Who wouldn’t want to freelance if they could? No boss looking over your shoulder, no office politics to put up with, and no traffic! What could be better? Oh, did I mention no steady paycheck, no health or retirement benefits, and definitely no Christmas bonus? Still, it is an attractive option for those who like to live by their own rules. But is it for you?
Consider Your Budget
Although money isn’t usually the first priority to a freelancer, you have to eat. So, if your income is the one that pays the bills and buys the groceries and you have no savings, you may have to ease into this freelancing thing a little at a time. But even if you can’t quit your day job just yet, you can still start your freelance writing career part-time. Then, once it gets off the ground and you’re confident you can pay the bills, you can freelance full-time.
Consider Your Personality
Freelancing is a lonely business. Successful freelancers can go days without talking to another human being except maybe through email and instant messaging. Even if you’re talking to clients through voice or video chat, it’s not the same as rubbing elbows with someone in the next cubicle or sitting next to someone in the company break room. Many seasoned freelancers actually like to be alone but it can be a jolt if you’re not used to it.
Another big part of your personality you’ll have to consider is whether or not you are or can be self-disciplined. With no boss looking over your shoulder, you alone are responsible for keeping yourself in line and television and one-day sales can wreak havoc for even the most self-disciplined of freelancers. While most of us think we can work unsupervised, it is easier said than done. Still, hunger is a great motivator and so is doing what you truly enjoy so if you have been fantasizing about freelance writing, you should probably give it a try. Just do plenty of research first so you will know what you are truly getting into.
Is There a Market for Your Talents?
You can be the most creative, self-disciplined person alive, but if there is not a market for what you are producing, freelancing may not work for you. Some of the more popular freelance markets include writing, editing, photography, web design, graphic design, Internet marketing, and software development, but these are not the only markets open to freelancers. Whatever your talent is, you’ll need to do plenty of market research before you take the freelance plunge. Not only do you need to ensure there is indeed a market for your talents, but you’ll need to see what the going rates are and determine whether you can make a go of it.
Freelancing isn’t for everyone. It definitely isn’t for those who hate their jobs and think they can make a quick buck online. Even though many things in cyberspace happen far quicker than they do in the brick and mortar world, they may also pay less, especially in the beginning when you’re forced to take lower paying jobs to get some experience and references. You’re the only one who can decide if freelancing is for you or not. Just take the time to do plenty of research and have realistic expectations.
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All the best,