I’ve often thought about the many, many benefits I experience regularly from becoming a freelance writer.
I’ve quit my regular job/s (and quit having to look for shitty jobs in general).
I’ve had so many different jobs throughout my working life that it’s not even funny. I’ve delivered pizza, been a bartender, assistant restaurant manager, social media manager, entrepreneur, tour van driver, limo driver, sound engineer, landscaper, bagel maker, thrift store employee, and many more good and awful jobs along the way!
But now, after becoming a digital nomad and traveling much of the world while getting paid as a freelance writer this past couple of years, I can share some honest to god, life-changing benefits that come with being a freelance writer. So, without further ado, here are my 12 reasons why now is a great time to become a freelance writer.
Table of Contents
- 1. Work from home as a freelance writer (or from anywhere in the world!)
- 2. Freelance writers work when they want
- 3. Say goodbye to commuting forever
- 4. Become a freelance writer to become your own boss
- 5. Deciding how hard you want to work (and how much you want to get paid)
- 6. Control your financial destiny through freelance writing
- 7. Freelance writing can bring job security
- 8. The entire economy is shifting toward freelance workers anyway
- 9. Freelancing means varied and interesting work
- 10. Becoming a freelance writer requires low startup cost
- 11. Become a better writer by strengthening your creative muscle
- 12. Gain happiness and freedom through freelance writing
1. Work from home as a freelance writer (or from anywhere in the world!)
This, for me, was one of my very biggest priorities in finding an alternative to working normal jobs in a physical workplace.
I dreamt of gradually waking up at 9 or 10 am, rolling out of bed, and while still in my underwear, getting started on my day’s work and bringing home the bacon – from home, while in my underwear!
Yes, it sounds like a lazy person’s dream. But, that’s okay! I was damn sick of having to always play by someone else’s rules and show up to some job and work under whatever conditions existed there, and with those people.
Now, for sure, many companies and jobs are pretty okay, and many people you may end up working with turn out to be awesome. I’ve met a lot of genuinely cool people and made friends with my coworkers and even some of my bosses, but the truth is, I always felt kind of like a slave having to show up when and where for x amount of time… etc.
So, yes, for me, working from home (or anywhere for that matter!), was, and is, a crucial reason why being a freelancer writer rocks.
As a side note, many of you are probably like I was and really want to find a way to get paid online in order to travel the world. Becoming a freelance writer has allowed me to travel full time and now live abroad in South East Asia.
So, yes, it’s completely and utterly awesome in that regard.
2. Freelance writers work when they want
Say goodbye to alarm clocks, if that’s your desire. Because, becoming a freelancer, and in the case of this article, a freelance writer, means you set your own hours and work whenever you damn well please.
Now, there are many reasons to maintain a healthy sleep schedule and wake up at a decent time every day (like staying productive, fulfilling your other life goals like exercising, etc.) But, as a freelancer, you have the final say and control over your time. You can choose to stay up all night and sleep until 2 pm if you so desire.
You may be the type to want to pump out a lot of work to make a fat load of cash every week and month. More power to you! You can do that as a freelance writer.
Others may have more interest in simply gaining more, way more, free time to focus on just being alive, or doing whatever the heck you want.
The latter was me when I first started a couple of years ago. My dream was to live on a beach and just chill for much of the day, and so that’s what I did!
I worked a couple of hours a day, maximum, then spent the rest of the time just hanging out doing leisurely pursuits, making new friends, and purely relaxing.
So, freelance writing is awesome for controlling when you want to work, and when you don’t.
3. Say goodbye to commuting forever
This reason goes along with reason number one, being able to work from home or anywhere in the world.
Gone are the days when you are forced to get dressed, hurry up and get out the door, only to fight traffic for 45 minutes or more to then hunt (or pay) for a parking spot so you can shuffle into work on time and not be yelled at by your boss for being late.
Sound familiar? Yes, well, with being a freelancer you don’t have to do any of that unless you were meeting with an important client, assuming you were doing local work. Even in this case, you’re still working for yourself and you’re not going to get yelled at.
4. Become a freelance writer to become your own boss
Oh, yes… For many people, being their own boss is a dream come true. How many of us have loathed going to work because our boss, well, sucked??
For me, I had many bosses, some good and some shitty.
But, it was my time to take control of my work, my time, my appearance, and my freedom.
With freelancing, you choose what, when, and how you do everything that you do, or don’t do. You are your own boss.
The two things I’d add to this, however, is that having clients as a freelancer can pretty much be similar to bosses, in some ways.
You have to meet client deadlines.
Your clients can reject your work unless you make changes.
Your clients can be needy, harsh, rude, or just not amazing in some way, but you need to suck it up and do what they ask if you want their money.
Now, there are many ways to deal with problem clients and just find great clients in general. I’ll delve into that in another article soon.
The other thing about being your own boss – sometimes being your own boss can suck!
By that, I mean that sometimes we aren’t very good at being a boss. We don’t force ourselves to do as much, or as good, or as fast as we should.
Sometimes we should stay inside and pump out a ton of writing to finish a job that’s approaching a deadline or get a head start on a new project to get paid that much sooner. Instead, however, we let our lazy side win for the day and wander off to go play or do anything but work.
For these reasons, not having an official “boss” is not always as amazing as it may seem… but I would still choose it ten times out of ten.
5. Deciding how hard you want to work (and how much you want to get paid)
So, here’s a thought: what if you could work hard and make a lot of money, serious money, livable income money?
Or, what if you could choose to spend most of your free time enjoying your day, traveling, or playing with your kids, or pets?
What if you could do either? Or, do one for a month, then switch it up the next month to either load your bank account or catch up on some sweet personal time?
The beauty of being a freelance writer, or any kind of freelancer, is that yes, in the words of Obama, “yes, we can!”
We can have both. We can have it our way. And, if we change our minds next week or next month, then that’s okay. We can do it that way.
6. Control your financial destiny through freelance writing
Yes, we can! (control our financial destiny).
Going right along with the last reason, reason #6 is about becoming a freelance writer in order to take control over your financial life.
If you don’t make enough at your current job, if you are scraping by financially, freelancing can be a great choice.
If you are in debt, freelancing can be a great choice.
If you feel underpaid or undervalued in your current job or role, freelancing can be a great choice.
If you have big expenses, a new child, a new mortgage, or student loans to pay off, freelancing can be a great choice for you my friend.
It’s pretty simple. Just like the last reason pointed out how freelance writers get paid as much or as little as they choose to depending on how much they want to work, this step is about how to control your financial destiny through freelance writing.
Now, there is a lot of info out there on how to get paid more for the work that you do. And, I have an article in the works about just that very topic.
In a nutshell, you can get paid as a freelance writer a wildly varying amount, depending on what kind of writing you do, your niche, your experience, and so on. Anywhere from $5 an article here and there on up to $100k or more a year! (Yes, it’s possible.)
But, one of the main ways to make more money from freelance writing is to present yourself as the professional you are (or are becoming) and go after high-paying clients as a professional would.
This can mean skipping content sites such as Upwork, etc., and cold-emailing small businesses or online companies directly. For this, you’ll need to have a snazzy-looking writing business website set up and looking decent. Then, research companies in your chosen niche that may be willing to hire you for your time and skills.
See, as you become a freelance writer, you will encounter many opportunities to write articles and such for peanuts. Yes, peanuts, or just enough money to go buy a bag of peanuts pretty much.
Websites like Upwork, Freelancer.com, Fiverr, etc. are full of less than amazing opportunities. Many of these are simply Not Worth Your Time! (Except for just starting and needing some positive reviews to get you going). People that want to pay $5 or $10 for you to spend a couple of hours writing for them! It’s crazy…
But, there are a ton of quality, legitimate, worth-your-time freelance writing jobs out there too, you just have to find them. Many people give Upwork.com a bad rap for being too hard to find quality work, but I disagree. I’ve been making $1500-$2000 a month working very part-time (under 25 hours a week on the very high end) from Upwork. For me, that is great. Yes, I have plans on increasing my income through blogging, but more on that another time!
7. Freelance writing can bring job security
What? Becoming a freelance writer can give you more job security? Well, hear me out.
Let’s say you work at Bob’s Burger stand flipping burgers for a living. You wake up and don’t have to worry about finding work because you have a J O B – you work at Bob’s Burgers. Well, what happens if one day Bob the owner decides to sell the company and move to Costa Rica or what if Bob’s been eating too many of his own burgers and has a heart attack and dies? Will you still have a job? Maybe not.
One of the perks of being a freelance writer is that you can go online and wrangle up some new work just about anytime you want. If you finish one job, or if a client suddenly changes their mind and cancels your contract, you can just go out and get more work.
Now, if you are an employee of Bob’s and he shuts the company down suddenly, you could be shit out of luck as you realize that no one else in town is hiring! Or, the only person hiring is the sewer and water department, and you hate the smell of s#it… you get the idea 😉
Freelance writers can find new income sources fast thanks to online sites like Upwork and/or their own content writing sales funnels (their own writing business websites and independent outreach efforts). And, the writing business is BOOMING. There are tens of thousands of clients needing high-quality writing work done for their business website or other material. Go get it!
8. The entire economy is shifting toward freelance workers anyway
Yes, this is a real trend. Take a look at this infographic from Upwork.com. The number of people who freelance, ie. independent contractors is on pace to outnumber strictly traditional workers very shortly!
There are many reasons why we’re moving toward a freelance economy. Some of them include changing employer laws involving full-time employees, businesses wanting to cut expenses (see the previous sentence), more businesses finding innovative ways to get work done, etc.
The world is changing and the better armed you are for the changes the better. And, don’t think this is some far-off thing happening in the future after you retire… this trend is already well underway!
Don’t even get me started about AI, robotics, and automation… People, take care of yourselves and move with the times! Don’t get left behind.
9. Freelancing means varied and interesting work
Some people want to sit in an office and do the same thing every day for the rest of their lives… Really? I just made that up. I hope it’s not true. lol
But, something I enjoy is having different kinds of work regularly.
For a few months, I might have one writing job, then it will change and I’ll get to write about something totally different for a new client.
This keeps things fresh and interesting.
As a freelance writer, you can choose your clients and what kind of writing you do. It’s all up to you!
10. Becoming a freelance writer requires low startup cost
Becoming a freelance writer is not that expensive or difficult! It could be free, assuming you have a computer and some decent writing skills already.
What does a freelance writer need?
They need a computer or word processor of some sort. This could be a 7-year-old hand-me-down laptop or a brand new state-of-the-art multi-screen computer setup. It could even theoretically be a smartphone! It could even be a library card because they have computers you can use for free.
Other than that, you will need some writing skills. You do not have to be the world’s greatest writer to earn a real, legitimate living writing as a freelancer. But, almost all of us could use a little more education or freshening up when it comes to writing or the Business of writing.
There ain’t no shame in investing a little money in a writing course, and every writer should be reading quite a bit.
If you’re not a big reader, start reading – anything. Go find some topics or niches of non-fiction, fiction, articles, newspapers, whatever. The more you read the better.
If you are a big reader, that is awesome! You are most definitely already a better writer than non-readers because of that. Go out and read more non-fiction and while you’re at it, pick up some highly recommended books on the craft of writing.
Taking some steps to invest in yourself and your writing will make you a better writer and allow you to make a lot more money.
Now, there is something that any freelance writer should have and that’s a proper portfolio and/or writing business website.
What are these and why? A great writing portfolio website and/or a professional writing business website, both with a legit domain name, can and should be part of every freelance writer’s strategy because of a couple of reasons:
1. You need a proper writing portfolio to show potential clients that you can write good. Ahem… That you can write well. That you are a great writer and that they would be fools to not hire you!
2. This portfolio should be with a proper domain like JaneWriter.com or something that just is more professional than what you can get for free (like janewriter7745962.freecrappysite.com)
3. You need a proper business website if you’re going to go after small (or large) businesses as an independent content provider. You will become EloquentContent.com or something (I just made that up but it probably already exists…) Along with decent web design, this will help you stand out as a quality content provider that can deliver for a potential business client’s bottom line.
4. You can use your website hosting (if you’re smart and go the hosting route) to start a blog that can eventually bring you real money blogging about a niche you are passionate about. Yes, this is an awesome strategy. If you love writing you should have it as a goal! Why not…!
So, startup costs include a computer of some sort, books, possibly a couple of good writing courses (or other means to raise your writing skills), and getting yourself some proper website hosting to use as your portfolio, business website, and money-making blog down the road.
11. Become a better writer by strengthening your creative muscle
Are you an aspiring novelist or author? Do you fancy yourself a poet or dream of being a literary star someday?
Well, the more you put words on paper, or screens, the more your writing skills are going to flourish.
Becoming a freelance writer has the added benefit of making you a much better writer, which you can use in your creative pursuits.
I can tell you that even writing this little 4,000-word essay on why you should become a freelance writer is adding to my bucket of writing experience – my well that I can draw from as I go on to fulfill my dreams of being a legit writer, whether as a novelist or just prolific blogger extraordinaire…
The point is, if you want to be a great writer of any capacity, you need to write, write and write some more to grow that muscle in your brain. Becoming a good or great writer doesn’t happen miraculously or overnight. It comes from years of blood, sweat and tears shed in front of a typing machine.
12. Gain happiness and freedom through freelance writing
To wrap up this post, let’s just be as deep and serious as possible.
Becoming a freelance writer is taking ownership of your life and giving yourself the freedom and ability to create your life however you’ve dreamt it to be.
Learning how to become a freelance writer opens doors that you may never have thought possible.
-Work from home
-Say goodbye to your boss forever
-Travel the world
or, stay at home if you’d like
-Spend more time with your friends and loved ones
-Have the time to cultivate passion projects and your pursuits
-Pay off debt and save for retirement
-Just about anything else you can dream of…
If you enjoy writing and are looking for a new way to work and earn money on your terms, I implore you to pursue freelance writing. It has changed my life in more ways than I could’ve ever imagined.
Best of luck to you.