Running a freelance writing business is a great way to make a living. On the other side it also has its drawbacks. I like to talk about them in this article as I see it. You might already know about the benefits of working from home. Not only can you establish your own working hours, but you can also claim certain tax benefits which should not to be laughed at.
In times of economic downturn and job losses across many industries it is a good business to be in, since people will always need other people to write for them. Even more fun is the fact that anybody can do this, as long as your English is up to par. You don’t need an University degree or other accreditation to get started.
In the online world of writing, everything goes, as long as you have something to show. That is one of the reasons why so many new freelancers start out for pennies. It is their way to prove themselves worthy of the writing challenges, all the while raising their income until it is to their satisfaction.
However, even if you are a successful freelance writer, certain things make the business very tiring at times.
Lack of time off
Most freelance writers start out as a small business. In fact, it is often a one man or one woman show. As your business grows, you get busier and busier and soon enough you struggle with your freedom. The very freedom that was the main reason you became a freelance writer in the first place.
Soon you realize that the promised land is further away than ever and despite running a successful business, you struggle to relax for lack of time. This can also lead to lack of motivation.
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. - Yoda
No room for growth
This very struggle also poses another problem. You can’t grow your business. Once you hit the ceiling, that’s it, you can’t go any further.
You only have so many hours in which to write. So what to do? Many writers struggle with this situation, me included. I’ll get to this tomorrow in my next article. In there I will write what solutions I have come to and how I’m going to implement them. If you want residual income, this part two is a must read.
Soon enough you work all hours under the sun, totally neglecting the most important person in your business – you. You sacrifice yourself for the sake of getting more customers, more work and more money.
But at some stage you start to wonder whether this is really enough. Was this the reason you started your own freelance writing business, or were you simply not prepared for all of this.
Lack of residual income
By far the biggest challenge of any freelance writing business owner is the lack of residual income.
Unless you start to outsource some of your business and prepare yourself for automation, you will have to keep working hard to fulfill your monthly income target – even when you are sick, or on holidays.
Quite frankly, I don’t intend to do this myself and I tell you why tomorrow.
You might ask, is it possible to automate a freelance writing business?
Named must your fear be before banish it you can. - Yoda
My answer to this right now is: Yes, I think so, but I don’t know exactly how. Yes, you could run a membership site, a tutoring class, workshops, private mentoring and so much more. But without proper research it would be like fishing in the dark.
Naturally there is always the avenue of outsourcing. Through outsourcing you can offload a whole lot of work, but this isn’t as easy as we have already discovered last week.
Outsourcing challenges offer us a whole bunch of rhetoric questions. Questions we have to think through in detail before we throw away our money and reputation. A properly planned outsourcing strategy can make a huge difference, the secret is in the how.
Another dark side of writing is networking, if you are an introvert person. It isn’t easy to stay chummy with all kinds of people for the sake of making new friends and branding oneself. For people who are naturally outgoing, this isn’t an issue at all.
But for the more introvert type networking is like stepping into the gates of hell and back. Plus, for some, there are also the question of whether this type of networking fosters natural relationships or forced ones.
The magic word
I’m not even sure there is a magic word, but one thing is certain. Unless you find ways to make your freelancing life easier and less stressful – to keep growing your income – you will meet your limit at some stage in your business.
You will know when that happens too – the going gets tough and you struggle to meet deadlines. When this happens, it is high time you do either of the following:
- Find a Virtual Assistant
- Get a holiday
- Scale your business
- Find automation
- Simplify the procedure
- Build residual income
- Or best of all, do the lot.
In a realistic world, this is perhaps the hardest thing to do. A combination of all these things rarely works for all of us. Finding ways in which to streamline your business in the long term is very important though, if you want to stay sane in the long run.
I’m working on these practices right now. What I have in mind is not a quick fix approach to reducing the pressures in my own business, but over the long term it will work wonders if it works out.
Right now, I’m working very hard and I do feel the pressures of this. But, I do it with a target in end. I have a vision and it is this vision that carries me through.
If you are a budding freelance writer or perhaps aspire to be one, have you ever thought about these aspects of your business before? Do you just wing it, or are there any plans in your mind that lead you through the tougher times.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
If you like to keep peeking into the inner machineries of a successful freelance writing business and don’t want to miss part two of this riveting topic, don’t forget to feed yourself.