6 Financial Obstacles of Being a Freelance Writer

Comments: 5

  • Freelance writers (and freelancers in general) are a real bargain because they save companies tons of money! Companies don’t have to pay benefits, sick days, vacation days, and freelancers use their own equipment and maintain it. They only need to hire you when they need you so they are only paying you when you are productive. Freelancers need to take all of those benefits in account when setting fees. There are some freelancers who actually ask for the same rate that an employee would receive—not realizing that employees receive benefits and have the luxury of steady employment. Freelance rates should be set higher than what an employee doing a similar job within a company would make. If a freelancer does not do that..he or she will not survive for long because social security taxes, healthcare, business costs and other expenses would make it hard to survive as a freelancer.

    • Yes and no. It’s taken me years of trial and error and analysis to discover the flaw in the strategy of accounting for benefits, etc., in “the same job.” One can’t sell the same set of activities that a staffer provides for a higher rate. Just as employers pay for benefits, employers package and coordinate work tasks into complete services. A freelancer must either find a package to offer or subcontract to someone who offers a package.

  • Well said, Shelly! After 35 yrs of this, as sole support of my family, I would add that the present economy with all the cheeseballs such as Demand and Examiner and the 5 stories for $25 people has lowered the bar to limbo level. An “employer” rarely asks what you would charge–just says, “How about 5 cents a word?” They delay paying in some cases now. The bid sites pit freelancers against each other in a sprint to the bottom. Darn right, charge more than an employee would get an hour! Let them take it or leave it. If they leave it, you have recaptured the “opportunity cost”–meaning the time to find someone who respects you as a business person.

  • To some extent i admit that these finanical aspects are drawbacks of freelance writing but on the other side, the merits are of no match to the demerits. Companies nowadays prefer hiring freelance writers because they can be hired at affordable rates and are always willing to serve on the employer’s conditions.

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