Freelance writing can be a lucrative field and a quite enjoyable one at that, especially if you're someone who enjoys writing. If you're planning to do it on the side, then you won't have to worry much about your finances, as you still have your salary from your regular job to augment your income from freelance writing. In this case, freelance writing is more of a hobby for you, rather than an actual profession.
However, if you decide to become a full-time freelance writer, you must know exactly what you're in for. You must know the salary ranges and the benefits for freelance writers. Here's how to research about these things:
- Ask someone who knows the field. If you know a freelance writer, then ask him if freelance writing alone helps him get by and if the pros outweigh the cons. Hopefully, he'll be candid enough to tell you the ups and downs of the industry. You'll also be able to know from him if you have the qualifications that are being looked for by most employers. You can also ask him how much you can charge clients, being a beginner.
- Surf the net. There are numerous web groups and discussion boards that talk about freelance writing, its benefits, and the financial returns that can be expected from it. You can also consult websites like Salary.com, which will help you compute how much freelance writers in your area actually earn.
- Visit the website of each prospective client. By looking at their site, you can pretty much figure out how much you'll earn by working for them. Make sure, however, that the company you're going to work for is legitimate and legal. No use researching the benefits and salaries you'll be earning from them, if they'll just cheat you out of all these in the end.
- Know how much you need to earn by knowing your expenses. Keep in mind that once you become a full-time freelance writer, you'll be your own employer. Your time is yours, and no one can dictate how you're going to spend it, as long as you meet the deadlines.
These are two of the biggest perks of freelance writing - not having a boss and having flexible working hours. Unfortunately, they also spell one of its biggest downsides - not having the work-related benefits that you've been used to. You'll have to factor this one in when calculating your expenses.
If you want to continue your health and insurance benefits, then you'll have to pay for them yourself. Study your retirement plans as well, so you can estimate just how much you have to earn to retire comfortably. Consider also your Internet connection and electricity bills, as you probably will have to be online most of the time. And DON'T forget your taxes.
Once you've started freelancing as a writer, keep yourself updated as well as to what benefits or salary increases you're entitled to as you gain more and more experience. Don't sell yourself short. Do your best in writing, and you'll be a successful freelance writer soon enough.