(If you didn’t do your research first) 🙂
Writing is, technically, something that you can do from anywhere in the world, which is what makes it such an attractive field for people who are unwilling or unable to stay in any one place too long. As it turns out, writing for other people presents a few challenges that your English degree didn’t prepare you for…
You’ll Need To Learn To Sell
Most of us studied writing related things in college because we don’t like talking to other humans if we can help it. Unfortunately you can’t run any business without salespeople, and, when you’re a freelancer, that salesperson is you. I was fortunate enough to work with and for companies that engaged in various types of internet marketing, so I got a bit of practice before I struck out on my own. If you’re thinking about doing this you might want to start with an intense Googling session about SMM, SEM, Email marketing, and Content Marketing.
The Hours are Nuts
That doesn’t necessarily mean there are a lot of them. In my case it’s become a trend that whenever I have a few days or weeks without any travel plans, family obligations, or other distractions I’ll suddenly run out of work. Then, as soon as I pack my bags I get an avalanche of assignments that I end up putting together in hostel rooms, airports, buses, random coffee shops in Belgrade, or anywhere else that I can glean a spotty internet connection.
You Can’t Bill for 40 Hours per Week
Charging 15 or 20 bucks an hour sounds pretty great if you’re a fresh college grad that’s currently stuck in an unpaid internship, but at that rate you can forget about making rent by yourself, or having health insurance. As a freelancer you’re going to spend nearly half of your time talking to prospective and current clients, marketing for yourself, and doing miscellaneous clerical work to keep your business in order.
To make a decent living, charge what you want to earn hourly at a normal job, double it, and add the cost of taxes.
If you still want to write for a living after reading this, you might just make it! If you’re a freelance writer, please comment and add in any other curve-balls you faced when you started out.