Being a freelancer is like being a mother. The work is long, hard, and never-ending, but the rewards far outweigh what you leave behind as a nine-to-fiver.
Why I Love Being a Freelancer
There can few better jobs in the world as being a freelancer. You get to pick your own hours, set your own prices, get paid for what you do (not what others do), and work from home.
I have been freelancing myself for about 5 years now and while it doesn’t always go according to plan, and the money fluctuates dramatically, it still beats the crap out of turning up for work every day, surrounded by people you don’t like, talking bullshit you don’t agree with.
Mind you, that’s not to say that being a freelance writer is all beer and skittles, but that can wait for another post.
So here, in no particular order of importance, is why being a freelancer is the best job in the world.
1. You Don’t Have a Boss
Now don’t get me wrong, you have many bosses, but you don’t have one in the traditional meaning of the word. What I mean is that you can choose who you work for and can decide if it is worth it or not.
For example, at the moment one of my gigs is for a company based in Australia. The person is easily contactable, easy to talk to, and knows what she wants, more or less.
However, if she wasn’t, I could either decide that I wouldn’t work for her again, or I could make up my mind that it would be better to part ways. Never a great option but it is there if I want it.
Because I have more than enough work, quitting a job because the person I’m working for is a mess is a choice I have. In a nine-to-five, this would be almost impossible.
2. You Make Your Own Hours.
Again, while this is true, there is plenty that needs to be qualified. Yes, you make your own hours but at the start, they are going to be seriously long hours.
When I first started, I was working from the early hours of the morning to the er… early hours of the morning. If you’re not prepared to do the same, this life is not for you.
Good news? Once you get to the stage where you are earning $50 an article or more, then you can make your own hours.
3. There’s Plenty of Work Out There
If you are just starting out and not too fussy what you do or how much you charge, the work is there.
There are millions of blogs in the blogosphere, and most owners never keep them up-to-date. If you don’t mind taking any job until you make a name for yourself, then you’ll probably do quite well.
Put your name out there, on freelancing websites, in forums, on Craigslist. The more people see what you do, the more chance you’ll get lots of gigs.
And if you are looking for a way to search the whole of Craigslist with the click of a button, Arbitrage Underdog is what you need.
4. You Can Work from Home
For me, this is one of the best reasons for being a freelancer; especially, when the weather is crap.
There is nothing better than getting up in the morning, making some tea and toast, and then settling down in front of my computer to start work.
No travelling to work. No mass scrum on public transport during rush hour. No people elbowing me in the ribs or stepping on my toes. No paying to ride on a metro that would be illegally over-packed if it were transporting animals.
Think I’m exaggerating? Read this report from the BBC about London.
5. The Money Is Great
The best paid freelance writers make serious money, and I mean serious money. Many can work in the mornings, five days a week, and earn more than most people working a full time job.
I should point out that I’m not one of those freelancers, not yet anyway, but knowing I will be makes getting up in the mornings a lot easier.
This also means that what you earn is directly related to how hard you work, but more of that below.
6. You Earn What Your Worth
I used to be a teacher. I wasn’t the best teacher in the world, but I wasn’t the worst. I prepared lessons, marked homework, and was nice to the kids. However, there were some real lemons, and they got paid exactly what I got, and in some cases more.
Keep in mind the goal is to earn $50 per article. Keep in mind how long it will take you to write an article. Personally, I like to go the extra mile and take my time when writing, but I aim for a maximum of two hours.
Now, sit down and think how much you want to earn. Theoretically, a couple if articles a day is fine for me. That pays the bills and gives me and my family spending money each week.
We live quite simply with our biggest outgoings being rent, as I always want a nice place to live. Having said that, I go for four pieces of work a day to have a better standard of living. Again, you need to decide how much you want to do.
The point being that it’s always you who decides how much you want to work and your earnings reflect this. You’re in charge of how much you earn, not the person you work for.
7. You Will Be Happy in Your Work
I cannot stress how important this is for being a freelancer. I want you to think how happy you are now doing what you’re doing. Don’t think that things are okay. That’s what keeps you doing exactly what you’re doing.
Think of all the things in your life that you’re unhappy about, and ask yourself if there is any chance that things will change in the future. I bet I know the answer.
Now imagine all the reasons I’ve given above about why freelancing is so cool, and ask yourself if there is any reason why you shouldn’t go for it.
But I know what you’re saying to yourself, so read on to find out how to start taking action to achieve the lifestyle you’d like.
I Have Too Many Responsibilities
That’s what I thought but believe me, this is not a reason not to take action. If anything, it is even more of a reason to act as your responsibilities will not grow smaller.
If your responsibilities are at home, then you need to read some life hacks for being a stay-at-home-mum or dad. Try this to start.
Pretty much everything in life can be turned into a freelance career. Okay, if you’re a manual labourer, then you’re going to have to go the self-employed route, but for everything else, you can freelance.
Here is a list of possibilities in the just the Writing & Translation Category:
- Resumes & Cover Letters
- Product Descriptions
- Website Content
- Technical Writing
- Proofreading & Editing
- Creative Writing
- Research & Summaries
- Articles & Blog Posts
- Sales Copy
- Press Releases
- Legal Writing
- Email Copy
- Business Names & Slogans
Start small. Being a freelancer means working at nights after you get home from your J.O.B (Just Over Broke) and building yourself a reputation.
Once you are earning enough to pay the bills, take the plunge. Go for it all out and keep going. If you can make enough money to pay the bills, you can make enough money to have the life you’ve always wanted.
The only person limiting your potential is you. Believe in yourself and you can do it.
Good luck and if you’re a successful being a freelancer, leave a comment below to inspire those who are thinking about taking the next step.
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