Advice From A Writer About Going Freelance

I’ve been a blogger for just over six years now, and it’s been something of a part-time job/hobby. About three years in, I started to get paid for the content I was writing, and it suddenly occurred to me that I could make this a full-time venture. I’ve always loved writing and have been writing from a young age. I’d write short stories and act out scenes that I’d written and still to this day, I have dreams of writing my own crime/thriller book. So writing has definitely been in my blood since I was a child.

Being a blogger was something I started doing to simply inform my parents of what I was getting up to once I was out of university. I moved down to London in the hopes of being a performer, but as my readership grew and the opportunities of blogging got bigger, I found myself shifting to a different career path than I intended on having.

Photo by Natalie Redman

 

Going Freelance

October 2019 was the month and year I decided to take the plunge. I’d been swaying back and forth from wanting to leave my job sooner to thinking that I didn’t have enough money to go freelance and to maintain it. However, I realized that as I had in the summer of 2019, I was making more than what I made in my full-time office job as a receptionist. I also knew that I could do so much more in life, and as much as I loved being a receptionist, it was holding me back.

Going freelance isn’t easy because the hardest thing you have to get your head around is that there’s never a guarantee of work. When you’re in a full-time job, you are more or less guaranteed to earn the same amount of money each month. There are a lot more risks that come with being a freelancer, and that’s probably what puts people off from doing it.

 

Things To Consider Before Going Freelance

When you’re deciding on whether to go freelance or not, you have to consider a few things. I remember going to a conference as a blogger and asking a fellow influencer and blogger who had gone full-time, when is the right time to take the plunge. Her response was ‘There’s never a right time, just go for it’. And as much as I agree with that, I would probably want to add on that you’ll know when it’s the right time to do it. I have always been someone who is money-conscious, and if I were going freelance at a younger age, I probably would have done it sooner. However, you have responsibilities to think about as you get older, and for me, I had a wedding to save for and a mortgage to pay.

And for me, even going freelance in October with the knowledge that I had enough money, was still terrifying. It’s the fear of the unknown and not knowing what you might earn from month to month. You also want to consider sickness and holiday pay when going freelance as that’s something you won’t get as a freelancer. When you’re self-employed, you don’t have those benefits that a company can give you, and that’s something you need to factor in. The positives that might outweigh that though is you get to decide your own hours, and you can take time off whenever you want. That flexibility is something that you might not necessarily get with a company that you work for.

 

What I Wish I Knew Before Going Freelance

There have definitely been a few scary moments during my freelance career, and the most prominent is the recent COVID-19 pandemic. I’m grateful that the area of freelance work that I do is all done online, and so even though there have been budget cuts with clients I’ve worked with and continue to work with, I’ve not been affected too much compared to other freelancers in different industries. For example, freelancers who work in the arts or events are suffering incredibly at the moment as their work relies on audiences showing up to venues.

This virus has taught me that I shouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket and that when it comes to freelancing, you should have a mixture of clients. Don’t just stick with those that provide the most of your work because if they went under tomorrow, you’d be left with very little. Always be looking for new clients and new avenues of work. As a writer, I do blogger content for my own website and then writing for clients. The clients will either post it on their own website or have it as a guest post on other websites. It’s a nice feeling to know that a lot of content that I’ve written is all over the internet.

 

Think About The Money

Money isn’t the be-all and end-all, but it certainly helps to be conscious about it when it comes to being a freelancer. I have an emergency fund set up so that in the event I don’t have a good month of work, I can rely on that fund to see me through until it picks up. It’s something that everyone should have regardless of the job they have, but it’s even more important for a freelancer. Having savings can be a great way of making sure that you’re covered for the tough times that you might end up going through. The last thing you want to be worrying about is money when you’re already stressing out about the lack of work.

Going freelance isn’t for everyone, but it certainly brings a lot of opportunity and freedom for your life. Whether you’re exploring your passion or attempting to live out a dream career working from home, it can be very fulfilling. However, it’s important you weigh up all the pros and cons before diving into headfirst. Make sure you work at building up a client base before going full-time into a freelance career.

 

Guest Author: Natalie Redman



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