If you want to earn a sustainable income online, freelance writing is one of the most popular ways to do it. Writing online from the comfort of your own home is a great side hustle option and can even transform into a profitable small business over time.
Getting started with freelance writing is easier than you think if you like to write and don’t mind networking and sending pitches to get jobs. However, there are a few common misconceptions and myths about freelance writing that may deter you from getting started or give you the wrong idea in terms of how to be successful.
Here are the top five myths about freelancing along with why they are untrue.
Myth #1: It’s Impossible to Make a Steady Income from Freelance Writing
This is a common myth spread by people who don’t understand how freelancing writing can be a lucrative side hustle and even a reliable career. Yes it’s true, your income will fluctuate as a freelancer. You may have tons of work one month and then your leads dry up the following month.
However, one of the best ways to make a steady and predictable income from freelancing is to secure recurring work. Ask clients to take you on as a regular staff writer for their site so you can produce articles consistently on a monthly, weekly or bi-weekly basis depending on the client’s needs.
You can also make secure your income by signing a contract with a client that states how much work you’ll receive each month so you can have clearer expectations of what your income will be like.
Myth #2: You Need a Degree to Start Earning High Paying Gigs
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a degree to become a successful freelance writer and often times, a degree or resume is not even required for most jobs including higher paying gigs.
To clients, the most important thing is your experience and knowledge about particular subjects. They tend to focus on how good your writing is, if you have good grammar, and if you present yourself as a professional and adhere to deadlines.
If you have specific life or work experiences that can add to your level of expertise on a particular subject, that can also help you land a higher paying job. Some clients also like to see that you have a sizable social media following so you can promote your work, and they may even offer bonuses based on how many social shares your articles receive.
Myth #3: A Freelance Writer’s Income is Capped
Unlike working a traditional 9-5 job, your income is not limited as a freelance writer. Since you can set your own rates, you can earn as much as you wish. That doesn’t mean that everyone will accept your rates, but you can search more efficiently to find someone who will.
If your expenses increase and you want to earn more, you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to secure a raise. You can start immediately by either asking your current clients for a raise, or pitching new clients and ask for a higher starting rate to increase your income.
Myth #4: Work is Hard to Find
One of the hardest parts of getting started with freelance writing is finding clients to pay you for your content. I don’t like to see it, but some people even quit freelancing early on because they can’t secure clients as easily as they thought they could.
Finding your first few clients is not extremely hard, but it’s not particularly easy either. Competition pay seem stiff but there is actually plenty of work to go around since there are millions of websites and blogs out there.
On the bright side, there are plenty of ways to secure a client shortly after you decide to start freelance writing. You can start by starting a blog to serve as your writing portfolio and comment on other blogs to establish new relationships. If you don’t want to start a blog, you can at least set up an online portfolio or a Contently page so potential clients can view samples of your work. You can start a blog for as little as $3.49 per month when you sign up through my Bluehost link and they will do all the work to get your site launched in a few simple clicks.
You can also start by guest posting on popular blogs and sharing in your bio that you are looking for freelance writing work. Put up a ‘hire me’ page on your blog so visitors can learn more about the services you offer. You can send cold pitches to bloggers who seem like they could use your help or companies that have a blog. Make sure you are emailing the right person like the actual blog owner, an editor, or a content manager and don’t forget to include writing samples in your pitch.
You can also search for work on the ProBlogger job board and join freelance writing groups or get a coach to help you learn how to land gigs. There are even courses available to help you start freelance writing. My friend Cat has a great course that helps you launch your own freelance writing business. When it comes to securing work, you can’t be afraid to network and pitch people about your services. Sometimes you’ll get rejected, but other times you’ll receive a positive response.
Myth #5: Freelance Writing is a Great Side Hustle Option for Anyone
Freelance writing is a good side hustle option but it’s not suitable for everyone. For starters, if you don’t like to write and send pitches for work, or it takes you a long time to come up topic ideas consistently, you may not enjoy freelance writing.
Along with the actual work, you have to send invoices to clients in order to receive payment and may be asked to attend regular virtual meetings which could cause you to spend quite a bit of time at your computer. There are plenty of other active side hustles you can try out if you don’t want to be stuck at the computer often throughout they week.
Does the Honest Truth About These Myths Make Freelance Writing Seem More Appealing to You?
If the pros outweigh the cons and you can earn a consistent income from freelance writing, I’d say it’s worth a try. My freelance writing income has been consistently increasing after I started over a year ago. Plus, I love the work! I was able to pay off a lot of debt this past year and build my savings all thanks to the extra income I earned from freelancing.
Did any of these myths surprise you? Would you ever try freelance writing?