Blogging and Freelance Writing for a Laptop Lifestyle
These days, more and more people are settling into a career with nothing more than a laptop and a Wifi connection. Thousands of people are opting out of an established workplace in favor of freelancing and blogging for profit.
I knew from the time I wanted to be a journalist that I wanted to work freelance. The idea of getting to choose my own workload and actually have a work-life balance seemed like a dream.
Why Are Blogging and Freelancing Careers So Great?
Aside from what I mentioned before about the laptop and Wifi connection, there are many reasons these kinds of jobs are so appealing. Here are just a few things I love about it!
You can work on your own schedule
You’ll still have deadlines you’ll have to meet even if you don’t report to anyone. You definitely need to be setting your own deadlines, but you get to choose what work schedule works best for you.
Your clients are typically going to be more flexible with deadlines, too. If you end up swamped with more than you can handle, let your client know you’ll need a few more days. Of course, this isn’t an excuse to be lazy and push things off until the last minute. But working from your home means you don’t have to worry about the same tight deadlines you might be under if you were working in an office or newsroom.
You can write with your own voice
Check me out – I’m writing in first person. All my time in newsrooms never let me do that. You can also write much more conversationally. In my experience as an editor, I saw my fair share of reporters come and go. Some of them were truly incredible writers, but no matter how hard they tried, they just could never figure out how to write like a reporter.
But as a freelance writer, you’re hired for your own voice. When you’re writing your own blog, you get to do whatever you want with it. Maybe you want to avoid third person and write as an impartial bystander. Maybe you want to tell your life story. Whatever you want, you get to do it.
You don’t have to deal with the office life
You don’t have to worry about the weekly round-up meetings, the low-quality video conferences or that one guy who always microwaves fish in the break room.
You are also guaranteed a better work-life balance. You get to pick and choose which assignments you work on, so you never have to worry about working more hours than you would like. You also don’t have to worry about grueling projects that go on for weeks at a time. Sure, some projects will take you longer than others, but you get to complete things on your own time – even if that time allotment is one day.
What are Some of the Challenges That Come With Being a Blogger/Freelancer?
As wonderful as this kind of career might sound, don’t think blogging and freelancing is taking the easy way out. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme that sounds too good to be true; it’s gonna take work. Not everyone can earn a successful profit as a blogger, and not everyone can make it as a freelancer. Here are some of the struggles I have seen during my freelance career:
The problem with more writers opting to work freelance is that it increases the competition. Along with that, it’s often more difficult to get a feel for who your competition is when that person landing the job you wanted could be anywhere around the globe.
When your competition could be anyone, the best bet to fight the competition is to simply not have any. Work independently – keep up with good, quality writing on your blog and other writing outlets and share your work. Share share share! The best gigs I’ve ever had started because I shared my work on Facebook, inspiring others to reach out to me when they needed a writer. You’ll be surprised how far you can go when you market yourself independently.
Time can easily become your worst enemy
It can be so tempting to get lazy with your own deadlines and scheduling when you’re a freelancer. When you don’t have a manager breathing down your neck, you don’t feel as much pressure to get your work done. Suddenly, it’s easy to put it on hold to binge watch Stranger Things for the fifth time.
While freelancing gives you the opportunity to be more flexible than other jobs might allow, you want to be punctual and reliable for your clients. Otherwise, how can you expect them to trust you?
When I worked for my university’s newspaper, I could do most of my work on my own, as long as I had a Wifi connection. I quickly realized, however, that I was always most productive when I went into the newsroom to work. Something about being surrounded by my coworkers and knowing all of us were working toward a common goal helped me stay focused. It also limited the amount of distractions.
Whether you’re working in a coffee shop or in your own living room, there are countless distractions. An old friend walks into the shop, that cute barista keeps checking you out, your dog keeps howling at the squirrels and your couch is just so comfortable and you really didn’t sleep well last night. A quick nap won’t hurt, right?
If you want to be a freelancer or blogger, you have to understand that fighting distractions will be a huge part of your day – something you wouldn’t have to worry about as much if you worked in an office. For tips and tricks to make working from home as successful as possible, read Home Office do’s and don’t’s.
Making money straight out of your home can be the absolute dream, but only if you do it right. If you’re just looking for an easy way to make money, this isn’t the right field for you. If you’re willing to put in the work to market yourself and create quality content for all your networks, you’ll do just fine. For a few tips on additional ways to monetize from your blog, see our article Google AdSense to Monetize a Blog.