The Perks of Being A Freelancer – Freedom and Peace of Mind

It is being said all over again that being a freelancer has many perks in term of freedom and peace of mind.

Why is that so?

We will have a look at why these two are so important for us.

Freedom.

1. You get to set your own working hours unlike many of our counterparts who have a fixed hour of either 8.30am to 5.30pm or 9.00am to 6.00pm.

2. You get to decide when to have that cup of coffee, the sandwich, the bagel and even lunch hour. For most people, lunch hour would be either 12.00pm or 1.00pm but for you it can be at 11.00am, 2.00pm, 3.00pm or even 4.00pm.

3. You don’t have to work 8 hours a day. You can work one hour if you like or 12 hours when things are piling up.

4. You don’t have to sleep at 10pm if you don’t want to. You can choose to sleep at 4.00am and wake up at 11.00am and call it your bed time.

5. You don’t even have to wait until the end of the month to get payments. You can get payment every week, every fortnight or every month. Some even get paid every day (this doesn’t apply for all countries).

6. You don’t have to find excuse to get medical leave. You don’t have to see the doctor to get a medical leave. You don’t have to show the medical bill as prove that you are ill.

7. You can watch TV while working (if that works for you). At least it works for me, except that I watch videos while working since I write a lot of stuff and I need to have something either to distract myself or to get more ideas.

8. You don’t have to wear formal attire to work at home.

9. You don’t have to leave home to go to work, so you get to save money on transportation.

10. You don’t have to eat outside and you have more time to cook, and save even more money on food.

Peace of Mind.

1. No one will be monitoring your work all the time (from your back or during meetings).

2. No one will keep telling you to “finish this before 5.00pm” or “don’t eat when you are working”.

3. No one will be bothering you while you work on your projects (imagine having colleagues that love to chit chat with you while working – mouth doing all the work and yet hands are not typing or doing anything).

4. No one will shout at you just to “borrow a pencil” or “share your snacks”.

5. No  need to share toilets with other people.

6. You can watch any TV programs (if there is a TV in the office for use during lunch hour or tea break) that you like without having to ask someone else, “what would you like to watch?”.

7. You don’t have to worry about what to wear to work especially if you are not the type of person who enjoy shopping for clothes every other weekend.

8. The most important of all, your boss will not be glancing at you all the time to check whether you are working or talking.

Did I miss something? Continue at the comments, please.

Understanding Freelance Writing

The most crucial part of freelance writing is to understand it, then implement it.

According to WikiPedia, freelance writer is a self-employed person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any particular employer.

History of the word ‘freelance’: a knight or mercenary who would sell his services to any lord willing to pay.

If you aspire to be a freelance writer, get to know these terms and the meanings so you don’t get confused.

Now that we are talking about freelance writing, you should know that there are different types of freelance writing available for you to choose, depending on your skills and interests.

Types of freelance writing:

  1. Business Writing
  2. Blogging
  3. Content Writing
  4. Copywriting
  5. Critical Writing
  6. Essay/Non-Fiction Writing
  7. Fiction Writing
  8. Ghost Writing
  9. Grant/Proposal Writing
  10. Journalistic Writing
  11. Poetry Writing
  12. Script Writing
  13. Speech Writing
  14. Technical Writing
  15. Web Writing

When you want to write, ask yourself, “What I want to write about?”.

This is how you determine what type of freelance writing services you can provide.

For example, if you like to blog, you can offer blogging as part of your writing services to those in need of bloggers for the topics you can write about with confident.

Do not take on writing services that you cannot deliver. If you are not good in poetry, don’t offer poetry writing as your services. This will only cause troubles.

Now, it is time to find out your expertise. Are you suitable for script writing, web writing or ghost writing?

Top 3 Reasons Why Freelancing Is Cool

[Disclaimer: This scenario is common in Malaysia and this article is based on my life in Malaysia.]

If you live in a community where getting a 9-5 job is the perfect job for everyone, you might want to show off your bit by telling them you earn more money by working from home. At least this is what I am doing at the moment and people around me are puzzled at how I do this.

Some don’t even believe me when I mention that I am a freelancer in writing. The next thing they ask me, how I earn a living by writing because the most typical stereotype when it comes to writing,

You write novels?

The reason they ask me this is because in their little brain, a writer means a person who writes novels.

Then, I replied,

No, I am not writing novels.

Surprisingly, they replied,

There is no such thing as earning a living by writing. We go to work in the morning and come back in the evening for 5 days a week and get our pay at the end of the month.

I continued my debate,

I get paid sometimes by week, sometimes by month.

With this as a reply, they get even more puzzled.

The point is when you try to explain, they either accept it as it is or question your credibility.

Why freelancing is cool?

1. You are different from most people.

Face it, not many people are into freelancing. In fact, in Malaysia, I hardly find anyone who is freelancing (there are a few but not many).

2. You distinguish yourself from the 9-5 life.

Imagine other people having a 9-5 job that requires them to be in the office all the time, when you can go out anytime you want and work anytime you need to. Time is not restricted to 9-5. You can work from 11-2, then continue from 4-8 or depending on how you manage your time.

(Personally, I like to work at night until past midnight – sometimes up to 3-4am but not everyone can achieve this. The reason I do this: I am more active at night and my brain works better in terms of creativity. Warning: Do not try this, if you cannot resist yourself from falling asleep at the desk.)

3. You get to control your own life rather than having your work control you.

It is well explained, no further explanation is required.

Freelance Writing Jobs – Where To Find Them, How To Get Jobs That Pay

You have taken the first step into freelance writing. Now, where do you find freelance writing jobs on the internet?

You can try classifieds on the newspapers but I doubt that there would be more choices than online sites.

It is not difficult to find jobs online. However, it takes time to search for the right job.

Here is a list of freelancing job sites to begin:

  1. Upwork (previously known as Odesk & aka Elance)
  2. SoloGig – good for IT & Engineering jobs
  3. Freelancers.net
  4. Programmer meet Designer
  5. SimplyHired
  6. Guru
  7. FreelanceWriting – this is like a feed for all freelance writing jobs from many freelancing sites
  8. AboutFreelanceWriting
  9. SunOasis Freelance Writing
  10. Burryman
  11. CraigsListselect your area > jobs > writing / editing (alternatively you can post your service in services > write/ed/tr8)

You can also use Indeed to help you narrow down your search for jobs. All you need to do is type in “freelance” or “freelance writing” into the search box.

When you bid for a job, make sure you don’t sell out yourself. Place a bid with a rate that is reasonable. Don’t bid as if you are dying to get the job (this will only benefit the clients and NOT you). Remember there are many other jobs and if you are being offered a low paying job, try to find others before you accept it.

Now that you know where to get the jobs you want, how do you make sure you get the job?

  • When you apply for a job, make sure you submit your resume that covers your expertise and mention your experience (if applicable). You don’t need a long resume, a short one will do as long as you have all the important facts in it.
  • If you are bidding for a job, mention briefly how you are going to get the job done and of course, don’t forget to put in your rate for the whole project and perhaps explain why you set such a rate.
  • If you are being asked for a sample through the bidding sites, ask the client if your sample work will be paid. (Usually, some clients won’t pay and when you submit your work, they use it freely for their own advantage – you are at the losing end)

So, how do YOU get your freelance jobs. Feel free to share with us!

This article is updated on 20th August 2015.