As web-content becomes a hot commodity, many people are moving into the realm of online freelancing as a way to make money or supplement their incomes. While it may seem daunting at first, becoming a freelance writer is actually a simple process that anyone good with the written word can begin. Here are a list of a few of the more common myths about freelance authors – and why they just aren’t true.
Freelance Authors Need a Degree
This is one that too many people consider a barrier to beginning a freelance career. It just isn’t true. While it may be helpful to land your first job or two, it’s not necessary. After you start building a portfolio, all the credentials in the world won’t matter if your writing isn’t compelling. And if your writing is top-notch, potential clients won’t care whether you finished high-school.
Freelance Authors have Tons of Free Time
Freelance Authors often start because they like the “be your own boss” mentality, and they think that they will be able to work a few hours each day and enjoy the rest of their time. While it’s true that you often only write for a few hours each day, there is more to do than just the writing. You need to market yourself, look for jobs, converse with clients, do research, and any number of other things. You’re also frequently facing deadlines that have to be met no matter what is going on. Staying up until 4am finishing a project because your water-heater exploded and took up most of your work-day is a reality.
Freelance Authors have No Job Security
This myth may have some truth to it, but you just need to have a different perspective. If you get lucky, you’ll find a few clients that you can count on for regular ongoing work, but for most of us, it’s not that simple. You still have to spend hours each week applying for new jobs, and being rejected, all the while you’re trying to keep up with the projects you’re currently working on. There are also ups and downs in the demand for work, and some months may be harder than others.
Freelance Authors Couldn’t Make it as Novelists
This myth about freelancers and contractors being “unable to make it” seems to be pervasive in so many fields that it should never be taken seriously. Whether it’s IT work, technical work, or writing, people who work independently aren’t necessarily failures in their field. The same is true for authors. Many people who do freelance work are also pursuing their own dreams, in their down-time. The thing about writing books is that it’s only lucrative once it’s done. In the meantime, you can put your writing skills to work while continuing to hone them, and get paid while doing it.
Freelance Authors Can’t Earn Very Much Money
As long as you have some decent writing skill, you get out what you put in. There are plenty of freelance writers who make a decent living, and there are some that have made it into the six-figure range. If you’re looking to write in your spare time, or around another career, you might not make much. But if you manage to devote 30-40 hours a week to freelancing and have the discipline to do it, you can earn at least median income, and sustain yourself in a middle-class lifestyle.
Freelance Authors Have to Be Academics
This is one of those myths that persists no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. Most current freelancers in the market today are simply well-read and articulate people with a knack for writing. So many started out as mommy-bloggers, or by writing for a specific niche that they were familiar with. While there are some projects out there for academic writers, the vast majority of work to be completed is for easy-to-understand conversational writings – no technical knowledge required.
So if you’re really interested in beginning a career in freelance writing, don’t let these myths and misconceptions stop you. There are plenty of ways to try your hand at freelancing to see whether or not you have the skills needed, before you quit your day job.
Sophia Mest is a Content Manager at BizDb, where she aspires to put her writing passion into practice and spread her words across the world. She spends her free time travelling and exploring the wonders of nature. Follow her on Twitter @MestSophia