Over and over again, I hear about the low barrier to freelance writing. Many folks, it seems, have the opinion that just about anyone can become a freelance writer.
I think this popular opinion is a misperception.
While it is true that nearly anyone can purchase a web domain and start blogging, that doesn’t make every blogger a freelance writer.
There are definitely some people who shouldn’t ever become a freelance writer. If you’re wondering whether you’re one of them, here are some signs that you shouldn’t take up freelance writing:
- You don’t like to research. While some assignments may allow you to write about what you already know, many freelance writing assignments require a great deal of research. The topics that you must research aren’t always interesting either.
- You’re not trained in the field you want to write about. One of the reasons that I rarely outsource my large projects is because they require very specialized training. That specialized training allows me to qualify for jobs where otherwise I wouldn’t even be considered.
- You have no ideas. While it’s usual to have an occasional writer’s block, most successful freelance writers are able to eventually overcome those blocked periods. After all, good ideas are the foundation of good writing.
- You detest deadlines. Most freelance writing projects involve deadlines. Some of those deadlines can be pretty challenging. If the idea of having a deadline stresses you out, then freelance writing may not be for you.
- You can’t stand any kind of rejection. Eventually, even the best freelance writers must face rejection. Their application is turned down. The client requests major changes to their work. Or, something that they write just isn’t well accepted.
- You’re not reliable. A freelancing business must be built on trust. For a client to trust you they must know that you are going to do what you say that you will do. When it comes to freelancing, reliability is definitely a must.
- You want totally passive income. Most freelancers that I know work hard and steadily. Even if they receive some form of residual payment, it’s likely that the writer had to work pretty hard to put that residual system in place.
- You want to become famous. Very few freelance writers ever become famous. In fact, in many cases you won’t even receive a byline for your writing. This is particularly true if you write something for a business.
- You hate to write. The very thought of writing anything, whether it be a letter or an email, fills you with dread. (You would think this one would be obvious, but when I talk about freelance writing some people seem surprised at how much writing is actually involved. Go figure…)
I’ve had people tell me before that there are many freelance writers, but there are far fewer really GOOD freelance writers. You know what? I think it’s true.
What other signs that someone shouldn’t be a freelance writer can you think of?