It seems like the dream, doesn’t it? Quitting your day job to write full time? What could be better than that? Well, for one thing, a regular, guaranteed pay check. But you get to employ your skills, while sitting at home, in your pyjamas. The life of a freelance copywriter (or any freelance writer) is one of give and take. There are great perks and there are also significant drawbacks. For the motivated, there are some ways to enhance the perks and mitigate the drawbacks of freelance copywriting. So, let’s ask the question…
Freelance copywriting: does it make you happy?
1. The perks of freelance copywriting
Let’s face it: freelance copywriting is a great way of life. You have total freedom, freedom to travel, freedom to work where you want, when you want, and for whom you want. You are, technically at least, your own boss. Why? Because you answer only to yourself, never to anyone else…except your clients. But there’s no one to ask if you need or want to take a week off. All you have to do is, you guessed it, take a week off. Like any other job, you’re not going to be paid for that week, but you also don’t have to find anyone to cover for you, or worry about someone else snatching up your position when you’re gone.
If you’re not a morning person, you don’t have to start work until noon. And you can do it sitting at your kitchen table, in your pyjamas, eating a bowl of cereal. Or if you are a morning person, you can utilize those early hours to get through a few writing assignments before the sun is even up. You can head to the local café and occupy a table for hours if you like the atmosphere, or you can sequester yourself alone in your apartment and enjoy the absolute silence while you finish up your projects.
And you do, in general, get to choose who you work with, which means you can say goodbye to all those unreasonable customers.
2. The drawbacks of freelance copywriting
Okay, so the freedom isn’t total freedom. Most freelance copywriters report that they work just as much, if not more than when they held down fulltime jobs—for the same pay. Plus, there’s great job insecurity. If you’re trying to find work through a website you set up yourself, you are going to rely heavily on referrals and customer reviews.
And while you may labour under the delusion at first that you get to choose who you work for, it will quickly become apparent that if you want to make money, you will have to share your freelance copywriting skills with people you don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with, and even people that will be impossible to please, no matter how many revisions you provide for them. There will be people that will demand that their projects be moved to the top of your pile and that you be available to them 24/7. And guess what? If you’re strapped for cash, you might have to just put up with it.
3. Whatever makes you happy
You will have to determine for yourself if the perks outweigh the drawbacks. For plenty of people, they do. The long hours and demanding clients cannot colour the freedom of being your own employer. If you yearn for nothing more than being out from under your boss’s thumb, freelance copywriting may bring you the happiness you are looking for. But if a guaranteed pay check and the protection of an established business is what will make you happy, then freelance copywriting probably isn’t for you.