Freelancing in any field carries risks. How can you possibly feel safe when you’re not getting a steady, guaranteed paycheck? However, experienced freelancers know the truth. With a traditional job, you could be fired or laid off at any time—meaning you have less control over your income than you do when you’re self-employed. [Read more…]
As a freelancer, you probably spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about your income. You might wonder how long your current client base will stick around, crave a higher overall revenue stream, or worry that you aren’t making enough money to retire.
One of the best ways to address these concerns is to diversify your income stream and supplement your income with other sources. How can you accomplish it? [Read more…]
As freelance writers, we’ve all been there.
Maybe it’s not a lot of debt – maybe just a couple of credit card bills that are racking up some interest because your income forecasting fell short. It’s just a bad year in a cycle of good and bad years. Or maybe it’s more than that. Maybe you’ve recently faced some emergency expenses and you’re buried under a pile of loans and bills, some of which are even going to collections. [Read more…]
There are plenty of perks that come with being your own boss: flexible hours, picking your projects and more control over work-life balance. But one thing you’ll miss out on is an employer retirement benefit.
When you freelance, building your own retirement nest egg, including choosing the right plan, falls entirely on your shoulders. You can set up a retirement account at an online brokerage or robo-advisor. But first, you should know the best options for you. [Read more…]
Whether you are a part-time freelance writer trying to make some extra money in your spare time or you want to make a living from your freelance writing projects, there are often times when you need funding to make these projects a reality.
There are a variety of funding options for freelance writers, depending on the type of project they are working on. Some options are better for those who need capital to start and maintain a business, while others work best for creative projects that require a one-time funding source. Below are four funding options available to freelance writers, along with some information on when and how to pursue them. [Read more…]
Most everyone does a Christmas countdown, but I don’t know a single person who does one for Tax Day. We might as well do it since there is no escaping paying taxes – unless you want a visit from the IRS.
So, 32 days till that wondrous day: April 18. [Read more…]
Most freelance writers cannot imagine themselves going back to a corporate setting where job stability – and salary – is practically guaranteed. As we found out in our survey, The State of Freelance Writers in 2015 , the main issue that freelance writers face is uncertainty in income.
For sure, all of us have faced this problem at least once. There are those periods when we are flush, but there are times when we just don’t know how we’re going to manage.
During these times, it’s easy to fall prey to desperation and depression, but there are ways to handle things. When you’re in dire financial straits, you can either “give up” or find solutions.
Let’s be positive and choose the latter, shall we? [Read more…]
Being a freelance writer comes with many advantages and unique challenges. While you’re technically able to set your own hours, work from wherever you want, and accept and decline projects as you please, the reality is that you’re often at the mercy of your clients. During a busy period, this can mean long hours, busy schedules, and little time for handling other issues in your personal life.
It is thus important to have a plan for your finances. One idea is this: how freelancers should invest their money. If you have something extra, make your money work for you. [Read more…]
“Big money” is obviously relative. For some freelance writers, this could mean at least $50 per hour. For others, this could be at least $100 per hour.
No matter what figure you consider big money, you can reach that goal. It may take a bit more work than you’re currently doing, but with these four simple tips, you will increase your worth.
Make sure you’ve got the writing chops.
First things first. You’re a writer. Therefore, you need to make sure that you know what you’re doing, that your writing skills are above par.
Go one step further. Make sure your writing skills are so good that clients can’t help but be impressed.
Additionally, know what kind of writing fits client requirements. Learn how to write copy for landing pages if you are targeting that niche. Learn how to write well-researched articles if you want to reach out to clients who need this type of content.
Be honest with yourself. How good a writer are you? What areas can use improvement?
Train yourself to write fast.
Really fast. The faster you write, the more work you can take on, and the more money you can earn. However, do not lose sight of the fact that, on its own, writing fast won’t lead to big money.
You can be a blazingly fast writer, but if the quality of your work suffers, then you’re better off writing slowly and delivering excellent work.
How do you train yourself to write fast?
Go easy on yourself when writing the first draft. Just go ahead and write as quickly as you can. Once you’re done, edit and polish your article. It may be difficult in the beginning, but once get the hang of it, you’ll write even faster.
Don’t get stuck on research.
Here’s another way to help yourself to write quickly. Focus on what’s most important: the writing.
Yes, research is necessary in many cases. If you’re not an expert on the topic you’re working on, then you’ll definitely spend more time on research. However, do not spend more time than you have to on this activity!
You don’t need to spend hours and hours on research and ground work. Just get the information you absolutely need to get the job done well, and get on with it!
Note: research may include reading background material, looking up stats, interviews, and so on. You may have to do some tests to determine just how much research you need to do (on average).
Avoid quoting per hour.
We often see hourly rates in job ads, don’t we? That works most of the time, but if you want to earn more for a project, don’t give an hourly quote.
Instead, mention a flat fee for the whole project. The trick is to do the math so that the flat fee you quote gives you the hourly rate that you want.
Follow the advice of expert negotiators: quote a fee that gives you leeway to negotiate. Also determine beforehand the lowest amount you will accept.
These are ways freelance writers earn more. Although it does not encompass everything, it is a good start. Do you have your own success stories? Share them with us, and help fellow freelance writers earn more!
Freelance writers have all the financial freedom in the world, don’t we?
I wish!!! The truth is that while we do have the potential to earn more than if we held a 9-to-5 job, the degree of financial uncertainty is always there. It’s not far from the truth to say that freelance writers may face more uncertainty when it comes to financial issues.
While we do have those periods when we get a whole lot of money, there are financial pitfalls that we should not ignore. If we tend to “live easy, love free”, before we know it, we might need the assistance of an expert bankruptcy lawyer to get out of the mess we’ve – perhaps unwittingly – created.
If you’re financially responsible, good for you. You can pass up on this post. If you’re not so sure, then I hope you continue reading so that you can avoid these financial pitfalls that may not be easily recognizable.
Taking clients for granted
Just like some employees may take their day jobs and bosses for granted, it may be that some freelance writers take their regular clients for granted. The thinking may be, “We’ve been working together for so long. It’s going to last forever.”
How is this a financial pitfall?
If you take your clients for granted, you may not be sensitive to their needs. You may not deliver the best work you possibly can. The result is that you may lose their business.
The solution: Take preemptive measures. Treat each client – old or new – as if they were your only source of income. Give them your best, and don’t take them for granted, even though they may be the easiest person to work with.
Taking job hunting for granted
In the same way you may fall into the trap of taking clients for granted, you might take job hunting for granted. You have a lot of clients. You have more than enough on your plate. Why look for freelance writing job opportunities regularly?
Here’s why: You never know when you might lose a big client. It is thus important that you have a rolling roster of clients that can make up for an unexpected loss.
The solution: While you don’t have to always bite off more than you can chew, do apply for jobs now and then. Even small jobs can lead to long-term, more profitable ventures.
Not paying close attention to taxes
I don’t have to emphasize just how important it is to pay your taxes. The IRS has its ways, and it will find out if you’re not paying your dues at some point. The thing is, sometimes, you may not be aware of all your responsibilities as a freelance writer taxpayer. The excuse that “you don’t know” won’t work. If you don’t declare and pay your taxes correctly, you might face enormous fines, which could deplete your savings – or worse.
The solution: Learn about your obligations as a taxpayer. If you can’t do it yourself, hire an accountant.
Any career has its financial pitfalls, but for freelance writers, the stakes may be a little higher simply because of the lack of traditional job security. With a little bit of care and foresight, we can avoid those financial pitfalls.
What other potential financial pitfalls do you see or have experienced? Share them with us in the comments!