A writing career sounds exciting to those outside of the inner content circle, but long-time freelance writers know the work it requires to make a living. It’s definitely not all glorious, and you have to be willing to put in the hours, develop your writing skills and work with a wide range of clients to make a full-time living in the gig economy. But there are also many benefits of freelance writing, and we asked some of our top content creators to talk about them.
They all had interesting things to say about the positives of freelance work, many times saying it was difficult to pick just one benefit to share. We’ve compiled their answers to give you these nine top benefits of freelance writing.
1. Great Way to Earn Flexible Money
Drew Berger, a professional marketer who manages a team of copywriters for a growing agency, says he loves that freelancing lets him “scale up and down based on needs and availability.”
“Over the years,” says Berger, “I’ve been able to use freelance writing as a primary income that I was able to support myself with, but it’s also been a great option for supplementary income.”
That’s the great thing about freelancing. You choose whether you want to do it part-time, full-time, during your Netflix binge sessions or not at all for a few days or weeks.
2. Work on a Diverse Range of Projects
That flexibility doesn’t just cover money matters and scale, though. Selina Kyle is a nomadic writer who successfully combines her love of writing with seasonal campground hosting. She says that being able to work on so many different projects is a big win for her when it comes to freelance writing.
“You can choose a diversity of projects and goals that help you avoid mind-numbing routines and mundane writing assignments,” she says.
Olive Armstrong has been a freelance writer since 2011 and adds to this sentiment. “Freelancing allows me to write on a wide variety of topics, so writing never gets stale. Time never, ever drags when you’re freelancing. If you’re watching the clock, it’s probably because you’re racing to meet a deadline.”
3. The Freedom to Work Where You Want
We can’t sing the praises of working as a freelance writer without mentioning pajamas, right? Kyle says, “You can work wherever you want, which includes at home in your PJs (my personal favorite).”
Several of our freelancers talked about pajamas, but they also get the chance to work in a variety of places including local libraries and coffee shops, restaurants, outdoors on decks or near pools, while riding in cars, planes and trains and, in at least one case, in a tree house.
4. Freelance Writing Offers Opportunities for Work/Life Balance
All that freedom has some great knock-on effects for the life of a freelancer — if you’re smart about how you manage your workflow. Here’s how some of our best content producers are taking advantage of the benefits of freelance writing to live the rest of their lives to the fullest.
Leigh DuBois arranges her writing schedule around the things that make life enjoyable. “I love being able to arrange when I work around my life. If I want to go hiking or shopping on a weekday afternoon, I don’t have to miss work. I just work before I go or when I get home. I can even take the whole day off if I want to do that.”
Clarissa Howard loves that freelance writing jobs let her spend time with loved ones. “I’m able to work from home or on the go. I’m able to spend plenty of time with my husband and my children, who are still very young, and we’re usually able to plan vacations and family time without much concern for my work schedule.”
Tom Emerson is a freelance writer and professional musician who leverages the gig economy to ensure he has opportunities for exploring another type of gig. “Working remotely with a flexible schedule has given me the freedom to say ‘yes’ to many gigs and opportunities that I would never have been able to if I worked in an office.”
5. You Can Build Your Writing Experience
Of course, the stronger your writing skills, the better the chances that you can work from home and enjoy many of these benefits. Which is why we love that many of our pros mention building your portfolio and writing experience as a benefit of freelancing.
Mickey David has spent plenty of time in classrooms to learn the art of writing, but he says freelancing has been a huge boon to his growth. “By working with hundreds of clients on a large variety of projects, I was able to refine my writing skills beyond what I learned in a classroom. In just a few years I went from being unpublished to being a published writer with five credits to my name. That was meaningful growth that I can almost entirely attribute to freelance writing.”
Plus, it’s not just the craft of writing that you learn about as a freelancer. Writer David B. says, “You learn a lot. I’ve written — and learned — about the importance of grandparents in a child’s life, what caffeine does to your brain, famous muscle cars, where to go camping in Oregon and how to clean my air ducts.”
6. You Are Free to Say No to Work
David B. also notes that as a freelancer, you’re in control of what work you do and don’t do — a freedom some writers may often overlook. He says, “When an assignment just looks too baffling or overwhelming, you can step away. There’s no boss to force you to plow forward because you’re your own boss.”
7. You Get to Help People With Your Content
But the satisfaction of earning money on your own terms and potentially helping others causes many freelancers to drive themselves toward constant success. David B. points out that sometimes, what you’re writing is going to make a difference in someone else’s life. He provides a few examples, saying, “I’ve written articles to help people learn how to prevent falls in the shower, why they should get their vitamin D levels tested and how to choose a mattress.”
8. You Save Money on Traditional Work Expenses
If you’re a savvy freelancer writer, you get all these benefits while saving money you might spend on a traditional job. Emerson notes, “I really appreciate the efficiency of working from home and not commuting. I’ve had other ‘flexible’ jobs like restaurants and retail, but the commuting hours really took a bite out of my hour-by-hour earnings.”
Not commuting was a perk most of our freelancers named. Sapphire Knight, who has been writing since 1998, pointed out that while freelancers don’t get the paid-time off that many traditionally employed people do, there are other benefits that make up for it. She says, “Freelancing made it easy for me to make a living while dealing with health issues that would have taken me out of the workforce.”
Other expenses or traditional work elements that freelancers seem happy to avoid include spending money on office-appropriate clothing, the cost of paying for meals when working out of the home and the mental cost associated with office politics and gossip.
9. You Can Usually Choose “Overtime” When Big Expenses are Looming
Freelancing offers another big financial perk. You’re never tied to a specific weekly pay or salary. While our freelance writers love that they can stop working to live their life, they also appreciate that the opposite is true. When push comes to shove in the personal budget, good freelancers can usually choose to put in the overtime to make more money.
Simona Osborn writes in the cannabis industry and says she loves that she can determine when she has time to work on projects for additional income that aren’t part of her regular work. Dubois concurs, saying, “If I feel like putting in a marathon work session, like if a big bill is coming due, I have that option, too.”
Discover the Benefits of Freelance Writing for Yourself
The consensus is in, and freelance writers definitely love the freedom they can leverage to manage their own finances, live their own life and work outside of normal spaces and schedules. If these perks sound promising to you, consider applying for freelance writing jobs at Crowd Content and joining the gig economy.