DailyWritingTips

Section One: Definition and Scope

Freelance writing is a dynamic and versatile career path that opens up possibilities for individuals to write and sell their work on a per-project or contract basis without being tied to a single employer. As a freelance writer, you’re in charge of every aspect of your job!

As freelancers, we love the freedom to choose projects, set our own schedules, and often work remotely, making it such an attractive option these days.

Freelance Career vs. Traditional Employment

I took the leap and left my full-time career as an Interior Designer well over a decade ago and haven’t looked back. The benefits of working for myself, in my opinion, far outweigh anything that a traditional career could give me.

As a freelance writer and content creator, I choose my own schedule. I tell my clients when I’m available and what I can accomplish in a given amount of time. I set my rates, determine how much I earn, and handle everything else I need.

Friends and family have asked me over the years, “Don’t you miss the job security?” and my answer is always the same. I don’t believe in job security. No job is ever secure unless you are tenured at a university or under a tightly secured contract.

An employer can fire you tomorrow, an industry can turn on its head and send out a wave of layoffs, or you can seriously injure yourself from unsafe work conditions. A freelance career can turn on a dime, too. Still, I feel that I have more control over my job and my life now, and that’s worth more than any “security” an employer can offer me. 

Is It for Everyone?

No, it’s most definitely not an industry for everyone. There are many ups and downs, constant changes to algorithms and tools, and new consumer demands to meet. Basically, there is always something to learn and adapt to.

Freelance writers offer services such as content writing (articles and blogs), copywriting (ads, emails, product descriptions, etc.), and various ghostwriting services (scripts, novels, music, etc.)

For the purposes of this course, however, I’ll be focusing specifically on freelance content writing for online publications. In other words, I’ll teach you everything about professionally writing articles, guides, blogs, and other web content.

A Brief History of Freelance Writing

Fun fact: The term freelance comes from all the way back to the 1800s, during the days of hired mercenaries, a.k.a. free lances. It was later adapted to describe a politician not associated with any affiliation. In other words, an independent, a.k.a. freelancer, is someone who does work on their own terms.

Today, the term is pretty synonymous with remote, independent workers offering services online. Freelance writers can connect with clients globally, work across endless niches, and contribute to a myriad of platforms, from blogs and magazines to social media and corporate websites.

The Pros and Cons of Freelance Writing

Like everything in life, there’s the good and the bad. If you’re anything like me, you probably make pros and cons lists for every major decision. Well, I’ll take the work out of it for you and present the main pros and cons of getting into freelance writing.  

Pros

Cons

  • Total flexibility in your schedule and location
  • Diverse and endless opportunities
  • Complete control over workload and clients
  • Insane potential for high earnings
  • Responsible for own benefits (health insurance, retirement plans)
  • Responsible for taxes
  • Need good self-discipline and motivation

With that being said, the cons of freelance writing can be applied to almost any other industry, even traditional careers.