Today we will continue our SWOT analysis of freelancing from home with a special focus on content writing. This article is designed for writers who are about to start their careers and will likely be working through freelance platforms. Let’s take a look at the weaknesses:
- Finding Clients
The biggest draw back in freelance writing is that there are already a large number of writers out there vying for the same jobs. It’s entirely possible that you are a good writer, meet all your clients’ requirements and are still having problems finding someone to hire your because of the large amount of writers in the market. This is why many freelance writers specialize in niche writing. If there’s something you’re passionate about put together a portfolio on that subject, and that subject alone, and sell yourself as a specialist. Many better-paying clients are looking for writers who actually know what they’re talking about.
- Will They Really Pay?
Unlike other fields like programming or web development, clients do not pay you part of your fee early. They receive your articles, analyze them, and then pay you if your work meets their requirements. Some clients may go AWOL after you’ve sent them a huge amount of work. If they were your main client for the week or month, this can be a huge loss for you. However, working through freelance platforms can provide some amount of security from this.
Sometimes your article may get rejected for whatever reason. You will have to learn to deal with things like this. Instead of getting upset, learn from your mistakes and make sure that your writing reflects what you’ve learned. On the other hand, there will be clients who reject your articles so that they do not have to pay you, but then turn around and use them anyway. This is, unfortunately, an occupational hazard.
Likewise, if you write directly to your audience, say through your own blog or series of eBooks, it may be that your work isn’t reaching the right people and, therefore, isn’t making any money. This risk is one of the reasons why freelance writers often choose to write for clients instead of for themselves. That way, even if the work doesn’t do as well as planned, you still get paid your flat fee – if you have a trustworthy client, that is.
- Writing Styles
There are various styles of writings and it’s important to have some knowledge of all of them. While you may specialize in a particular subject, you might have to write about it in a variety of tones, whether for a blog post, or an online newspaper article, etc. And then there’s SEO writing which is different yet again. All of this requires a lot of time, research, and, above all, practice.
Because you will be working from home, you will often find yourself on your own. There won’t be any other co-workers to help you solve your issues and it will take a lot of self-discipline to sit down and get to work. To combat loneliness, try working in a co-working space or getting together with other freelancing friends for a work date at someone’s house or a local café. Just remember to stay focused!
- Processing Fees
If you use freelance job portals to find jobs and get hired then that site will charge a specific percentage per job as a processing fee. While this is annoying when you are completely dependent on that money for your livelihood, these sites also help to find work and provide some amount of pay protection. Once you have steady clients whom you trust, you can always leave the platform and get paid directly.
- You Get Paid for What You Write
You will only get paid if you work. If you need to take off a day due to sickness, or other personal reasons, then you will lose your income for that day. Even more importantly, you will often not be able to get weekends and holidays off, especially if you’re writing for someone from another country who celebrates on different days. If you want to pay for health insurance, or you need to save for an upcoming trip or holiday, then you will need to work extra.
- Keeping Clients
Like any job, online writing needs regular updates. If you take a week off it may mean that you lose a client forever. If that happens, you will have start the search for a reliable client all over again after coming back from your holiday or after recovering from your illness, which will mean hours spent working that you will not be getting paid for. One way to avoid this is, when you have a long-term relationship with a client, set up pre-arranged holiday time in advance so that the client knows you will be gone.