I have been a freelance writer since the start of February 2021. My work as a writer has opened my eyes to the world of content creation.
Nobody said freelance writing is going to be easy.
Look: I'm one person here. And I'm not the harbinger of freelancing truth for anybody. I'm just one lady on the Internet who happens to have 6 months of freelancing experience. It's not even a lot, I admit!
I'm sure there are plenty of other people on the Internet who have more years under their belt. And I'm sure that they actually rely on freelancing as a main source of income. (I do freelance writing part-time while I'm in university.)
With that said, I'm confident to say that I learned valuable lessons while being a freelance writer. I know I sound cheesy, but this is my first time earning money. And it opened my eyes to a lot of truths.
Like how freelance writing sucks!
Let's Face it: Freelance Writing is a Drag!
I sound a little harsh when I say that it sucks to be a freelance writer. There's a lot of good things that can come when being a freelance writer. You control your work time, you don't have to deal with nosy co-workers, and hey, you get paid!
But like any job, freelance writing also comes with its drawbacks. They might feel small at first. But those small negative factors pile up and will inevitably bury you in a sea of neverending problems.
So why bring those things up?
Yes, I'm releasing my frustration as I'm writing this article. I am, at the moment, experiencing a great low in my career. So it only makes sense that I express that piling up frustration in some way.
But I'm also writing this for newbies out there. Am I trying to scare beginners? No! If you want to get into freelance writing, go for it! More power to you! But pretending that freelance is the greatest decision that you'll make is hogwash. Being a freelance writer (or a freelancer in general) is no joke. It's not (and never will be) a quick and easy money-making scheme. So for those who think it is: here is your taste of exposure therapy.
5 Reasons Why Freelance Writing Sucks
I'm sure there are dozens of other mind-numbing issues freelance writers face every day. But I'm a person who likes to keep things as short as humanly possible. (No wonder I'm only 5'1.)
To keep this listicle brief, I compiled my 5 biggest pet peeves when it comes to freelancing. Again, I'm not every freelance writer out there. But I tried my best to make everything as relatable and as realistic as possible. And if I do ever miss out on any big detail or reason, my comment section is always open.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let's head straight first to number 1.
1. Clients are Difficult to Find
Every freelance writer needs a client who can give them a project to work on. Depending on what platform you're on, you either look for that client, or that client looks for you. And in both scenarios, you sometimes can't win.
I've experienced a time when I can find a client almost every day. Every time I opened my laptop, I'm greeted with a new project instantly. I made hundreds of dollars in just one week! It felt like I hit the jackpot.
But then there are times (like now) when I can't seem to land a good deal with anybody. The projects are either out of my field of knowledge that I feel unconfident to write about it. Or the clients have rejected too many writers that it's a suicide mission to write for them. Either way, there will come a time when you'll hit a wall, and you wake up one day unable to find the right client.
But what if I'm not trying hard enough? Well, there's that possibility. But even the most dedicated writers will have days when their inboxes will be completely empty. You'll be scrolling endlessly through catalogs of impossibly demanding projects that you have no idea of how to write. Oftentimes, it's not you who is the problem. It's just that you can't find the right client to work with.
2. When You Do Find a Client, They Can Get Super Picky
The biggest pet peeve that I have with certain clients is that they just reject your work. No revision, no exemption. They probably haven't even read the whole thing! Just throw your manuscript away and give you a bad rating.
For a lot of freelancers, picky clients are the worst. They're very demanding, strict, and will leave a bad taste and a worse review. Speaking through my own experience here. But the pickiest clients are often the ones who barely give you any instructions on what they want you to do.
People are hard to please. But there is a reason why freelance writers offer the chance to revise their work. And sometimes, it's not even the money that we're after. Those negative ratings can pile up, and it can affect a writer's credibility. Nobody wins.
3. Rejection, Rejection, and MORE Rejection
Failure is a part of the working process. Although, it's not helpful when it means jeopardizing your paycheck.
I have a couple of rejections that are constantly taunting me whenever I log onto my freelancing website. What's suck is that I can't erase them. They're there to stay as a reminder that I have failed earlier clients for some reason.
I don't always let the rejections get to me. But sometimes, seeing that number slowly increasing can really make you question your credibility as a writer. It's also not helpful knowing that those 20 bucks could have been yours, but it was rejected and thrown into the can.
Rejections hurt your ego and your wallet. And the worst part is that it's something you can't get rid of in the freelancing world. And that's especially true when you're dealing with picky clients (see point 2 above.) And like salt on a wound, your rejection is often partnered with riveting comments such as accusing you of article spinning. (A story that I'll reserve for another day.)
4. The Pay Doesn't Justify the Work
My freelancing job isn't the one that is providing me financial stability. Rather, it's a part-time job that gives me enough spending and saving money while in university.
But I completely understand how frustrating it is to be underpaid. Freelancers (especially those who do it full-time) understand how hard it is to earn decent pay. And whether you're a beginner or a veteran writer, you know how unfair the payment method can be.
How you earn money as a freelancer really depends on what your platform provides. Some websites let you keep all the money to yourself, while others ask for a cut of your earning. But whatever your set-up is, there will be days when you barely earn a cent. And you can't blame anybody because there is a myriad of factors to you not getting paid. Lack of clients, rejected projects, website asking too much from your pay. There's always going to be a reason.
A stable income is something you have to sacrifice if you want to be a freelancer. At least for 9-5 workers, their paychecks always come at the end of the month. For freelance writers, you're lucky if you can earn enough to buy lunch for the day.
5. It Can Get Very Lonely
Freelance writing means you do things on your own most of the time. You don't go out to work, you don't have meetings with your boss and staff, and you don't have those awkward water breaks with your co-workers. It sounds nice on paper. But there are days when I feel stuck while working, and I wish I have someone to talk to about it.
I'm sure a lot of people will disagree, but being a freelancer can get very lonely. That's especially true if you work at home. When working, the only person you can truly interact with is your client. And even then, all conversations are job-related. You do things on your own. It honestly sounds nice most of the time. But when you're sitting at home with no one to discuss your projects with, it can feel like the world is closing in on you.
Freelancing is Not for Everybody (And That's Okay!)
At the end of the day, freelance writing won't be viable for everyone who tries it. So while I personally still want to continue being one, others might choose a different route.
And that's fine! It's okay if you don't want to be a freelance writer. Freelancing is just as hard as any other job. Yes, it's captivating to be your own boss, have your own work time, and own all the money you earn. But you also have to deal with mean clients, a small paycheck, and the loneliness of being a solo worker.
Freelancing sucks, and it's okay to admit that. The more people see the bad sides of a job, the better you'll be in making a decision. And if you realize that freelancing is not for you, I'm sure better opportunities are waiting for you.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Athena Barroga Perez (author) from Philippines on September 09, 2021:
So glad that you found your passion here on HubPages. I also enjoy creating articles here too. I hope you continue doing what you know makes you happy and productive.
Thelma Alberts from Germany on September 08, 2021:
I agree with you. That is true. Being a content writer on Hubpages is the best thing that happened to me when it comes to writing. I can choose what I write.
Athena Barroga Perez (author) from Philippines on September 04, 2021:
Nice to know that content creation is working nicely for you! I am interested in creating content as well, but for now, it is only a part-time thing before I graduate. I hope you continue with your passion as a writer and grow your audience. Cheers!
femi from Nigeria on September 04, 2021:
Hi Perez everything you said in your article is true. I have been into freelance writing for many years before l discovered that becoming a content creator is better. As a content creator you pick your own topics and earn. As you say it is not a get rich quick profession but as you grow part-time income becomes full time. I am talking about owning your own blog. All you need is an evergreen niche, top domain .com and WordPress. Once the blog has good traffic monetize. All l do now for several years is create content, I work as much or as little as l like and my content pays the bills with extras.