9 Reasons to Quit Your Day Job and Become a Freelance Writer
It seems like everyone (59 million Americans, at least) is trying to be a freelancer these days.
As a stay-at-home mom with a toddler and a newborn, I wanted to stay busy and make some extra cash. So I started a side hustle as a freelance writer and never looked back.
And maybe you’re interested in becoming a freelancer. Only, you’re not sure if it’s right for you.
If you’re on the fence about whether to start your freelance career, here are nine good reasons to take the plunge.
1. Freelancing is flexible
Working a regular 9 to 5 job doesn’t always make for a flexible lifestyle.
Your boss expects you to show up to work at certain hours. If you want time off, you have to plan and ask for it in advance. Or take a sick day, of which you may not have many.
Freelancing isn’t like that.
As a freelancer, you set your schedule. You decide when you want to work and what projects you want to work on.
Now, not working means you’re not earning any money. That’s probably the biggest downside of freelancing so let’s put that out there right now.
But if you want to run a business or a side hustle from home that doesn’t require you to fit into a traditional 9 to 5 mold, then freelancing can give you that.
2. You don’t need experience to get started
When I started freelance writing, I had two things: a laptop and an internet connection.
That’s it. No degree in writing, no certification from an online writing course, no writer connections. Nothing.
And none of that stopped me from starting my side gig and then growing it into a six-figure business.
That’s one of the best benefits of freelancing. If you’re determined and you know what you want to do to make money, then you don’t need years and years of experience.
Now, experience does help if you have it.
For example, taking a freelance writing course early on probably could have saved me from a lot of the mistakes I made as a new writer.
But it’s not an absolute requirement to be successful as a freelancer.
3. Startup costs are low
Here’s something else that’s awesome about becoming a freelancer: you don’t need a lot of cash to do it.
Remember I just said all I had to start was an internet and a laptop? Those were things I had already.
I didn’t spend a dime to start my freelancing hustle and depending on what kind of freelance work you want to do, you may not need to either.
That’s huge if you’re trying to keep your budget in check.
Being able to make money without having to spend money is pretty sweet. And then once you do start making money from freelancing you can go back and invest some of it in your side hustle or business to help it grow.
4. The money-making potential is crazy good
I’ve grown a small freelance writing side hustle into a business that earns multiple six figures a year. I don’t have a team working for me and I don’t spend tons of money on marketing my services. It’s pretty much just me and my laptop.
Can every freelancer make six figures?
It’s not an impossible goal. But there are a few things you need to have to do it, like:
- A profitable freelancing niche
- Stellar work ethic and a commitment to hustling hard, at least in the beginning
- Excellent time management skills
- Clear goals for growing your freelance business
Now, maybe you don’t want to make $100,000+ a year freelancing. That’s fine, too.
When I was side hustling as a freelancer, I made around $1,500 a month consistently. And maybe your target for making extra money is somewhere in that range, too.
However much you want to make, one of the benefits of freelancing is that you’re in control of it.
You can decide who you want to work with, what you want to charge and how often you want to work.
In other words, you can mold freelancing to fit your lifestyle.
5. Freelancing is a creative outlet
My kids were babies when I started freelancing as a stay-at-home mom. My husband was only home 5 days out of the month so I was doing all the things, all the time.
And you might be wondering why I would even try to start a business when I was already crazy busy.
The answer is that I needed it. I needed something creative that I could do just for myself, outside of being a mom all day.
Writing was a natural fit for me. And personal finance (my writing niche) was something I’d been learning about for years and was interested in.
So writing about money met a creative need in me. It didn’t hurt that I was also getting paid to do it.
And if you’re someone who also needs a creative outlet, that’s one of the benefits of freelancing. It can fill your cup in more ways than one.
6. Freelancing is great for introverts
One of the less-talked-about benefits of freelancing is that working from home is perfect for introverts.
Being an introvert means that social interaction, even just talking on the phone, can be mentally and physically exhausting.
You get tongue-tied and feel awkward because you don’t know what to say. So you end up saying nothing, then the people who are trying to have a conversation with you end up thinking you’re a total weirdo.
If you identify with any of that, then freelancing could be an ideal choice for making money from home.
I’m not saying you’ll never have to interact with other humans. You may have to come out from behind your laptop now and then to talk to a client via video chat or interview a source over the phone.
But for the most part, freelancing takes the pressure of being an introvert off so you can focus on growing your business.
7. You can be home with your kids (if you have them)
This might be one of the most important benefits of freelancing.
It’s the reason I still freelance, even after becoming a single mom.
I had been homeschooling my kids for a couple of years and didn’t want to stop. So I decided to turn my freelancing side job into a real business and never looked back.
Being a freelancer means you can choose to send your kids to school or school them at home.
It means if one of them gets sick you don’t have to deal with a snotty boss grumping about you needing a sick day.
Freelancing means you can be your own boss while still doing all the parent things. Because you can set your hours and schedule, you can work from home without totally neglecting your kids, which is a great feeling.
8. You’re not tied down in one spot
Freelancing makes you location-independent. It’s something you can do anywhere, as long as you have a computer and internet.
This is one of the benefits of freelancing that’s priceless. You can make it work for you from wherever you are at the time.
So if you decide to move to another state or even another country, you don’t have to give up your income stream. You can take worth with you virtually anywhere.
9. You can do work you love
I saved this one for last because I think a lot of people look at freelancing just as a way to make money online.
And it’s a great one but that’s not the only reason to choose a freelance lifestyle.
If you want to be a successful freelancer, then you have to care about what you’re doing.
You should be excited about working with your clients and motivated to do your best every day.
If you don’t love the work you’re doing or the people you work with, then what’s the point of freelancing?
So if you want to try freelancing, don’t jump in without thinking about what you want to get out of it. Having specific goals in mind can make it easier to stay motivated and encouraged as you navigate your journey to freelance success.