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The Pros and Cons of Freelance Writing

May 26, 2008
If you have browsed the internet for just a few minutes, the chances are you have read some content written by a freelance writer. This is because it is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to get unique content in a place where unique content is valued above all other things. It is valued so highly as web pages will only rank well if there is unique content, any plagiarized text will severely hurt a sites rankings.

So who writes this content? College professors? Journalists? Well sometimes yes, but often it is written by your everyday person, with no official qualifications. That means that even you can earn an income from freelance writing! However there are both pro's and con's to this very current and fluid business.

The pros of freelance writing seem so obvious. Firstly you can often work the hours that you want, whether it is in your lunch break or in the middle of the night. As long as you have your work completed by the deadline, it doesn't matter when you do it. The other benefit related to this is you can do this work wherever you like: at work, home or in between. A lot of people can fit freelance writing into their spare time to increase efficiency and make use of time that would otherwise be wasted.

If these benefits don't tempt you, then imagine going to work, marching up to the boss and telling him how much he has to pay you. This is the freedom that freelance writing gives you, if a client wants your writing skills, then they have to pay what you ask for, though staying competitive is important.

Also, don't forget that there is often no middle man in these client-writer relationships, cutting costs even more. You don't have to travel in and go through a range of interviews before you are even hired, you just have to do the work and you will get paid, much less paperwork.

Not only can you skip interviews and often a resume, but you also don't have to drive or spend time getting to work, therefore cutting down on the rising costs of car use, petrol or public transport. This in itself is a major benefit and will make the amount you are paid for writing seem even greater.

Although there are many good reasons to pursue an income through freelance writing, there are also many disadvantages which make freelancing a lot harder to find success in than it may first seem.

Firstly, you have to have a certain level of writing skill, without this you will probably not get far or not make enough income to warrant the time spent. It is possible to improve your current level of writing ability but this takes much time and practice. However even if your writing level is decent, there will probably be many other people who also have a decent writing ability, even if English is not their first language. Remember that there will always be someone who will work for less than you, even when rates get ridiculously low.

Most pay in the freelance writing business is per a certain amount of writing and not per your time, so if you are unable to write quickly, it may be difficult for you to succeed in this business. However if you are confident in your writing ability and you think you can create lots of content in a relatively short period of time, your chances are certainly looking better.

So what if you are given a job, told a whole group of articles is due in a week and then you will be paid.

The most essential part of any work at home opportunity is the ability to stay motivated and have enough self-discipline to get the job done. Many writers give up half way through a project and as a result not only develop a bad reputation but also have wasted the time that they spent on all work in that project as they will not receive any pay.

In order to combat these disadvantages you must never take on a project which you doubt you can complete, whether it be due to length, subject, or other commitments. You also must be realistic about your quality of writing and how much you are getting paid compared to the effort you are putting in.

It is from this that we can see freelance writing is definitely not for everyone, no matter how simple it may seem, it takes a lot of work and commitment that often rivals your usual day jobs. However if you have the skills with the motivation to match them, you can make a steady and handy income and even enjoy yourself at the same time.
About the Author
Ant Onaf is an content producer in association with RemoteGurus.com (http://www.remotegurus.com), a freelance job board for finding and posting contract jobs such as freelance writing jobs.
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