Since the explosion of the Internet, we have noticed a major leaning towards online business and marketing by companies. Because nowadays more and more people used the internet for all kinds of matters, most experts will agree that this is an intelligent choice by companies’ CEOs. Companies do this with the intent of increasing brand awareness, attracting more clients to their websites, and capturing leads as they are coming in. To achieve this, companies rely on professionals capable of writing compelling and engaging content that drives customers to take action, that’s where freelance writers come in handy. Since the adoption of this field, both experts and the average person have questioned whether it’s worth it pursuing a career in freelance writing. In this article, we will deeply analyze freelance writing by thoroughly providing a detailed overview of what it pertains to, taking into account some of its most prominent pros and cons, how to become an expert in this career, the earnings potential, and more to help you make an informed decision when considering freelance writing in your careers option list.
1. What is Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is the kind of job where a writer gets paid to write on a variety of topics without the long-term engagement of being a member of the writing or the editorial staff of a company or agency. They are self-employed professionals, at will, they usually work for as many clients as they can and their time and skillset allow them. However, according to a post found on Mariam-Webster.com titled: The Surprising History of Freelance, Freelancing has always been a battle. Literally., the first evidence of the word freelance came into the English language in the early 1800s, it was used to refer to a medieval mercenary who would fight for whichever nation or person paid them the most.
Today, with Freelance writing you can potentially work for individual clients, agencies, companies, or publications, contracting your writing services to them, whichever gig is more suitable to you. For a company, you may write about their products and services, you may also be tasked with writing their landing page. For individual clients and agencies, you may be asked to work on different types of content like health and beauty, fitness, finance, legal, etc…
2. How does someone become an excellent Freelance Writer?
To become an excellent freelance writer you need to be very creative with the ability to think out of the box, be an outstanding hard working professional with excellent self-discipline, and be an above-average reader. You will need to set dedicated hours at your desired place to focus on your clients’ projects, you may also need to learn additional tools and technologies such as WordPress, Microsoft Word, Excel, SEO guidelines, etc...You will need to carefully choose your niche, set up a website blog, write sample works to build an outstanding portfolio, be excellent at networking and prospecting, and develop business opportunities as you go. To ensure you get the required skills to do the job and be confident with your prospects, there are many great courses out there that can help you develop the necessary competencies. Among them we can name:
Freelance University was launched by Kelly and Craig Cannings in 2008. They provide a professional development platform for freelancers, virtual assistants, and online professionals. They have trained over 16,000 freelance professionals so far. You can get their material for a few hundred bucks.
It is a course taught by Gina Horkey of Horkey Handbook. She is an excellent freelance writer who became successful in the field in a matter of months. She teaches a ton of courses on her website on freelance writing and virtual assistant services. There are many resources included with your membership and get lifetime access for $249. She also offers a three months option payment plan.
This is a course by Elna Cain. It focuses on teaching you how to earn your first thousand dollars as a freelancer. It Includes 50 lessons, a pitch review, a private Facebook group, and more. It costs $195 and includes a three-month payment plan.
3. How much can you earn as a professional freelance writer?
Freelance writers’ salaries vary deeply. Your earnings potential depends on a variety of factors such as your niche, your targeted clients, and the number of projects you successfully get contracted for. While it’s true that there are plenty of freelance writing offerings out there on the market which only pay $5 to $10 per page or some $0.09 for a beginner proofreader or $0.12 for a beginner copy editor, and even though they are lots of people who are willing to work these low amounts, surveys have shown that you can substantially earn more than that with the right clients, marketing and prospecting consistency and the right skills and/or experience.
According to a post found on Google titled: 2020 Guide To Freelance Writer Salary Potential - Medium. In the section: How much can I make as a freelance copywriter? The salaries are described as follows :
White Papers—$200+ per page
Short Info Pages—$100+ per web page
Long Sales Page—$200+
Short Marketing Emails—$200+
Salaries also vary by expertise and article length. Consider this table by Demand Jump Team in the article: How Much to Charge (or Pay) for a 500 to 1500 word Article, published on December 10, 2021
What should I charge per article?
4. What are the pros and cons of freelance writing?
Like all other industries freelancing writing comes with its piles of advantages and disadvantages which professionals have to weigh carefully when making a consideration whether to pursue a career in this field. Below are some most common pros and cons that you can encounter when freelance writing as a professional.
A) Pros of freelance writing
1. Freelance writing allows you to be more creative
When freelance writing you are free to choose the topics you are willing to write about, this enables you to explore more industries and fields. For one month you may consider working for the real estate industry and in the upcoming month you can choose to focus on Health and beauty, this will allow you to create a rewarding network and challenge you to write more compelling and brainstorming contents which comes with great benefits on the long-term.
2. You have control over your schedule as a freelance writer and have more flexibility
If you have other activities outside freelance writing you can choose which part of the day is more convenient for you to write content or focus on your other duties as long as you don’t miss deadlines. Freelance also offers you the luxury and freedom to choose where you want to work, you might decide to perform a task at your home office, at a nearby park or simply freelance while traveling to whatever destination you’ve been dreaming about, which is very difficult or even impossible to imagine when working as a full-time employee.
3. Freelance allows you to be your boss
As a freelancer, you choose your paying rates, the projects you are willing to work on, and the convenient time to perform your tasks. If you are a business-minded individual, you can set up a website and create a small agency that offers freelance writing on a variety of topics, whether you do it alone or with other like-minded successful freelancers in your field. With experience and hard-works, it can become one of the most lucrative fields you could ever work in and successfully go over six-figure earnings potential in a few years.
B) Cons of freelance writing
1. When you freelance you lose automatically lose all the employment benefits an employee generally gets.
You have to find your insurance. As an American working for a small or large company, you may be blessed with health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance offers from your employer as a set of benefits that come with the work you give to the company. There’s also no paid time off to recharge yourself, each vacation you take is on you and can potentially affect your annual income.
2. When you freelance there may be months where you have plenty of contracts and others where you have little to no projects going on.
As a freelance writer, you have to deal with this harsh reality and know how to take advantage of your productive months and carefully manage your dry seasons. At times you will feel that is the busiest field you could ever be working in and other times you may find yourself asking whether it is not a good idea to start considering finding other gigs to supplement your writing activities. Sometimes it can take days or weeks to find a client and other times clients will find you.
3. Freelancers have to be their marketers
Freelancing can be a constant job search, you need an active online presence. One way that can help is to actively screen freelancing platforms to find out if there is something that you are interested in and could provide your expertise in. You also need an active personal blogs website with your personal contact information and writing samples that clients can analyze to know if it might be a good idea to reach out to you.
5. The future of freelance writing
The future of freelance writing seems to be promising. According To the Bureau of Labor: employment of writers and authors is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 15,400 openings for writers and authors are projected each year, on average, over the decade. With such a growing projection in the writing industry, there has never been a better time for those who love writing and have a way with words to show the world their talents. While in the previous centuries you would have to mainly write books to make your way out of writing, the last two decades had proven that freelance writing is no longer a side hustle gig to earn extra money. With self-discipline, focus, and hard-works those who are writing gifted can make a living or supplement their income by simply writing blogs and/or articles for companies, agencies, and individuals.
More than ever companies and agencies consistently hire freelance writers. They do an important job of helping business owners generate revenue by writing great content on various topics to attract more potential customers to businesses’ websites. Different exceptional qualities are essential to becoming an expert in this field, some of them are gifts that you are naturally born with and others can be successfully mastered through various online platforms with a learning subscription. Freelance writers’ salaries vary based on expertise, experience, projects, prospecting skills, and the type of clients they work for. Their salaries can vary from below average to luxury living. In its best part it allows you to be more creative, control your schedule and be your boss and in the low end, it also costs you to be your marketer, to lose the benefits an employee generally gets, and not know when they’re gonna be a busy period and when you will have to deal with dry seasons. The freelance writing future is rather bright with thousands of openings projected each year for this current decade. Taking all facts discussed in this article into account, it’s up to you to decide whether to consider a career path in freelance writing or not.