Written by: Anuva Kakkar
Last year, in 2019, I was asking myself the same questions which you are asking yourself at this moment - Is it even possible to have a living out of freelance content writing? How is it like to make freelancing my active source of income?
I have been there at your place. Therefore, today, in this article, without playing with facts, I will honestly share the perks and drawbacks of being a freelance content writer. I am aware of the questions revolving in your head and therefore, I will make sure to answer most of them by the end of this article.
The Good About Freelance Content Writing
Freelance content writing is gaining immense traction and hence, it is evident that there is something golden about it. With availability of freelance platforms such as Fiverr, freelancer.com, Upwork, etc, India is observing sizeable growth in the content industry.
And yes, freelancing comes with exceptional perks. I am sharing, from my set of experiences, what I admire the most about freelance content writing. Your experience can be different, feel free to share with us in the comment section.
Good#1: Liberty to earn as much as you can:
In freelancing, you are responsible for every part of your financial success and there is no limit on how much money you can make. In the initial phase, you will find it difficult to make a living. However, once you figure out how the freelancing system works, you can earn a decently good amount. To give an honest picture, I started from somewhere around Rs 8,000/ month and now I am making approximately Rs28,000/ month in four months of full-time freelance content writing experience. I know my seniors from this business who make 80,000 to a lakh every month. The more you work, the more you experience and the more you earn.
Good #2: You can work from anywhere around the globe:
This is my personal favourite. The sole reason why I started freelancing was to travel. It gives you location independence. Indian girl, Shivya Nath, who travels around the world and works as a freelance writer is an accurate example of this point. As per your preference, you can choose to work from home and spend time with your family, work from cafes and spend time eating, work from your favourite destination and enjoy your sunset view.
Good #3: You have several sources of income:
Unlike typical jobs where you get a monthly salary from your office. Here, in freelancing, there is no restriction on the number of clients you work with. Diversification is the key. The maximum at a time, I worked for 4 clients simultaneously and hence, freelancing allows keeping your eggs in different baskets.
Good #4: You can work when you are most productive:
There is no need to work from 9-5. You can choose to work when you feel most active as per your chronotype. Just maintain a daily routine to achieve higher productivity. Whether you work from 9 am - 5 pm or 8 pm - 5 am.
Good #5: Networking and new connections:
Through freelancing, you get to talk to people whom you have never met and sometimes, you end up making close connections with your clients or mentors. This opens up doors for various other opportunities. I find platforms like Linkedin and Goodwall to be very useful in building great connections and getting work.
Good #6: You become a strong personality:
The benefits of freelancing knows no boundaries. When you take charge of your entire work system from finding clients for yourself to managing your inconsistent cash flow and saving, you become extremely strong and unbeatable human. Moreover, when you work as a freelancer, you get to study a diverse range of topics which leads to your enhanced knowledge.
The Bad About Freelance Content Writing
Do you know over 10 million articles are present on google that state the advantages of freelance content writing? However, there are a few harsh truths about freelancing which you should deeply understand before taking the decision. Again, these are coming directly from my personal experience and yours can be different.
Bad #1: No Provident Fund:
As an employee of a private or public company, there is a contribution of a fixed percentage from employees and employer’s salary every month which goes into the Employee’s provident fund. It is done so that during working years, employees can save some amount every month which they can use post-retirement. Now, as a freelancer, there is no EPF account. I take this as a big drawback because PF is a very smooth way for future savings without using too much brain. However, now, I have to take complete care of my finances and keep a certain amount separate for long-term savings.
Bad #2: Inconsistent Cash Flow:
I took a survey through the Instagram question feature, where I asked freelancer friends how much they make every month. I received 100% responses with the same answers that there is nothing fixed. According to my experience as well, freelancing comes with huge risk at least in the initial phase. One month, you might make Rs 45,000 and in another month, you can come down to Rs 18,000.
Bad #3: Panic Attacks:
You can get anxiety attacks when there is no work or there is chaos at work as working for more than two clients comes with a lot of responsibilities. As such, self-care becomes even more important to keep your sanity in check.
The Ugly About Freelance Content Writing
It is not an easy task. Hence, the percentage of people who quit freelancing in the first year is higher than people who carry on. Though, one should not quit too early as it is just like a business i.e. it takes time to grow. Now, according to my journey till now, the below-mentioned two points are those which I others dislike the most.
Ugly #1: The hustle never stops, forget about your comfort zone:
Freelancers life is not something you see on Instagram. It is not sitting on the side of a beach with a cup of coffee in my hand and laptop on the side. In reality, it is sitting on the beach without gazing the view and typing continuously while my hot coffee turns cold. Moreover, forget about working 8 hours a day. Freelancing comes without the time and you might end up working more than 12 hours every day.
Ugly #2: It is most likely that you end up getting less than you deserve:
To prepare one kickass piece of content which matches the reader's intent and gets into the heart of the audience directly is an outcome of a plethora of efforts. The copy which you read has gone through an infinite number of research, edits, and corrections. However, it is a sharp truth that content writers are not highly paid as compared to other freelance workers.
I have quick five tips from my journey which can help you get a better insight on how to get started and work effectively.
Tip #1- Do an internship or a full-time job in the content industry for a few months to get the knowledge quickly from others on the basics of writing and writing softwares such as WordPress.
Tip #2- Become a pro at research work. I have my own 60:40 rule which says that whatever time I have to write an article, I shall devote 60% of my time for researching across that topic and 40% in writing. This is one basic rule to stand out and make your articles information-rich.
Tip #3- Become strong with the basics. Write what is readable. Put yourself in the shoe of the reader, this actually works.
Tip #4- Diversify your client base smartly. You can also work with foreign clients through fiverr.com as those $30 per blog posts mean a lot for us.
Tip #5- Do your work with the utmost integrity, passion and self-discipline.
“Freelance content writing is ready to go a long way. With each business coming online, the requirement for content writers is getting high. All the best! You will make it".