Freelance writing is becoming one of the most popular ways for individuals with good writing skills worldwide to supplement their income for a number of reasons. They can conveniently write from the comfort of their home, even if they live in a small town or other remote location, while working for their clients anywhere in the world. They can also choose their own working hours, depending on their convenience, take up as much or as little work as they choose, depending on their other work.
However, there are many problems which freelance writers are facing, which should be considered before making freelance writing their main income source.
Getting writing work
One of the biggest problems faced by most writers remains getting sufficient writing work. Many writers are spending a large part of their time, searching for suitable writing work. They usually have to spend a lot of their time, generating leads and orders, searching classified websites, forums and other places, where content buyers are posting their requirement for writers.
After finding leads, they also have to spend their time communicating with the content buyer, to get detailed information about their requirement, payment terms and other terms and conditions. Usually. the conversion rate is fairly low, so writers are spending a lot of their time trying to get orders.
Ensuring that customers pay
Another major problem faced by many writers is ensuring that customers pay as promised. Most writers are paid only after the work which they submit is approved by their customers. There are many customers who do not value the relationship with the writer and are always looking for flimsy excuses for refusing to pay. In some cases, they will claim that the work was not acceptable to the end customer, or that the quality was not satisfactory. Writing styles will differ, and some customers may not like the writing style of a particular writer.
Writing is a very time-consuming activity and even fast writers with a good writing speed, can find that they are short of time, if they doing a lot of writing work. Unlike other tasks which can be largely automated, the writer has to spend a lot of time in front of his or her computer, writing the content required. They often also have to spend a lot of time communicating with their customer, to understand the customer requirement.
Additionally finding leads, generating orders, keeping records of work done, payment due, following up with the customer for payment can also take up a lot of time.
Dealing with competition, defamation and low rates
In some countries, there is a lot of competition for the limited amount of writing work available, due to which some writers are forced to work at a very low rate. The hourly rate at which the writers are paid is often far lower than the local rates for doing physical unskilled labor, which is humiliating and unfair for the writer, who may be a highly skilled and experienced professional. Often the writers leads and orders are stolen by hackers, well-connected officials and diverted to their associates, wasting the time of the writer.