be considered.
1. Time Constraints
Writing takes more time than most people expect. Unless you are an expert at your topic, you will have to do research. In addition, every subject has developments and discoveries that require continued learning. For each writing assignment, you will have to plan, execute, and revise the piece. Therefore, you need to plan for more time than it actually takes to physically write.
Yep, dealing with people can be difficult and fraught with misunderstandings. If you are freelancing, you can’t get away from people. The customer is the final decision-maker on projects. Therefore, if you don’t want to deal with people, freelancing is not the job for you.
3. The Ebb and Flow
Freelance writers often do not control their schedule. They may have to work on the weekend or late at night. One week can be full of work, while the next week is empty. Steady clients suddenly stop ordering from you due to budget constraints or a change in needs. To achieve balance, it is best to bank your earnings for slower times.
4. Support Group
New freelancers can get isolated because they work at home alone. However, with the abundance of freelance writers in the current market, networking groups and writer support groups abound. Not only can these groups help you connect with other writers, you can also find new clients through them. Look for writers’ groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, or in your community.
5. Career Salary
Freelancing is not for the faint-of-heart, however you can build a full-time income. If you have excellent technical writing skills and you can write in several tones and styles, you will find that talented writers are needed more than ever.
The Internet has cultivated a need for written content, website content, image and video commentary, informational papers, and social media content. This list doesn’t even begin to cover other written materials such as brochures, technical manuals, and copywriting for printed materials. By establishing yourself as an expert in a niche subject, you will have clients seeking out your knowledge.
Paula A can usually be found in her favorite chair with her feet propped up on an ottoman quietly typing on her laptop and sipping iced coffee while chaos reigns around her.